Black Diamond Advanced Technology has launched the SwitchBack PC, claimed to be the world's first rugged UMPC (Ultra Mobile Personal Computer). Measuring 7.5" x 5.5" x 2" and running a 1.0GHz Intel Celeron M processor, the SwitchBack comes with 1GB of 400MHz DDR2 and up to 60GB in the form of a removable hard drive.
The new computer can run Windows XP, Windows CE, Windows Mobile or Linux, packing the power of a desktop PC in a lightweight, handheld rugged form factor.
The body is encased in a magnesium housing and reinforced with rubber isolators and shock-mounted electronics, in a design that meets or excee military specifications (MIL-STD) for shock, vibration, humidity and extreme temperatures.
Equipped with a built-in thumb keyboard and a 5.6-inch WSVGA sunlight-viewable touchscreen with stylus, it can be used outside or on the go. Wireless capabilities are Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi b/g and GPS.
Initial markets for the product include the military, field service & utilities, transportation & logistics and public safety.
A detachable/attachable Module on the back can be used to extend functionality by adding hardware, devices or connector interfaces. Examples of Modules that can be easily added to the SwitchBack are additional processor, hard drive or battery, custom I/O options, fingerprint reader, RFID, Barcode Scanner or Mag Stripe Reader and others.
SwitchBack PCs will be available in Q2 2007. The company says the device will be capable of running multiple OS simultaneously or independently, within the selection of Windows XP, Windows Mobile, Windows CE and Linux.
The system can be used in a dual-boot configuration or run two OS simultaneously, allowing the user view data from two different programs. Through simultaneous program execution, the company says users will be able to perform simple tasks in parallel. For example view data from a program running on Windows XP and another Windows CE, on the same screen.
There is a catch though: SwitchBack PCs will be initially available with Windows XP systems only, with the ability to receive downloadable upgrades for dual processor and simultaneous task operation in Q2 2007.