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frontpath announces Linux-based portable information appliance

Sep 27, 2000 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

frontpath, inc. (Santa Clara, CA), a wholly owned subsidiary of S3 Inc., today announced ProGear, a wireless Linux-based portable information appliance targeted to vertical market segments. The device supports various rich media formats, includes a 10.4″ TFT display, and obtains user input via either virtual keyboard or handwriting recognition on its touchscreen. Its software consists of Linux 2.4x and Netscape 4.74, along with a complete set of utilities and diagnostics. Real Player, Macromedia Flash, Adobe PDF, and Java plug-ins are also included.

ProGear is powered by a 400 MHz Transmeta TM3200 (“x86”) processor. The device includes soundblaster-compatible audio, with microphone/headphone support. An integrated USB hub allows use with an external keyboard, mouse, of other USB devices. System memory is either 64 or 128 MB, and the unit is offered either with a built-in 6.4 GB hard drive or in a thin client version. The standard battery pack consists of a three-cell, three-hour lithium ion battery. A six-cell, six-hour battery is available as an option, as is a cradle with integrated charging station. The unit weights three pounds and is packaged in a thin, ergomonic magnesium case. The display is based on X11, and supports both portrait and landscape modes. The unique 360° display rotation capability was facilitated by the use of a Silicon Motion Lynx 3M display controller IC, supported by an image rotation display driver for XF86.

According to frontpath Director of Product Marketing, Ward Williams, the ProGear was targeted for use in specific vertical applications in markets such as health care, real estate, restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, etc. Single-unit pricing of the most popular configurations will be around $1500, with the flexibility to upgrade/downgrade features such as batteries, memory, cradle, access points, keyboard, and mouse. Beta units are scheduled to become available during Q4, 2000, with quantity shipments beginning during Q1, 2001. Volume discounts are available.

Technical Specifications

  • Linux 2.4x Operating System
  • Phoenix BIOS
  • Netscape Navigator v4.74 for Linux
  • Netscape – Linux Plug-ins
    • Real Player
    • Adobe PDF
    • Macromedia Flash
    • Java
  • Software Applications
    • X11 Server with support for screen rotation
    • Motorola Lexicus Handwriting Recognition
    • Touch screen virtual keyboard
  • Utilities
    • SW Update utility
    • ProGear Feature Control
    • Pop-Up Task Bar
    • ProGear Diagnostics
    • Screen control
    • Pen / HW calibration software

  • High Performance 400Mhz Transmeta TM3200 CPU with integrated power management
  • LCD Flat Panel Display: 10.4″ 800×600 (SVGA)
    TFT, standard; 10.4″ 1024×768 (XGA) TFT, optional
    • Removable/Customizable LCD Screen Cover
    • Touch Screen: Fault tolerant, 2kx2k, 5 wire resistive
    • Low gloss, Anti-reflective surface
  • 64MB or 128MB system memory
  • Optional 6.4 GB 2.5″ slim hard disk drive
  • I/O ports:
    • One CardBus / PCMCIA Type 2 Slot
    • One USB “host” port
    • IrDA V1.1 Hi Speed Infra-Red Port
    • Microphone, speaker, and earphone, & microphone jacks
    • Varapoint scrolling device w/center select
  • Battery: Lithium Ion 3 cell 1600 mAh (3 hours); optional upgrade to 6 cell 3200 mAh (6 hours)
  • Optional ProGear Docking Station
    • Charging bay, for extra battery charging
    • four additional USB ports (ex. mouse and keyboard)
  • Physical specs
    • Size: 9″ x 11″ x 1″
    • Weight: 3.2 lb
    • Operating Temp: 0°-35° C
    • Humidity: Up to 95% at 30° C
    • Altitude: Up to 10,000 feet

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