General Dynamics MR-1: Amazing Compact Laptop with GPS
My Point...Exactly
GoBook MR-1 — the rugged, compact GPS laptop computer you can take anywhere.

This is just too cool - had to share.

General Dynamics MR-1: Amazing Compact Laptop | GPS World
Marvin Hlavac
Thanks for sharing, Keith!

While it is nice to see GPS hardware included in netbooks, UMPCs, and laptops, unfortunatelly the performance of external (USB or Bluetooth) GPS receivers/antennas has usually been better. However, this new MR-1 seems to have remarkable performing GPS:

I connected an external GPS antenna only because I had one available from another, less sensitive machine that needed the antenna, but it became readily apparent that the internal helix antenna for the MR-1 was more sensitive than the external antenna.
But for me personally the biggest attraction of the MR-1 laptop would be the sunlight-readable screen. My current laptop doesn't have a very bright screen when used outdoor.

ULTRA-VIEWABLE TOUCHSCREEN DISPLAY In any and all lighting conditions, including direct sunlight, you can still see the screen because the GoBook® MR-1 features our award winning, innovative DynaVue® touchscreen display that dramatically increases outdoor viewability. Of course, it’s easy to see inside too.
But the GoBook MR-1 is way too expensive for me. I think I would be easily persuaded to purchase a netbook regularly priced at around $400 for even $1,000 with such bright screen, but not much more than that (for my modest needs). :-)
My Point...Exactly
Shoot Marvin - when you're as rich as I am, you don't have to worry about the price!

OK....maybe not....

I love the size and the rugged design. Maybe in a few years we'll see a consumer type product with some of the same features for a lot less money.
Ken in Regina
I just read the review. I don't know why ... why I bothered to read it at all, or why I waited until now to read it. It's an interesting device. But that's not why I'm writing this.

This is a high quality device. It's clear that a lot of thought went into the design.

...... But......

What does it say about Microsoft Windows:

- that General Dynamics thought it was important enough to include a single key to do the Ctl/Alt/Del function; that they managed to find a way to squeeze it into that little keyboard; that they placed it where it can't be activated by accident ... a lot of thought and design work involved I'm sure.

- that the reviewer sees this key as important enough to comment on it specifically and favorably.

What sort of statement does that make about Windows?

That combination is also present on a button on my keyboard free UMPC. It is used to access the sign in (as well as the function you were thinking of) if I am not mistaken.

Ken in Regina
Terry, the crucial difference is that on the MR-1 keyboard the Ctrl and Alt and Del keys all exist already. So I found it interesting that they felt it was useful enough to add another key just to do the combined keystroke function. That can't have been a trivial effort when starting with such a small keyboard.

The key is known as the "Secure attention key." It is highly recommended in the UMPC standard (the fact that it is not required is why people feel the need to remark favorably on it in reviews). Note that some UMPCs may have no keyboard at all. The on-screen keyboard may be the only option.

It has two uses:
  • Logging on, when required by group policy. (Consumer Windows turn this off by default, but corporate installs often turn it on.)
  • Opening the security manager screen, after you've logged on. (Task Manager in many consumer Windows setups.)
Notice that rebooting the system is not in this list. That's because it doesn't do that anymore. It did so in the DOS days, which is precisely why it was chosen as the secure attention sequence (no application would use this key combination).
Ken in Regina
Thanks for the clarification, Tao.

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