“This is why we can’t have nice things!” is a phrase every parent has uttered at least once as they’ve watched some brand-new gadget destroyed by technology’s nemesis: their child. What are parents supposed to do — become Luddites until their kid turns 13 and/or can be trusted not to immediately break a new phone or laptop? Of course not.
But as parents are also known for saying, money does not grow on trees, so the answer is not to continually invest in new tech every time something is accidentally dropped down the stairs or thrown in the toilet to see if it can float. The solution to the age-old battle of technology versus little hands is to buy devices that are tougher than kids. Check out this list of commonly used devices that can withstand the harshest treatment from your sweet, destructive children.
Tech That Can Stand Up to Kids
1. Tablet: Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
Panasonic’s Toughbook line of laptops and tablets range from fully rugged, which are designed to function in the most extreme weather conditions and built for construction and military personnel, to business rugged, which are made to withstand desk-height falls and minor spills, and are generally made for business travelers. The Toughbook CF-XZ6 falls in the business rugged category and will work for most families. It is lightweight enough to be usable in everyday situations but rugged enough to take some abuse from the kids. This is a 2-in-1 detachable laptop/tablet hybrid and is powerful enough to function as both for most people.
2. Laptop: Lenovo ThinkPad 11e
If you are in the market for a standard, yet sturdy, laptop, check out the Lenovo ThinkPad 11e. The Lenovo comes with reinforced corners and ports and can withstand high pressure, vibrations and extreme temperatures. While it is bulkier than many other laptops on the market, it is sleeker than its competition in the rugged laptop category.
3. Smartphone: Galaxy Note 8
Your smartphone is probably the most vulnerable piece of tech you own. It is constantly in use and irresistible to children. The Galaxy Note8 fulfills the needs for a smartphone that is powerful and fun to use, but isn’t so delicate that it will break the second your kid lays a finger on it. Beyond being an excellent smartphone with its dual cameras, 6.3-inch infinity screen, and quick-charging battery, the Note8 is both dust- and water-resistant, features every parent recognizes as essential when small kids are around.
4. Camera: Olympus Tough TG-5
Tough is right in the name of this rugged compact camera. This Olympus takes excellent photos (specs include a 12-MP sensor, f/2.0 lens, TruPic VIII image processor, and 4X optical zoom), and is water-resistant up to 50 feet and shock-resistant up to 7 feet. It’s light and small enough to slip in a bag for a field-trip or day at Grandma’s house.
5. Earbuds: Shure SE215
Earbuds are easy enough to destroy on your own, so they stand almost no chance once you add kids to the equation. While they can’t help you if you misplace them, Shure has made an earbud with excellent sound quality and a rugged plastic casing that is water-resistant and built to stand up to heavy use (and abuse). Furthermore, they come with a more durable L shaped plug-in and detachable wires, so if the wires are damaged for any reason, they can be replaced.