The GETAC V100 looks more like the kind of workman's toolbox you expect to find in the depths of a dusty shed than it does a laptop or tablet PC. The tough grey magnesium alloy case features dark plastic protection on every edge, as well as rubber and plastic port covers.
They do their job too – we dropped the laptop several times from waist height while standing, and the impact had no adverse effect on the GETAC V100, no matter which corner or side it landed on.
Furthermore, according to GETAC, the V100 has achieved an international protection rating of IP54 standards, ensuring any unexpected spills or sprays won't affect the inner workings of the GETAC V100.
The biggest surprise is that despite the addition of the port covers, various other shock-absorbing materials and its general bulk, the GETAC V100 is such a lightweight machine. At just 2.2kg, and with a padded handle, it's convenient enough to carry around.
With a 1.2GHz Intel Core Duo chip and 512MB of RAM running on Windows XP, the machine wasn't sluggish either; the GETAC V100 achieved a WorldBench score of 42 – which is just about respectable for an ultraportable.
The GETAC V100's 10.4in touchscreen rotates by 180 degrees, allowing you to transform the system from a compact laptop into a tablet PC.
The screen itself is very bright, and the large keys make it easy to type for long periods. We did find the position of the touchpad hampered typing on occasions, however.
The lack of optical drive isn't ideal either. It leaves users relying on the two USB ports and the SD card reader or making the most of the GETAC V100's connectivity options. Users can choose between ethernet, a wireless network connection or Bluetooth.
The GETAC V100 also comes with an integrated 225-degree swivel 1.3Mp waterproof webcam, while GPS connectivity is available as an optional extra.
Lightweight and rugged, the GETAC V100 is ideal for those who really need a machine that's resistant to the elements, and to accidents. It's not a great-looking laptop, though, and its lack of an optical drive is the only thing that lets it down. Well, that and the price - at £2,492 inc VAT it's not cheap, but it is aimed at the niche market seeking a tough machine.