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The Top Five Durable Laptops for Construction Businesses

Site-safe laptops for hardworking businesses

Construction is a very mobile job; most construction business employees will do most of their computing away from their desk. Construction sites are extreme environments, too, filled with dust, dirt and falling objects. Whether you’re accounting, project managing, quantity surveying or designing, you need a laptop that is portable as well as powerful, and above all durable. It needs to be able to run sophisticated design, asset tracking and accounting software (such as Procore, Autocad or QuickBooks), have a clear multi-angle readable screen for notes, and be rugged enough to take a beating from temperature, shocks, water or magnetic fields. There are a lot of rugged laptops on the market, but not every model can help users meet their computing needs in the testing conditions of a construction site. That’s why we’ve done the work for you, and picked out the top five best rugged laptops for construction businesses – here are our recommendations. 

Product Comparison Table: Best Laptop for Construction

Title
Price
Rating (Amazon)
Best in class
Buy
$
4.5 stars
Best Convertible
$$$
4.5 stars
Best for Offices
$
3.5 stars
Best Value
$$$$$
5 stars
Most Durable
$$
5 stars
Best Overall

HP ProBook x360 11 G1-EE Convertible Laptop

The HP ProBook x360 11 G1-EE Convertible Laptop is the newest model in HPs ProBook convertible line. Being a convertible laptop means the screen folds down, allowing you to use the device as either a conventional laptop or a touchscreen tablet. The 11.6″ HD (1366×768) SVA WLED-backlit Touchscreen Display comes with an active pen, allowing you to use it as a digital notepad. Despite its slim build (weighing only 3.19 pounds), the ProBook is surprisingly durable; it has a thick, shock-resistant silicone bumper skin and a tough clear polycarbonate casing, plus spill-resistant connection ports. As for technical specs, it features an Intel Celeron D CPU with a speed of 1.6GHz, 4GB of installed RAM and a 64GB SSD (solid state drive). It also has built-in Bluetooth, a MicroSd reader and an HD webcam. 

Pros 

  • Touchscreen and tablet conversion
  • Hard casing, drop and spill resistance
  • Fast processor, large SSD

Cons

  • Only 4GB RAM
  • No thick rugged casing

Verdict

Convertible laptops are hugely useful on construction sites, especially for designers; you can easily draw directly onto the tablet, show images to clients and make shorthand notes. However, low RAM could cause some performance loss when using more complex programs, or performing lots of tasks at once. That said, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more durable slim convertible than the HP ProBook x360 11 G1-EE Convertible Laptop.

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Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon 7th Gen Slim Laptop 

The Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon 7th Gen Slim Laptop has a compact and sleek chassis, with a soft-touch deck and lid. This streamlined design might seem indurable, but it’s got some solid construction features; the magnesium-carbon fibre blend can stand up to being dropped. The performance is incredibly powerful, with an Intel® Core™ i7-8650U processor, 16 GB of memory and a 1TB SSD. It also has both Bluetooth and WLAN connectivity. However, the best feature is the long-lasting battery, which goes for up to eighteen hours runtime per charge. There’s also a built-in suite of ThinkShield security technology, perfect for sensitive financial information.

Pros

  • Sleek, light and streamlined design
  • Powerful processor and huge SSD
  • Long-lasting battery life

Cons

  • Not the most durable build

Verdict

Although suitcase-style rugged laptops are perfect for use on industrial and construction sites, they’re not such a great choice to use at your desk. If you’re somebody working in construction who needs to be able to take their machine from the office to the site, the Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon 7th Gen Slim Laptop is the ideal choice. This machine combines performance with sleek design, and is surprisingly durable to boot. Just be careful not to take it anywhere too treacherous!

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Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Business Laptop

The Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Business Laptop is one of Lenovo’s most popular entry-level machines, and has all the features that make the ThinkPad line such a trusted brand for businesses. It has an ​​Intel Quad-Core N3160 Processor capable of a 2.25GHz burst speed, support for up to 8GB of RAM, and a 126GB SSD. As for the display, it has an 11.6 inch anti-glare LED HD backlit display, offering a wide range of viewing angles with no greyout. The 4-cell lithium ion battery offers only 6 hours of use on a full charge, however. Despite this, the casing is both waterproof, drop-roof and dustproof, and it has a fingerprint reader for added security.

Pros

  • Great value low price
  • High quality anti-glare display
  • Waterproof, dustproof and drop-proof casing

Cons

  • Limited battery life
  • Not a lot of storage

Verdict

For new starters or construction businesses on a budget, the Lenovo ThinkPad 11e Business Laptop is our best value option. It may not have the biggest storage capacity or power management – the battery life is pretty abysmal – but it has everything you need for productive, efficient work. Plus, as this machine only costs a sixth of the price of some other machines on this list, you’ll have more money left to invest in other areas. 

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Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 Rugged Laptop

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 Rugged Laptop has the highest degree of durability on this list, offering a range of protections for all environments: it has a case tough enough to survive 4-foot drops (1.2 m), shocks, vibration, humidity, altitude, rainfall, dirt, sand, temperature level extremes and thermal shock. Both the 12-inch tablet and detachable keyboard are also MIL-STD-461F, MIL-STD-810G, and IP65 licensed, meaning they are protected when close to electromagnetic fields from tools or other technology. Performance-wise it runs an Intel Core i5 processor with 2.6GHz speed, has a 256GB SSD and 8 GB Ram capacity. 

Pros

  • Extremely durable case and build
  • Powerful processor and SSD
  • Electromagnetic safety certification
  • Convertible with touchscreen

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Heavy and bulky

Verdict

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 Rugged Laptop is the most durable laptop on our list of rugged devices; this means it can stand up to practically anything without any loss of performance. The electromagnetic safety certification is hugely useful, especially if you’re taking crucial or irreplaceable data on-site that you can’t afford to have corrupted. However, being this durable means it’s extremely heavy and expensive, weighing over 9 pounds, and costing thousands.

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Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Laptop

The Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Laptop combines the powerful performance of Dell’s Latitude business laptop line with a rugged ultra polymer and magnesium alloy build. Firstly, it operates with an Intel Core i5-6300U processor, 8GB RAM and a 512GB SSD. It has a range of connections including USB, MicroSD, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, Ethernet, and two native RS-232 Serial ports – alongside a touchscreen.  It’s built to resist drops, vibrations, and shocks, thriving in the most extreme of weather conditions. Secondly, it has a clear, bright and outdoor-focussed display: using AMD Radeon R7 M360 graphics, it renders imagery and text clearly, displaying it on a matte, glare-resistant and wide viewing angle screen.

Pros

  • Rugged drop, shock, temperature and water resistant build
  • Powerful processor and large storage space
  • Range of ports including two serial connection ports
  • Outdoor focussed matte screen

Verdict

The Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Laptop is the ideal device for modern construction sites, fulfilling all the needs of you and your employees. The rugged build is more durable than machines that cost twice its price, the outdoor-focussed screen is made with sites in mind, and the processor is more than powerful enough for all major construction, design and accounting software. In fact, it has so many posities, we could hardly find any cons to speak of! This is our recommended best overall rugged laptop for construction businesses. 

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Written by Alice

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