A rugged (or ruggedized, but also ruggedised) computer is a computer specifically designed to reliably operate in harsh usage environments and conditions, such as strong vibrations, extreme temperatures and wet or dusty conditions. They are designed from inception for the type of rough use typified by these conditions; commercial units upgraded for this purpose make poor substitutes.
Vehicle mounted environments (e.g. public safety vehicles or utility trucks) are well suited for rugged computers as the vibration and jolts inherent there would cause failures in typical portable computers. Ruggedized laptops, rugged notebooks, rugged tablets and rugged UMPCs (ultra-mobile personal computers) are made of magnesium alloy materials made to be 20 times stronger than standard plastic found on commercial laptops. Hard Disc Drives are shock mounted with foam or reinforcing material to withstand vibrations of daily use.
Rugged Workstations, Rugged laptops, tablet PCs, rugged handhelds and PDAs are used by construction workers, emergency services, and military personnel.