There’s nothing like the feeling of cracking open a brand-new laptop and booting it up for the first time. It’s sleek, clean and it runs faster than a hamster on amphetamines. But with so many tech companies banking on the "new" factor to keep their product sales up (i.e. rebranding old laptop technology in a shiny aluminum shell and expecting consumers not to know the difference), it can be hard to tell which notebooks will ultimately stand the test of time. 

    If you’re like most people and you rely at least in part on your personal technology for your livelihood, you’re going to need a workhorse of a laptop. Something that won’t start sputtering and wheezing after six months just because you’ve installed the Creative Suite and a few games on it. Here are our picks for the top 10 most durable laptops–those special machines that just keep on working without complaint long after their warranties have expired. 

    MSI X370

    Inside its solid, flex-free casing, the X370 contains the guts necessary for an all-around seamless computing experience. A rock-solid battery, Radeon graphics card and dual-core AMD processor keep this sleek and durable little machine going strong. 

    Asus U56E

    The folks who almost single-handedly brought the Netbook into the mainstream with their EeePC are also known for manufacturing some of the toughest, longest-lasting notebooks around. While most any laptop bearing the Asus logo should keep you from having to shop around for a while, the U56E offers great value with its huge hard drive and solid battery life.

    Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook

    Encased in Gorilla Glass, machined-aluminum and carbon fiber, Dell’s XPS 13 delivers powerful technology inside a tough little sleeve. Leaps and bounds beyond their lower-end, less durable Inspiron line, the Ultrabook pushes Dell into the big leagues of portable computing. 

    Alienware M14x

    A gaming laptop with extra bite, Alienware’s M14x is one heck of a machine. Capable of running top-notch graphics without complaint, its superior cooling systems and powerful processor live up to its brand’s notorious name.

    Lenovo ThinkPad

    With its aesthetic nearly unchanged from when it first came out in the ’90s, the ThinkPad is one of the longest-running designs around. Those vintage machines will probably still run Windows 95 just fine, too, if you can bring yourself to boot one up. But the newer ThinkPad T420s has been vastly modernized on the inside to comfortably run all the latest programs–and to keep running them well through the decade.

    Sony VAIO S Series

    Sony got a lot of flack for its early VAIO models and their tendency to break apart like plastic toys, but the Japanese company has made great strides in boning up their signature portable line. These hardworking little notebooks are known for great battery life that doesn’t decay over time.

    Panasonic Toughbook S10

    It might not be the prettiest princess in the kingdom, but the Panasonic Toughbook can take pretty much whatever abuse you manage to throw at it. Capable of surviving a 30 foot drop without issue, the Toughbook S10 comes encased in a magnesium alloy case that protects its vitals against the bangs and bumps of an active lifestyle. And its spill-resistant keyboard ensures that  any coffee mishaps won’t fry its hard drive. If you’ve got essential data that you need to tote around with you, the Toughbook is your strongest ally.

    Toshiba Tecra

    Designed with business professionals in mind, Toshiba’s Tecra line features EasyGuard technology to keep your data safe from the most common workplace hazards. Bumps, spills and drops won’t keep these sturdy little notebooks from functioning at full capacity. And with Toshiba’s proven track record of long-running machines, your Tecra laptop won’t need replacing for a long, long time. 

    Asus B23E

    Maybe it’s not fair that Asus makes up a solid 20% of this list, but numerous studies have shown that the company consistently makes the laptops least likely to fail within the first three years of use. With its anti-shock hard drive and solid Sonata battery, the durable B23E keeps up with even the most battering business lifestyles. 

    Macbook Air

    Aesthetics and hype aside, it’s hard to argue with a machine that’s specifically designed to function quickly and reliably on a long-term basis. By opting for a solid state hard drive and forgoing an optical drive entirely, Apple has built a machine without any moving parts to break. The lightning-fast and ultra-light Air will boot up instantly day after day, making it the perfect workhorse for the productivity-minded tech junkie. 

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