Toy Box: There are many like it but this is mine

Not all handhelds are created equal. Some are destined for the top drawer, where they will sit gathering dust. Others are used on an almost hourly basis by those of us on the go.

Not all handhelds are created equal. Some are destined for the top drawer, where they will sit gathering dust. Others are used on an almost hourly basis by those of us on the go and end up with cracked screens, track marks from the excessive stylus use and a bad case of battery life burn.

But some, some are thrown out of helicopters, sandwiched between ammunition cases and “meals: ready to eat” in overloaded rucksacks. Some generally lead a short but exciting life in the armed forces, presumably keeping track of the Military Code of Justice as well as the “rules of engagement”.

Raytheon, a US defence contractor, takes the standard civilian HP iPaq and after a brief basic training turns it into a lean mean fighting machine called the Agama. Rugged casing, wireless capability and Bluetooth as an optional extra are nothing compared to the specific requirement that the unit be “operable while the user is fully dressed in MOPP-IV [mission-oriented protective posture] nuclear, biological and chemical warfare gear ... easily decon-taminated, using standard methods.”

The Agama range is available in New Zealand for anyone to buy, civilian or special ops, from Trinity Technologies. Pricing starts at $3995 ex GST.

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