Best Military Grade laptops with built-in Smart Card reader (2021)

To access a CAC card, the best laptop with a smart card reader plays the biggest role here. It’s designed to provide a superimposed layer of security to users.

In the united states department of defense, they think about security very seriously that’s why military officers carry a smart card that lets them have legal access for physical entry, secured computer networks, and systems. These are very tricky jobs and can’t be done without the best military laptop with a smart card reader.

We have listed the top best laptop that comes with a built-in smart card reader, large RAM, and hard drive, powerful processor, and military-grade durability.

Here, we divided our list into 2 categories such as the best laptop with a CAC card reader and the best laptop for military use which doesn’t offer any built-in SC reader.

Also, if you don’t find any value from here please you can check our other blog best laptop for military CAC readers where we listed 5 of the best quality laptops for military use.

laptops with smart card reader

Top 3 Best Laptops With Smart Card Reader (Dell, HP, & Lenovo Included)

  • HP ZBook 15 G5
  • Dell Latitude 14 Rugged
  • Lenovo ThinkPad T490s

HP ZBook 15 G5

HP ZBook 15 G5 is one of the best hp laptops that comes with a built-in CAC reader. Surely the built-in smart card reader laptop prices a lot but in the case of this one it’s worth buying for every Multimedia, Personal, Business, and even military use.

In this price range, you can easily get a laptop with a powerful processor and dedicated graphics card. But those don’t feature extra smart card reader slot. Also, this hp laptop is packed with 64 GB of DDR4 ram which makes it much attractive and an ideal laptop for professional use.

Also, the build quality gives a premium feel since it’s made with a sturdy material which makes it tough and the best laptop for military use.

Packed with 2 TB of PCIe M.2 Solid-state drive is another interesting part of this laptop which is quite rare to see in other laptops at this price range. The fastest SSD drive ensures the smoothest performance while using CAC reading software or other business professional and content creation software.

It features a 15.6″ anti-glare full HD display which will come in handy while using this laptop sitting in the sunshine. The HP ZBook 15 G5 comes with Intel 6-Core i7-8850H which is fast enough to handle heavy tasks.

This laptop also features a fingerprint sensor that helps to go through the manual process fastly. Also, this thing created an extra security layer that can be used for keeping important data of militaries safely.

This laptop is very heavy compared to other military rugged laptops and doesn’t offer the latest wifi technology which makes feel unfair not to get such specs at this price range.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS:

PC Type:Mobile Workstation Laptop
PC Series:HP ZBook 15 G5
Processor:Intel 6-Core i7-8850H (Base Clock 2.60GHz, Max Boost Clock Up to 4.30GHz, 9MB Cache, 14nm CMOS, 6 Core, 12 Threads, 100°C Max Temperature).
Memory:64 GB DDR4 RAM
Storage:2x 1 TB Solid State Drive which can be upgraded with a PCIe Nvme M.2 or SATA drive.
Benchmark CPU Score:Average 10465, Single Thread Rating: 2421, Cross-Platform Rating: 19,233
Graphics:Intel UHD 620 Graphics (300 MHz Base Frequency, 1.15 GHz Max Frequency, 32 GB Max memory, 4K support at 60Hz, Directx 12 supported)
Display:15.6″ FHD(1920×1080) Anti-glare IPS Display with 45% of NTSAC and 300 nits of brightness. The color and contrast of this display is perfect which makes it an ideal device for sweet streaming.
Communications:Wifi 6 and Bluetooth 5
Warranty:One Year
AC Adapter:85W
Camera:720p Webcam
Operating system:Windows 10
Keyboard:Backlit keyboard
Ports & Slots:No Optical Drive, USB 3.1 Type-C Thunderbolt 3, 3 x USB 3.0, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x RJ-45, 1 x Audio Combo Jack, 1 x Fingerprint reader.
Battery:Up to 10 hours battery life
Additional Information:Dimensions: ‎‎‎‎14.8 x 10.4 x 1 inches Approximate Weight: 7 lbs

Dell Latitude 14 Rugged

If you’re looking for the best military rugged laptop then you have probably heard about the Dell laptop from the Latitude series. These series are usually known for their best quality rugged laptops that come with a smart card reader. Here we are gonna review the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged. Because this is the best dell laptop with an integrated smart card reader.

