There was a time a few years ago, when rugged notebooks and tablets were a thing, but often came at the loss of lower performance compared to the normal versions of said hardware. While rugged options are harder to find these days, Acer looks to be bringing the concept back with the debut of its new Enduro lineup of devices.

To that end the Taiwanese firm revealed a handful of Enduro notebooks and tablets as part of its virtual Next At Acer 2020 press conference this afternoon, and by the looks of things, these offerings might do well in the local channel and enterprise space.

“With an increasingly modern workforce, more and more mobile devices are being deployed in the field where they are subject to harsher handling. Enduro, our new line of rugged notebooks and tablets, was created to provide our customers with the durability and performance that gets the job done,” explains Andrew Chuang, GM for rugged computing at Acer.

There are five devices in total in the Enduro range at this stage, but two in particular stand out to us. The first is the Enduro N7 notebook (pictured above), which was also on display during the aforementioned press conference.

According to Acer, this device is more than capable of taking a few knocks, with a MIL-810G and IP65 certified design. As such it is manufactured to take quite a few knocks unscathed, but it should be interesting to see just what kind of punishment it can handle when it hits the retail market.

Along with the military-grade construction, Acer has fitted the N7 with a 14″ Full HD display, along with 700 nit brightness and a battery that delivers up to 10 hours of battery life. A nifty added feature is that the battery is hot swappable, which could prove very handy indeed when a plug point is not at hand.

Other performance elements include a quad-core 8th Gen Intel i5 processor, as well as hardware-level Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 taking care of things from a security perspective.

No local availability and pricing just yet, but Acer has slapped a €999 (R19 999) price tag on the N7’s brethren, the Enduro N3, which lands in EMEA later this month.

The N3 also appears to be the only device in the Enduro range that Acer has earmarked for South Africa at this stage, making it the second device worth highlighting in the range.

While the N3 has the same military-grade specification as the N7, it is slightly lower certified in terms of waterproofness and dust resistance, with it being IP53-rated. Still it should prove capable of taking the same knocks that the N7 can.

It also does not have the same rugged design cues of the Enduro N7.

There is an upside though, with the N3 featuring a thinner and lighter frame, tipping the scales at 1.98kg and measuring 24.85mm thick.

It also boasts a few more features such as a Gorilla Glass display for scratch resistance, and an impressive 13 hours of battery life. Added to this is a 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB of DDR4 RAM and up to a 512GB SSD.

No word on when it will officially launch locally either, and indeed through which retailer of channel partner, but the Enduro N3 is definitely the most covetable of the bunch.