Panasonic Toughbook U1



Fran Hildwine, BS, NREMT-P, CCEMT-P | | Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Available this fall, Panasonic's new 5" x 7" Toughbook U1 is a rugged Ultra Mobile Portable Computer (UMPC) that runs Microsoft XP or Vista on Intel's lightning fast, ultra-low power consuming Atom processor. The U1 weighs less than 2 lbs., features a 5.6" touch screen LCD, and can come packed with a two megapixel camera, bar-code reader, fingerprint verification, finger-swipe security and GPS capabilities. It's smaller than a laptop, but larger than a palm-sized unit, making it perfect for on-scene operations, such as MCI patient tracking, information queries, personnel accountability and rehab. The U1 uses a 32 GB solid state hard drive (64 GB to be available by early 2009) and can accept USB storage devices for easy data transfer. Its dual-battery system powers the computer for more than eight hours, with the user able to hot-swap either battery without having to power off. The QWERTY keyboard layout is split in the middle by a centrally located numeric keypad. Its magnesium-alloy frame is covered with a tough resin coating, and it can withstand a five-foot drop. There will be other UMPCs on the market, but it's doubtful they'll be able to withstand the emergency service environment like the U1.


Size: 5" x 7" x 2"

Weight: Less than 2 lbs.

Hard drive: 32 GB

Cost: $3,500 (fully loaded)


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