Best Rugged Laptops in 2023

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Updated April 6, 2023

To find the best rugged laptops, you’ll need to determine the features that are right for you and your setup, no matter if you primarily work at home or in dangerous locations. We recommend that you favor rugged laptops made from durable and long-lasting materials and those that feature high-grade processors and plenty of RAM. Make sure to also consider the form factor, as a light and thin laptop will be better for portability and transport. When buying a rugged laptop, always look for a powerful processor, a comfortable keyboard, and durable components.

After analyzing hundreds of reviews amongst a multitude of products with varying price points and features, we’ve determined that the LG Gram 17 is the best rugged laptop on the market today. Keep reading about this and our other top picks to learn more about the best laptops on the market today.

Top 10 Best Rugged Laptops

 #1  LG Gram 17 Rugged Laptop


WHY WE LIKE IT: Best semi rugged laptop, thanks to a military-grade construction, with a powerful Intel processor, 512GB of solid-state storage, and a battery that can last up to 15 hours on a single charge. Ready to buy this laptop now? Check out our guide to learn about the best place to buy a laptop.

  • Plenty of solid-state storage
  • 16GB of RAM
  • Long-lasting battery
  • On wider side
  • Somewhat expensive

The LG Gram 17 is one of the best rugged laptops, thanks to boasting a military-grade certification (MIL STD 810G.) The specs here are fantastic, with a powerful eighth-generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of dedicated RAM, and a speedy 512GB solid-state storage drive. We also appreciated the stellar integrated battery, which can provide more than fifteen hours of continuous use before needing to recharge, helping this model compete with the longest battery life laptop.

Though the 17-inch FHD display is gorgeous and the weight is under three pounds, this is a wider-than-average laptop, thanks to the aforementioned display. Additionally, this is a fairly expensive laptop, likely due to the advanced features on offer. For less expensive options, check out the best laptops under $500 on the market today.

 #2  Lenovo ThinkPad P52 Rugged Laptop


WHY WE LIKE IT: Extremely sturdy and durable design, with an Intel Core i7 processor, an NVIDIA graphics card, 32GB of dedicated RAM, and a speedy 1TB solid-state drive.

  • Powerful graphics card
  • 32GB of RAM
  • 1TB SSD
  • Expensive compared to some models
  • Weighs over 5lb

The Lenovo ThinkPad P52 is a fantastic choice for those looking for both power and durability, as this model features a rugged exterior and plenty of high-grade internal components, including a powerful Intel Core i7 processor and an NVIDIA Quadro P1000 graphics card. We also appreciated the Full HD IPS display, the 32GB of dedicated RAM, and the whopping 1TB of solid-state storage. Speaking of solid-state storage, check out our best SSD laptop guide to find a laptop with even more storage space.

All of these advanced features do have a literal cost, as this laptop is on the expensive side. Also, this Lenovo rugged laptop is slightly heavy, clocking in at just over five pounds, though it is still one of the best rugged laptops on the market. A much lighter option is the best Windows laptop, weighing in at less than 3 pounds.

 #3  Panasonic Toughbook 33 Rugged Laptop


WHY WE LIKE IT: Made for absolute durability and encased inside of an ultra-rugged briefcase apparatus, with a high-end feature set that includes 8GB of RAM and a battery that can last for nine hours per charge.

  • Battery lasts 9 hours
  • 8GB of dedicated RAM
  • Powerful Intel Core processor
  • Extremely expensive
  • Weighs nearly 8lb

The Panasonic Toughbook CF 33, like its cousin the Toughbook 31, is of exceptional quality, with an ultra-rugged design that finds the laptop itself securely encased in a nigh-indestructible magnesium alloy chassis while adhering to MIL STD standards. The specs are stellar, thanks to a powerful Intel Core processor, 8GB of RAM, and a fantastic battery that can last up to nine hours before needing a recharge. We also appreciated the Intel HD 620 graphics memory card, which should provide great visuals and assist with processing power.

Though this is a highly durable laptop with high-grade specifications, it is on the heavier side, clocking in at nearly eight pounds. Additionally, this is an extremely expensive model, likely due to the fact that it is one of the best rugged laptops. A less expensive model can be found among the best laptops for seniors.

 #4  Dell Latitude 5414 Rugged Laptop


WHY WE LIKE IT: Ships with 16GB of dedicated DDR4 RAM memory, making this laptop shine while multitasking, in addition to featuring a powerful Intel Core i7 processor and a long-lasting battery that can survive harsh conditions.

  • 12 hours of battery life
  • Intel Core i7 processor
  • 128GB SSD
  • Keyboard is not backlit
  • Weighs 6.5lb

This Dell Latitude rugged extreme laptop ships with 16GB of dedicated DDR4 RAM, which makes short work out of multitasking and running intensive applications. The other specs are noteworthy, with an Intel Core i7 CPU and 128GB of speedy solid-state storage. We also appreciated the fantastic integrated battery here, which allows for up to twelve hours of use on a single charge.

