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.