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The five most durable gadgets of Always On

Season 5 premieres next week, but before we jump into a new set of torture tests, we're taking a look back at the five devices that survived almost all the abuse we could imagine.

Now playing: Watch this: The five toughest gadgets you can buy

It's my personal belief that, across the board, gadgets should be tough enough to handle your real life. I don't think phones should require cases -- Gorilla Glass is more than strong enough to take a drop, and it's perfectly feasible to design devices that can handle bangs, biffs, and dunks without being completely destroyed. (Side note: Why does the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active even exist? Why aren't all versions of the S4 dust-proof, shock-proof, and waterproof? See what I'm getting at here?)

Anyway, the good news is that I've found over and over on this show that gadgets are tougher than you expect them to be in many cases. Screens don't shatter after a single drop, and scuff marks are harder to come by than your paranoid mind imagines. You don't have to treat your phone, tablet, or laptop with kid gloves, and as the five devices in this video show, you can actually treat them with something more akin to a sledgehammer.

The zombie: the iPad that just wouldn't die.
The zombie. CNET

To be fair, two of the gadgets on this list are, in fact, designed to be tough: the Pentax Optio WG-2 and the water-resistant Sony XPeria Z. But our tests went far beyond what most people will encounter, and both came through strong. Other things I've learned: Apple makes damn tough products, the Microsoft Surface is, in fact, amazing hardware even if no one wants to buy it, and liquid nitrogen is not nearly as scary as I've been led to believe.

Enjoy this trip down torture test lane and remember: there's no use crying over spilled milk if that milk is spilled on any of the consumer electronics in this video. Stay calm and get out the bag of rice.

See you next week with the Season 5 premiere: a back-to-school-themed episode wherein the Galaxy S4 Mini goes to the gym and I get to interview Sal Kahn, the father of e-learning. Thanks for watching!