When it’s time to go to uni you’ll need to take some tech with you. Definitely a smartphone and a laptop, possibly also a tablet, a TV, some peripherals and maybe even an Xbox or other console for gaming. And if it’s rugged tech, all the better!
Yes, some of this tech is going to encounter daily abuse! Trips on public transport, your backpack slung around in public places such as cafes and bars, moving from place to place, plus all the parties and more…
It’s a good job that there’s some rugged tech available these days, so you can protect your all-important gear from the rigours of student life as you head ‘back to school‘! In this article we’ll take a look at a few really durable items you could consider investing in if you think your uni life is going to be particularly physical!
Acer ENDURO Pro Rugged Laptop
This is a serious piece of kit, engineered by Acer using shock-absorbent materials. Designed for a tough life, it’s been built to cope with the impact of hard floors, and independently certified to withstand drops, falls and water ingress. That sounds pretty much like student life, eh?
In terms of power, this laptop has enough to get things done! Perfect for your uni work, and a bit of play too. It’s thinner and lighter than some comparable models – which means even greater portability – and you’ll also stay reliably connected out there on campus or in your uni town, with strong and consistent wireless provided by the strategically placed Wi-Fi antenna.
With two batteries – one hot swappable, and another built-in bridge battery – you can use the same laptop across several lectures without needing to shut down, or power-out. Plus, security is a feature, with the hardware-level TPM 2.0 being a powerful anti-tampering chip which can check for signs of intrusion during system boot up.
Samsung Tab Active 2 Rugged Tablet
This tablet is the business, and it’ll help you stay productive wherever your uni work takes you. The rugged design means you can switch from the lecture hall to a challenging placement environment such as a construction site, archaeological dig or factory.
This beauty is water and dust resistant (IP68-rated), so you’ll be able to use it in outdoor environments – whether you’re surveying dusty building sites or using it to find your way to a client meeting in a downpour. The Galaxy Tab Active 2’s battery can easily be replaced to keep you productive when you’re working offsite, too. So you can sling another fully-charged battery into your backpack and away you go, you’re set in case it powers out.
The Galaxy Tab Active 2 also comes with the innovative, easy-to-use, and water-resistant S Pen. This feels just like a typical pen and enables you to create and capture content digitally and with minimal fuss – so it’s an effortless way to jot down notes and sketch out ideas.
Okay, so this might all seem a little bit over-the-top for students not doing courses in construction, archaeology or anything industrial… But those student parties can get pretty wild! Better to be on the safe side, eh?
Panasonic Toughbook 20 Rugged Tablet PC
If you’re caught somewhere between the two, regarding the last two products we covered, then the Panasonic Toughbook could be the device for you. It’s a hybrid of a laptop and tablet, basically, so it can be used as either, with the tablet section completely detachable from the laptop section – which means true versatility for mobile computing. Offering the best of all worlds, the Toughbook can be used in a variety of different modes to meet every need.
With its glove enabled touchscreen, up to 17 hour hot swappable battery life and purpose-built Vehicle Mount and Desktop Port Replicator, the Panasonic Toughbook 20 is an unrivalled mobile machine. With long battery life, this is a fantastic bit of kit for those who are going to be leading a very hands-on uni life, out in the field for their course.
Now we’re onto a few more things which offer rugged protection…
LaCie 4 TB Rugged external HD
We’ve spoken at length in the past about the benefits of having an external hard drive as part of your PC set-up, and these devices are particularly handy for students who might need to ‘hop’ from machine to machine to complete their work. An external hard drive is, basically, a box on which you can store all of the files and documents you’re working on, which you can then move from computer to computer.
It’s not just the portability that’s an important factor with these devices – it’s also the simple fact that you’re giving yourself more options should your main device have a mid-term meltdown. You can save work on your PC’s internal storage, but it’s also well worth saving duplicates down onto an external hard drive. The more copies you have of what you’re working on, the more secure you are when it comes to making sure nothing gets lost or damaged.
The LaCie 4TB external HDD is a ruggedised version of the ‘usual’ externals drives you’ll find on our site. So it’s perfect for those who will be doing some of their uni work in extreme conditions: From a sudden rainstorm while you’re out researching or compiling data to the crush of suitcases in an airplane cargo hold. A brilliant choice to keep your work protected.
Targus CityGear 12-14″ Topload Laptop Case
A laptop bag is – obviously – going to lend some extra protection to your device when you’re transporting it from home to lecture theatre to library and so on. But rather than a carrier that’s relatively flimsy, it’s worth investing in something specifically designed to cope with a few bumps and some knocks.
The CityGear 12-14″ Topload Laptop Case will protect and transport your device with its built-in Dome Protection System. This feature will protect during the commuter-crush with shock-absorbing layers integrated into the bag to dissipate pressure. There is also plenty of additional space for your accessories and other bits and pieces, while the bag maintains a slim profile. It also has grab-and-go handles, padded shoulder straps and trolley straps to keep you comfortable and agile on the move, wherever you’re going!
Not technically ‘ruggedised tech’, it’s actually worth offering yourself extra protection by investing in an encypted USB stick. This will give you the ultimate peace of mind when it comes to the safety and security of your files, documents and data.
The Kingston Technology DataTraveler Locker+ G3 Hardware Encrypted 8GB USB 3.0 Secure Flash Drive offers hardware encryption and password protection so whatever you save on it will remain ‘for your eyes only’. It also lets you automatically back up data from the drive to your favourite cloud storage provider – so you’ll never be without your data, wherever you go.
Those are a few of the devices we think offer the most rugged tech experience for your uni days. It’s important to keep track of your finances and not land yourself in financial difficulties with unnecessary expenditure – so investing in rugged tech might be the way forward for you as you almost certainly won’t need to replace anything through damage. Rugged tech is great for those who are undertaking more vocational courses in industry or science, construction and engineering. But, to be honest, it’s also useful for anyone!