Panasonic this week introduced several upgrades to its existing Toughbook 19 rugged convertible tablet PC, including the addition of an Intel Core i5 540UM processor clocked at 1.2GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 2.0GHz).
Other features include 2GB of DDR3 memory (expandable to 8GB), a 10.4-inch LED backlit touchscreen display, 160GB SATA hard drive (optional 128GB SSD), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, two USB 2.0 ports, SD card slot, and other ho-hum specs.
The real selling point here is the rugged design. According to Panasonic, the Toughbook 19 exceeds the MIL-STD-810G certification and can withstand a six-foot drop. The hard drive is shock-mounted and the magnesium alloy case has been certified for all kinds of nasty conditions, such as sand storms and heavy rain.
The Toughbook 19 is available now starting at $3,400 street.
As any videogame player getting ready to choose to an on-screen character will tell you, speed and toughness don't always go hand-in-hand. But that isn't the case with LaCie's new Rugged 3.0 USB mobile hard drive which, according to LaCie, boasts the fastest interface on the market.
The result is speeds of up to 110MB/s, which is pretty darn fast. In fact, that's three times as fast as the speed of USB 2.0, allowing you to transfer an HD movie in its entirety in less than 3 minutes rather than the more than 8 minutes it would take via USB 2.0.
"We are pleased to add USB 3.0, the fastest interface available, or our most recognized mobile solution," says Anne-Sophie Marchand, Consumer Product Manager. "Now the most demanding customers can get the best performance out of a 2.5-inch hard drive -- making the Rugged USB 3.0 the only hard drive necessary for work in the field."
The Rugged drive comes encased in a scratch resistant aluminum shell. Combined with internal shock absorbers and a shock resistant rubber bumper, LaCie says its new drive can withstand drops up to 2.2 meters (about 7.2 feet).
LaCie sells the Rugged USB 3.0 in 500GB capacity for $150.
Even without Flash support, a USB port, and a user-changeable battery, Apple's iPad is a pretty slick device, but it wouldn't stand a chance out in the battlefield or other extreme conditions. Sand, water, and shock would render the iPad a pricey paper weight, but that isn't the case with AIS's new Ruggedized Military Tablet PC line.
There are different sizes to choose from, including a 10.4-inch model with an Intel Atom N270 processor inside. The whole contraption comes enclosed in a rugged Alu-Mg alloy housing with individually sealed ports for complete IP54 waterproof and dustproof protection. According to AIS, the unit has also been engineered to Military 810F shock, vibration, temperature, humidity, dust, and drop standards, making it an ideal candidate for true mobile warriors.
AIS also claims you'll have little trouble seeing the touchscreen in direct sunlight thanks to "utilizing the latest in high-brightness and Transreflective technology," a feature we'd love to see other tablet makers adopt.
At a glance, it might hard to take Panasonic's new H1 Field too seriously. After all, it looks like you could find one in Toys-R-Us right between the LeapPad and those gimmicky cartoon character notebooks. But upon closer inspection, you'll see this is nothing of the sort.
Panasonic's H1 Field is actually a ruggedized tablet that's part of the company's Toughbook series. The H1 Field can withstand a 6-foot drop, scorching hot or freezing temperatures, and even a bit of water. It even boasts a sunlight-viewable dual-touch LCD designed to recognize both finger and stylus input. Try doing all that with your LeapPad.
Unlike anything else you're likely to find in the toy section, the H1 Field comes equipped with an Intel Atom Z540 processor (1.86GHz), 2GB of RAM, a 64GB reinforced flex-connect SSD, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RFID reader, and other odds and ends.
Panasonic says the H1 Field will start shipping in March with an estimated street price of $3,379.
GammaTech is poised to release the Durabook D14 E-series ultra rugged laptops. Overall the new model is fairly similar to the older D14RM, but this one will come equipped with a full 1TB of hard drive space. The manufacturer claims the system will be resistant to drops, spills, and dust accumulation thanks to the magnesium case and anti-shock materials. That’s a lot of storage that you can toss around with reckless abandon.
Other specs include a 14.1 inch widescreen display, Core 2 Duo CPU, and up to 8GB of RAM. The terabyte of storage comes in the form of two 7200RPM 500GB hard drives. Customers will be able to choose either RAID-0 or RAID-1 configurations; users may also forego RAID all together and use the disks independently.
GammaTech has not announced pricing yet, but expect it to be high. The D14RM ran about $1500 without the huge hard drive capacity. Can you see yourself ever buying one of these rugged laptops for business or personal use?
Have you ever found yourself in a life or death situation where you simply couldn’t take your gloves off to operate a touch screen? Well probably not, but Ultra rugged-PC maker Getac who primarily supplies computer hardware to the police, military, and other field service organizations feels this is a market that is clearly under served, and is hoping to fill a niche with its new V100 convertible tablet PC. The V100 will be the first tablet PC on the market to sport a brand new resistive multitouch display, which unlike the capacitive screens found in the common iPhone, works even when you can’t operate the display with your bare fingers.
The inspiration behind the tablet is to bring multitouch computing to non-traditional markets, and take advantage of the increased compatibility that is being added in Windows 7. “Our customers work in some of the most extreme environments and weather conditions where touch screen technology and flick gestures are faster, safer and more convenient than using a keypad,” said Jim Rimay, president of Getac in a statement.
With regards to the internal specs on the V100 it will contain a full size keyboard, sunlight-readable 10.4 inch TFT LCD, and an ultra-low voltage 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. On the outside it features a magnesium-alloy case making it vibration, dust, moisture, and even drop resistant. Pricing for the V100 will start at around $3,499 with an extra $225 for the multitouch display. It is expected to go on sale at the end of November.
Motion's rugged new J3400 all-in-one tablet PC is being billed as "the ultimate computing tool" for anyone wo needs a "robust device" for both indoor and outdoor use. And it's hard to argue that claim, given that it comes equipped with two battery compartments for all-day battery life and a 12.1-inch widescreen outdoor display with Motion's View Anywhere technology.
"The J3400 was developed based on more than seven years of tablet PC experience, and feedback from customers across industries," said David Altounian, president and CEO, Motion Computing. "It is a mobile computing device with the capabilities our customers are demanding – a powerful processor with a compact rugged design that supports users who must be productive whether in the field or in the office."
From a hardware standpoint, the J3400 comes with an Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400 (1.4GHz) or SU9300 (1.2GHz) Ultra-Low Voltage (ULV) processor, up to 4GB of RAM, shock-mounted 80/120GB HDD or 74GB SSD, 2MP camera, GPS, multi-card reader, Wi-Fi, and various other goodies.
Helped in part by its rubberized coating, Motion says its J3400 comes IP52 and MIL-STD-810F rated and is tested for real-world, field-ready conditions.