DT Research WebDT 360 |
Lightweight mobile information appliance
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
DT Research, Inc., with headquarters in San Jose, California, develops and manufactures information appliances including tablet devices and digital signage solutions for vertical markets. There was a time when "web tablets" were supposed to be the next big thing and even Microsoft got into the act with its "Mira" platform. That did not go anywhere, but today products like the DT Research WebDT 360 and the slightly larger WebDT 310 are being used as light and handy solutions for many mobile computing applications.
What separates "information appliance" products like the WebDT 360 from more traditional Tablet PCs is that they are usually based on less powerful but more energy-efficient x86-compatible processor families from AMD, VIA and Intel. The WebDT 310 is based on the AMD Geode LX 800 processor that runs at 500 MHz and supports Windows CE, Windows XP Embedded, or standard Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. Depending on the OS, the WebDT 360 uses Flash, a hard disk, or a solid state disk. DT Research offers the WebDT Device Manager, a comprehensive software management tool to remotely manage networked WebDT appliances.
The WebDT 360 is smaller and lighter than it looks. Its magnesium-aluminum alloy housing has a footprint of 9.6 x 7.9 inches and is just 0.8 inchs thick (the protective rubber bumpers add some thickness). Weight is just over two pounds. The 8.4-inch SVGA (800 x 600 pixel) display has a resistive touch screen and can be ordered in a outdoor-viewable version. Standard connectivity includes USB, LAN, microphone and headset jack, video-out, and onboard Bluetooth and WiFi.
Options such as a magnetic stripe card reader, a 2-megapixel camera, and 1D and 2D barcode scanners allow configuration for a wide variety of uses in many fields including inventory and warehousing, education, manufacturing, healthcare, finance, retail, control and monitoring, and hospitality. It can either be carried arround, used in a variety of cradles, or mounted via standard VESA mounts in vehicles, on arms, carts, walls or just about anywhere else.