Loading... Please wait...
  • Honored to Serve America's First Responders

Free Shipping on all Orders and No Hassle Returns.

Blog

What’s the Best Laptop for Outdoor Use?

Posted

Your standard laptop may fare well in an office, but it wasn’t designed for the outdoor elements. Most laptops are made from plastic that’s easily penetrated by water, dust, and other contaminants. These devices have limited visibility in direct sunlight. Plus, they’re temperature-sensitive, limited in battery life, and often difficult to operate in the dark.

If you spend a lot of time exploring nature in all its glory, it’s important to find the best laptop for outdoor use. There are some excellent options available, but you won’t typically find them at your local computer supply store. We’re here to help you find exactly what you’re looking for—easily and affordably.

Who Needs an Outdoor Laptop?

If your laptop is typically used at home, in the office, and occasionally on long subway rides, you may not need to invest in the best laptop for outdoor use. However, if you answer yes to any of the following questions, it’s probably time to invest in an outdoor laptop.

  • Do you frequently use your laptop while traveling?
  • Do your hobbies tend to keep you outdoors?
  • Have you ever had a laptop ruined due to rugged use?
  • Do you frequently worry about your laptop being damaged on the go?
  • Does your laptop seldom remain in one place?

The questions above are pretty self-explanatory. Basically, an outdoor-friendly laptop will be perfect for anyone who enjoys taking their device off the beaten path. If you use your device for hiking, camping, travel blogging, stargazing, or marine navigation, you’re going to need something with more staying power.

How to Find the Best Laptop for Outdoor Use

If you need an outdoor-friendly or marine laptop, look for a device that offers the following qualities:

  • Rugged or semi-rugged construction: Rugged laptops should be clearly labeled as such. “Rugged” and “semi-rugged” aren’t arbitrary designations. They refer to specific grades of laptops that are more durable than your standard consumer-grade models. Refer to our guide to fully rugged vs. semi-rugged electronics.
  • Military-grade certification: A truly rugged laptop should be MIL-STD certified. This means that the device has been tested and certified according to the stringent durability standards required by the U.S. Department of Defense for military use. Military-grade laptops are certified against extreme temperatures, humidity, vibration, shock, and other environmental factors.
  • Ingress Protection: The best laptop for outdoor use should have an Ingress Protection (IP) rating, certifying it against moisture and dust penetration. Alternatively, it may have a NEMA rating, which covers the same types of testing. If you’re out on the water with a marine laptop, you want to be absolutely certain that saltwater won’t penetrate your device and ruin your sensitive hardware.
  • Glare Protection: Reading in direct sunlight can be difficult and cause severe eye strain—unless your screen is treated with anti-glare technology.
  • A Backlit Keyboard: Just as it’s difficult to use your device in direct sunlight, total darkness is also your enemy. A backlit keyboard allows you to see what you’re doing even when you’re working beneath the stars at your favorite National Park campground.

Always review the specifications carefully before purchasing a laptop for outdoor use, and ensure that the device comes with a warranty for added protection.

Suggestions for the Best Laptop for Outdoor Use

If you’re seeking the best laptop for outdoor use, the Panasonic Toughbook is your best bet. This line includes military-grade, IP-rated laptops with magnesium alloy construction and state-of-the-art hardware and software features.

Consider the  Toughbook 31. It meets MIL-STD-810G and IP65 standards for ruggedness, it’s available with optional anti-glare technology, and it can be installed with an optional emissive or rubber backlit keyboard. The Toughbook 19 meets MIL-STD-810F standards and features the same rugged construction at a lower price point.

When you order from OC Rugged, every  refurbished Toughbook is fully customizable, from the processor to the hard drive, and even the disk drive. We’re a Microsoft-certified refurbisher, and we offer superior pricing on the most rugged laptops on the market. So whether you need a marine laptop or something for your hiking excursions, find it at OC Rugged!

Panasonic Toughbooks that Prove Toughness

A Panasonic Toughbook is a must for those jobs that are fast-paced, unpredictable, and outside a traditional office. Whether you’re exposed to the elements or you need a device that can hold its own in a refinery setting, the Panasonic Toughbook laptop collection was made for you. These laptops are built to withstand the rigors of [...]

Read More »

Improving Outdoor Readability

Traditional laptops aren’t designed for outdoor use. The sunlight counteracts the device’s backlighting and creates an annoying reflective glare that washes out your pixels and leaves you scrambling to see anything at all. This is a serious problem if you use your device as an outdoor laptop for personal or professional reasons. Journalists, professional drivers, construction [...]

Read More »

OC Rugged Panasonic Toughbooks for Tough Jobs

If you Google-search “work laptop,” you’ll find plenty of fancy devices with rapid processing speeds, multi-terabyte hard drives, and modern designs. But when retailers market their work laptops, they often fail to take into consideration that not everybody keeps their laptop secured on an ergonomically designed desk in a temperature-controlled office. Some of us work [...]

Read More »

Ruggedize the Police law enforcement

As a law enforcement official, you have to deal with some of the most aggressive working conditions outside of military operations. You work in all types of weather, navigate grueling high-speed chases, and risk your life on a daily basis in pursuit of that sacred creed: To Protect and Serve. But a rugged job deserves [...]

Read More »

Buying Refurbished Makes Fiscal Sense!

Finding a cheap rugged laptop is easy. Finding a Microsoft-registered Panasonic Toughbook at a reasonable price is another story. If you’re feeling discouraged by the high price of durable hardware, there is a solution: buying refurbished. With a refurbished Toughbook, you get all the benefits of a new model, but at a fraction of the [...]

Read More »

Use Rugged Laptops in Your Auto Repair Shop

A rugged, unpredictable environment requires a sturdy laptop. Automotive professionals often work in fast-paced, greasy, unstable conditions, which can make for an exciting work life but can also present dangerous conditions for your average flimsy computer hardware. Accidentally knocking a mechanic’s laptop onto a concrete floor can spell instant death for the device, and pushing the [...]

Read More »

Why Buy Re-certified Panasonic Toughbooks?

Panasonic Toughbooks are some of the most rugged notebooks and laptops on the market. Models like the  Toughbook CF-19, the Toughbook CF-30, and the Toughbook CF-31 have raised the bar for what a portable computer can endure. But you may be wondering why you should buy a refurbished Toughbook instead of a brand new one. Let’s take a [...]

Read More »

OC Rugged's Toughbook Breakdown - Panasonic CF-19 vs CF-31

If you’re trying to decide on the best tough laptop for your needs, it helps to understand what makes each model unique. Two of the most popular Panasonic models are the Toughbook CF-19 and the Toughbook CF-31, both of which are fully rugged and meet military standards of toughness. Each one of these Toughbooks is [...]

Read More »

Discover More About Rugged Toughbooks

Rugged laptops are fast becoming a popular choice across industries as commercial, industrial, and government interests look for technology that provides the digital support they need and the durability field operations demand. These computers are engineered for real-world hazards that stop normal laptops in their tracks. We are a Microsoft Registered refurbisher, offering laptops that [...]

Read More »


Microsoft Registered Refurbisher
Nav