Black Diamond's ruggedized Switchback ultra mobile survives the CES "drop" test

Black Diamond's ruggedized Switchback ultra mobile survives the CES "drop" test

Summary: One of the big themes here at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is miniaturization. The ever shrinking size of memory and the ever increasing capacity of small hard drives has fueled "total packages" in smaller industrial design impelementations.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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Switchback PC

One of the big themes here at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is miniaturization. The ever shrinking size of memory and the ever increasing capacity of small hard drives has fueled "total packages" in smaller industrial design impelementations. In my discussions with Sandisk who showed me a 2GB microSD card that's smaller than a child's fingertip, I was told that they could actually make the microSD card smaller, but then, it would become impossible to handle. For example, grabbbing it and inserting into a slot. Loss is a big problem at sizes smaller than that too. Not only do shrinking memory footprints enable tiny but full featured music players like Sandisk's Sansa Connect, they're also enabling a wave of ultra-mobile PCs (UMPC) that offer most of the power of a regular notebook or desktop in a very small handheld device. Not surprisingly, UMPCs are here in force at CES. We've already got some video of Seamless Internet's SX-GEN and, currently, in our video pipeline, we have shots of new UMPCs from OQO and Samsung coming out (hint: the new Samsung Q1 uses solid state memory instead of a hard drive).

Among the UMPCs here at the show is Black Diamond's Switchback PC (pictured above left). The company claims that it's the world's first rugged UMPC. According to the brochure for the rugged UMPC, the Switchback and take beating. It's waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, vibration proof and it can sustain temperatures ranging from 32 to 122 degrees without going down. As you'll see in the video, I gave the Switchback the ultimate test. I dropped it on the conventional hall floor:

Topic: Hardware

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  • Just In Case the Worst Happens

    Yea, I need one of those. You know those times when your minding your own business, working on your device, and someone bumps into you? Actually I think JackHeads do that on purpose so that they can break your toy. Like back in High School. Anyway, the guy or girl bumps into you then apologizes as they're walking away, smiling. With this Switchback, I can just pick it up and follow them, till they get nervous and ask me: "Hey what are you following me for?". Then I can tell them: "Look! it still works (JackHead), so you don't have to worry about bumping into me ACCIDENTALLY". That would make me feel good... and I wouldn't have to resort to violence.
    FreeStyleWork
  • ..." a little extra rubber".....

    ....I'd be a little cheesed at that last comment, if I was buddy the salesman there....
    Feldwebel Wolfenstool
  • Shrinking electronics

    If they keep shrinking electronics they are going to have to come up with a way to shrink people. Now that's a thought, good for the environment
    mtn.brk9