Toughbook cost of ownership

28th May 2014

Why owning a Toughbook (even a pricey new one) will save you big bucks.

Updated June 15, 2023

Just to make a fair comparison, we'll look at the prices of new computers. A new Toughbook, conservatively, has a price tag of around two or three times that of your average consumer laptop. right off the bat, it looks like the Toughbook is the pricier option. But the purchase price is just one part of the equation. Let's take a look at how much a laptop really costs.

cost of ownership for rugged toughbooks fully rugged panasonic toughbook cost of ownership

If we factor in the total cost of ownership, Toughbooks cost significantly less than commercial laptops. Your typical laptop is pretty defenseless against its physical environment. They're really not even meant to be used on your lap. Commercial laptops are happiest sitting motionless on a hard desk. Of course, nobody really uses them that way -- that's what desktop computers are for. As a result, commercial laptops tend to break down. A 2009 study published in PC Magazine showed that the industry average failure rate for laptops was an astonishing 21%. The annual failure rate for Toughbooks, on the other hand, is just 2.99% according to Panasonic's service records. The following chart from Venture Development Corporation shows that, by the third year of ownership, the number of commercial-grade laptops that need to be replaced is 60% higher than rugged mobile units.

Due to increased downtime and the need for hardware replacements, commercial-grade computers end up costing about 15% more annually to operate. After 5 years, the total cost of owning and operating a commercial-grade computer is 55% higher than that of a rugged laptop.

Let's also bear in mind that these figures come from average computer users. If you are considering a Toughbook, you probably aren't an average user. Toughbooks are regularly used in stressful conditions. They withstand spills, heat, cold, vibration, dirt, dust, and bad weather on a regular basis. If the average commercial laptop faced what a Toughbook faces, you can bet that the cost of ownership would be astronomically higher.

Also remember that if you buy refurbished, you'll significantly reduce the initial purchase cost, making the savings even more pronounced.

Information for this article was retrieved from Panasonic.

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