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Asus Rugged Military NB: Made to take to war

We've just taken an exclusive look at Asus' new tablet computer, the company's first model to be designed specifically with the military in mind. It's a prototype on the show floor at CeBIT -- check out the pix

We've just taken an exclusive look at Asus' new tablet computer, which is designed to be tough enough to give to troops in Iraq. Currently at the prototype stage and on the show floor at CeBIT, it's the company's first model to be designed specifically with the military in mind.

Codenamed the Rugged Military NB, it's designed for those fighting in extreme conditions, like the desert. It complies with the IP 54 standard, which means the chassis is virtually impervious to sand and water.

There's GPS inside, which will help the military navigate in hostile lands, and the screen swivels. Click through our photos for more information.

The display rotates, is widescreen and measures 13.3 inches. It'll be touch sensitive, although Asus hasn't yet decided whether to use a standard touchscreen or a digitiser screen, which would require the use of a stylus.

James Tang of Asus held up the Rugged Military NB for us earlier today. It's a bit of a beast, but if you build something to work in extreme conditions, you have to make a few compromises somewhere.

There's a fingerprint reader to help keep the data on the hard drive secure if it gets nabbed by the enemy.

The side ports are hidden behind a flap to help protect the tablet from sand and other nasties.