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Black Diamond launched first rugged UMPC

diamondruggedBlack Diamond Advanced Technology has launched the Switchback PC, the world's first rugged UMPC (Ultra Mobile PC). The company describes the 7.5 x 5.5 x 2 inch device as the next generation of rugged computing systems, sort of a "Toughbook that fits into pant pockets." While the Switchback PC follows the general Microsoft "Origami" UMPC platform, it clearly addresses an entirely different market. An integrated hardware keyboard makes data entry easier, the device uses a modular backend (hence the name "Switchback") to provide customized capabilities for different clients, and IP67 sealing and a 6-foot drop spec show that this is a computer for serious jobs. But there is more: Black Diamond plans on releasing the Switchbaack with not only a 1 GHz Celeron M processor to run Windows XP, the UMPC version, or even Linux, but also a secondary processor on its own board that runs Windows Mobile, similar to what DualCor had planned for its dual-platform device. Our take: We've felt from the start that the UMPC platform was uniquely suited for rugged applications and have been waiting for such an implementation. If Black Diamond can deliver on its ambitious plans, this may well set a new trend in rugged mobile computing

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