The SwitchBack UMPC – very cool!

SwitchbackOne of the vendors we are planning on visiting while at CES is Black Diamond Advanced Technology, the makers of the SwitchBack Ultra-Mobile PC.

The SwitchBack is a rugged UMPC, with a built-in thumb keyboard, that also features something very unique: plug-in modules for the back of the UMPC. Here is a list of current modules available for the SwitchBack:


  • Additional Battery
  • Additional Processors
  • Additional Hard Drive
  • Digital Camera
  • Scanner
  • SAASM GPS Receiver
  • SATCOM Radio
  • Terrestrial Radio
  • Laser Range Finder
  • Breathalyzer
  • Fingerprint Reader

In addition to the Back Modules, the SwitchBack can run multiple operating systems independently or simulataneously: Windows XP, Windows CE, Windows Mobile, Linux, etc.


  • Processor
    • Intel 1.0 GHz Celeron M
  • Operating System
    • Genuine Windows XP
    • Windows Mobile
    • Windows CE
    • Linux
  • Memory
    • Up to1GB of 400MHz DDR2
  • Storage
    • 40GB Removable HD (60GB Optional)
  • Input Devices
    • Touchscreen display with stylus
    • Condensed QWERTY membrane keyboard
    • Pointing Device
  • Battery
    • Hot Swappable Lithium Ion Battery
      (11.1V 4300mA/hr)
      Recharge and run unit
      from 9 to 28VDC input
      2 to 5 hours (standard battery)
  • Display
    • 5.6″ Sunlight Viewable LCD
      1024×600 WSVGA Resolution
  • Graphics
    • Onboard Intel GMA-900 Graphics Chipset
  • Wireless
    • Bluetooth 2.0
    • WiFi b/g
    • GPS (C/A) (Optional)
  • Base System Input/Output
    • 1x USB 2.0
    • 1x Power Port
    • 1x Ethernet (Docking Station)
    • 1x VGA (Docking Station)
    • Multi USB 2.0 (Docking Station) 
  • Physical Dimensions
    • Dimensions: 7.5″x5.5″x2″
    • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Warranty
    • One Year Limited Warranty

My contacts at BlackDiamond tell me that they will be in full scale production in Q1 2007. Contact Black Diamond and they will connect you with their resellers. The price of a basic unit with no modules will be approximately $3,600.