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Panel PC has capacitive multitouch, multiple expansion bays

Dec 14, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

IEI announced a 15.6-inch panel PC that offers a capacitive touchscreen, modular expansion capabilities, and a choice of Intel or AMD processors. The AFL2-W15A features a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 or 1.5GHz AMD Athlon X2 Neo L325 CPU, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, hard disk or CompactFlash storage, a VGA port, and dual serial ports, the company says.

While it's too early to count resistive touchscreens out, capacitive screens — as popularized by Apple's iPhone and iPad — have been making steady progress in the panel PC market. IEI was a relatively early adopter, with models such as its 4.3-inch IOVU-430M and eight-inch AFL-F08A being released at the beginning of last year.

According to IEI, the glass-surfaced capacitive screens are "harder than steel," withstanding damage from fingernails or even knives. Capacitive also touchscreens allow 85 percent of the illumination from backlighting to pass through, as opposed to the 80 percent of resistive screens, IEI adds. And, the company claims, its projected capacitive panels are unlike surface capacitive models in that they may be operated by users wearing gloves.


IEI's new AFL2-W15A includes a 15.6-inch capacitive screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, a 250-nit brightness rating, and a 500:1 contrast ratio. An ambient light sensor is provided, and an infrared remote control can turn the display on and off, adjust its brightness, and adjust the volume of the device's internal stereo speakers, the company says.

Inside, the panel PC is offered with either Intel or AMD chipsets. According to IEI, the AFL2-W15A-N270 model provides Intel's single-core, 1.6GHz Atom N270 processor (with the usual 945GSE northbridge and ICH7M southbridge). An AFL2-W15A-L325 version, meanwhile, has a dual-core, 1.5GHz AMD Athlon X2 Neo L325 processor (with 780E northbridge and SB710 southbridge).

IEI notes that the AMD-powered version of the AFL2-W15A is expandable to 4GB of RAM, has two extra USB 2.0 ports, and also adds an HDMI port. The Intel-powered AFL2-W15A-N270 is limited to 2GB of RAM, but is the only version to provide an internal USB dongle and an eSATA port, the company says.

AFL2-W15A expansion modules

The otherwise-identical AFL2-W15A models both share a feature illustrated above: three slots for optional expansion modules. According to IEI, two "Type A" slots provide PCI Express x1 and USB 2.0 signals, while a single "Type B" slot offers parallel and serial signals.

Available Type A modules cited by the company include a Mini PCI Express card carrier, a gigabit Ethernet module, a USB 3.0 module, and a four-channel video capture module. A Type B module provides two serial ports, IEI adds.

Ports on the AFL2-W15A-L325
(Click to enlarge)

Even without any modules, the AFL2-W15A models both include a gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, an RS232 port, an RS232/422/485 port, and optional 8-bit digital I/O. (The AMD-powered version also has the additional USB and video ports noted earlier.)

According to IEI, the AFL2-W15A devices also offer a 2.5-inch bay for SATA drives and a CompactFlash Type II slot. The panel PCs each include a 1.3-megapixel webcam and an optional RFID reader (125KHz or 13.56MHz), says the company.

Specifications listed by IEI for the AFL2-W15A include:

  • Processor:
    • AFL2-W15A-N270 — Intel Atom N270 clocked at 1.6GHz
    • AFL2-W15A-L325 — AMD Athlon Neo X2 L325 (dual-core) clocked at 1.5GHz
  • Chipset:
    • AFL2-W15A-N270 — Intel 945GSE and ICH7M
    • AFL2-W15A-L325 — AMD 780E and SB710
  • Memory:
    • AFL2-W15A-N270 — supports up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM via single SODIMM slot
    • AFL2-W15A-L325 — supports up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM via dual SODIMM slots
  • Display:
    • 15.6-inch capacitive touchscreen
    • 1366 x 768 pixels
    • 250-nit brightness rating
    • 500:1 contrast ratio
  • Storage — 2.5-inch bay for SATA devices
  • Expansion:
    • 2 x Type A and 1 x Type B expansion modules
    • CompactFlash slot
    • internal USB dongle (AFL2-W15A-N270 only)
  • Networking — 1 x gigabit Ethernet
  • Other I/O:
    • VGA port
    • HDMI port (AFL2-W15A-L325 only)
    • 1 x eSATA (AFL2-W15A-N270 only)
    • 1 x RS232
    • 1 x RS232/422/485
    • 2 x USB 2.0 (Intel model) or 4 x USB 2.0 (AMD model)
    • 1 x 8-bit digital I/O (optional)
  • Power:
    • 12VDC via 60Watt AC adapter
    • Consumption:
      • AFL2-W15A-N270 — 51 Watts
      • AFL2-W15A-L325 — 68 Watts
  • Operating range — 14 to 122 deg. F
  • Dimensions — 15.75 x 10.5 x 2.2 inches (400 x 267 x 55mm)

Further information

IEI did not release pricing or operating system support details for the AFL2-W15A. More information on the devices, which appear to be available now, may be found on the AFL2-W15A product page.

Jonathan Angel can be reached at [email protected] and followed at

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