Skip to Content

Rugged Tablets vs Rugged Laptops

laptop-vs-tablet-bannerIf you’re looking to purchase rugged technology, chances are you’re looking for something that’s tough enough to take out into the field. But with fieldwork, there’s more to it than just having a device that can take the bumps and drops. You want something that’s not only going to be powerful enough to run the applications necessary for your business, but something that will be comfortable and easy to carry. In today’s day and age, there are numerous choices for ruggedized technology, but it boils down to one major question: Do you use a rugged laptop or rugged tablet? 

Key Difference: Keyboard Design 

The most notable difference between the two will be the keyboard. While rugged tablets often have attachable keyboards, rugged laptops have their keyboard permanently installed. This can be a benefit or a hinderance depending on the use of the rugged laptop. If the rugged laptop is being mounted in a vehicle and used to write long reports in the field, a permanent keyboard could be of great value. But if its purpose is to leave the vehicle and do onsite work or inspections, it might get in the way. Most rugged laptops are going to weigh more and be bulkier than a rugged tablet. With the added weight and size of a keyboard, and all the necessary components to keep the keyboard safe in rough environments, it will be far more cumbersome to carry around a rugged laptop than it would a rugged tablet. 

Added Features: Scanners and Cameras 

Another added benefit to rugged tablets is their integration of scanners and cameras. Most rugged tablets will come with a camera already installed. This makes picture documentation simple and easy to perform with a single device. In addition to this, many rugged tablets have options for various scanner add-ons that can be directly integrated into the system. With rugged laptops, add-ons such as this will be external devices that will add to its cumbersome nature as well as increase the chances for something to break. 

Performance Factors: Storage, Display, and Battery Life 

Yet when it comes to system storage, display, and battery life, you might expect rugged laptops to excel due to their larger size. More space to fit better technology, right? Generally, this isn’t true. When compared to rugged tablets from similar price points, rugged laptops possess similar technology and battery life. There is in fact little difference between the two in these areas. 

The Mobility Advantage  

The primary difference between a rugged tablet and a rugged laptop is mobility. Rugged laptops, though tough, are bulkier and difficult to use in a mobile setting. Rugged tablets have been designed for on-the-go use, making them completely mobile. Add on cameras, scanners, and shoulder/hand straps and a tablet becomes the ultimate machine in mobile rugged technology.