Getac's range of rugged notebook computers continues to grow with the release of the company's new flagship X500. Aimed at Getac's core military customers, the X500 is designed to withstand the most extreme working conditions. With Intel Core i5-520M (2.4GHz) and Core i7-620M (2.66GHz) processor options, 2GB of RAM and the option of a NVIDIA GeForce GT330M MXM GPU with 512MB of VRAM, the X500 is also the most powerful ultra-rugged PC in the company's 22-year history.

The X500 sports a 15.6-inch 1366 x 769 QuadraClear sunlight-readable LED display with 1,000 cd/m2 of brightness. The display is also multi-touch capable and pressure sensitive, so it can be register touch input from just about anything, including gloved fingers. There's also a glide touchpad with scrollbar and full-sized, waterproof and backlit QWERTY keyboard of the mechanical membrane variety - a waterproof, backlit rubber keyboard is also available as an option.

Coming with Windows 7 the X500 can receive a performance lift on processor-intensive applications with the 2.66GHz i7 CPU able to be boosted to 3.33GHz thanks to Intel's Turbo Boost technology, while RAM can be upped from 2 to 8GB. The X500 comes with a 320GB HDD as standard, with an optional 160GB SSD also available. The multimedia bay can be filled with an optional Super multi-DVD, a second battery or a second HDD or SSD to operate as a RAID system.

In its standard configuration the X500 boasts a range of I/O ports, including three USB 2.0 ports, one USB/eSATA combo port, two RS-232 serial ports, two PCMCIA ports, an ExpressCard, SmartCard, dual RJ-45 ports, HDMI and VGA outputs. Custom options include the addition of USB 3.0 ports, fiber optic connections, RS-485 or a high-powered Wi-Fi booster.

Military-certified for extreme conditions, the X500 is MIL-STD-810G certified for ruggedness and shock protection, MIL-STD-2169B certified for High Altitude Magnetic Pulse (HEMP), boasts an IP65 rating for protection from water and dust, and has UL1604 certification to ensure it can be safely operated in the presence of potentially flammable or explosive materials. The X500 is also NightVision-ready for working under the cover of darkness using night vision goggles, and is EPEAT gold certified.

The X500 measures 16.1 x 11.41 x 2.56-inches (410 x 290 x 65 mm) and weighs 11.68 lbs (5.3 kg) in its standard configuration. It will be available from Getac from July 6 with prices ranging from US$4,999 to $6,599, depending on configuration.