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Atom-based portables run OpenSUSE Linux

Sep 22, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 23 views

TabletKiosk announced three portable computers running OpenSUSE Linux 11 on Intel Atom processors, two of them seven-inch UMPCs (ultra mobile PCs) with built-in Wacom digitizers. The UMPCs are the Eo a7330D and the ruggedized TufTab a7230XD, joined by the 12.1-inch Sahara NetSlate a230T tablet, according to the company.

TabletKiosk first introduced its Eo line of UMPCs in 2006, and offered its first Linux-ready model, the Eo TufTab c7112XT, in 2007. The company is once again offering OpenSUSE Linux on its latest Eo UMPCs, as well as on its new tablet, the Sahara Netslate a230T. All three of the new devices also support Windows Vista and Windows XP Embedded, and can be upgraded for free to Windows 7 Professional, says the company.

Eo a7330D and Eo a7230XD

The Eo a7330D and a7230XD UMPCs are both powered by the 1.6GHz Z530P version of the Intel Atom, which, like its 1.1GHz Z510P sibling, integrates heat spreaders to support wider temperature ranges, and is designed primarily for automotive use. Both devices offer 1GB of DDR2 SDRAM and an 80GB hard disk drive (HDD), with solid-state drives (SSDs) optional.

Eo a7330D
(Click to enlarge)

Both Eo UMPCs offer seven-inch displays, which can auto-switch between standard resistive touchscreens and the Wacom digitizers that are also included, TabletKiosk says. Offering 1024 x 600 touchscreen resolution and 1024 x 1024 pen input resolution in digitizer mode, the sunlight-readable displays can be rotated for automatic landscape/portrait adjustment, says the company.

Both UMPCs are said to offer Ethernet, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and dual USB ports. Other common features include dual, hot swappable battery packs and a TPM v1.2 security module.

Eo a7330D side view

(Click to enlarge)

While the a7330D is targeted primarily at hospitality, home automation, and industrial control applications, the ruggedized TufTab a7230XD is suitable for outdoor fieldwork, data collection, warehousing, mobile point-of-sale, and other harsh-environment applications, says TabletKiosk. Rated for MIL-SPEC-810F and IP54 ruggedization specifications, the a7230XD offers a wider temperature range than the a7330D, as well as various other differences, as detailed in the spec list below.

Eo TufTab a7230XD
(Click to enlarge)

The a7230XD adds a memory card reader, PCMCIA slot, and a 2-megapixel camera, but it provides only 10/100 Ethernet, while the a7330D offers 10/100/1000 gigabit Ethernet.

Options are also handled differently, with the a7330D letting users swap out one of the two USB ports for an interchangeable, hot-swappable USB expansion module, with choice of a bar code scanner, 3G wireless radio, or magnetic stripe reader. The ruggedized a7230XD instead offers optional RFID and barcode readers, presumably through the PCMCIA slot. In addition, both models offer optional docking cradles with slightly different features, including extra USB, serial, VGA, and Ethernet ports, and a battery recharging capability.

Eo TufTab a7230XD side view
(Click to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the Eo a7330D and Eo a7230XD include, with differences noted:

  • Processor — Intel Atom Z530P clocked at 1.6GHz
  • Chipset — Intel SCH US15WP
  • Memory — 1GB DDR2 SDRAM (533MHz) via 1 x SODIMM slot
  • Storage — 1.8-inch 80GB PATA Ultra DMA HDD (on 7230XD, includes G-sensor)
  • Display:
    • 7-inch display with LED backlighting and 1024 x 600 resolution
    • Dual-mode digitizer (both resistive and active)
    • Ambient light sensor for automatic brightness adjustment (a7230XD only)
  • Keys:
    • 4 x buttons, including reboot, screen rotate (a7330D only), and programmable
    • On/off buttons (a7330D only) for power, Bluetooth, and wireless
    • LEDs for power, battery, HDD, Bluetooth, and wireless
  • Camera (a7230XD only) — 2 megapixel camera
  • Networking:
    • LAN — 1 x gigabit Ethernet port (a7330D); 1 x fast Ethernet port (a7230XD)
    • WWAN — 3G/3.5G (optional on a7330D only)
    • WLAN — 802.11a/b/g/n
    • PAN — Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Other wireless interfaces:
    • GPS
    • RFID reader (optionally available on a7230XD only)
    • 1D/2D barcode reader (optional)
  • Other wired interfaces:
    • USB — 2 x USB 2.0 ports
    • Audio (3.5mm jacks for line out and line in)
    • Docking cradle connector
    • Modular expansion port (a7330D only)
  • Expansion:
    • 1 x 4-in-1 (MS/MS Pro/SD/MMC) Media Card Reader (a7230XD only)
    • 1 x PCMCIA Cardbus (a7230XD only)
    • Docking cradle (optional), adding:
      • 3 x USB 2.0 ports ( 4 x ports for a7230XD)
      • 1 x RS-232 port
      • 1 x VGA out
      • 1 x 10/100 Ethernet port
      • 1 x DC-in (AC-in for a7230XD)
      • 2 x battery charging slots
  • Weight:
    • a7330D — 2.56 lbs (1.16 k) with battery packs
    • a7230XD — n/s
  • Dimensions:
    • a7330D — 8.4 in x 5.5 in x 1.2 inches (213 x 140 x 29.5mm)
    • a7230XD — n/s
  • Power:
    • 100~240V, AC 47~63 Hz
  • Operating temperature:
    • a7330D — 41 to 95 deg. F (5 to 35 deg. C)
    • a7230XD — 4 to 140 deg. F (-20 to 60 deg. C)
  • Ruggedization support (a7230XD only):
    • Drop (Mil 810F-516.5, Procedure IV)
    • Water (Mil 810F-506.4, Procedure II; IP54 compliant)
    • Dust — (IEC 60529 IP-5X)
    • Vibration — (Mil 810F-514.5, Procedure I; ASTM 4169-99 Truck Assurance Level II, Schedule E)