The top-notch build quality has made this laptop an ideal device for military use. Many experts examine this laptop by throwing it from 10 to 25 m in height and the result will utterly shock you. They didn’t saw even a single scratch on this laptop, hats off Dell for amazing build quality.

Now let’s talk about the internal performance. Inside of this laptop, we can see Intel Core 4th Gen. i5-4310U Processor which is not a high-performing processor but more than enough for casual use.

It comes with an 8GB DDR4 RAM and a 256GB SSD storage drive that fills the gap of running military software smoothly.

It’s included a 14-Inch Display with a resolution of 1366×768. Though this laptop features only an HD display, having a 720p display doesn’t matter anymore since the screen is touch compatible.

This laptop supports windows 10 pro and features an additional security layer called Dell Data Protection which allows users to Encrypt data virtually on any device.

The is the best budget laptop for military and construction management use. Although it’s a renewed version, you can purchase it for only $900 with the official amazon 90-day return guarantee. Amazon still offers an EMI policy via visa card where you only need to pay $49 per month.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS:

PC Type:Rugged Laptop
PC Series:Dell Latitude 14 Rugged
Processor:4th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-4310U Processor (Base Clock 2.0GHz, Max Boost Clock Up to 3.0GHz, 3MB Cache, 22nm CMOS, 2 Core, 4 Threads, 100°C Max Temperature).
Memory:8 GB of DDR4 RAM (Can be expandable up to 16 GB)
Storage:256  GB Solid State Drive which can be upgraded with an M.2 or SATA drive
Benchmark CPU Score:Average 2466, Single Thread Rating: 1469 Cross-Platform Rating: 5057
Graphics:Added some muscle behind your multimedia with discrete graphics options and up to 16GB of ultra-fast memory
Display:14-Inch (1366×768) Outdoor-Readable Resistive Touchscreen display with 60 NTSC and 270 nits of brightness. Due to average brightness, this display is suitable for long-term use.
Communications:Wifi 5 and Bluetooth
Warranty:One Year
AC Adapter:60W
Camera:720p Webcam
Keyboard:Backlit keyboard
Operating system:Windows 10
Ports & Slots:No Optical Drive, USB 3.1 Type-C Thunderbolt 3, 3 x USB 3.0, 1 x HDMI 2.0, 1 x RJ-45, 1 x Audio Combo Jack, 1 x Fingerprint reader, 1x Smart Card Reader.
Battery:Up to 8.5 hours battery life
Additional Information:Dimensions: ‎‎‎‎17.4 x 14.4 x 5 inches
Approximate Weight: 7.77 lbs

Lenovo ThinkPad T490s

Are you a fan of Lenovo and wanna buy the coolest laptop for business or military use? Meet the Lenovo T490s of the Thinkpad series which is considered the best Lenovo laptop with a CAC reader. It’s full of specs like our no #1 best built-in smart card reader laptop. let’s move further and see if it’s great value for military use or not.

This laptop comes with a 14-inch full HD display touchscreen display that makes it most likely 2 in 1 laptop. Unfortunately, the hinges can’t turn around 360 angles and for that, it loses its lots of value compared to the Dell latitude laptop. The display is much brighter, colorful, and best for live streaming or streaming on Netflix, youtube, amazon prime, and so on.

In terms of processors there we can see it’s equipped with an Intel i7-8565U chip which is a 7 core processor much faster compared to HP Zbook 15. But that doesn’t mean the Lenovo T490s won the race of performance because where HP Zbook offering 64 GB and 2 TB of Nvme SSD there for Lenevo the story is different. It has only 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of solid-state drive which makes a big difference in terms of benchmark score and real-life performance between them.

