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Rugged Thinkpads coming to America?

Lenovo exec spies military-rugged Thinkpad in China.

Inside the Box blog

Two months ago, Lenovo competitive analyst Matt Kohut wrote a blog post, Thinkpads are Ruggedized Machines, explaining why the laptop brand favored by many corporate wonks isn't available in a box you can drive over with your 7 Series. But it's not like the company is a stranger to expensive laptop packaging: It's releasing a $5,000 version of the X60 that's swaddled in leather and coddled by a special support staff.

On a recent trip to Lenovo HQ in Beijing, Kohut was shocked--shocked--to see a Lenovo-branded fully-rugged PC on display in the company's Innovation Center showcase. Available only in China right now, this Lenovo-but-not-Thinkpad laptop is fully encased in magnesium with rubber bumpers and built-in handle, and is apparently capable of operating under a stream of running water while you continuously bash it against the rocks. Which, if it comes with Vista pre-installed, is something you might realistically do.

Inside the Box blog

No word on the internals, nor if it will ever come stateside and how it would be branded. And if it did, who'd buy it. The truly-rugged laptop market is not all that large. Although I would wager that there are more Carhartt buyers than Armani, if you know what I mean.