Semi-Rugged vs. Rugged Computer Solutions: What’s the Difference?

A ruggedized computer is a computer that’s been made to withstand various hazardous environments. They can be custom made or off the shelf models that have been retro-fitted for ruggedness. Whether the computer is meant to be used near water sources or in dusty environments, or if a company is afraid of drop damage or cracked screens, rugged computer solutions come in all shapes and sizes. So what’s the difference between a rugged and a semi-rugged model?

Semi-Rugged Computers

A semi-rugged computer is probably the entry rung of rugged computers. They tend to be off the shelf units that have been specially adapted to be a little more durable. This often means providing them with a hard outer casing and a protected screen. Usually used in places like work sites, the semi-rugged computer is designed to withstand a certain amount of abuse, but probably won’t make it back from a trip to space.

Rugged Computers

Rugged computers are much rougher, much tougher and usually designed with a specific purpose in mind. These aren’t computers that you would buy in your local electronics shop then kit out with some extra casing. These are computers that are made by specialist companies to put up with a hell of a lot of punishment. Computers you might find on oil rigs or in particularly dangerous work environments are most likely rugged computers. Unlike off the shelf models, their functionality may be limited to a single use as required by their workspace.

Which One Do You Need?

That’s a question only you can answer. Do you require a laptop to maintain administrative tasks while you’re out at worksites? Does your job take you into particularly treacherous environments? Do you own a business that operates in hazardous areas? If it’s just a laptop that you don’t want to break when you drop it, then you’ll probably need to look at a semi-rugged computer. If you’re expecting to brave the high seas with your computer though, perhaps look for something a little tougher.


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