Xplore GeneSys Maximus
Sunshine capable, rugged tablet
by Rick Smith (November 28, 2001)
While tablet computers are here to stay, they are being pushed into outdoor environments where other competing technologies (including paper) don't work as well. Unfortunately, most of today's active LCD technology becomes very difficult to read in direct sunlight. Xplore Technologies has recently introduced a patented LCD technology that "feeds off" direct sunlight, to help alleviate this problem.
The GeneSys Maximus pen tablet uses an advanced 12.1" Active Matrix Color Transflective LCD that was engineered to provide optimal viewing in direct, intense sunlight. The brighter the sun is, the brighter the LCD becomes. The Maximus is the latest member in a family of rugged mobile computers from Xplore Technologies. This tablet was specfically designed for challenging outdoor mobile and field applications and a user-controlled backlight has been included to enhance the screen brightness when used in dimly lit or dark environments. This LCD technology will greatly enhance field worker's productivity, because they won't have to stop to shade the screen with their hands or search for the proper lighting conditions to read the screen. If you don't believe how useful this can be, take your color pen tablet (or laptop) outside and try to use it in direct sunlight.
This magnesium-cased, 5.0 lb GeneSys Maximus operates in extreme environments such as:
Temperatures extremes of -14 F to 140F
Four inches of rain per hour - 40 mph winds
Hundreds of extreme "off-road" miles
Shocks in excess of 40 g
These vibration, shock, rain, dust, humidity and temperature extremes easily exceed the "operational parameters" of the human using this tablet computer.
The standard configuration for the GeneSys Maximus is with a 500 MHz Mobile Intel Pentium III CPU, 128MB of SDRAM, a shock-mounted 10GB hard drive, 8MB of video RAM and a smart rechargable Lithium-Ion battery back. Through the use of advanced power management, this battery provides up to 6 hours of use. The GeneSys Maximus has an MSRP of $5,895 and will begin shipping during the last quarter of 2001.
It has a very cool "lights-out" mode for Law Enforcement and emergency situations, but other key features are:
Integrated wireless communications
Unit certified to MIL-STD 810F standards
A digitizer rated for over 35 million touches
Dual sealed USB ports directly on the unit
Programmable membrane keys
An ergonomic design that can be used in both mobile and fixed (vehicle) applications
Even the GeneSys Quick Release (GQR) Docking Station is engineered for extremes. These warm docking units provide typical port access including USB, serial, parallel, external monitor, PS/2 and speakers.
The best proof of ruggedness is that the GeneSys Maximus is backed by a 3-year warranty. To me, this proves that Xplore Technology truly believes in their product. (Many consumer laptops and electronics barely have a one-year warranty.)
© 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.