updated 03:45 pm EDT, Wed June 13, 2007
ASUS Hermes and N13
ASUS will enter the increasingly competitive world of rugged PCs later this year, the company has announced at Taiwan's Computex show. The N13i (pictured) will meet the US military's toughness levels for shocks, waterproofing, and noise suppression, but should still exude a style that will make the 13.3-inch system relevant to more than just professionals. Most specifications were omitted, but the PC will be powered by a Core 2 Duo processor and will have the option of 3G wireless through HSDPA as well as 802.11g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Its screen will also swivel, the company says, though the inclusion of tablet input is unknown.
In a similar vein is the 7-inch Hermes ultra-mobile PC. Almost as rugged as the larger notebook, the handheld should also be more advanced than most of today's models with the option of an LED backlight to save power and a solid-state hard drive that can replace the more fragile rotating hard disk. An unknown speed grade of Via's C7-M mobile CPU should power the device, while at least one module slot will extend functions with a card reader, GPS, or other equipment depending on field conditions.
The Computex announcement has come too early to provide final details, ASUS says. However, it expects to ship test versions in late summer and will ship finished versions in November at prices of around $700 for the Hermes and $3,000 for the N13i. Versions will be available through third-party makers under different names as well as the ASUS brand. [via Nikkei BP]