Rugged enterprise digital assistant
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
Following up on the superb MC50 Series, in January of 2006 Symbol Technologies
introduced the MC70 Series of "Enterprise Digital Assistants" or EDAs. The
very compact handhelds (6 x 3 x 1.5 inches and weighing 11-12 ounces)
combine PDA functionality with mobile phone, wireless communicator, scanner and imager into a
single device designed to withstand significant environmental punishment.
Sealing is up to IP54 standards, the devices can withstand four to five
foot drops to concrete, and operate within a range of 14 to 155 degrees
Fahrenheit. Symbol chose a state-of-the-art 624MHz Intel XScale
processor to provide maximum computing power and provided adequate storage
with 64MB of RAM and 128MB of ROM. The MC50 runs Microsoft Windows Mobile
5.0 Premium or Premium Phone Edition, again state-of-the-art. The display is
a 3.5-inch diagonal transflective TFT with a glass analog resistive touch
screen. A powerful 3.7V, 1900 mAH battery comes standard. An optional 3.7V,
3,800 mAH smart battery in an extended battery cap is available.
Expandability is via a user accessible SDIO slot. Onboard connectivity
includes USB 1.1, RS-232, speaker, microphone, headset jack. Ethernet is available via cradle.
On the wireless voice and data communications side, the MC70 supports eGPRS/GSM (850, 900. 1800 and
1900 MHz) as well as tri-mode 802.11a/b/g WiFi. The MC70 is fully
Voice-over-IP ready. It also comes with Bluetooth. For data capture, the
MC70 offers 1D linear and 2D imagers. The Linear 1D scanner uses the SE800HP
engine whereas the 2D Imager is based on the SE 4400 engine that has a 640 x
480 optical resolution. For operation, the MC70 offers multiple QWERTY and
numeric keypad options. As always, Symbol offers a wealth of peripherals,
including trigger handle, vehicle and single slot cradles, belt clips,
magnetic stripe reader attachment, numerous cables, and also multiple unit
cradles and charger.
Symbol designed the MC70 to provide mobile workers with
everything they need to increase productivity and efficiency indoors and
outdoors, from m field workers reading meters and repairing
equipment to drivers delivering packages, hospital workers checking lab
results and medication orders, and more. According to the company, the MC70 is their fastest-selling rugged mobile computer as of mid 2007.
On October 2nd, 2007, Motorola introduced introduced a new version of the MC70 with integrated SiRF III-based GPS capability. This new option of Motorola's fastest-selling rugged mobile computer will allow organisations with field-based employees, such as postal companies, to track and manage dynamic, real-time tasking, as well as verify specific locations of activities and provide mobile workers with pinpoint navigation support to improve location-based productivity.
[MC70 at Symbol's
website] [larger picture of MC70]