GD Itronix Unveils Rugged Ultra-Mobile PC - InformationWeek

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GD Itronix Unveils Rugged Ultra-Mobile PC

The handheld device is meant as an alternative when the weight and size of a standard notebook is too large for use in the field.

General Dynamics Itronix plans to release in the fall an ultra-mobile PC with a twist.

The GoBook MR-1 weighs a couple of pounds and can fit in a jacket pocket. But this handheld device has been ruggedized to meet portability and durability requirements of select industrial/commercial and government applications. The ultra-mobile device -- or UMPC -- is meant as an alternative when the weight and size of a standard notebook is too large for use in the field.

The clamshell UMPC has a 5.6-inch LCD screen and runs Windows XP Pro. Machines with Windows Vista are scheduled for release by the end of the year. The new product is expected to be available with GD Itronix's DynaVue touch-screen technology as an option. Introduced in May, Itronix claims DynaVue improves the ability to read the screen outdoors, and reduces the amount of battery use.

Other specifications include a 1.2GHz Intel Core Solo U1400 processor, up to1GB of memory, and battery options for up to six hours of power. The device measures 6 inches wide, 4 inches deep, and about an inch and a half high. The machine is available with a 40GB hard drive, or a 16GB or 32GB solid-state flash memory drive. Because the solid-state drive machines have no moving parts, they more durable and use less power than standard rotating disk drives, the company said.

Like other GoBook models, the latest addition supports Wi-Fi, with cellular network support expected in December. For security, the new product features a user-removable, shock-mounted hard drive, and a fingerprint reader.

Pricing for the GoBook MR-1, which is set for release in September, is expected to start at $4,450, which includes a three-year warranty.

Computer makers are designing smaller and lighter PCs in order to make computing more mobile. Companies like Intel and Microsoft are behind the development of UMPCs offer convenience and good-enough features as an alternative to cumbersome full-feature notebooks. Computer makers launching UMPCs include Toshiba and Palm.

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