Laptops

Best rugged laptops of 2021: the top drop-proof laptops for outdoors or WFH

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Look no further than the best rugged laptops of 2021 if you’re looking for durability and power in one device. While most laptops are not made to withstand extreme temperatures, dust, water, drops, and bangs, these laptops were designed for this one purpose. There may be plenty of laptops out there that are lighter or thinner, none will endure the way these will.

No matter if you’re just a bit clumsy, a writer on the road looking for the best laptops for writers, or work on a hectic worksite, one of the best rugged laptops here will work for you. They have been put through all sorts of testing so you can be sure they will stand up to any abuse.

With Dell laptops leading the charge, here are our top picks of the best rugged laptops that tout power and durability. Looking for a rugged portable for your kids, be sure to check out our best laptops for kids list. Meanwhile, those looking for a featherweight option, some of the best Chromebooks are rugged as well.

  • Check out our best 2-in-1 laptops picks if you want a laptop and a tablet in one device.
  • Want your company or services to be considered for this buyer’s guide? Please email your request to desire.athow@futurenet.com with the URL of the buying guide in the subject line.

We’ve also featured:

  • The best rugged smartphones
  • The best rugged tablets
  • The best rugged harddrives

Best rugged laptops of 2021

  • Check out our overall list of the best laptops.

Image Credit: Dell

Image Credit: Dell

1. Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme

The very best rugged laptop

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i3-6100UGraphics: Intel Graphics 520RAM: 4GBScreen: 14-inch 1366 x 768Storage: 128GB SSDConnectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, optional GPS, LTEWeight: 3.9kgDimensions: 356 x 246 x 52mmTODAY’S BEST DEALS$1,449.90View at AmazonLow Stock$1,499.22View at Walmart$1,749.99View at AmazonSee all prices (13 found)

Reasons to buy

+Very rugged design+Can configure the hardware

Reasons to avoid

Only 4GB of RAM in base modelBig and heavy

If you’re looking for a laptop that can handle anything the planet can throw at it, you’ll want to get your hands on the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme – it’s all in the name. It is a bit old at this point, but that almost doesn’t matter. It’s still a well-designed rugged laptop that meets military standard requirements. It features a rigid magnesium alloy build, shock absorbent case, is IP65 certified against dust, sand and water – it can even handle extreme temperatures. Like the rest of Dell’s catalog, you can configure the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme however you feel like – or however you can afford.

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Panasonic Toughbook CF-33  

Image Credit: Dell

Image Credit: Dell

2. Dell Latitude 14 Rugged

A fantastic rugged laptop from Dell

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5-6300U processorGraphics: AMD Radeon R7 M360RAM: 8GBScreen: 14-inch 1920 x 1080Storage: 128GB SSDConnectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, LTE, EthernetWeight: 1.9kgDimensions: 347 x 243 x 44.4mmTODAY’S BEST DEALSPrime$975View at AmazonPrime$1,099.99View at AmazonPrime$1,289.95View at AmazonSee all prices (5 found)1 Amazon customer review

Reasons to buy

+Tough+Good price

Reasons to avoid

Low capacity hard driveLack of ports

Dell is a household name when it comes to the best laptops, but it still makes the best rugged laptops right now. For example,the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged is a tough laptop that combines a rigid outer shell with quick components that are powerful enough for the category – including a 6th-generation Intel Core processor and dedicated AMD Radeon graphics. Even the display is decent, rocking a matte finish that makes it comfortable to use outside – probably where it’ll be most used. It’s the less “extreme” version of our number one pick, but its still one of the best rugged laptops on the market right now.  

  • This product is only available in the US and UK at the time of this writing. Australian readers: check out a fine alternative in the Panasonic Toughbook CF-33  

Image Credit: Panasonic

Image Credit: Panasonic

3. Panasonic Toughbook CF-33

Rugged 2-in-1 laptop

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i5-7300U processorGraphics: Intel HD Graphics 620RAM: 8GBScreen: 12-inch 2160 x 1440Storage: 256GB SSDConnectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, LTE, EthernetWeight: 2.76kgDimensions: 313.0 x 288.4 x 46.1mmTODAY’S BEST DEALSCheck Amazon

Reasons to buy

+2-in-1 design+Fantastic screen

Reasons to avoid

HeavyExpensive

If you want one of the best 2-in-1 laptops, but you don’t want something that feels like it’s going to snap in half the first chance it gets – the Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 is for you. This 2-in-1 has a flexibility that most rugged laptops just don’t. If you need something that’s easy to carry while you do stock takes and jot down notes, then tablet mode will work wonders. Then, if you need to type up some documents, you can attach the keyboard and comfortably type away. It may be expensive, but it’s one of the only 2-in-1 laptops that can actually take a beating. 

Image Credit: HP

Image Credit: HP

4. HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Notebook PC

A sturdy laptop

Specifications

CPU: Intel Celeron N3350 processorGraphics: Intel HD Graphics 500RAM: 2 – 8GBScreen: 11.6inch 1366 x 768Storage: 128GB SSDConnectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth,Weight: 1.35kgDimensions: 207 x 302.4 x 19.9mmTODAY’S BEST DEALSRecommended Retailer$678.60View at HP (US)$708.60View at HP (US)Check Amazon

Reasons to buy

+Good price+Thin and light

Reasons to avoid

Not as robust as other devicesUnderpowered

You might think the HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE is a normal laptop at first glance. However, once you dive deeper, you’ll see there’s more than meets the eye. While it isn’t designed for big drops and dangerous environments, it’s still one of the best rugged laptops for most everyday users – it’s built to withstand more knocks, drops and liquids than the everyday laptop. This is due to an industrial rubberised body, spill resistant keyboard and Corning Gorilla Glass 4 display. It’s not going to be as robust as some of the other rugged laptops on this list, but it’s easily portable and the screen can be flipped – making it a rugged 2-in-1 laptop.

Image Credit: Lenovo

Image Credit: Lenovo

5. Lenovo ThinkPad 11e

Rugged performance

Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i3-6100U processorGraphics: Intel HD Graphics 520RAM: 8GBScreen: 11.6-inch 1366 x 768Storage: 128GB SSDConnectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth,Weight: 1.5kgDimensions: 300 x 210 x 22.3mmTODAY’S BEST DEALS$68.80View at Amazon

Reasons to buy

+Good performance+Rugged design

Reasons to avoid

Bulky compared to normal laptops

Similar to the HP ProBook x360 we mentioned earlier, the Lenovo ThinkPad 11e is more like a standard laptop that just so happens to be a bit rugged. Still, you can just tell that Lenovo has put effort into the construction of this device, as it includes more robust inputs, and can survive drops of up to 90cm. It also features military specifications, that make this a laptop that can survive the harshest conditions. What’s more, it’s affordable, while still offering enough processing power for everyday tasks.

  • Don’t need a rugged laptop? Check out our list of the best business laptops

Round up of today’s best dealsDell Latitude 14 7404 Rugged…Dell Latitude 14 Rugged ExtremeAmazon$1,449.90ViewSee all pricesReduced PriceDell Latitude 5414 Rugged…Dell Latitude 14 RuggedAmazon$1,139.95$975ViewSee all pricesRecommended RetailerHP ProBook x360 11 G5 EE…HP ProBook x360 11 G1 EE Notebook PCHP (US)$678.60ViewSee all pricesLenovo THINKPAD 11E 20DU…Lenovo ThinkPad 11eAmazon$68.80ViewSee all pricesWe check over 250 million products every day for the best pricespowered by Techradar

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