What to Look For In a Rugged Notebook Computer

Most of us use our laptops on a desk, in bed, or maybe in our favorite easy chair. But some of us need something a lot tougher. Whether you work outdoors or in a harsh indoor environment, you might need a semi-rugged notebook computer, a fully rugged Panasonic Toughbook, or other types of durable laptops that can handle drops and spills. What are the features you should look for in a semi-rugged notebook computer?

A Bright Display

This might not seem like the natural first feature to look for, but if you don’t get a nice, bright display you’ll be endlessly frustrated. A lot of jobs that require a semi-rugged notebook computer are done outside, meaning you need a screen you’ll be able to read even in the brightest of suns.


You can never tell what will happen while you’re suing your notebook, whether you’re out in the field or on the factory floor. Part of ensuring that you get maximum durability is having a computer with the flexibility to handle things the job might throw at it.


If you need a semi-rugged notebook computer, or a fully-rugged one, there’s a good chance you work where it’s important that your data stay secure. Look for a quality computer that offers biometric security—and even an infrared camera—that ensures no one will go snooping around your sensitive data.


There’s a big difference between waterproof and water-resistant. That difference can be measured in the dollars you spend replacing a sub-standard semi-rugged notebook computer after you accidentally drop it into a body of water.

Detachable Screen

Not all rugged laptops have this, but the ones that do offer you a lot of options for use. Combined with a touchscreen, a detachable laptop can go more places and do more things for you.

Magnesium Alloy Case

If the case isn’t made of magnesium alloy, it’s not worth having. This is the toughest case you can get and will hold up to some serious beatings. It’s even better if you get one with added shock-absorbent material so no drops will disturb your computer.

Sealed Caps and Doors

It should go without saying that a really rugged notebook needs to keep out dust, particulate matter, and moisture. The best way to do this is to make sure you have a way to fully seal it when necessary.

There is a great semi-rugged notebook computer out there for you. Whether you’re ready to buy new, used, or refurbished, make sure you’re getting one with all the features you need to really handle your life.

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