Fanless rugged devices: the next step in maximising efficiency and boosting productivity

Rugged devices offer resistance to the shocks, drops, vibrations and temperature changes consistent with field, workshop and construction site conditions. DURABOOK, the global rugged mobile solutions brand owned by Twinhead International Corporation, has launched its latest fanless rugged laptop and tablet models, the R8, U11I and Z14I, which proactively reduce dust transference. Fred Kao, CEO of Durabook answered some questions on their company and their products.

Please briefly explain the history of Twinhead/Durabook and its first uses (both in the military and within the public sector/emergency services).
DURABOOK is the core brand of Twinhead International Corporation in Taiwan, a world-renowned manufacturer of rugged mobile solutions. For many years, Twinhead was also the ODM partner for General Dynamics Itronics. In 2000, the company manufactured its first military-grade rugged laptop, followed by the introduction of the DURABOOK brand in 2002. After Itronics left the rugged industry, the DURABOOK line quickly expanded to meet the growing demands of customers across a broad range of markets that require rugged mobile solutions.

Today, Durabook devices have a loyal global customer base, including the U.S. Armed Forces, public safety agencies, numerous field service organizations, and companies that specialise in oil and gas, logistics, healthcare, utilities and automotive industries.

Since its founding in 1984, Twinhead International Corporation, now a publicly listed Taiwan company, has gained an enviable reputation as a major supplier of rugged computing devices with a commitment to developing cutting-edge products and solutions to meet the demands of a growing customer base.

The products have been used in the US in the military, and the public sector in Arizona, Texas and West Virginia.

Which emergency services are currently using Durabook products, and do you have any examples/case studies of their UK use?
Emergency services are the government’s frontline, safeguarding the security and the protection of all citizens in everyday and emergency situations. The deployment of cutting-edge mobile computer devices for remote communication has become a strategic asset through which public safety users can coordinate emergency responses, improve collaboration, and facilitate instant action – in real-time.

More challenging working environments and economic increases pose an increasing threat for emergency services providers. Arming these teams with advanced mobile devices equipped with the latest software is vital for increasing efficiency, boosting security, reducing downtimes and instilling trust, so today’s emergency crews can confidently fulfil their day-to-day duties.

Durabook U11I comes with 2 smart card readers and is specifically designed for the EMS sector.

U11I helps ambulance crews quickly access electronic patient records; transfer patient-specific information to the hospital before arrival; and make critical decisions. It includes an embedded smart card reader, and is the only rugged tablet available today with the option of adding a second smart card and RFID reader. This allows for secure user authentication and the safe collection and transfer of sensitive data. This feature has proven essential for quickly accessing historical patient information, recording diagnoses and securely sending data to the hospital or other health organisations before arrival so care and treatment can continue without delay.

Are there customised versions of operating systems for Durabook products, and how do they differ from the standard? Can any OS operate on Durabooks?
Durabook mobile devices are equipped with Windows operating systems as standard. However, we occasionally receive requests from our global customer base for other OS besides Microsoft Windows, especially Linux OS.

Durabook products support Linux OS, including, for example, recent Kernel builds from Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Ubuntu or Astra Linux.

If customers require OS other than Windows and Linux OS, Durabook can customize the system according to their needs.

With more than 35 years’ experience and knowledge of engineering innovative, high-performance personal computers and peripherals, Durabook products are built with modular design for easy additional functionality. For more extensive customized products, we provide a rich pool of design collaterals. From boards, displays to chassis, we can build to your need quickly and competitively.

From a hardware perspective, we believe we offer unlimited customization possibilities for all sectors and industries; for example, our rugged laptops offer the unique setup of two LAN ports (RJ-45) and two RS-232 serial ports. In addition, our tablets’ unique module expansion design can offer specific upgrades, such as an additional RFID reader, smart card reader and legacy ports, providing a unique design with a particular sector focus .

Aside from its ruggedness and portability, what are the particular advantages a Durabook device can bring to field operatives? How does the hardware differ?
Durabook always used the latest cutting-edge technology for its core line of rugged tablets and laptops. Since we work closely with Intel and Microsoft, we are able to provide the latest technology. Durabook is the first rugged player to introduce the world’s first rugged tablets with 12th Gen Intel® processor, 8” R8 and the 11” R11 fully rugged tablets.

Additionally, Durabook is the only rugged manufacturer offering fanless mobile devices – R8, U11I and Z14I.

These fanless laptops and tablets deliver multiple benefits, ensuring that users can operate in the most dusty or contaminated environments without risk to their computer or performance loss that can drastically impact productivity.

What future plans does Durabook have to enhance its products? Is there anything the company is currently working on that you can tell us/ give a sneak preview to CTB readers about?
Digitisation is booming everywhere – and companies are becoming increasingly aware of this. In a very short time, many had to change to accommodate remote access, video conferencing, collaborative tools, decentralized IT and cloud solutions. Meanwhile, employees needed to learn to work together no longer in person but virtually and flexibly. This brought the digital infrastructures into focus and required rapid changes.

In recent years, this trend has brought us more and more inquiries in specific, unique sectors for specialist applications. Therefore, Durabook focuses on niche markets, offering an even more compact and powerful solution.


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