The keyboard here on the Latitude 14 is not backlit, which could be an issue if you tend to use standard laptops in lowly lit areas as part of your work duties. Also, this is a very heavy computer, due to the durable casing, clocking in at 6.5 pounds. Alternatively, consider purchasing the best laptop for students that features a relatively light form factor, at three pounds.

 #5  Dell Latitude 5404 Rugged Laptop


WHY WE LIKE IT: Rugged computer that is built for security, thanks to an included Kensington lock, with an integrated docking station port, a durable exterior casing, and 8GB of dedicated RAM for multitasking.

  • Integrated docking station
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • Weighs over 6lb
  • No webcam

The Dell Latitude 5404 ships with some innovative theft deterrence features, including a Kensington lock and an integrated laptop docking station. The specs here are stunning, with an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of dedicated RAM, and a speedy 512GB solid-state storage drive. We also appreciated the multitude of ports on offer here, which include USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, VGA, and DVI.

Though there is a multitude of connectivity options with this Dell Latitude 14 Rugged extreme laptop, this laptop does not include a webcam, so you won’t be able to video chat with friends, family, or work associates. Additionally, this is a fairly heavy Dell rugged laptop, at well over six pounds. Check out the best laptop brands on the market today to decide which model is best for you.

 #6  Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11E Rugged Laptop


WHY WE LIKE IT: Efficient and fun 2-in-1 design, with a touchscreen display that allows this model to function as both a laptop and a tablet, with a high-grade feature list that includes an Intel quad-core processor and Intel HD graphics.

  • Fairly large solid-state drive
  • Intel quad-core processor
  • Weighs just over 3lb
  • 11-inch screen on smaller side
  • Battery life is just 3 hours
  • 4GB of RAM

The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11E is great for those who can’t decide on whether to purchase a laptop or a tablet, as this model’s integrated touch display allows for both. The specs are decent, thanks to an Intel quad-core processor and a speedy 128GB solid-state storage drive. We also appreciated the light and thin form factor here, with this laptop weighing just over three pounds, despite being ultra-durable.

Though we appreciated that the 2 in 1 display rests on a hinge that can rotate a full 360 degrees, the screen size is on the smaller side, at just over 11 inches wide. Also, this laptop ships with just 4GB of dedicated RAM, which could impact multitasking. Consider instead the best Ubuntu laptop that boasts advanced features such as a high-grade seventh-generation Intel Core i7 CPU and 16GB of dedicated DDR4 RAM.

 #7  MobileDemand Flex 10B Rugged Laptop


WHY WE LIKE IT: Built for portability, weighing just 2lb, while still offering superior durability, thanks to a high-grade protective case that shines in industrial and professional settings.

  • 128GB SSD
  • Can be easily mounted
  • Touch display for tablet experience
  • 10.1” display
  • 4GB of RAM

The MobileDemand Flex 10B is compact and portable, weighing just two pounds, while still offering durability in the form of a protective case and an oleophobic scratch-resistant screen protector. The specs are solid, thanks to an Intel processor, Intel HD graphics, and 128GB of solid-state storage. We also appreciated the mounting hardware on the back and the fact that the display is touch-capable.

Though most of the specs here are high-end, this laptop does only ship with 4GB of dedicated RAM, which could impact multitasking. Additionally, the touch display is certainly on the smaller side, coming in at just 10.1-inches side. A better option is the best business laptop that features a full HD touch display, which allows tablet-like functionality and comes in at a respectable 14-inches of width.

 #8  Panasonic Toughbook CF-54 Rugged Laptop


WHY WE LIKE IT: Features a spill-resistant keyboard, in addition to being encased in a durable magnesium alloy case complete with a handle and a battery that can easily be removed.

  • Magnesium alloy case
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 480GB SSD
  • On the heavier side
  • Battery life takes a hit

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-54 is a great option for those who worry about spilled liquids, as it features a spill-resistant keyboard and a battery and storage that can easily be removed should a spill actually occur. This is a durable laptop that is encased in a magnesium alloy case that boasts an ergonomically designed handle. We also appreciated the specs on offer, such as 8GB of RAM, an Intel Core processor, and a speedy 480GB solid-state drive.

This is a heavier-than-average laptop, however, clocking in at just over five pounds, which could impact portability. Also, the battery life here takes a hit, due to the advanced components, and can only last around five hours before needing a recharge. Compare that to the best 2 in 1 laptop that has a high-grade integrated lithium battery, which can go all day before needing a charge.

 #9  Panasonic Toughbook CF-52 Rugged Laptop


WHY WE LIKE IT: Value-conscious laptop with some robust features, such as being encased in a durable briefcase exterior and boasting a large 15.6” Full HD display and 8GB of RAM.

  • Large FHD display
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 240GB SSD
  • Weighs 7.5lb
  • Battery life on lower end

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-52 comes in at a value-friendly price point while offering features that line up with more expensive competitors, including a powerful Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of dedicated RAM, and a speedy 240GB solid-state storage drive. We also appreciated the large Full HD display, which clocks in at a generous 15.4-inches wide, and the fact that the internal components are housed in a virtually indestructible briefcase.

