Ruggedized flashlight-style keyboard PDA
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
Note: On December 10, 2012, Intermec announced that it will be acquired by Honeywell. [See Intermec press release]
Spiritual successor to Intermec's venerable 5000 Series of Windows CE-based flashlight terminals (which remain available), the thoroughly modern CK31 offers more in every respect. It has a fast 400 MHz PXA 255 processor, 64MB of RAM and 64MB of ROM, an indoor/outdoor readable 3.5" transflective LCD, 802.11b/g wireless, a SD Card slot, an integrated 1D/2D linear imager, a powerful 17Watt-hour Li-Ion battery for 8+ hours of operation, and a 52-key alphanumeric keyboard. Additional keyboard layouts are available for different application requirements. The 1D/2D images supports virtually every code and scanning method on the market today, there's a pistol grip option for more comfortable operation, and numerous vehicle mount, charging dock, communications cradle, and adapter options.
In June of 2007, Intermec announced the CK31ex, essentially a CK31 handheld with an integrated Intermec Intellibeam EX25 auto-focus near-far scan engine that can read and decode 1D and 2D bar codes as well as composite and postal codes, from near or far (six inches to about 50 feet), in any orientation.
As of January 2011, the CK31 is still listed as an active product, still running the by now fairly ancient Windows CE .NET 4.2. This is, of course, a testimony that things don't change nearly as quickly in vertical/industrial market equipment as they do in commercial electronics where a cellphone of this vintage would be considered historic.