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Device profile: SONICblue ProGear wireless webpad

Oct 23, 2000 — by Rick Lehrbaum — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 220 views

SONICblue describes the ProGear (originally developed by Frontpath, Inc.) as “a wireless portable information appliance targeted to vertical market segments”. The ProGear uses Embedded Linux as its internal operating system, includes a 10.4″ TFT display, and obtains its user input via either a virtual keyboard or handwriting recognition on its touchscreen. The device is intended to provide an easy-to-use information appliance for a wide range of specialty applications, in markets such as health care, real estate, restaurants, hotels, and cruise ships.

Its software consists of Linux 2.4 and Netscape 4.7, 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 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.

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.

Technical Specifics

  • Mobile Linux 2.4 Operating System
  • Phoenix BIOS
  • Netscape Navigator 4.7 for Linux with plugin support
    • Real Player
    • Adobe PDF
    • Macromedia Flash
    • Java VM
  • Software Applications
    • X11 Server with support for screen rotation
    • 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″ 1024×768 pixels (XGA) TFT
    • Removable/Customizable LCD Screen Cover
    • Touch Screen: Fault tolerant, 2Kx2K, 5 wire resistive
    • Low gloss, Anti-reflective surface
  • 128MB system memory
  • Built-in 5.6 GB hard drive
  • I/O ports:
    • One CardBus / PCMCIA Type 2 Slot
    • One USB “host” port
    • IrDA V1.1 Hi Speed Infra-Red Port
    • Built in microphone and speaker, plus external audio in/out 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: 2.8 lb without battery; 3.5 lb with batteries installed

The device is available now, from SONICblue.

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