If we just look at the price difference between HP and Lenevo, there we can say the Lenevo comes with decent spec at this price range. It could only be better if this device has included a dedicated Nvidia graphics card. But if your intention is only to use it for smart card reading and a bunch of other little heavy cores then keep this thing in your portable device lists.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS:

PC Type:Laptop
PC Series:Lenovo ThinkPad T490s
Processor:8th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-8565U Processor (Base Clock 1.8GHz, Max Boost Clock Up to 4.6GHz, 8MB Cache, 14nm CMOS, 4 Core, 8 Threads, 105°C Max Temperature).
Memory:16 GB of DDR4 RAM
Storage:512 GB Solid State Drive
Benchmark CPU Score:Average 6381, Single Thread Rating: 2265
Cross-Platform Rating: 12893
Graphics:Intel UHD 620 Graphics (300 MHz Base Frequency, 1.15 GHz Max Frequency, 32 GB Max memory, 4K support at 60Hz, Directx 12 supported)
Display:14 inches Touchscreen full HD (1920 x 1080) LED-backlit IPS display with 300 nits of brightness and 65% of NTSC.
Communications:Wifi 5 and Bluetooth
Warranty:One Year
AC Adapter:65W
Camera:720p Webcam
Keyboard:Backlit keyboard
Operating system:Windows 10
Ports & Slots:1 USB 3.1 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, and 1 HDMI port with HDCP support.
Battery:Up to 7.5 hours battery life
Additional Info:Dimensions: ‎‎‎‎17.6 x 12 x 3.2 inches Approximate Weight: 3.09 lbs

The Best & Cheapest military grade/Rugged laptops

Many army officers like to use their personal laptops with external CAC card reader devices. The most issue that has been seen here is they didn’t find any military-grade laptops. A military-grade or rugged laptop suitable to use every type of harsh environment.

These are not only come with sturdy build case but also tight security which is very important in the defense department.

Although the laptops on this list don’t offer built-in smart card readers, they could be a great purchase for army officers who are looking for military-grade or certified/rugged laptops at a cheap price range.

Panasonic Toughbook CF-53

If you are interested in the rugged laptop which comes with military-grade durability then the Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 would be a great deal for you. It’s not only durable but also packed with so many powerful specs that you can’t imagine at this price range. Also, this device is called one of the cheapest rugged laptops of all time.

There’s nothing to talk about its build quality. They used premium materials which created an extra layer of hard shell able to protect the entire system externally and internally from the tough environments. Also, this thing passed several durability exams in the past that clears all the doubts of the sturdiness.

The processor used in this laptop is Intel Core i5-2520M which is a mid-range budget segment dual-core processor. Powerful enough to handle the whole system. It’s included a 16 of DDR3 ram which is not better compared to DDR4 but added an extra push while browsing, emailing, using military or business software.

However, it offers a 14-inch HD display with better color accuracy that could be a great help while streaming or long time using. In order to store your data securely, they added a 1 TB of SSD which makes your outdated pc incredibly faster like the present generation laptops.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS:

PC Type:Rugged Laptop
PC Series:Panasonic Toughbook CF-53
Processor:Acer Aspire 5 Mobile Processor (Base Clock 2.5GHz, Max Boost Clock Up to 3.2GHz, 3MB Cache, 14nm CMOS, 2 Core, 4 Threads, 100°C Max Temperature).
Memory:16 GB of DDR4 RAM
Storage:1TB Solid State Drive which can be upgraded with a SATA drive
Benchmark CPU Score:Average 2234, Single Thread Rating: 1370 Cross-Platform Rating: 4615
Graphics:Intel HD 3000 Graphics Video Card
Display:14 inch HD (1366×768) Display which is very decent for streaming, gaming, multi-tasking like designing with adobe software, video editing, and more.
Communications:Wifi 5 and Bluetooth
Warranty:One Year
AC Adapter:72W
Camera:720p Webcam
Keyboard:Backlit keyboard
Operating system:Windows 10
Ports & Slots:1 USB 3.1 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, and 1 HDMI port, 1 WLAN port, 1 power cord.
Battery:Up to 6 hours battery life
Additional Info:Dimensions: ‎‎‎‎18 x 17 x 5 inches Approximate Weight: 7.93 lbs

Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11e

This is one of the cheapest rugged laptops for military use. Could you imagine buying a touchscreen laptop for under $250? Thanks to Lenevo where they made this possible via their Thinkpad series. But that doesn’t mean they compromised in case of build quality and performance.

