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Ruggedized convertable notebook targets field personnel

Aug 24, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 14 views

Kontron has introduced a ruggedized convertible notebook, aimed at law-enforcement officers and other field personnel. The NotePAC Duo features a fanless, magnesium case design and a 1.2 GHz Core Duo processor, the company says.

(Click for larger view of the NotePAC Duo)

Like other convertible notebooks, the NotePAC Duo offers a resistive touchscreen display that pivots and folds flat to form a tablet. It is available in both 10.4-inch XGA (1024 x 768 pixel) and 12.1-inch WXGA (1280 x 800 pixel) LCD versions, the company says.

Kontron also offers the option of an even-more rugged display, which requires a stylus and has a protective digitizer screen. This version is claimed to offer “extreme dirt resistance for hard-core outdoor usage.”

The NotePAC Duo offers twin PCMCIA slots

Both sizes of display are said to be available in sunlight-readable versions. The NotePAC Duo also provides a built-in light sensor, automatically adjusting screen brightness according to prevailing ambient light. For dark, inclement conditions, a rubber keyboard with LED backlighting is also offered, the company says.

According to Kontron, the NotePAC Duo's 4.8-pound chassis is fully MIL-STD810-F compliant and IP54 dust and rain protected. The unit ships with a shock-mounted 120 GB hard drive, which is removable for replacement or safekeeping.

The company says it supplies the NotePAC Duo with Windows XP Pro — or Windows XP Tablet 2005, for digitizer-equipped models — installed on the hard drive. However, for those wishing to run Linux or another standard x86 OS, the company will likely offer the NotePac Duo without an OS pre-installed, as it does with the very similar NotePac (a “non-convertible” variant).

The NotePAC Duo comes with two PCMCIA slots — one 16-bit PC Card, and one 32-bit CardBus. It also features an SD card reader.

Kontron says the NotePAC Duo comes with a gigabit Ethernet port plus 802.11a/b/g wireless networking. Bluetooth 2.0 is optional, and cellular modems are also available.

Other internal options include a smart card reader (which occupies one PCMCIA slot), plus a choice of either a 1.3 megapixel digital camera or GPS with an internal antenna (there isn't room for both at once).

Finally, Kontron offers a vehicle docking station that provides power and pass-through ports for GPS and wireless antennas. An external 12-32V DC/DC adapter supports in-car operating and charging.

Specifications include:

  • Processor — Intel Core Duo U2500 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, with 2 MB L2 cache and 533 MHz front-side bus
  • Memory — one SO-DIMM socket fitted with 512 MB or 1 GB of RAM; accepts up to 2 GB
  • Storage — 2.5-inch 120 GB SATA hard drive
  • Display:
    • Intel GMA 950 graphics chipset, 128 MB shared video memory
    • 10.4-inch XGA (1024 x 768 pixel) LCD (standard)
    • 12.1-inch WXGA (1280 x 800 pixel) LCD (optional)
    • Sunlight-readable 10.4- or 12.1-inch TFT display (optional)
    • Digitizer touch-screen with stylus pen (optional)
  • Networking — 1x LAN 10/100/1000, RJ-45 connector
  • Wireless:
    • 802.11a/b/g
    • Wireless Modem HSDPA/EVDO (UMTS/GPRS/GSM, optional)
    • Bluetooth 2.0 (optional)
  • Other I/O ports:
    • 1 x modem (RJ-11 connector)
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x serial (RS-232)
    • audio in/out connectors
    • 1 x VGA
  • Expansion:
    • PCMICA sockets – 1 x Type III or 2 x Type II (consist of 1 x 16-bit PC-Card interface, 1 x 32-bit CardBus interface)
    • SD Card reader
    • port for vehicle docking station
  • Power:
    • Auto sensing, 100-240V, 50-60Hz, 40W AC adapter
    • removable Lithium-Ion battery, 5200 mAh, 11.1 Volt, 6-cell (standard)
    • 7800 mAh, 11.1 Volt, 9-cell Lithium-Ion battery (optional)
  • Weight — 4.8 pounds (2.2 kg)
  • Dimensions — 11.1 x 8.7 x 1.9 inches (284 x 221 x 48 mm)
  • Operating temperature – 0-55 degrees C, or -20-55 degrees C with optional hard drive heater
The NotePAC Duo is available now in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region, though pricing was not provided. U.S. availability is not yet scheduled, according to the company.

Kontron acquired ruggedized PC specialist Dolch in 2005.

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