If you're looking for a Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA), you're probably looking at either the Motion Computing C5 or the Panasonic Toughbook H1. There are other options, but the C5 and H1 are the most popular devices (and if you look at the market segment, you'll see that the C5 is currently dominating the MCA market).
So, what makes them similar? What makes them different? In order to qualify as an MCA, Intel has outlined the specifications that must be met. So, all MCAs will have very similar key capabilities.
Let me highlight 2 differences (although this will change by the latter part of this year):
- The Panasonic Toughbook H1 is thicker, it has a "grip" option on the back that allows you to hold it more securely, and it offers a dual-battery design that lets you swap batteries without powering down the device. However, it lacks Gorilla Glass and its Atom processor is slow compared to the Motion C5 Core 2 Duo processor. The Atom processor and the dual battery design allows this machine to be used all day (which is more important if you're outdoors, but in a hospital setting you almost always have access to charging stations). Panasonic has a long history of building rugged Toughbook computers.
- The Motion C5 is thinner and is currently designed with a single battery (but I was told this will be changing). It comes with Gorilla Glass and a faster Core 2 Duo processor. The faster processor could lead to shorter battery life, but in a hospital setting you generally have easy access to charging stations. Motion Computing specializes only in slate computers and they've been in this business for many years.
- Both are Wacom Penabled. Neither offer a capacitive multi-touch screen option at this time.