Career Advice

Rugged Laptops: A Must-Have for High-Risk Jobs


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Maybe you’re an intrepid journalist covering the civil war in Syria or elsewhere. Or perhaps you’re a commercial construction superintendent building a skyscraper in downtown Manhattan or Los Angeles. Maybe you’re a commercial fisherman working off the coast of Massachusetts or Alaska. Whatever the case may be, you’re going to need a portable laptop computer and that computer better be as rugged as the job you are performing and the environment you’re performing it in, or it’s going to be toast in no time.

While you can’t take an IT specialist with you in case your software malfunctions, and perhaps you haven’t had time to take courses in DevOps or know the new releases of DevSecOps by JFrog that will assist you with managing files, file integrity, and a system of stored records?

Say the experts, while portability is the key feature of laptop computers, durability is not often one of their prime advantages. All it can take to have a bad day with a laptop is a drop or a spilled cup of your morning coffee all over the keyboard. Talk about throwing money down the drain.

What workers who perform dangerous jobs in harsh environments need is a laptop that will make it through snow, heavy rain, long drops, heavy dust, and sand, or a total submersion in a stream. That kind of laptop exists, and it is considered in a class of its own. It’s called the rugged laptop.

According to, here are some of the most reliable rugged laptops being sold on the market today.

Panasonic Toughbook Rugged Laptop

If you don’t mind a more “traditional laptop experience” minus any backlighting and/or touch screen capabilities, the Panasonic Toughbook is said to be the perfect rugged choice for those working hard jobs. These days laptops try to double as tablets making them even more portable. But the Toughbook Prime model trades touchscreen tech for a wider, more readable screen.

If you work in a dangerous job, you’re going to need a portable laptop computer and that computer better be as rugged as the job you are performing and the environment you’re performing it in, or it’s going to be toast in no time.Click To Tweet

The hardware specifications are said to be close to that of the Dell Latitude Rugged laptop, only with a bigger 15-inch screen. That might seem small for non-rugged laptops, but for rugged models, it’s quite large. The keyboard on the Toughbook is also engineered to be more responsive than some of its competitors in the rugged market.

Keep in mind, that there’s not a lot of protection around the power port. It’s suggested that you keep that portion of the laptop away from water, mud, or dust. You might try covering it with duct tape when the laptop is being used in the field, unplugged. It comes in a “Lite” version and a more expensive Prime and surprise of surprises, newer Touchscreen editions.

Getac S410 G2 Rugged Laptop

One major feature of the Getac is not only a rugged laptop experience for dangerous environments, but it’s also secure. It comes equipped with a space for a padlock. That means, if someone steals it, they aren’t going to be able to open it. Not right away anyway.

The new 8th generation is said to be a class above and more powerful than previous models. It easily competes with other rugged models but is priced a little less, making it an attractive buy for someone on a limited salary, like a freelance writer for instance.

For a higher price, you can add more features such as higher resolution and/or a security-minded facial recognition scanner. The laptop also comes with a dual battery configuration, giving you ample unplugged time.

Take note that this rugged computer is rated for a three-foot drop or less, which ranks lower than many of its competitors.

Lenovo ThinkPad P52 Rugged Laptop

The Lenovo ThinkPad is a traditional laptop that’s built with durability in mind. Its specifications alone are said to make it one of the top picks. But it’s not as rugged as its competitors, and therefore is considered a “semi-rugged” notebook.” In other words, in terms of a rugged build, it doesn’t stand up to the Panasonic Toughbook or others like it.

But when it comes to overall durability, the Lenovo is still a far better choice than a traditional laptop. Its keyboard is engineered for spill resistance while the entire ThinkPad line has been constructed for rugged field conditions.

Unlike most of its rugged competitors, the Levono ThinkPad comes equipped with a dedicated card for stunning graphics. This means you can play games in your downtime. Aside from its heavier build, it’s also got a fingerprint reader located above the touchpad for extra convenience.

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