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Toughbook H1 Medical Clinical Assistant
Panasonic on Tuesday introduced a rugged handheld computer for health-care professionals.
The Toughbook H1 medical clinical assistant is the first device of its kind to use Intel's low-power Atom processor, according to Panasonic. The ultra-mobile PC has no physical keyboard, using only a touch-screen display for an interface.
Panasonic also offers convertible tablet PCs and other devices for health-care professionals. The medical industry is key target of growth for computer makers as doctors and hospitals slowly move from paper to electronic documents that hold patient information. Panasonic competitors include Motion Computing, which makes the Motion C5.The latter system is powered by a 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Solo U2200 processor.
Intel has been developing mobile technology for the health-care industry for the last four year. Among its offerings is a reference architecture for mobile clinical assistants, which was used by Panasonic in developing the H1.
The latest Panasonic device has six hours of battery life, dual hot-swappable batteries, a standard daylight viewable touch screen and optional Gobi technology for accessing wireless carriers' broadband networks. The H1 is 10.4 inches wide, 10.6 inches high and 2.3 inches at its thickest point. The system weighs 3.4 pounds and is available with an optional global positioning system.
Powered by a 1.86 GHz Z540 Atom processor, the device includes an 80 GB hard drive, 1 GB of system memory, and integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless technology. There are also a fingerprint scanner, smartcard and bar code readers, a 2.0 megapixel camera and a rugged chassis that Panasonic says is capable of withstanding a three-foot drop.
The Toughbook H1 is scheduled to be available in January 2009. The estimated street price is $2,999.