Why Are Rugged Laptops and Tablets So Expensive?


Rugged laptops and tablets are used in a variety of fields - advanced features to help them survive tough environments

Rugged laptops and tablets are more expensive because they have advanced features to help them survive tough weather conditions and rough work environments. The device is made from materials to protect the components from water, dust, sand, heat, cold, vibrations and drops. To do this, the laptops and tablets are completely sealed and built around stronger internal frames.

Completely sealing a device traps heat created by the CPU so an internal cooling system is necessary, which adds to manufacturing costs. Rugged laptop screens are also made with strong optical glass designed to work in harsh sunlight, brighter displays and additional anti-glare coatings.


A normal laptop or tablet has a lifespan of 2-3 years. A rugged device lasts twice as long as a normal laptop. Although rugged laptops are pricier than normal laptops, they are built to last longer in every area of use. According to Panasonic research, the industry failure rate for normal laptops is 22%, compared to a failure rate of 2.42% for rugged laptops, so the extra money spent on a rugged laptop pays off with a longer lifespan.

Lower TCO With Increased Lifespan

Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) refers to an estimation of all the direct and indirect costs that go into acquiring and maintaining something. Because of the strong durability of rugged laptops, the TCO is much lower compared to regular laptops. According to ARN, 18% of normal notebooks will fail when used in a professional setting. Research shows that by the end of the laptop’s fifth year, 61% of notebooks that have been used in a work environment will need a repair.

Companies that are looking for long-term value out of their equipment will almost always benefit from a rugged laptop or tablet. When purchasing a rugged device it’s important to remember the extended life and the less amount of money you will end up spending on repairs than that of a normal laptop or tablet. Manufacturers like Panasonic and Getac also typically offer rock-solid manufacturer warranties of up to three years, even covering accidental damage.

High-performance Batteries

Many rugged laptops are equipped with heavy duty batteries that allow the laptop to function for more than 12 hours at a time. Some laptops and tablets also come with dual batteries so you can work around the clock without losing power. Better battery life and hot swap functions come at a cost but are essential for jobs that require a portable device to last through 12+ hour shifts.

Rugged laptops use Sunlight Readable Technology that works to reduce reflections on the screen and provide greater visibility outdoors. A rugged laptop typically has a display screen of 700-800 nits. Whereas, a normal laptop screen will only have a nit rating of approximately 300 nits. A nit is a measurement of luminance that describes a source of light. For heavy sunlight use, some rugged laptops can be upgraded with displays of up to 1400 nits.

On tablets and 2-in-1 devices, screens also needs to be made from materials that allow for touch screens to work in wet weather and while wearing gloves which adds to the cost.

Overall, a rugged laptop or tablet will cost you more money upfront than a normal laptop but you will be rewarded with a device that holds up in the toughest work conditions without failing.

If you need any advice on rugged tablets, don’t hesitate to ask one of the experts at Roaming Tech by calling 1300 131 933 or contact us online.

Category: News