Getac vs. Toughbook: How Do They Compare?

Rugged laptops built to withstand extreme conditions are essential for fields like military, industrial, and field services. Two of the top players in this market are Getac and Panasonic Toughbook laptops. But if you‘re looking to purchase a rugged laptop, how do you decide between these two brands? This comprehensive guide compares Getac vs. Toughbook models across all the factors that matter most.

About Getac and Toughbook

Getac is a global leading producer of rugged mobile computing devices including laptops, tablets, software, and video recording technology. Founded in 1989 in Taiwan as a joint venture between GE Aerospace and MiTAC, Getac has provided rugged devices to major commercial and government clients like BMW, Airbus, and the U.S. Armed Forces.

Panasonic first launched its Toughbook line of rugged laptops in 1996. Designed for field work environments, Toughbooks are known for their durability, reliability, and computing performance. They have a strong reputation as the choice of emergency services, military, and utility field workers worldwide.

Side-By-Side Comparison

Here is a high-level overview comparing the specs and features of Getac vs Panasonic Toughbook rugged laptop models:

Typical ProcessorIntel Core i5Intel Core i5
Display Size13.3 inches12 inches
Year Introduced19891996
ManufacturerMiTAC-Synnex GroupPanasonic
ConnectivityGood with all expected portsGood with all expected ports
Backlit KeyboardYesYes

Design and Durability

When it comes to rugged laptops, design durability is critical for withstanding challenging environments. Toughbook laptops edge out Getac laptops when it comes to resilient design.

Toughbook laptops feature a lightweight magnesium alloy case to handle shock, vibration, humidity and temperatures ranging from -29° to 140° Fahrenheit (-20° to 60° Celsius). Toughbooks also meet MIL-STD-810G U.S. military standards for drops up to 3 feet while operating – thanks to shock-absorbing hard drive mounts, displays, and casing.

Getac laptops meet military ruggedness standards too. However Getac laptops tend to be heavier than the ultra-portable Toughbooks. And only high-end Getac laptops offer features like heater exchangers to handle extreme subzero temperatures that Toughbooks offer standard.

When every ounce matters in the field, Toughbook‘s patented rugged design and lightweight magnesium case gives them the durability advantage.

Display and Touchscreen

Both Getac and Toughbook rugged laptop lines offer LCD touchscreen displays available in a variety of sizes. Getac displays range from 11.6" to 15" while Toughbook displays span from 10" to 15".

Getac laptops do offer larger display sizes overall. However Toughbook screens rate brighter with anti-reflective and daylight-readable LCD treatments. Higher-end Toughbook models also provide 2-800 nit screens enabling better visibility in direct sunlight.

In terms of resolution, Getac and Toughbook models range from HD to full 4K Ultra HD depending on screen size and configuration. When comparing same-size display models head-to-head though, Panasonic Toughbooks handily beat Getac laptops for brightness, clarity, and daylight readability.

Performance and Hardware

Getac and Panasonic Toughbook models utilize similar Intel Core processor options for CPU performance. Where they differ however is with storage drives and memory configurations that impact overall speed and responsiveness.

Many higher-end Toughbook models integrate solid state drives (SSDs) in a hybrid configuration or as the sole boot drive. SSD storage significantly outperforms traditional laptop hard disk drives (HDD). SSD drives have no moving parts – enabling better shock resistance when dropped. And SSD drives greatly improve read/write times for snappier bootups and application loading.

Toughbooks also support faster memory clock speeds to accelerate performance. While Getac maxes out at 1333Mhz memory, Panasonic Toughbooks perform better thanks to DD3 memory clocked at 1600Mhz or higher.

So while CPU processors may be similar across models, Panasonic Toughbooks better optimize storage, memory and component integration to maximize rugged laptop performance.

Connectivity and Ports

Both Getac and Panasonic Toughbook models offer comprehensive connectivity ideal for the field:

Standard ports available on both lines:

  • USB 3.0
  • USB-C
  • HDMI
  • VGA
  • RJ-45 Ethernet
  • Audio In/Out

Expansion & wireless connectivity:

  • SD card reader
  • Optional serial port adapter
  • WiFi a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 5.0+
  • 4G LTE broadband or GPS options

There are very few significant differences between Getac vs Toughbook when it comes to connectivity. Both meet the necessary wired and wireless capability requirements for mobile field access and vehicle fleet integration.

