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June 26, 2008

Panasonic Intros CF-U1 Handheld Ultra Mobile PC

By Shamila Janakiraman, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Panasonic (News - Alert) Computer Solutions Company announced the launch of a handheld PC which is suitable for field workers due to its small size although it exhibits all the features of a full-size laptop computer.

The new ultra-mobile PC (UMPC), part of Panasonic’s Toughbook product line, has been dubbed the CF-U1. It measures 7” wide by 6” deep by 2” high and features a 4.6” touch screen that is viewable in sunlight.
The device also has a QWERTY keyboard, and includes Intel’s (News - Alert) new low-energy Atom processor with 1GB memory. The portable Toughbook CF-U1 enables remote workers to gain access to critical information so that they can make decisions while working in the field.
“Panasonic has always been at the forefront of making mobile computing technologies work for users in all conditions,” said Rance Poehler, president at Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, in a statement. “We were the first to deliver rugged notebooks in a standard form factor, the first to create a rugged convertible tablet and we have made incredible leaps in mission-critical business computing with our innovations in semi-rugged desktop replacement and sub-notebook technologies.”
Poehler added: “The ultra mobile rugged U1 is another example of how we take advances in mobile technology and make them reliable advances, with new product categories designed for users on the frontiers of mobility where value is truly driven for organizations.”
Panasonic developed the product based on feedback collected from government and commercial organizations. Its features also include solid state drive, optional fingerprint scanner for user authentication and data capture, and a 2-megapixel digital camera.
A full-shift battery life, seamless connectivity with WiFi, Bluetooth and 3G-mobile-broadband internet connectivity are other features of the Toughbook CF-U1. These are encased in a rugged package offering high reliability.
The Intel Atom processor has 47 million transistors on a single chip, delivering performance and long battery life.
“The Intel Atom processor delivers high performance at dramatically low power while maintaining PC compatibility and enabling the best experience in small devices,” said Anand Chandrasekher (News - Alert), Intel senior vice president and general manager of the company’s Ultra Mobility Group.
“Intel’s low power technologies, combined with Panasonic’s longstanding leadership in rugged PCs, are making it possible for mobile field workers to be more productive while reducing TCO for the IT manager,” he added.
The Toughbook runs Windows XP and Windows Vista operating systems. Its  magnesium alloy chassis provides protection from drops and bumps with the solid state drive offering reliability and increasing the CF-U1’s operating temperature range.
Shamila Janakiraman is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Shamila’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

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