There are few rugged laptops. When this is asked I immediately know to write "Toughbook." Google that!
I'm looking for the following and couldn't find a match in the site buying guide:
Weight - Not a high priority
Screen Size - 15 inch, with moderately high resolution. I often have to review (and occasionally modify) CAD drawings. However, I'd still like to fit it in my briefcase.
Power - Highest priority. Probably an i7 processor, at least 4 Gb RAM, 300+ Gb drive @ 7200 RPM. Serious spreadsheet and database crunching. Also, specialized control programs (automation & robotics) and emulators. No interest in gaming.
Battery - 9-cell. I understand that a high performance processor will reduce battery time. I'm currently using a Thinkpad that allows me to throttle back the processor to conserve power.
Pointing Device - I normally use a mouse. When not available, I prefer the trackpoint (little joy stick in the middle of the keyboard) to the touchpad, but I realize I might have to give this up.
Ruggedness - Serious. This machine is transported at least twice per day.
Other features - Wireless G & N. Bluetooth. Three or more USB ports. CD/DVD drive (can be external).