JLT Mobile VERSO 12|
Latest gen of versatile high-performance fixed-mount computer significantly more powerful
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
Swedish JLT Mobile Computers introduced a significant technology and performance update to its VERSO-Series of rugged fixed-mount computers on October 8, 2015. The VERSO line was originally launched early 2013 as a reliable, high-performance solution for deployment in even the most environmentally demanding situations. Having shipped over 90,000 vehicle computers, JLT has accumulated considerable expertise in this segment of the market, and their latest research showed that many of their customers require substantial processing power for ever more demanding and sophisticated applications.
The updated VERSO models include the VERSO 12 with a 12.1-inch display and the larger VERSO 15 with a 15-inch screen. The VERSO 12 measures 12 x 9.45 inches, is 2.3 inches thick, and weighs just under eight pounds. It runs on 9-36 Volts VDC power and also has an internal backup battery good for up to 30 minutes of operation. All I/O is facing downward for easy, efficient mounting in vehicles or fixed locations. Also note the mounting holes for standard brackets and mounts (VESA, etc.).
Though the VERSO fixed-mount computers are primarily geared towards high performance computing, customers can actually get them either with an Intel Core i5-4300U processor (see details) for advanced operations, or a more basic Intel Atom E3845. The dual core i5-4300U is part of Intel's powerful 4th generation of Core processors codenamed "Haswell." The E3845, although it has four cores, is part of the lower-end "Bay Trail" platform. Even though both processors run at the same base frequency, do note that the Core i5 not only has turbo mode, it also includes significantly more powerful graphics, as well as numerous advanced Intel technologies that may or may not be required for certain applications. The large difference between the two chips is reflected in Intel charging over five times as much for the bare i5 chip as for the E3845.
JLT claims a 2.5x performance increase of the E3845 over the predecessor model's base configuration Intel D2550, and a 2.5 to 4.0x increase for the new i5-4300U processor over the predecessor's high-end i7-2610UE. That's very substantial and very noticeable in day-to-day operation. Thermal design power of both chips remains low enough to make fanless operation in the VERSO fixed-mounts possible.
Apart from the choice of processors, VERSO customers can also select from a standard or a high-bright screen (500 and 800 nits), and JLT can configure the machines with a variety of operating systems. These include Windows 7 Pro and Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows 8.1 Industry Pro, and the new Windows 10, all in 64-bit versions. Unlike the larger VERSO 15 that stays with resistive touch, the VERSO 12 now comes with projected capacitive touch that can even handle wetness and use of gloves.
The VERSO panel computers are designed for reliability and longevity, which means they are rugged where it matters for fixed-mount systems. They have a very wide operating temperature range of -22 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit, which means they can be used in cold storage rooms as well as in desert climates. VERSO panels equipped with Roxtec sealing carry IP66 sealing (IP65 without), which means they are totally dust-proof and can also handle strong jets of water from all directions. The panels are also shock and vibration resistant.
JLT points out that the VERSO line was specifically developed for heavy duty deployments in mining, construction vehicles, off-shore and harbor applications, and agricultural equipment. From the looks of it, they are well equipped to do that, but their good onboard connectivity, both wired and wireless, their fanless operation, their choice of operating systems, processors and even screen brightness makes them suitable for numerous other fixed-mount applications as well.