More and more, companies are releasing computer products geared toward the military, claiming that their devices are just short of indestructible. These devices can often survive spills, sand storms and being dropped several feet to the ground.

But for those, including myself, who aren’t enlisted in a military branch, a computer that can withstand a few bumps, drops and water mishaps might make for a more desirable personal device.

HP introduced the EliteBook 2560p specifically designed to meet military standards (MIL-STD-810G) to combat vibration, dust, humidity, altitude and high temperature. The unit includes second-generation Intel Core i7 and i5 dual-core processors with a hard disk drive of up to 500 GB, 7200 rpm.

But even civilians could find this lightweight device (starting at roughly four pounds) practical. The built-in keyboard drain protects from minor spills, so panic won’t need to set in after that grande soy latté or water you’re drinking gets better acquainted with the EliteBook’s keyboard. In a brief spill test, I poured a few ounces of water on the keyboard. The keyboard and touchpad stopped responding, but after shaking out the water and restarting the machine, it operated normally.

The EliteBook has multiple battery options ranging from a 9-cell (100 WHr) lithium-ion battery, 6-cell (62 WHr) lithium-ion battery, or HP Long Life 6-cell (55 WHr) battery. Do you need extended use on the device but have nowhere to recharge? Fear not — the EliteBook can stay charged for about 12 hours, making it perfect for long flights.

The laptop has a 12.5-inch, LED-backlit, high-definition display and magnesium alloy casing for added strength. All in all, the EliteBook is a lightweight yet sturdy notebook PC that packs enough power for everyday computing tasks. It was comfortable to use and ran multiple apps smoothly and quickly. EliteBook pricing starts at $1,329. 

Sarah Rich, Staff Writer Sarah Rich  |  Staff Writer

In 2008, Sarah Rich graduated from California State University, Chico, where she majored in news-editorial journalism and minored in sociology. Since 2010, Sarah has written for Government Technology magazine and covers a spectrum of public-sector IT topics, including cloud computing, transparency, broadband, and other innovative projects and trends. She currently lives in Sacramento, Calif.