The face of the modern laptop has been constantly changing since the dawn of the clamshell computer. Designed for supreme portability and compact computing, the average consumer laptop features an architecture that is slim, aesthetic, and lightweight.
When it comes to durability, however, the average laptop is not engineered to survive tough drops, knocks, water contact or extreme temperatures. In reality, the everyday PC user doesn’t need such mechanical build stamina to ensure their computer is making the cut.
For those who work in unconventional work settings or are constantly taking their PC on-the-go, a durable laptop is an absolute must. While impressive RAM speed, storage performance, and display capability are decision-making specs, the reliability and protection of the hardware are of the utmost importance. Durable laptops come in many shapes and forms. But typically, they feature a thicker, more robust chassis that can withstand whatever forces of nature you’ll put it through.
From construction sites to Antarctic research stations, there's a call for rugged laptops that can weather extreme climates and conditions. When the going gets tough, you need a computer than can soldier on with seamless perfection.
Wondering what qualifies a laptop as “durable,” or what HP models are available today? Read on for answers to your many burning questions.
What makes a laptop durable?
A durable laptop is a laptop that is designed to withstand extremes of temperature, harsh environmental conditions, years of use, and accidental abuse. Regardless of what mistakes happen on the job site, a laptop built with mechanical strength will be able to survive just about anything. At the end of the day, durable laptops are constructed from the ground up with tough conditions and long-lasting quality in mind.
Depending on the type of PC you’re looking for, the set of durability standards may vary. For example, military-grade computers are manufactured to pass the MIL-STD 810G . Serving as a series of performance tests focused on assessing the limits of new equipment, the MIL-STD 810G effectively showcases how much abuse a device can take. Laptops must pass a grueling 28-step process that tests the computer’s ability to survive everything from extreme temperatures and altitude to mechanical shock and solar radiation.
These extremely impressive laptops aren’t usually available on consumer markets, but the few that are also come with imposing price tags and even more monumental form factor builds. Because military-grade PCs are designed to defy even the most unforgiving circumstances, they’re usually heavy, clunky, chunky, and of course, expensive. For the consumer who seeks high-durability with a low-profile and fair pricing, the standards will look considerably different.
HP Total Test Process
At HP®, quality reigns supreme. Our aim is to construct unfaltering technology that not only lives up to our legacy of excellence but to your demanding expectations. This is beautifully met by the HP Total Test Process (TTP). We put a vast selection of our business laptops through a series of strength and durability assessments. The HP TTP ensures our expert-grade laptops are truly engineered for success. Tests consist of many hours of arduous multi-tiered evaluations including weather replication and impact handling.
To make good on our commitment to quality, we put all HP Elite, HP Pro, HP Chromebooks, and Z by HP laptops through multiple MIL-STD 810G test procedures. Although created specifically for the U.S. Department of Defense, we employ many of the standards set by the MIL-STD 810G to measure the rigor of our finest devices.
What is tested during the HP Total Test Process?
The HP Total Test Process is a comprehensive and meticulous assessment of every single HP business laptop. The HP TTP involves a number of MIL-STD 810G evaluation standards to further establish your device’s certified durability. Our program requires a minimum of 115,000 hours of testing per each device ensuring the product you purchase is primed, prepped, and protected the moment you unbox it.
Curious to know what exact conditions are given priority? Let’s take a look at the performance tests and corresponding questions these tests are designed to answer.
Drop: Can the laptop survive a 30-inch drop from any angle?
Functional shock: Can the laptop operate after sudden exposure to physical shock?
Vibration: Can the laptop withstand high-vibration for extended periods of time?
Dust: Can the laptop remain operable after hours of blowing dust?
Humidity: Can the laptop remain operable through 95% humidity conditions?
Altitude: Can the laptop be stored and operated at 15,000 feet?
High temperature: Can the laptop function at 140°F and store at 160°F?
Low temperature: Can the laptop function at -20°F and store at -60°F?
Sand: Can the laptop remain operable after exposure to blowing sand of up to 20M/S at a temperature of 140°F?
Crash hazard shock: Does the laptop eject sub-elements as a result of a crash? Do its restraining devices fail during these situations?
Freeze/Thaw: Can the laptop be safely powered-on after exposure to a temperature drop of 14°F for two hours?
Solar radiation: How does the laptop react to extended periods of exposure to sunshine?
Explosive atmosphere: Can the laptop function safely in fuel-air explosive atmospheres without sparking ignition?
Temperature shock: Can the laptop withstand exposure to sudden changes in temperature while non-operational?
Transportation shock: How does the laptop respond to repetitive shock loads?
Bench handling: Can the laptop withstand varying levels of shock incurred from bench handling, bench maintenance, or packaging?
Electrostatic discharge: Can the laptop be safely operated after exposure to sudden electrostatic discharge of up to 8,000 volts?
Who are durable laptops good for?
For those leading less conventional lifestyles or who are on career paths that require more rugged gear, durable laptops should rank high on your priority list. Suiting up with intelligent technology that is designed to weather the nature of your unyielding day-to-day is the first step toward years of success.
Your digital world is important and keeps you keenly tuned into the things that matter most. Whether you’re strategizing from 15,000 feet in the air or stationed in the heart of the Sahara Desert, your laptop should be capable of tackling it all.
