When it comes to building laptops for extreme conditions, there are only a few manufacturers with the relative know-how and Getac is one of those companies.

The Getac P470 (£2314 inc. VAT) has been designed to meet the rugged MIL-STD 810F standard. The magnesium alloy casing is amazingly tough and although the clasp that holds the base and top panel is smaller than we'd like, it adds to the robust nature of the device.

There is even a built-in carrying handle made of tough plastic that allows you to carry the laptop or simply offers support when the laptop is open and in use.

Quick and powerful laptop

Where this machine excels over similar rugged systems is the use of the latest dual-core processors.

Powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo T7200, we found this a relatively quick and responsive device to use.

The installation of Windows XP Professional is an odd choice, as we were expecting Vista on a system such as this.

Waterproof keyboard

The panel is a 14.1-inch touchscreen TFT that can be used with a stylus, or with the tip of your finger.

It does mean the screen has a slight haze to it and we found we had to ramp the brightness to full to get the best from the panel when outside.

The keyboard is a good size with plenty of space between the keys. The board is waterproof and any spills will run off the side, but the keys have plenty of space underneath them to collect dust and other detritus from working on the road.

Well protected machine

The touchpad is a good size, as are the mouse buttons, but it proved rather sluggish to navigate Windows using this method.

You'll find the ports around the sides of the case have plastic protectors, which prevent dust and moisture from getting inside the machine.

However, this isn't a fully rugged machine as the built-in optical drive doesn't offer complete protection and there is a smartcard reader left open to the elements.

In-built GPS

In order to handle the heat from the dual-core processor and other components, you'll also find there are two air-vents on the base of the unit, which also detract from the overall weatherproofing of the system.

When it comes to extras, you won't find the Getac lacking. There is the standard 1.3-megapixel webcam for video-conferencing and a fingerprint scanner can be found between the mouse buttons.

However, the most interesting aspect has to be the inclusion of GPS, which allows you to plot your location.

A laptop for tough conditions

The Getac P470 is certainly a tough and rugged machine and has sufficient features to appeal to those who work in extreme conditions.

However, there are issues with the optical drive that detract from its MIL-STD 810F status.