Comark to offer Fujitsu handhelds on GSA sked

After the successful pilot tests of Fujitsu ICL's handheld systems at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Comark Federal Systems will offer Fujitsu's entire handheld line through its General Services Administration schedule.

In June, HUD launched the Public Housing Assessment System, a program that equips public housing inspectors with Fujitsu's TeamPad products. The implementation was so successful that Comark, which had supplied the TeamPads to HUD, decided to formally put the systems on its GSA schedule.

"As usual, a lot of the products that come to market have been inspired by an application by one of our customers," said Alan Bechara, vice president and chief operating officer for Comark, Chantilly, Va. "It made sense."

Jill House, associate research analyst for smart handheld devices at International Data Corp., Framingham, Mass., said the arrangement coincides with Fujitsu's strategy of teaming to meet the needs of specific customers. "Fujitsu has the partners and relationships to custom-build solutions and support those solutions once implemented," she said.

The TeamPad 7600 is a pen-based, 486-based system running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 95. It includes a virtual keyboard, two standard PCMCIA slots for communications, a battery with a four-hour life, a high-speed infrared port to wirelessly connect to a local-area network or local printer, and 16M of memory. With its 7.2-inch monochrome or color screen, Bechara believes the TeamPad "could basically be your mobile office."

When used with Fujitsu's Expansion Station, which provides a full keyboard, mouse, floppy drive, and serial and parallel ports, "it could in one sense replace notebooks," Bechara said.

Other Offerings

Comark also will offer the TeamPad 7200, a DOS-based 486 system with many of the same connection options as the 7600 but also an optional integrated printer. The monochrome screen displays 21 characters by 15 lines— much smaller than the 7600 but more than adequate for text-based functions, according to Fujitsu.

The TeamPad 7100, which is the first generation of this product, includes an integrated bar code scanner and weighs just more than half a pound vs. the 7200's 1.1 pounds and the 7600's 1.7 pounds.

Comark is offering the entire line of TeamPad accessories and systems, including the lithium-ion batteries and chargers, a mobile printer unit and adapters for car cigarette lighters so that the system can be used anywhere. "We're offering the complete solution," Bechara said.

All TeamPads are designed with a ruggedized casing to protect against weather, dust and a four- to five-foot drop onto concrete.

"I can see an application [for the TeamPad] in many other agencies," Bechara said. "Census, FBI, police departments...anyone that has to really be able to get around."

GSA pricing for the TeamPad 7600 starts at around $2,500, the TeamPad 7200 at around $1,700 and the TeamPad 7100 at about $1,100. These prices represent almost a 40 percent difference from the list retail prices.

"Fujitsu is looking at this market as a growth area, and they are serious about it, and so are we," Bechara said. "GSA is definitely getting a great deal. It is a very competitive offering."


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