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Feature-packed UMPC survives four-foot drops

May 26, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

Data Ltd announced a ruggedized UMPC (ultra-mobile PC) claimed to survive multiple four-foot drops onto concrete. The Linux-compatible “DLI 8400” uses a 1.6GHz Atom processor, has hard disk or SSD (solid state disk) storage, and operates for nine hours via two hot-swappable batteries, the company says.

(Click here for a larger view of Data Ltd's DLI 8400)

Data Ltd's DLI 8400 is aimed at applications such as field service, fleet management, warehousing, and building inspection, according to the company. The device has a sealed case that is protected by bumpers on all four corners, and rated to meet both the IP54 standard for repelling water and dust, and the MIL-STD810F standard for resisting shock, temperature, and vibration. The unit's polymer shell lets it survive multiple four-foot drops onto concrete, the company adds.

Data Ltd says the DLI 8400 is powered by an “industrial-class” Atom processor clocked at 1.6GHz, which we take to mean the Z530 with the usual SCH US15W companion chip. According to the company, the device comes with 1GB or 2GB of DDR2 RAM, and mass storage consists of shock-mounted, 1.8-inch hard drives in 60GB or 80GB capacities, or SSDs in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB sizes.

The DLI 8400 has a seven-inch display, with netbook-like 1024 x 600 pixel resolution, and a touchscreen that's available in either resistive or digitizer versions. Data Ltd. says the screen is “outdoor-readable,” and has a 400:1 contrast ratio. Below it, there's an LED-backlit, 35-key keyboard that's available in both QWERTY and numeric configurations.

So far, we've described the UMPCs core computing capabilities, but the DLI 8400 also comes with a surprisingly thorough bevy of add-ons. For starters, there's 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.0, plus an integrated cellular modem that's said to support both WCMDA and GSM, and to be compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon networks. Additional wireless capabilities include a GPS receiver based on the SiRF starIII chipset, an RFID reader, and — as if that weren't enough — a barcode scanner using Honeywell's Adaptus technology.

The DLI 8400 is also said to include a fingerprint reader and a three-track MSR (magstripe reader) for scanning credit cards and the like. Oh, and Data Ltd says the DLI 8400 packs dual two megapixel cameras, both with autofocus, one facing to the front and one to the rear.

The UMPC is described as VoIP-ready, with integrated dual microphones, dual speakers, and a 3.5mm microphone/headset jack. According to Data Ltd, it includes an RS232 port, three USB 2.0 connectors, a gigabit Ethernet port, plus pass-through connectors for an optional desktop cradle.

An available vehicle cradle includes a J1708/J1939 interface, designed to connect the DLI 8400 to a vehicle's engine control unit. Other listed options include a three-bay battery charger, and an external USB keyboard that is ruggedized and features backlit keys.

Finally, Data Ltd. says the DLI 8400 comes with two 2600mAh batteries, each hot-swappable, which jointly power the UMPC for about nine hours. Despite the dual batteries, the device weighs just over three pounds, the company adds.

Features and specifications listed by Data Ltd for the DLI 8400 include:

  • Processor — 1.6GHz Atom (likely the Z530)
  • Memory — 1GB or 2GB of DDR2 RAM
  • Storage — 60GB or 80GB hard disk drive, or SSD in 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB capacities
  • Display — 7-inch resistive or digitizer touchscreen display, with 1024 x 600 resolution, 400:1 contrast ratio, and outdoor readability
  • Keyboard — 35-key QWERTY or numeric keyboard, LED-backlit; fingerprint reader
  • Camera — 2 x 2-megapixel camera (one front-facing, one rear)
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Wireless:
    • LAN — 802.11a/b/g/n
    • WAN — WCDMA/GSM cellular modem
    • PAN — Bluetooth 2.0
    • GPS receiver
    • RFID reader
    • Barcode scanner

  • Other I/O:
    • 3 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x RS232
    • 3-track magstripe reader
    • Pass-through connectors for cradle

  • Expansion — SD slot
  • Battery — Dual 2600mAh battery packs, hot-swappable; nine hours of operation
  • Operating temperature — -20 to 60 deg. C (-4 to 140 deg. F)
  • Dimensions — 9.05 x 7.28 x 1.57 inches (230 x 185 x 40mm)
  • Weight, with both batteries — 3.1 pounds


According to Data Ltd, the DLI 8400 runs Linux 2.6 (Debian/Gnome), Windows XP Embedded, Windows XP Professional, or Windows Vista Business. The devices will be available late in the second quarter, priced starting at approximately $1,800, the company says. More information may be found on the Data Ltd website, here.

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