New Panasonic computer designed for rough environments
July 1, 2008
A fully-capable personal computer would be a handy piece of equipment for any mobile field worker, especially those who are limited to handheld devices that offer one-dimensional capability. Panasonic...
A fully-capable personal computer would be a handy piece of equipment for any mobile field worker, especially those who are limited to handheld devices that offer one-dimensional capability. Panasonic has tried to fulfill that need with its Toughbook series of mobile personal computers.
Panasonic recently launched the Toughbook U1 -what it considers to be the first ultra-mobile PC (UMPC) with Windows XP and Vista operating systems, which gives field workers remote access to un- limited software versatility.
“I think it will have a pretty big impact on the trucking industry overall,” says Bill Presler, the senior business development manager for Panasonic. “This new device is combining the functionality of products, into something that literally goes into the palm of your hand.”
The UMPC has been designed to thrive in an environment as diverse as construction sites, mining operations, oil and gas refineries, manufacturing facilities, railroad yards, and storage warehouses.
“The form and functionality is a direct result of more than two years of feedback we solicited from an array of government and commercial organizations seeking to address the needs of a broad range of mobile users,” says Kyp Walls, director of product management for Panasonic. “We’ve responded with a highly portable and durable device that offers completely integrated features such as an LCD touch screen, solid state drive, as well as an optional fingerprint scanner for user authentication and 1D and 2D barcode readers, and 2MP digital camera for data capture. The U1 offers full-shift battery life, a daylight-readable screen and seamless connectivity with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G mobile broadband Internet connectivity all within an extremely rugged package for maximum reliability.”
Panasonic indicates that workers will now be able to connect to critical information and various applications on the job, improving organizational efficiency, increasing information accuracy, and enabling field-based decision-making. The U1 features a “thumb-friendly and backlit QWERTY” keyboard, that is intended to make data input fast and easy. As well, the new UMPC offers an all-weather design that allows for use in inclement weather, and a “fanless” system that reduces noise, weight and “eliminates points of failure.”
The Panasonic Toughbook U1 UMPC will be available worldwide in August. The base U1 model is expected to be available at an estimated retail price of US$2,499, from authorized Panasonic resellers and distributors.
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