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

Free Shipping on all Orders and No Hassle Returns.

Blog - rugged laptop

Use Rugged Laptops in Your Auto Repair Shop

Posted on 22nd Feb 2020

Exterior image of an auto repair shop at sundown

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 laptop on a mechanical tool cart or work table can result in dangerous jolts and vibrations that compromise the machine. Even just the simple act of accessing a touchscreen with greasy fingers can be frustrating and unproductive. So what’s the solution?

The Best Mechanic Laptop: Panasonic Toughbook

There are a number of Panasonic Toughbook models on the market, and they’re all among the best of the best when you need a sturdy mechanic laptop. Popular models include the  Toughbook CF-19Toughbook CF-30, and Toughbook CF-31, each of which is customizable to your needs. Each Toughbook is classified as being fully rugged or semi-rugged, and the two most important benefits for mechanics are the military-grade construction and high-level water-resistance.

The Benefits of These Tough, Rugged Laptops

Interior image of an auto repair shop with vehicles being repaired

Most Toughbooks are MIL-SPEC rated with either  MIL-STD-810F or MIL-STD-810G certification. These are the standards used by the Department of Defense to approve electronic devices for military use. A MIL-SPEC rated laptop is tested to handle vibration, drops, shock, extreme temperatures, humidity, fluid contamination, and more. If a device meets MIL-SPEC standards, it’s more than equipped to be carried around an auto shop. It will maintain its integrity even if dropped on concrete or left in a hot garage for hours at a time. Automotive fluids won’t destroy it if they come into contact with it, and tool cart vibrations are no match for it.

And then there’s the water resistance factor. Every Toughbook has an Ingress Protection (IP) rating that certifies its ability to withstand water exposure. The  IP rating contains two numbers (e.g. IP-65); the second digit certifies the level of water protection.

So if the second digit is a “5” (as you’ll find with most Toughbooks), it means that the device can withstand a direct blast of water in addition to general moisture. It may not survive total submersion, but it can handle most types of water contact. So if you bring it into the garage during a wash or carry it outdoors in rainy weather to capture a VIN number, you won’t have to worry about water spray harming your device.

Other Benefits of These Mechanic Laptops

Toughbooks don’t just make great mechanic laptops because they’re rugged (although that helps a lot). They also offer the types of features that are needed in an auto shop. Take the CF-19, for instance. It swivels and works as a tablet, so you can share your screen with customers to confirm contact information or carry it into the garage to perform diagnostics.

A Toughbook does all the things a standard laptop can do, including check in customers, process service documentation, and run automotive CAN software. It can be leveraged for repair diagnostics or combined with other Panasonic peripherals to print, scan, and run overnight surveillance. And since most of these devices use lightning-fast processors like Intel Core i5 CPUs, they can run all of this software simultaneously.

Order Tough, Rugged Laptops From OC Rugged

At OC Rugged, we carry refurbished mechanic laptops that are rugged, reliable, and suitable for any automotive environment. Best of all, each one is affordable and customizable to your needs. If you’re looking to get the most from your shop, browse the full selection of  refurbished Toughbooks and order yours today.

Panasonic CF-19 vs CF-31 | Toughbooks

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 »

The Top Refurbished Rugged Devices

Rugged laptops are designed to provide maximum protection to first responders and military personnel while working in the field. Due to unforeseen weather, unforgiving terrain, and a number of other variables, rugged laptops need to be as tough as they are functional. For this reason, rugged laptops are often loaded with features to ensure the [...]

Read More »

Budget-Friendly Laptop Vehicle Mounts

While rugged laptops are exceptional for outdoor use in extreme weather, they are also incredibly useful for those that are constantly on the go. With the ability to be charged directly from your vehicle, rugged electronic devices offer an extreme degree of flexibility not seen in traditional laptops. For this reason, there are a number [...]

Read More »

Business vs. Semi-Rugged Laptop | Durable

While new laptops are chock full of intuitive features and extra storage space, they may not have every feature you are looking for depending on the day-to-day needs of your job. For example, a normal keyboard would not be sufficient for someone who works long night shifts. In fact, a backlit keyboard would be much [...]

Read More »

Invest in Rugged, Weather-Resistant Laptops

When deciding which type of laptop is right for your needs, it can be difficult to make an informed decision that will ultimately impact you for years to come. With so many makes and models to choose from, you may not know which laptop brand will provide you the most value at an affordable price. [...]

Read More »

Rugged Laptops vs. Rugged Tablets

Rugged electronic devices are built to withstand the most extreme conditions. As such, they usually possess bulkier features than traditional laptops. While this may not be an issue for law enforcement officers who often keep their rugged laptops mounted in their car, it may be problematic for military personnel who are frequently on the move. [...]

Read More »

Three Must-Have Rugged Laptop Accessories

Rugged laptops have a wide variety of uses which suit many different industries such as military, law enforcement, construction, first responders, and many more. While a standard rugged laptop or tablet may be sufficient for most individuals, there may come a time where rugged laptop accessories could be very beneficial for streamlining your workflow. Luckily, [...]

Read More »

Refurbished Toughbooks | Low Prices

If your career requires you to immerse yourself in extreme outdoor conditions throughout the year, you will need the proper equipment to endure the most drastic weather. When first responders, construction workers, military, and law enforcement are in need of technology that is built to withstand inclement forecasts, they turn to rugged laptops and tablets. [...]

Read More »

Top Accessories for Toughbooks | Low Prices

For many individuals who work in a career that requires them to be out in the field, normal electronic equipment just won’t cut it. Often times, these individuals need electronic devices that are durable, resilient, and built to last. For this reason, many people working outdoors use rugged laptops, tablets, and PDAs. Rugged electronics are [...]

Read More »


Microsoft Registered Refurbisher
Nav