Battery Life

Extended battery life is crucial for full shift field usage between charging opportunities. Both Getac and Panasonic Toughbooks provide exceptional battery life thanks to their low voltage Intel Core processors. And batteries are removable and hot swappable for continuous all day operation across multiple batteries.

Standard battery configurations offer:

  • Getac: Runtimes between 8-15 hours per charge depending on model
  • Toughbook: Runtimes between 6-18 hours per charge depending on model

Getac laptops therefore offer battery life duration very comparable to Panasonic Toughbooks. Just recognize battery performance will vary depending on screen size, computing intensity, workload conditions, and battery capacity.

Cameras and Multimedia

Many field work applications from inspection documentation to facilities maintenance rely on device cameras and multimedia features. Here‘s how Getac and Panasonic laptop cameras compare:

  • Getac: 720p HD webcam standard on most models
  • Toughbook: Up to 8MP webcam capable of 1080p video
  • Multimedia: Toughbooks offer optional insertable DVD SuperMulti drives. Getac laptops require external drives via USB.

While multimedia options are basic on both to minimize moving parts, Panasonic Toughbooks support higher resolution cameras and optional optical media drives businesses may require.


Data security is imperative for some business and government field applications. As rugged laptop makers, Getac and Panasonic Toughbook both support security needs including:

  • TPM modules for encryption
  • Smartcard and contactless Smartcard readers
  • Fingerprint scanners and RFID authentication
  • Built-in port covers
  • Hardware password security

Additionally Intel-based Toughbook models support vPro remote management capability allowing remote imposition of IT policies in the field. And data-at-rest encryption meeting stringent requirements comes standard – unlike Getac where this security capability remains an additional cost option.

Cost Comparison

When evaluating total cost of ownership, purchase price represents just one element. Both laptop brands command 25-50% premiums over consumer notebooks – thanks to their military-specification designs. However Toughbooks carry higher list pricing over comparable Getac models.

But Toughbooks tend to maintain better resale valuations in secondary rugged laptop markets. And integrated components like solid state drives and daylight viewable displays would represent costly upgrades for base Getac configurations with HDD drives and mid-grade displays.

Ultimately use case specifics determine the best bang for buck between the two. But Toughbooks merit their pricing through superior field usability, reliability metrics and integrated options business buyers need.

Who Are Getac Laptops Best Suited For?

Getac‘s rugged designs, connectivity, large storage capacity, and long battery runtime position them as robust general purpose field solutions. Public sector and field services teams needing full computing capability will benefit from Getac value pricing.

Specific best use cases include:

  • Military – Battlefield ingress/egress vehicles which require large external screens, storage and peripheral connectivity
  • Automotive – Service fleet, maintenance, inspection and diagnostics work demanding better-than-consumer durability
  • Public Safety – Police, fire apparatus and EMS vehicles needing officer access to databases, multimedia and communications gear
  • Utilities & Field Services – Any environment subject to rain, dirt, dust and rough transportation conditions affecting equipment

Who Are Panasonic Toughbooks Best Suited For?

With their lightweight form factors, superior displays, embedded wireless options, and extreme durability, Panasonic Toughbooks deliver ultimate portable field computing. Their premium price tags truly reflect premium capabilities specifically for:

  • Highly mobile field work (inspections, maintenance, emergency services) where Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) represent critical factors
  • Government and regulated industries where data security ranks paramount
  • Extreme use case environments spanning excessive cold, heat, vibration, and drop/shock conditions
  • Applications with battery life measured in multiple shifts – thanks to hot-swappable dual battery design
  • Buyers who value best-in-class field usability from daylight viewing touchscreens to integrated options like barcode scanners and insertable DVD drives


Getac and Panasonic Toughbook rugged laptops both deliver better protection, connectivity, and reliability than consumer notebook alternatives. Getac computers compete well on price while Toughbooks go the extra mile on usability and durability.

Matching specific business requirements against available configurations and budgets determines the best choice. Getac laptops work for mainstream rugged performance requirements while Toughbooks justify their premium for extreme use case environments.

Hopefully this comprehensive Getac vs Toughbook comparison provides the details needed to select the right rugged laptop for your needs – and budget.

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