This is a heavier-than-average laptop, however, coming in at nearly eight pounds, due to the durable external casing. Additionally, the integrated lithium battery can only last a few hours before needing a recharge. Instead, consider the best netbook that has a high-grade lithium battery, which can last for more than a dozen hours and comes with a quick charger.

 #10  Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e (3rd Gen) Rugged Laptop


WHY WE LIKE IT: Budget-friendly laptop with some decent features, including an efficiently designed Intel Celeron CPU, a light and thin form factor, and a fantastic battery that can easily last all day before needing a recharge.

  • Weighs less than 4lb
  • Speedy Intel processor
  • Battery lasts all day
  • 4GB of DDR3 RAM
  • 128GB SSD

The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e (3rd Gen) comes in at a budget-conscious price while offering certain features in line with higher-priced competitors, such as a speedy and reliable Intel Celeron processor and a stellar lithium-ion battery that can easily last all day before needing a recharge. We also appreciated the light and thin form factor, as this laptop only weighs 3.5 pounds and is slim enough to fit just about anywhere.

Though this is the best cheap rugged laptop, some of the specs are on the lower end, as this model ships with only 4GB of DDR3 RAM, which could impact multitasking. Also, the storage is a bit paltry, as this model ships with a small 128GB solid-state drive. A better option would be the best laptop with an i7 processor and 64GB of RAM.

How We Decided

To help narrow down to the above list, we thoroughly researched a multitude of top laptops, ensuring they were built with durability and longevity in mind. To that end, we liked truly ruggedized laptops that have been encased in some form of water-resistant metal or alloy, often with a tough and thick industrial rubber exterior and an accompanying ergonomic handle, offering multiple levels of protection.

As for specs, we measured efficacy based on how we would with any laptop. We liked computers with high-grade processors, often manufactured by industry giant Intel, and those with copious amounts of RAM for multitasking. We also liked laptops that shipped with large and speedy solid-state storage drives, as solid-state drives are speedier and more efficient than HDDs.

These are laptops, so battery life was extremely important as we conducted our research. We liked computers that shipped with well-made lithium-ion batteries that could allow for multiple hours of use before needing a recharge. Finally, we liked laptops with plenty of connectivity options, including USB C ports, HDMI ports, Ethernet ports, and full integration with modern Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standards.

Best Rugged Laptop Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Durability
    These are rugged laptops that should be able to take a licking and keep on ticking, having been thoroughly drop-tested. However, even the toughest laptop is no match for shocks and vibrations during transport. A good solution to this problem is a purpose-built protective case that provides complete protection, ensuring your laptop arrives intact at its destination.
    • Look for models that are certified to have been manufactured using military standards and those that ship inside ultra-durable exterior cases. This will provide extra protection against the harshest conditions so that even the most hardy travelers won’t be caught off guard.
    • These cases are often made from water-resistant metal alloys and typically feature an ergonomically designed handle for ease of transport. It must be noted, however, that many rugged laptops are on the heavier side.
    • They often include rubberized bumpers and components that can withstand extreme temperatures, making them great for those who work outdoors, at construction sites, or anywhere with extreme conditions.
  2. Specs
    Like any laptop, the specs are an extremely important consideration. Systems need to be powerful enough for everyday tasks, and laptop screens must provide easy viewing.
    • Look for a computer that features a powerful processor made by industry giant Intel and one that includes plenty of RAM, for the purposes of multitasking or for running intensive applications.
    • You will also want to look at the storage on offer, with special attention paid to solid-state drives, otherwise known as SSDs.
    • These drives are much faster, more durable, and more reliable than hard disc drives. Additional features, such as fingerprint readers, should be considered.
  3. Display
    The display is another thing you should take a good, hard look at before committing to a purchase. Look for high-resolution displays that are Full HD or better, and, for the most part, bigger is better, as larger displays will increase the viewing angle. You may also want to choose a laptop with a touch screen, as this allows for a manner of tablet-like functionality with apps and games. These displays are often rugged themselves, with Corning Gorilla Glass and MIL STD-810G certifications.

Rugged Laptop FAQs

What is the best rugged laptop?

The best rugged laptop is one that is encased in a nigh-indestructible external housing, often made from some type of metal alloy, while still featuring powerful specs like an Intel processor and plenty of RAM and storage space.

Which brand of laptop is most durable?

No one brand has cornered the market on rugged computers. Look for a laptop that adhered to military-grade construction standards, such as those made from rigid magnesium alloy while still featuring impressive specifications. Battery life should also be considered, as laptops are intended for some degree of portability.

What computer will last the longest?

A rugged laptop should last a long time and excel with day tasks in direct sunlight and at night, particularly if it is encased in a metal alloy housing. Other features that can increase the life of a laptop include plenty of RAM, which can assist with futureproofing, and a spill-resistant keyboard.

What is the best brand of laptop?

Brands and logos do not matter nearly much as internal components. The best tough laptop is one with fantastic internal components, such as a high-grade CPU, plenty of efficient RAM, and a robust solid-state storage drive.
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