Durable laptops are great for a myriad of different types of people and situations.
Scientists can explore the depths of the glacial North Pole and researchers studying the geographic landscape of Death Valley need not worry about their laptop’s ability to withstand extreme temperatures
Construction workers can bring their laptop on-site without fear of destruction as a durable laptop can survive tough impacts and high sun exposure
College students can stuff their bags to the brim without stressing about textbooks and lunch Tupperware banging up their PC
Digital nomads can travel from point A to point B knowing their PC is designed for all types of transportation vibrations, altitudes, and climate changes
The call for durable laptops comes from people of all walks, professions, and preferences. Fortunately, with HP’s Total Test Process, there are dozens of rugged laptops available today, just a click away in our online store.
Processor (CPU): Intel® Core™ i5-8265U processor (1.6 GHz, up to 3.9 GHz with Turbo Boost, 6MB Cache, 4 core)
Graphics card: Intel UHD Graphics 620 (4YD60AV)
Memory (RAM): 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4 2400
Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Screen Size & Resolution: 15.6-inch diagonal FHD LED UWVA screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution
Passed tests: Drop, functional shock, vibration, dust, humidity, altitude, high temperature, low temperature, temperature shock, sand, freeze/thaw, bend handling shock, crash hazard shock, transportation shock.
Why you’ll love it: The HP EliteBook 850 G6 notebook is a fully-configurable powerhouse machine backed by an industry-leading Intel CPU. Not only is this business laptop easy on the eyes, but it’s also incredibly lightweight for the powerful specs it houses. Go beyond the confines of an office cubicle with this laptop that dares you to aim higher. HP EliteBook laptops have a star-studded reputation for being among the best business laptops on the market.
2. HP ProBook x360 11 G4 EE (Education Edition) notebook
Screen Size & Resolution: 11.6-inch diagonal LED SVA eDP HD touch screen with 1366 x 768 resolution
Tests passed: Drop, functional shock, vibration, dust, humidity, altitude, high temperature, low temperature, temperature shock, freeze/thaw
Why you’ll love it: When it comes to compact computing, the HP ProBook x360 11 G4 EE shines. Don’t let the small build fool you, this convertible laptop packs a serious performance punch. Delivering high speeds, top-end efficiency, and some of the most impressive hardware specs, this durable laptop is designed with your goals in mind.
Strengthened by shock-absorbing molded rubber trim, a spill-resistant keyboard, and Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3, the HP ProBook x360 11 G4 EE was manufactured with reliability and durability in mind.
Graphics card: Radeon™ R5 Graphics (1.8 GHz base clock, up to 2.7 GHz max boost clock, 1MB cache, 2 cores)
Memory (RAM): 4GB DDR4-1866 SDRAM
Storage: 32GB eMMC
Screen Size & Resolution: 14-inch diagonal HD SVA eDP touch screen with 1366 x 768 resolution
Tests passed: Drop, functional shock, vibration, dust, humidity, altitude, high temperature, low temperature, temperature shock
Why you’ll love it: Become the master of productivity with the ultra-intuitive HP Chromebook 14A G5. Enter the future with the cloud-based power of Chrome OS without sacrificing any of the processing power or storage potential. Tackle your most pressing projects from anywhere in the world while staying at the cutting edge of your digital sphere. Measuring only 0.72 inches tall, this remarkably thin HP Chromebook meets several military-grade specifications, giving you durability without any of the unsightly clunkiness or added weight.
Why you’ll love it: As one of HP’s most powerful detachable laptops to date, the HP ZBook x2 G4 workstation goes the extra mile with you. This masterful 2-in-1 pushes the boundaries of what a workstation laptop can be. Powered by an industry-leading 8th Generation Intel Core i7 processor and integrated Turbo Boost Technology, your productivity demands are seamlessly met. Having passed 15 military-grade ruggedness tests, this futuristic PC is built to last and performs at top-end functionality in a number of extreme conditions.
Processor (CPU): Intel Pentium N5000 (1.1 GHz base frequency, up to 2.7 GHz burst frequency, 4MB cache, 4 cores)
Graphics card: Intel UHD Graphics 605
Memory (RAM): 4GB DDR4-2400 SDRAM
Storage: 128GB eMMC
Screen Size & Resolution: 11.6-inch diagonal HD SVA anti-glare WLED-backlit screen with 1366 x 768 resolution
Tests passed: Drop, functional shock, vibration, dust, humidity, altitude, high temperature, low temperature, temperature shock
Why you’ll love it: For the minimalist worker, the HP Stream 11 Pro G5 is an astounding first-choice. Characterized by its slim build, fluid aesthetic, and mighty performance, the HP Stream 11 Pro G5 transforms your sprawling digital world into a portable, yet expansive mobile work-scape. Engineered to survive many elements of nature, the HP Stream 11 Pro G5 is a mini force to be reckoned with.
Summing it all up
When it comes to rugged durability and supreme engineering that keeps those unconventional lifestyles in mind, you can count on HP® for beautifully built laptops that impress. HP’s extensive collection of durable laptops are sure to check off all of your rugged PC checklist boxes.
About the Author: Tulie Finley-Moise is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Tulie is a digital content creation specialist based in San Diego, California with a passion for the latest tech and digital media news.
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