The rugged get going

The rugged get going

The market for ruggedised notebook PCs is no longer just the realm of those dealing with the defence industry or other equally exclusive segments.

According to Pacific Data Systems (PDS) sales manager Brendan Tuppack, prices for its weatherproof industrial notebooks have become more comparable to regular notebooks, and as a result the market is opening up to a substantial number of resellers.

PDS is the Australian importer and distributor for the Getac range of ruggedised notebooks, which in a few short years have been reduced from a price ballpark of $50,000 to the current base models of $7895 (ex tax). The product owes part of its breeding to its former half owner, Lockheed, but is now 100 per cent owned by the Mitac Technology Corporation (MTC) of Taiwan.

"While they are rated to military specifications, the market for the current Getac A-series extends to a wide range of industries and applications," Tuppack claimed, adding, "There's a huge market in Australia because we are such an industrial- and agriculture-based economy."

While PDS initially tried to cover what Tuppack described as a specialised niche market directly, he now acknowledges that it is an opportunity for the broader IT channel, and he is adamant that it is committed to the preservation of channel integrity. "We want to still be doing business with our channel partners in five and 10 years, and if necessary, we'll pay commissions to our reseller partners if the customer wants to deal directly with us," Tuppack added.

From the $50,000 20 kilogram "T series" of years ago, the current 3.9 kilogram base Getac "A-series" on offer now incorporates a Pentium MMX 200 at under $8000. And in a competitive product segment, Tuppack even highlighted unique selling points for the Getac including its daylight screen, for ease of use in sunlight.

As far as PDS is concerned, resellers don't need to have an existing involvement in the market, just a motivation to pursue new opportunities and different customers.

Pacific Data Systems

(07) 3275 2999

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