NEC launched its latest Tablet PC this week. The "Shield Pro" survives dunking, dropping and extreme temperatures, which was demonstrated when executives poured a bottle of water over the computer while it was operating.
The "Shield Pro" FC-N21S Tablet is rated to IP54, an environmental protection rating developed by the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization. IP54 signifies that the machine is protected against ingress of dust at levels that would harm operation and also against splashes of water from all directions.
It can be dropped from waist height onto a hard surface and survive, as NEC also demonstrated at the news conference . NEC guarantees the machine will be safe when dropped as long as the drop is not more than three feet, the machine is switched off and the lid is folded down.
The computer has a 12.1-inch touch panel LED-backlit screen and at its heart is an Intel Core Solo processor running at 1.2GHz. NEC considered using a Core Duo processor, but the desire to keep the PC fanless meant that it wasn’t possible to use a more powerful chip because of the amounts of heat it would generate.
Users get to choose between a 60GB Serial ATA or 40GB Ultra ATA hard-disk drive and for the operating system users can choose between Windows XP Professional or Linux. The "Shield Pro" will go on sale in Japan in January for between $2165 and $2600. NEC is still considering its international sales plans.