It’s an ultra-durable portable laptop made with sturdy materials that provide it top-notch military-grade durability. Although it’s a renewed laptop from amazon, you will get 90 days of refund guarantee if you find your device faulty.

Compared to other laptops on our list for military use, this comes with an 11.6-inch display that is small and makes it a super portable device to use while camping. In this price range, you will also get a backlit keyboard that comes in handy, especially for those military officers who used to note their important personal documents at the nighttime.

It has an Intel Quad-Core Processor N3150 which is an entry-level processor not too good for heavy tasks. It’s packed with 4 GB of DDR3 ram which can be expandable up to 8GB.

Besides the ram, it offers a 128 GB solid-state storage drive which is responsible to give this laptop a little performance boost. It helps to reduce the time of booting system, reduce the loading time of software opening, make pc faster while browsing.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS:

PC Type:Laptop
PC Series:Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11e
Processor: Intel Quad-Core Celeron® Processor N3150 (Base Clock 1.6GHz, Max Boost Clock Up to 2.08GHz, 2MB Cache, 14nm CMOS, 4 Core, 4 Threads, 100°C Max Temperature).
Memory:4 GB of DDR3 RAM
Storage:128 GB Solid State Drive
Benchmark CPU Score:Average 1192, Single Thread Rating: 573 Cross-Platform Rating: 2325
Display:11. 6″ HD LED-backlit IPS Touchscreen (1366×768) Display, Integrated webcam, NO Optical Drive
Communications:Wifi 5 and Bluetooth 4
Warranty:One Year
AC Adapter:45W
Camera:720p Webcam
Keyboard:Backlit keyboard
Operating system:Windows 10
Ports & Slots:1 x USB 3. 0 port, 1x USB 2. 0 port, Combo 1x Headphone/Mic Jack, 1x HDMI, 1x Ethernet RJ-45,
Battery:Up to 2 hours battery life
Additional Info:Dimensions: ‎‎‎‎12 x 7 x 1 inches Approximate Weight: 4 lbs

HP Premium Laptop Computer

This is the best hp rugged laptop that comes with military-grade durability. It’s the best military laptop that money can buy. The processor used in this laptop is AMD Ryzen 5 3500U which is a powerful quad-core processor. It has also 12Gb of DDR4 ram which is a massive addition at this price range.

Besides powerful components, it comes with the fastest hard drive. HP Premium Laptop Computer offers 256 GB compact SSD storage to store your personal data. This thing got AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics card which is pretty powerful to handle the smooth visualization process.

In this era finding the best laptop with an optical cd drive is not as easy as pie. But we got this one here, it features a built-in cd drive that’s the most excellent part of this laptop. Army officers can simply enjoy their old movies, songs, or moments which were captured on a cd.

KEY SPECIFICATIONS:

