When it comes to rugged laptops, two brands lead the way - Panasonic with their Toughbook range and Getac.
Panasonic have forged a solid reputation in the rugged laptop market with their well-regarded ‘Toughbook’ laptops and tablets. Toughbooks are designed to combat challenges with mobile computing in hostile work environments. Panasonic have spent more than 20 years developing and refining their range.
Getac, founded in 1989, have emerged as leaders in the rugged laptop industry thanks to their durable devices that offer solutions for professionals working in extreme environments. What sets Getac apart from the competition is a team of 250 full-time engineers working to find better ways to deliver tough, portable devices for every industry.
So, who wins the rugged laptop showdown?
Panasonic Toughbook CF-33
Many consider the Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 to be one of the best rugged laptops in the world! In fact, it’s a 2-1 in tablet and laptop so you can use it with the keyboard or detach it and enjoy the portability of a fully rugged tablet.
A Intel Core i5-7300U Processor is perfect for most business applications and gives good battery life.
A magnesium alloy case with handle provides even more protection and portability.
It’s hard to look past the Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 if you work outside and require a laptop that displays high visibility under heavy sunlight. The large 12” display has daylight readability technology that makes the CF-33 one of the best laptops on the market for screen brightness - with a maximum brightness of 1,200 nits.
The touchscreen can be used in all weather conditions thanks to glove touch and rain touch capabilities, making this one of the best laptops for heavy outdoor use - even in bright sunlight or rain.
- 256GB Solid State Drive
- Lightweight 2.5kg
- Ports and connectors protected by hinged covers
- 8 megapixel rear camera
- High quality, high res, bright display - one of the best available
- More expensive than Getac B300
- Small spacebar not ideal for fast typing
- Some people claim the small trackbar is awkward to use
Getac’s best-selling rugged laptop is the Getac B300. It has an Intel Core i5-6200U Processor like the Panasonic Toughbook, but the Getac is a sixth generation i5 Processor compared to the 7th generation Toughbook processor.
The B300 has a larger display than the Toughbook (13.3”) and an impressive battery life (30 hours with two batteries). However, the screen is lower resolution (XGA) and less bright, rated to 700 Nits. It does have an upgrade option so, for a price, you can order the B300 with a super bright 1,400 Nit display.
Getac B300 provides plenty of flexibility - it includes a media bay that can hold another optical drive, a second hard disk or another battery for increased operation. Connectivity options are good with USB 3.0 ports, GPS antenna connection, and SD card slot and optional SIM card slot.
This device has incredible security features including fingerprint scanner, smart card reader for secure verification, and Trusted Platform Module 2.0 - technology that checks for signs of intrusion during system start-up.
- Cheaper than the CF-33
- Built-in media bay for increased options
- Advanced security options
- Longest battery life in industry
- Optional upgrade to 1,400 Nit display is brightest available
- 500GB HDD (more storage than the CF-33 but not an SSD)
- Heavier and bulkier than Toughbook
- Big screen but relatively low resolution
Both of these devices are superb rugged laptops and they’re two of the best available on the market. Both devices adhere to the MIL-STD-810F Military standards and can survive drops, vibrations and spills. But which one is the best?
If price isn’t an issue, then the Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 is the clear winner. One advantage over the Getac is the Solid State Drive (SSD). SSDs have less moving parts and work better with laptops that are always on-the-go. The Toughbook is lighter and has an 8 megapixel rear camera that makes this the perfect rugged laptop to transport around the field to capture photos. The high-res, bright CF-33 display is a pleasure to use in all conditions.
For $1600 less, the Getac B300 is an incredibly good value choice. Getac have built a highly capable rugged device that can withstand nearly any treatment. The big 13.3” inch display, larger hard drive and long battery life make it a solid option.
If you need any advice on rugged laptops, talk to one of the experts at Roaming Tech by calling 1300 131 933 or contact us online.