Panasonic Toughbook boasts Atom chip
Panasonic's new Toughbook CF-U1
Panasonic today unveiled the Toughbook CF-U1, the first ultramobile PC to integrate the new Intel Atom processor in a rugged handheld computer.
The Atom processor holds the current title as the world's smallest processor, with 47 million transistors on a single chip measuring less than 25 mm.
With a solid state hard drive, the CF-U1 was designed for those the company calls walking workers. Potential users include people who work in the construction and mining industries, oil and gas refineries, manufacturing facilities, and railroad yards. Additional targeted users include police officers, firefighters, other first responders and military personnel.
The CF-U1 also offers an LCD touch screen that is readable in sunlight, optional fingerprint scanner for user authentication, data capture via bar code and radio frequency identification readers, and a 2-megapixel digital camera. The Toughbook also offers connectivity with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G-mobile broadband Internet, said Kyp Walls, director of production management at Panasonic Computer Solutions.
The handheld unit runs on Windows XP and Vista platforms and features a backlit QWERTY keyboard.
'It's a full-blown computer,' said Jan Ruderman, vice president of government sales at Panasonic Computer Solutions. 'People want smaller computers, but they want them to be usable.'
Company officials call the CF-U1 their most rugged device yet. The handheld complies with Mil-Std-810F and IP54 specifications and is resistant to rain, spills, dust and vibration. It packs 9 hours of battery life into a 2.3-pound unit that measures 2.2 inches thick by 7.2 inches wide and 5.9 inches deep ' small enough to fit into a soldier's pocket.
The handheld will sell for $2,499 and be available worldwide in August.
Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.