The GoBook III adds GPS and wireless radios

No longer just a rugged notebook PC, the new GoBook III from Itronix Corp. of Spokane, Wash., can roam among four types of wireless networks and find its precise position with an optional, 12-channel Global Positioning System receiver embedded in the cover.

The 1.8-GHz Pentium M 745 unit has the upgradeable Common Radio Module Architecture, used by other notebook vendors such as Hewlett-Packard Co., for accessing IEEE 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth and wireless WANs. Itronix senior vice president Matthew Gerber said military users who need radio silence can remove the wireless radio chip through a back panel.

The 12.1-inch color display, protected by a latchless magnesium case, remains viewable in bright sunlight, and the keyboard glows in the dark. WinFast Navigator software graphically shows the signal strength from all visible GPS satellites.

Gerber said government users have requested a smart-card reader and a fingerprint scanner, which are options in the 8-pound, $4,495 rugged unit. 'It keeps running in the desert at 180 degrees,' he said.

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