GoBooks go to Iraq

In the harsh deserts of Iraq, temperature extremes, sandstorms and bumpy terrain can be as hazardous to IT equipment as the enemy is.

Companies such as rugged notebook PC maker Itronix Corp. of Spokane, Wash., are experiencing a windfall of sorts as the military buys equipment that will be reliable in the harsh desert environment.

Matthew Gerber, Itronix vice president for business development, said the company is supplying its flagship GoBook II and GoBook Max as quickly as the military orders them.

'It's not so much the volume but the speed' with which the military needs them, Gerber said. 'You have an Army unit that needs 25 notebooks, and they need them in five days, because that's when the unit is shipping out. If you can't deliver them in time, they can't purchase them.'

So far, Gerber said, Itronix has been able to fill all the military orders, having set aside a certain quantity of notebooks for rapid deployment. Not only do U.S. troops need rugged, mobile equipment, he said, but so do the coalition forces. Gerber said the company recently delivered 100 GoBooks to the U.K. Ministry of Defense for use in Iraq.

The GoBook II has been popular with military units because of its removable hard drive and speedy Pentium 4 mobile processor'the fastest available for rugged notebooks, he said.

Itronix gives 24-hour technical support, although Gerber said the military does such a good job of providing its own tech support that Itronix's help is secondary.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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