VAI Offers Panasonic Toughbooks to ERP Customers
April 21, 2009 Alex Woodie
VAI last week announced that it will begin selling Panasonic‘s line of Toughbook computers to its ERP customers. With a magnesium alloy case, high-contrast LCD screen, and an array of wireless networking gear, Panasonic’s Toughbook line is ideal for customers who work in harsh environments.
With customers in distribution, construction, manufacturing, and other industries not necessarily known for calm, idyllic, yoga-inducing settings, VAI figured it would do well to offer customers a PC that’s as tough and resilient as the System i-based ERP system on which they have come to rely. The search ended at Panasonic, which, in addition to making excellent plasma monitors and cordless telephones, is also in the business of making notebooks PCs that can survive a having a brick dropped on them.
VAI is the most excited about the Panasonic Toughbook U1, which it classifies as an “ultra-mobile-rugged” design, (as opposed to Panasonic’s “business-rugged,” “semi-rugged,” or “fully-rugged” designs). The handy little U1 features a 1.33 GHz Intel Atom processor, a solid-state hard drive, and a 5.6-inch LED touchscreen that can be viewed in the sunlight and is water resistant. Users can interact with the U1 with a stylus or through the smallish keyboard, which is backlit for use in the dark.
The U1 offers an array of wireless and security options, including air cards for use in any of the major carriers’ 3G mobile networks, a GPS receiver, and a barcode and RFID reader. Users can stay on the go for up to nine hours thanks to twin hot-swappable Lithium ion batteries. The U1’s fanless design helps to reduce noise, weight, and energy consumption.
The U1 will be a great fit for mobile workers who need access to their company’s ERP system, says Kevin Beasley, CIO of VAI. “Toughbook U1 complements our solutions nicely, since it provides reliable access to the data and information necessary to run an effective business,” he says. “Streamlined operations are a core promise delivered via our S2K software, and making real-time information accessible to mobile workers saves time, money, and increases productivity.”
VAI is offering the Toughbook U1 through a partnership with Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, a unit of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation.