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Fluke Networks Builds A Tablet For IT

Tablets invading the workplace has mainly been seen as a problem for IT. But what about a tablet designed for IT and specifically for network management? That’s the idea behind Fluke Network’s OptiView XG, a management tablet loaded with Fluke Network’s network analysis and testing tools, and with the hardware needed to monitor any wired or wireless network.

The OptiView XG is a ruggedized tablet that looks more like a traditional networking tool than an iPad. The tablet runs Windows 7 and has a 10.25-inch touch-sensitive screen. According to Fluke Networks global marketing manager Dan Klimke, "This is not like a laptop; it has specialized hardware to do full line rate Ethernet analysis."

The idea behind the OptiView XG is to take advantage of the benefits of tablet computing, such as high mobility and simple touch screen usability, to make it possible for network engineers to carry out any analysis and troubleshooting from wherever they need to within their business. “The tablet form factor gives engineers the mobility they need to go where their job takes them,” Klimke said,

The hardware configuration of the OptiView XG includes dual 802.11N (3X3) Wi-Fi radios and on-board spectrum analysis radio, a 10G SFP+ port, a 10/100/1000M RJ-45 port and a 100/1000M SFP+ port. According to Fluke, the device has a 2-hour battery life and comes with two hot-swappable batteries to help with those long scans of the corporate campus.

From a software standpoint, the OptiView XG includes Fluke Network’s suite of network analysis and testing tools, including the AirMagnet tools for wireless troubleshooting. And while the OptiView XG may be called a tablet, it is priced much higher than your average iPad. According to Fluke Networks representatives, pricing can range from $25,000 to $30,000, but will vary based on the options customers choose and on each region’s market prices, distribution relationships, and duties and freight.

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