Support: A Laptop Designed for the Battlefield


p> May 9, 2007: The U.S. Department of Defense is introducing an ultra portable laptop computer this year. The two pound Falcon measures 4.5 by 6.1 by 1.4 inches and has a 5.6 inch, 1,024x600 pixel display that can be read in daylight. The Falcon has a 1.2 Ghz Core Solo CPU and half a gigabyte of RAM, USB port, minicard port (for wireless communications capabilities) and a 80 gigabyte hard drive. The Department of Defense is buying them for about $3,600 each. The standard battery lasts three hours, but a larger one gives six hours. The Falcon is ruggedized to deal with rough handling. There will be a vehicle mount available, that will plug the Falcon into the vehicle power supply. This small laptop is designed to give users all the functionality of a full size laptop in a small, rugged, package. A commercial version will be available for $4,500.


Laptops became prominent on the battlefield at the start of the 21st century. The small computers are used to hold maps and other data commanders need to run battles. Other laptops are used to control UAVs. The most recent models of military radios can connect with laptops to provide an Internet connection. Many, if not most, troops, take a laptop with them when they go overseas. But these are commercial models, usually with a wide screen for DVD viewing and game playing, and weighing six pounds or more. Falcon, at two pounds, is for fighting. 


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