Thursday, September 23, 2010

U1 With Sunlight Viewable Screen

Remember Panasonic's Toughbook CF-U1? Yeah, so it's been a while (2008, in fact) since it was unveiledand then reviewed, which is exactly why Panny thought the time had come to update the rugged UMPC. Its Toughbook U1 has the same magnesium alloy chassis -- we're told it's still the most rugged Toughbook of them all -- but has been updated with "enhanced sunlight viewability." It's no PixelQi display, but the TransflectivePlus screen can be cranked up to 6000 nits for checking e-mails and other pertinent information in the bright light of day. Internally, the U1 has acquired a newer 1.6GHz Atom Z530 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a larger 64GB SSD with Windows 7. The optional two megapixel front-facing camera has also been tweaked with better auto-focus and white balance features. However, the updates aren't just hardware-based: screen icons have been enlarged, and there's a new virtual right click button and larger virtual keyboard with a zoom mode. Of course, military grade doesn't come cheap -- the street price has been set at whopping $2,799. That still makes it one of the most expensive Atom device out there, but then again can you really put a price on something that's Rammer-resistant? We didn't think so.