Best rugged and mobile

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CNET Editor

Joe capitalises on a life-long love of blinking lights and upbeat MIDI soundtracks covering the latest developments in smartphones and tablet computers. When not ruining his eyesight staring at small screens, Joe ruins his eyesight playing video games and watching movies. Twitter: @Joseph_Hanlon

Are you the kind of gadget lover that tends to get wet and dirty on the weekends? Does your iPad travel with you when you go hiking and camping? Have you ruined a smartphone with dust and water?

Most technology is designed with a sedentary lifestyle in mind, but if you prefer to be active, there are a few products to look out for. Rugged products can weather a downpour, a sandstorm and a drop from a height, far better than non-rugged models. However, you do tend to trade-off power and performance when you choose a rugged phone, and tough computers can be expensive, but at least you can rely on to still work when you do finally get them home.

IP rating

The ingress protection (IP) rating is a universally recognised system for determining how rugged particular machinery is. The rating is a double-digit figure, where the first figure indicates solid particle protection, like dirt and dust, and the second number is for liquids.

Most rugged smartphones, for example, have an IP rating of 57. When you compared this will the chart of protection, this indicates that the phone will survive being immersed in up to 1-metre of water and is strongly dust resistant, but not absolutely protected.

Check out the gallery below for our suggestions on great rugged phones and laptops, and some excellent rugged cases for protecting your fragile Apple devices.

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yadekul posted a comment   

I'm patiently waiting for the Sony Xperia Acro S to be released. It will be waterproof and also boasts a "shatterproof" screen. Smartphone heaven, surely?


Will1505 posted a reply   

if its anything like the active, it should be good


Pining posted a comment   

'Best rugged and mobile' should have been titled '3 rugged phones, 2 rugged computers and some more apple accessories!' On my dealings with iphones, I couldn't call them rugged.
Pelican have good products, not sure about their price as I don't pay for them.


TaraA posted a comment   

I would of definately added Lifeproof to this list, not only is it tough but its waterproof.


DanielO3 posted a comment   

No Lifeproof case?

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