Joining the curious workhorse
UMPC / tablet PC arena is the xTablet T8600, which boasts about its ruggedness
, barcode scanning, and magnetic stripe reading abilities that it handles when not checking your email and making dinner reservations on the go. Furthermore, the unique design allows for a backlit numeric keypad and directional arrows to be installed beside the 8.4-inch SVGA display, and internally, you'll find a 1.1GHz Intel Centrino processor, up to 1.28GB of DDR2 RAM, a "dual digitizer / touchscreen standard," integrated 802.11a/b/g, shock-mounted 40GB hard drive, optional EV-DO / EDGE / GPRS / GSM, Bluetooth
, a nine-pin serial port, and a Li-ion
battery that can reportedly keep things running for "up to seven hours." To account for all the beatings it'll presumably endure, it sports military-grade water-, dust-, and shock-proof characteristics, and can also operate at extreme temperatures. Hope you aren't too excited, though, as there's no word just yet regarding pricing or future availability.