Sahara NetSlate a230T

The Sahara NetSlate a230T is billed as an entry-level addition to TabletKiosk's Sahara Slate PC line of tablet PCs. The slate-style design is similar to that of its i400 series Slate PCs, but is powered by a more affordable, netbook-style Intel Atom N270 CPU. It offers 1GB RAM (upgradeable to 2GB), as well as a 100GB or 120GB HDD (with SSD optional).

Sahara NetSlate a230T
(Click to enlarge)

The 12.1-inch touchscreen offers 1024 x 768 resolution, and supports pen input, says TabletKiosk. Like the new Eo UMPCs, the Sahara NetSlate a230T supplies the faster, wider range 802.11a/b/g/n version of WiFi, as well as Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, dual USB 2.0 ports, and an optional built-in 3G/3.5G wireless module. The a230T is compatible with accessories created for the Sahara Slate PC i400 series, including the docking cradle, VESA mounting plates, batteries, and carrying cases, says TabletKiosk.

Sahara NetSlate a230T side view
(Click to enlarge)

Specifications listed for the Sahara NetSlate a230T include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom N270 clocked at 1.6GHz
  • Chipset — Intel 945GSE northbridge plus ICH7-M
  • Memory — 1GB of DDR2 RAM, expandable to 2GB via 2 x SODIMM slots
  • Storage — 2.5-inch 100GB or 120GB Ultra DMA SATA HDD (150MB/s)
  • Display:
    • 12.1-inch resistive touchscreen with 1024 x 768 resolution
    • Dual-display support; output to UXGA (1600 x 1200) with optional docking cradle
  • Keys:
    • 8 x buttons, including reboot, screen rotate, volume, wireless-mode toggle, and programmable
    • On/off buttons for power, Bluetooth, and wireless
    • LEDs for power, battery, HDD, Bluetooth, and wireless
  • Networking:
    • WLAN — 802.11a/b/g/n
    • PAN — Bluetooth 2.1
    • WAN — Optional Sierra Wireless MC8790 HSUPA PCI Express Mini Card for tri-band HSPA and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB 2.0 ports
    • Headphone and microphone jacks
    • Docking cradle connector
  • Weight — 3.6 lbs (1.62kg) with battery pack installed
  • Dimensions — 11.8 x 8.7 x 1.0 inches (300 x 220 x 26mm)
  • Operating temp. — 41 to 95 deg. F (5 to 35 deg. C)
  • Power:
    • 100~240V, AC 47~63 Hz, 20V DC output, 3.25A, 65 W adapter
    • Optional Lithium-Ion battery

Stated Martin Smekal, president of TabletKiosk, "Instead of pushing a 'one-size-fits-all' device that must be paired with external attachments, cords and dongles, the new eo a7330D with its modular expansion system can be easily and cleanly customized to perform specific business functions."


Both Eo models are available now for pre-order, with the Eo a7330D shipping in early October, and the Eo TufTab a7230XD slated for late October, says TabletKiosk, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sand Dune Ventures, Inc. More information on both Eo UMPCs may be found here.

The Sahara NetSlate a230T is available now. More information may be found here. Pricing was not detailed.

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