As the U.S. military becomes an increasingly mobile force, the trend is toward smaller, lighter and faster rugged computing devices that can handle demanding operational environments. Increasingly, the tools of choice for the military computer market are rugged convertible laptops and tablets designed for use in vehicles, on aircraft and by dismounted troops.Size, weight, power and cost continue to be important factors that military users consider when purchasing ruggedized notebooks, tablets and handhelds.Were getting pushed by DoD customers to come out with thinner, lighter products that are more mobile orientated than portable, said Jim Rimay, president of rugged device maker Getac. In the past, portable computers would be used in one place and then picked up and taken to another place. Now, were really seeing a push toward mobility. Even on the notebook side, the requirements for the size and weight of the products are adopting a mobile profile.While rugged laptops with greater processing power, memory, data storage, displays and expansion capabilities still have an important place in military computing, with the popularity of tablets like Apples iPad in the commercial marketplace, computer manufacturers that serve DoD customers have followed suit and scaled down the size of their products. However, the nonrugged iPad would not survive in the militarys harsh operational settings.