PC Type:Laptop
PC Series:HP 17-ca Premium Laptop
Processor:AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Quad-Core Processor (Base Clock 2.1GHz, Max Boost Clock Up to 3.7GHz, 4MB Cache, 12nm CMOS, 4 Core, 8 Threads, 105°C Max Temperature).
Memory:12 GB of DDR4 RAM (Can be expandable up to 16 GB)
Storage:256 GB Solid State Drive
Benchmark CPU Score:Average 7947, Single Thread Rating: 2126 Cross-Platform Rating: 12420
Graphics:Radeon™ Vega 8 Graphics (8 Core, 384KB Cache, PCIe 3.0)
Display:17.3″ diagonal HD+ SVA BrightView WLED-backlit 60% NTSC, 220 nits brightness (1600 x 900) Display
Communications:802.11b/g/n/ac (1×1) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 Combo
Warranty:One Year
AC Adapter:75W
Camera:720p Webcam
Keyboard:Backlit keyboard
Operating system:Windows 10
Ports & Slots:DVD-Writer; Realtek RTL8821CE, 1x HDMI; 1x headphone/microphone combo; 1 xRJ-45; 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Data transfer only); 1x AC smart pin; 1x USB 2.0 Type-A.
Battery:Up to 7 hours battery life
Additional Information:Dimensions: ‎‎‎16.33 x 10.72 x 0.96 inches Approximate Weight: 5.40 lbs

Buying Guide: Best laptops with smart card reader

Best military laptops perform challenging tasks efficiently in critical environments without slowing down the device.  Since the military uses high-end software there you have to consider a powerful laptop with some definite specifications.

In this buying guide, we are going to explain 8 types of things which need to consider while buying the best laptop for military use.

Specifications:

In order to experience the highest performance, you need a laptop with minimum quality spec. Though, it depends on your budget, having the best laptop for military use saves a lot of time. A better Ram, processor, GPU, hard drive, helps to run high-end software smoothly. Below we have given the minimum required spec list for a military laptop:

  • 2 GHz Processor
  • 128/256 GB SSD
  • 4 or 8 GB RAM
  • 2 GB Graphic Dedicated Graphic card. Integrated graphics will work, though it depends on your use based.

Processor

If you want to deliver more work in lesser time then it’s mandatory to get a laptop with high quality and fast processor. It helps to run military-based software with great efficiency without performing any lag. We suggest you purchase a laptop with a Core i5 or i7 processor of the 8th or 10th generation.

Security :

A laptop without any additional security is like making your own grave. You know that how important it is to get a device with proper security in the defense department. While cyber-attacks are all-time rumbling around in the world there military officers must have a high-security laptop. Before buying any laptop first see if they offer any extra security with it like “dell internet protection”. It’s better to purchase a laptop with a fingerprint reading sensor.

Durability :

The best military rugged laptop must have to be suitable in every environment, like blowing sand and dust, immersion, water-resistant, high and low-temperature operation, and keyboard durability.

Custom configuration:

Military laptops should be come with different customizable options. Because lots of time officers need to configure their laptop depending on the different situations they have. Also, have a customizable setting while CAC card reading could be helpful in terms of official setup.

Display:

It’s one of the most important things to look at in a laptop for military use. When you are getting a laptop for military use make sure that it comes with a large-sized 1080p display. Having a 13″ screen would be better for experiencing the utmost performance of your built-in smart card laptop.

Read Reviews:

This is the must-do job while making a buying decision for any laptop. Because there users shared their honest reviews about that product after long time use and also informed you about the downsides which they in practical life.

Price:

The more penny means a better laptop with powerful spec, nice display, and premium quality. Most of the budget laptops are best for military use but if you want to switch yourself into a premium one then go for the gaming laptops because those are the best laptop which available at an affordable price.

Weight

A military officer has to travel a lot. That’s why it’s necessary to purchase a lightweight laptop because they don’t be a burden for you while carrying them on your back.


Conclusion

Finding the best laptop with built-in smart card reader is really difficult since they are available only a few of them in the electronics market. We searched over 10 e-commerce stores and selected the 3 best laptops based on their consumer reviews.

If you have a DoD smart card and need a military-grade laptop with built-in smart card reader, the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged laptop would be a great option.

Doesn’t need a laptop with built-in CAC card reader? There we have 3 options in the best military grade/rugged laptop and Panasonic Toughbook is the best one of them.

Moreover, if any user already has a CAC card reader and just needs a laptop to use for the light task, they can go with the cheapest military grade rugged laptop called Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga.

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