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Zebra VC70

Ultra-rugged vehicle-mount computer
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

The VC70, originally introduced by Motorola Solutions (the enterprise division of which is now part of Zebra) in late 2012 is a vehicle-mounted mobile computer intended for use in all sorts of material-handling vehicles. It was designed to handle tasks such as receiving, put-away, replenishment, picking, packing and shipping in a compact, ultra-rugged package with large display.

The VC70 is running Windows Embedded Compact 7 on a 1GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430 processor. The device has 512MB of SDRAM and 2GB of Flash. Storage can be expanded by up to 32GB via a microSD Card slot.

There is a generously sized 10.4-inch resistive touch screen with 4:3 aspect ratio 1024 x 768 pixel XGA resolution. Note that XGA has been a vertical market device standard resolution for many years and thus enjoys excellent application support. Viewability should be excellent thanks to a very strong 600 nits LED backlight and auto brightness control.

Construction of the VC70 employs cast aluminum with an integrated 3D shock- absorbing mount. Despite its heavy-duty construction, the VC70 measures a compact 11.5 x 8.9 inches and is just 2.4 inches thick. It weighs about 9.4 pounds.

Unlike consumer and most industrial/enterprise tablets, vehicle computers come in all sorts of configurations with or without physical keyboards or keypads. Given the wide variety of expected vehicle-mount warehousing applications, the VC70's designers decided to offer four integrated function pushbutton areas, but also an optional external 65-key QWERTY keyboard with F1 to F24 function keys, and a side-mounted 21-key numeric/function keypad.

In terms of connectivity, the VC70 has two USB host ports, a USB OTG port for service, a serial RS232 port, an RJ45 LAN jack, and CAN-Bus. It also supports Push-to-Talk through an external microphone and integrated (2 watt) or external (13 watt) speaker. The device comes with dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth v2.1. There's an optional external WLAN antenna with diversity, if needed.

As a vehicle-mounted device, the Zebra VC70 uses a 9-60 Volt DC/DC that draws from 12V, 24V, 36V or 48V truck batteries. There's also an internal battery backup good for up to 30 minutes to guard against vehicle power issues, or vehicle battery changes.

As a Windows Embedded Compact 7 device, the VC70 has access to a very large library of existing software. The device comes with pre-loaded and pre-licensed Wavelink Terminal Emulation 3270, 5250, VT100, and VT220. The VC70 has been tested with the RhoMobile Suite, DataWedge, Mobility Services Platform (MSP), AppCenter, and SAP ITS-Mobile. There are many software development tools for creating custom applications, including RhoMobile Suite and Enterprise Mobility Developer's Kit (EMDK).

The Zebra VC70 is an exceptionally rugged device with IP66 sealing (totally dustproof and can be hosed down with high-pressure water jets), and a wide -22 to 122 degree Fahrenheit operating temperature range. It has also been tested for shock and vibration, humidity, UV, and so on.

Specifications Zebra VC70
Added/changed Added 11/2012, updated 12/2015
Form-factor Ultra-rugged vehicle mount computer
CPU/Speed TI OMAP 4430/1.00GHz
OS Windows Embedded Compact 7
Hard Drive NA
Card slots 1 x SDHC (up to 32GB)
Display type Color LCD TFT with 600 NITs LED backlight, optional defroster
Display size/res 10.4"/1024 x 768 pixel XGA
Digitizer/pens Resistive touch (optional heated touchscreen evaporates external condensation when moving out and in freezers)
Keyboard/keys 3 available: QWERTY, 65-key with function keys F1-F24; side-mounted 21-key numeric/function keypad
Housing Cast aluminum
Operating Temp -22° to 122°F (-30° to 50°C)
Sealing IP66
Shock & Vibration MIL-STD 810G; Method 514.6
Altitude 15,000 feet
Salt Fog 48 hours of 5% solution at 35°C
Chemical resistance Unknown
EMI/RFI North America: FCC Part 15, Class B
ESD +/-15kV air discharge, +/-8kV direct discharge
Size (WxHxD) 11.5 x 8.9 x 2.4 inches (291 x 225 x 60 mm)
Weight 9.4 lbs. (4.3kg) incl. integrated UPS battery
Power 9-60V DC/DC; optional internal 30 minute UPS
Interface 2 x USB host, 1 USB OTG, 1 x RS232, 1 x RJ45 LAN, J1939 CAN-Bus, PPT mic, speaker
Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth Class 2 v2.1 + EDR
List price inquire
Contact Zebra VC70 webpage
Brochure Zebra VC70 spec page