Palm/hand top computers
What do you get when you cross a PDA with a notebook or Tablet PC? Answer: handheld computers of an in-between size that have no problems running Windows XP and are usually equipped with a built-in hard disk, Wi-Fi, USB functionality and touch screens.
Popular with on-site engineers, law enforcement and other field-staff, ruggedised portable computing devices continue to gain a niche following.
There are special ruggedised alternatives of standard notebooks, tablet PCs and even PDAs available from a variety of vendors, but in Australia, Panasonic's ToughBook range continues to lead the way.
Ruggedised notebooks are not to be confused with standard, well-built notebooks that feature magnesium alloy casing, splash/water-resistant keyboards and shock-mounted hard disks: ruggedised notebooks can feature drop and sometimes-bullet proof casing, dust protected sealed connector covers, extra security and more. The downside is that such extra features usually cost quite a bit more and the specifications of the machines are usually a little behind the curve.