It's absolutely vital for all life on the planet yet it can kill a computer with relative ease. Water, moisture, fluid, liquid - whichever way you look at it computers and wet stuff are not on friendly terms. Stealth Computers begs to differ however, and has recently announced the release of a completely waterproof PC. Incorporating a whole host of tough tech, the rugged new unit promises reliability and performance whatever you throw at it and whatever conditions you might find yourself in.

Going to extremes

The Stealth WPC-500F has been developed with extreme environments in mind, providing "the most environmental protection of any PC that we have offered to date. The machine is completely sealed on all six sides and can withstand the harshest of environments," so says company President and CEO Ed Boutilier.

The unit will survive much more than a slight spill, meeting IP67/NEMA 6 environmental specifications (meaning that it's completely dust proof and can withstand temporary immersion in liquids to a depth of 1m). Even the I/O ports are water-tight. Familiar cooling fans have been ditched in favor of noise-free dissipation through the aluminum chassis and heat pipe technology. The heart of the beast is powered by Intel's Atom 330 Dual Core 1.6GHz processor and 2Gb DDR2 RAM. A special high performance 80Gb SATA hard drive that can withstand high vibration (up to 2Gs), shock (up to 300Gs), high humidity, high altitudes (up to 16,400ft) and extreme temperatures (-20C to 75C) is part of the standard build with optional solid state hard drive solutions available for even more resistance to shock and vibration.

You don't get an internal optical drive of course - that would let the dreaded moisture in - but one can be attached via the waterproof USB port. As can other devices such as a rugged keyboard, mouse and monitor (the company produces a waterproof LCD monitor too) as well as networking solutions via the onboard network controller. Continuing the noiseless theme, there's no audio card but given the very remote chances of hearing such output in the kinds of locations these machines have been designed for that's probably no great loss.

The machine is compatible with Microsoft XP or Vista as well as Linux and each unit can be custom configured for specific customer needs. It can survive (non operational) storage temperatures of -20C to 70C and can operate in conditions ranging from 0C to 40C. And weighing only 8lbs (3.62kg) and measuring 191 x 298 x 75.5mm allows for numerous mounting (it comes with it's own special mount) or storage solutions.

Available now

If you are in Industrial, Commercial, Scientific Research, Military, Marine, Public Safety, Utility, Transportation, Mining or Telecommunications and you need a computer solution that won't fail you even when the going gets tough, the WPC-500F might just be what you're looking for. Inc is taking orders now for delivery in early July and prices start at USD$1995 for basic configurations.

Not for faint-hearted computer engineers, here's a video depicting the Stealth undergoing cruel medieval water torture: