TSA Ordering Up To $2.1M of Ultrabooks for ‘Mobile Missions’

Posted on 19 September 2012 by

People often suggest to me that an Ultrabook is simply a lightweight laptop. There’s one very important thing they miss – it’s an Intel-based lightweight laptop. Why is that important? It’s important because if you get the word ‘Ultrabook’ into peoples heads, you’ve cut off a huge chunk of competition. Take this RFP for example; The TSA [that’s the USA governments Transportation Security Administration] is asking for proposals to fulfill a requirement for Ultrabooks for around 500 locations in a contract worth up to $2.1 million. This is a big win for Intel and Ultrabooks.

 TSA REquirements

It’s an interesting read to see how a country security organization deals with laptop requirements. VPro (another Intel-only keyword) is part of the requirements which bring the number of options down to a very manageable number. Take a look at some of the other requirements…

  • Intel i7 or equivalent
  • 128GB Solid State Drive
  • 11-14” inch viewable display
  • Weight less than 3lb including battery [1.36KG]
  • Business appropriate hard shell resistant to incidental damage and shock
  • Wired 10/100/1000 LAN (RJ 45) Ethernet support;
  • Compatible with Microsoft Windows 8 Professional (64 bit version);
  • 5 hour battery life as measured by MobileMark™ productivity 2007 or other independent testing

Nice-to-have requirements include:

  • Upgrade SSD with hardware encrypted SSD
  • Spare/2nd battery
  • Add support for broadband/cellular data (ATT,Verizon,Sprint 4G LTE)

Looking further into the RFP it looks like choosing the Ultrabook is the easy bit as there are pages-long lists of requirements to be fulfilled including policies on human trafficking, convict labor and “Encouraging Contractor Policies to Ban Text Messaging While Driving.” The “Buy American Act” is also in there.

Got any solutions in mind? I think Toshiba and Lenovo are in with a good chance here from a technical perspective. The Z935 with VPro is available and then there’s the Lenovo X1 Carbon. The HP Elitebook Folio 9470M is outside the weight requirements. Other VPro options we know about are:

  • Dell 6430u
  • ASUSPro BU400
  • Fujitsu U772
  • NEC Versa Pro (Japan Only)

I’ll be looking out for the results!


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  • Jeff

    I don’t think Lenovo will be able to bid due to the fact they are a Chinese Company. The US Feds used to be all ThinkPad’s but after IBM sold it to Lenovo they seemed to switch to Dell and HP.

  • Albert

    The Dell’s weight does not fit the bill (as with most Ultrabooks that only are “thin” but definitively not ultralight): It is rather “hefty” with 1,7 kg.
    The AsusPro BU400 “weighs about 3.6 pounds.”
    The Fujitsu U772 is al least under 1,4 kg.
    The NEC VersaPro type VB is “Approx. 1.28 kg”

  • Nick

    Looking forward to more business ultrabooks emphasizing size, weight, battery life, replaceable batteries.

    • Chippy

      Plus One Nick!

  • adamindublin

    The MS Surface Pro is the closest to the spec sheet (Definitely with the weight).


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