The best laptops of 2023: Expert tested and reviewed


Tech specs: Operating system: Windows 11 Pro | CPU: Intel Core i5-1145G7 vPro, Core i7-1185G7 vPro | GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics, AMD Radeon Pro W6300M | RAM: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB | Storage: 512GB, 1TB, 2TB | Screen: 14-inch IPS FHD (1920 x 1080) touch, 1200 nits | Ports and slots: 2x USB-A (10Gbps), 1x Thunderbolt 4 (40Gbps), 1x RJ-45 Ethernet (1Gbps), 1x MicroSD card slot, 1x HDMI, 1x port replicator connector, 1x quad pass-through antenna connector | Battery: 6500mAh | Weight: 7.4 pounds | Price: Starting from $4,899

Laptops often have to endure harsh conditions, so it’s no wonder that rugged laptops come in many forms, such as fully rugged, semi-rugged, business rugged, or extreme rugged. 

There are two primary classifications used to evaluate a laptop’s ruggedness: the US military’s MIL-STD 810 series (810G or the latest 810H), and the IP or Ingress Protection code. Most laptops only undergo a subset of the numerous MIL-STD 810 tests, so you may want to carefully review the specifications to see which ones were, in fact, performed. The IP code features two numbers; the first indicates resistance to solids — a 5 indicates “dust-protected,” while 6 means a device is “dust-tight.” The second refers to liquids, where a 1 signifies “dripping water,” while a 9K ratint denotes “powerful high-temperature water jets.”

Panasonic’s 14-inch Toughbook 40, a fully modular device that can be customized to fit a wide range of challenging applications, has undergone MIL-STD 810H temperature, humidity, and vibration tests, and carries an IP66 rating, meaning it is extensively drop-tested from a height of 1.8 meters (6 feet).

Review: Panasonic Toughbook 40

Thanks to its modular design, there are multiple configuration options for the Toughbook 40. Besides the ability to replace the main battery, RAM, and SSD drives, four areas – left and right sides, rear, and palm-rest – can accept a variety of options. These options include a second SSD and a second battery, an optical drive, a smart card reader, various combinations of ports, and a fingerprint reader. If that’s not enough, it’s also equipped with a fully-featured desktop port replicator, along with an ecosystem of accessories, including a four-bay battery charger. Speaking of battery, Panasonic claims the Toughbook 40 lasts for18 hours on one battery and 36 with two installed. Specifically designed for military operations, there’s even a one-touch Concealed Mode function that disables light and electronic transmissions. 

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