Gobi wireless chipset to ship in Panasonic Toughbooks

Gobi technology will make it easier for IT managers to support a fleet of laptops

Qualcomm and Panasonic Wednesday announced that two Toughbook laptops will ship in October with Gobi, a chipset allowing laptops to function in multiple wireless modes.

Panasonic will be the fifth laptop maker to adopt the Gobi technology. Others who have said they will incorporate the chipset are Acer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo, Qualcomm officials said.

The Gobi chipset and Panasonic software will allow for connections to 3G cellular networks globally, helping mobile workers and the IT shops that support them by making it possible to reach more networks than with a single cellular data card or USB modem, Qualcomm officials said.

"For IT managers, it's easier to manage a fleet of laptops, since you can [use one chipset] and manage that connection totally by software," said Mike Concannon, senior vice president of product management for Qualcomm CDMA products. "Previously, if you wanted to provision a laptop, you had to physically swap out cards. Gobi doesn't lock in customers with a long-term proposition with one carrier."

He said laptop makers like using the Gobi chipset because they don't have to support multiple cards for a single network in multiple locations.

For an international traveler, the Gobi chipset means a Verizon CDMA wireless user in the U.S. could fly to London and switch to the HSPA network with the carrier Vodafone, Concannon said.

In all, Gobi supports EV-DO/EV-DO Rev. A networks in 850 MHz and 1900 MHz, HSDPA/HSUPA in 850 MHz, 1900 MHz and 2100 MHz, GSM/GPRS/EDGE in 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz, and standalone GPS.

Panasonic will support Gobi in its Toughbook 19 and Toughbook 30 laptops in October, and all of its Toughbook products in the first quarter of 2009, officials said. No pricing was announced, but Concannon said the Gobi chipset has dropped by half to about US$50, although that price may be reflected differently by suppliers.

Gartner analysts originally opposed embedded radios such as Gobi, but have endorsed their usage partly because of the increasing flexibility of carriers that are willing to adopt short-term contracts. Also, the embedded technology is now stable enough to be used for three years in a laptop, Gartner said in a recent report.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags gobi

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?