TabletKiosk ruggedizes UMPC

Microsoft's Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) platform was launched close to a year ago, and there are numerous UMPCs on display at CES. TabletKiosk is showing off a new ruggedized UMPC based on VIA's C7-M 1.2GHz processor and VX700N north bridge. The device sports an LED-backlit panel with an 800x480 resolution and 350 nits brightness, and there's an outdoor screen option for those looking to improve visibility in sunlight. A biometric fingerprint reader, PCMCIA and SD slots, GigE, and VGA output have also been added to the mix. Users can also choose between two and four-cell batteries that offer 2.5 and up to 3.75 hours of run time, respectively.

TabletKiosk isn't targeting its ruggedized UMPC directly at consumers, but anyone will be able to buy one through the company's web site. Be prepared for some sticker shock, though. Rugged doesn't come cheap, and the UMPC will sell for $1399.

Interestingly, TabletKiosk says that UMPCs could be a lot cheaper if they weren't running Windows. An $899 UMPC, they say, could sell for somewhere between $649 and $699 if it were running Linux. With that in mind, TabletKiosk is working on a Linux-based UMPC that they hope will be released in February. The company is writing all the necessary Linux drivers itself, and they're planning to release the source code to the public.

In addition to revealing its UMPC plans, TabletKiosk is also pushing a new 12" tablet that will eventually be available with a Core 2 Duo processor option. The tablet features Intel's 945 chipset, is Vista-compliant, and can accommodate 2.5 hard drives up to 7,200RPM and up to 4GB of memory.

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