WPI Husky Computers Launches World's First Rugged H/PC

WPI Husky Computers today announced the World's first rugged Handheld PC at their Seventh Annual Business Partners Conference on Clearwater Beach. This product, the Husky Fex21 will transform mobile data handling by providing users a powerful, integrated package of technology innovations in data security, expansion capability, ergonomic flexibility and easy communications. The Husky Fex21 is the perfect solution for the business world's rapidly growing mobile work force. This is a computer designed to meet the demands of the mobile workforce now and well into in the 21st century.

The Husky Fex21 is designed exclusively around the special communications and risk-management requirements of business-to-business, industry and vertical market professionals who work for extended periods in the field. Targeted at mobile users, the Fex21 is clearly differentiated from other H/PCs in reliability, design, flexibility and wireless communications options.

Data security

Rugged Technology is designed to manage risk by enhancing reliability and data security in mobile computing. The Fex21 military standard protection specifications minimize the environmental and field risks associated with using computers for extended periods away from the office environment. These include weather risk (rain, snow, storm and extreme temperature variation), mobile risk (collision, vibration, electrostatic charge) and accident risk (drops, liquid spillage). The Husky Fex21 is the first H/PC with military standard drop and sealing specifications.


MultiCard expansion ensures the maximum flexibility of computing applications, allowing migration to new solutions in accordance with ongoing technological advancements. The Fex21 features dual Type II or single Type III PC Card slots for peripheral or storage expansion, or for communication via Local or Wide Area RF Networks, CDPD, or Analog Cellular.


Open Book Design, an industry-first from Husky Computers, removes the weakness of hinges, standard in generic H/PCs. The single cast, non-clamshell ergonomics of the Fex21 challenged Husky to draw on its history of rugged innovation since manufacturing the World's first rugged portable computer in 1980. The result is a unit able to protect the screen, internal data and casing with all the advantages of instant operation.

Transflective Displays are unique in providing clear screen visibility in both bright light and dark environments, critical for mobile users working 24 hours a day. The fex21 adopts monochrome and color Transflective Display Technology to ensure the best possible screen visibility.

Direct Numerical Entry is allowed via single-handed operation by the provision of a separate numeric keypad. Integrated within an ergonomic curved keyboard, the numeric keypad practicality further positions the Fex21 as the optimal tool for a wide variety of mobile computing applications.

The Husky Fex21 is the first H/PC of this form factor to use Microsoft Windows CE operating system, Handheld Professional Edition. Specifications also include full touch-screen pen support for handwriting recognition and diagram entry, extended battery life, infrared communications, rugged 9-pin serial port connectors, USB slave support, soft modem, headset, voice recording and playback and separate compact flash storage for premium levels of data security.

Lonny Lamb, VP of Sales and Marketing, WPI Husky Computers said "The Husky Fex21 is the new standard for portable computing, and it is significant that the fourth generation of CE devices should have been developed by the Company that developed the very first rugged portable computer.

WPI Husky Computers has spent two years researching and developing the R-H/PC. We planned to develop a machine able to meet the demands of the 1 billion Internet and Cellular users predicted by the Year 2000, the result is a truly Mobile Information Device. Integrating wireless phone, computer and rugged reliability creates the first smart computer for professionals in every area of mobile computing."

Lamb continues "From business-to-business users, mobile sales professionals, emergency service personnel, field service engineers, asset maintenance technicians, meter readers - the applications are limitless. With wireless data traffic expected to overtake voice communications by the year 2000, WPI Husky Computers is delighted to have produced a machine able to respond fully to the data wave, utilizing all the sophistication of industry standard Microsoft Windows CE Professional Edition version 3."

Roger Gulrajani, group product manager, Windows CE, Microsoft Corp., said "This rugged H/PC fills a critical gap in the marketplace by taking full advantage of all the resources of Windows CE and meeting the reliability and communications requirements of a mobile computing work force in the field. The Husky Fex21 has utilized the expandability and power of the Windows CE operating system, focusing on the communications, ergonomics, reliability and expansion features for which Husky is best known."