Just days before the launch of Microsoft's Windows 7, Fujitsu has introduced five new touch-emphasizing mobile PC offerings - two convertible tablet PCs, a notebook, an ultra-thin notebook and a netbook - that will run the new operating system.
Paul Moore, Fujitsu senior director of mobile product management, said Fujitsu has been working with pen input for years, and that the availability of an OS that supports both pen- and touch-input "opens the floodgates." Windows 7, he told eWEEK, is "quicker, more secure, easier to network, easier to setup and it supports multitouch."
Health care is a particular market that can benefit from the combination of touch- and pen- input combined with multitouch, and Moore offered the example of a physician meeting with a patient: viewing the patient's records vertically, turning the tablet PC horizontally to view an X-ray, and quickly pinching or expanding his or her fingers to take a closer look at the image.
"There's a lot of intuitiveness here," said Moore, and with built-in connectivity, "There's no more, -Can you get me that chart?' By the time the patient leaves the office, the prescription is at the pharmacist.'"
Police officers, too, could benefit from the option of a touch screen while driving, but also pen input to enter details once they've pulled someone over - or to collect a driver's signature.
The LifeBook T4310 and T4410 are both convertible tablet PCs with bi-directional hinges. The T4310, for consumers and students, is available with multitouch input, while the enterprise-minded T4410 offers a choice of pen-only input or both pen and multitouch input.
The T4310, in its lightest configuration, weighs 4.2 pounds with a 12.1-inch WXGA LED backlight display. There's a full-size spill-resistant keyboard with touchpad, a stylus with eraser functionality, a modular bay with quick release, and an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. Fujitsu's Touch Launcher technology offers an on-screen way to launch applications and perform tasks, and the T410 additionally includes a webcam with microphones, an integrated fingerprint sensor and Windows 7 Home Premium.
The glossy, black T4310 will be available Oct. 30 for a starting price of $1,099.
The silver-and-black T4410 also features a 12-inch screen, but comes with an optional WXGA LED backlit display and wide-viewing angles. It starts at 3.9 pounds and offers all the features of the 4310, plus enterprise-geared features such as embedded TPM and port replicator support.
The T4410 runs Windows 7 Professional, Vista Business and is offers a downgrade option for XP. It's available immediately and starts at $1,299 with an active digitizer and $1,299 with a dual-digitizer.
The P3010 is a 3.5-pound, $549 ultra-thin notebook.
"Netbooks have their challenges," said Moore. "There are challenges with the screen, the keyboard, performance. So we came up with P3010. It has an 11.6-inch screen, a [1.6GHz] AMD ULV processor... and a spill-resistant keyboard and dust filter."
The dust filter is unique to Fujitsu.
"We're finding that people put [their notebooks] on the floor, on the grass, on their laps, so the fan acts as mini dust buster," said Moore. "You can put your finger in the [dust trap to clean it] and blow it off. It keeps your fan cleaner, and in a year you don't have a whirling, overheating machine."
There's no optical drive on the P3010, but an external DVD is available. Bluetooth is included, as is 2GB of memory, a 320GB hard drive, a webcam, three USB ports and Atheros BGN Wireless connectivity.
Featuring Windows 7 Home Premium, the P3010 will be available for purchase at the end of October, with delivery in mid-November.
Fujitsu is also debuting two versions of its desktop replacement LifeBook A1220 notebook, one with DVD re-write, for $749, and the other with Blu-ray, for $999. They feature 15.6-inch wide screens with Crystal View HD display; Intel Core 2 Duo processors; 4 GB of DDR3 (double-data-rate 3) memory that's expandable up 8GB; 500GB, 5,400rpm SATA hard drives; and 500GB 802.11N wireless and Bluetooth connectivity.
Webcams, the dust filter, an HDMI port and 4 USB ports are also on board. Both versions run Windows 7 Home Premium, and are said to be available immediately.
Last but not least - and despite the challenges of netbooks - Fujitsu is refreshing its netbook line with the M2011, a 10.1-inch netbook with a WSVGA display, an Intel Atom 280 processor, a Windows 7 Starter operating system, a webcam, 1GB of memory and a 250FB hard drive.
There's a six-cell battery for up to six hours of battery life, and connectivity options include built-in Atheros 802.11 b/g/n wireless and Bluetooth.
The M2011 is available immediately, for a starting price of $449.