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NEXCOM 2100 Series

Three industrial tablet computers
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

NEXCOM, a US$50 million Taiwanese company founded in 1992, specializes in industrial and embedded computing, blade servers, and network security appliances. In April of 2008, the company expanded into the mobile computer market with three small tablet computers.

The new line includes three models, the MTC 2100 for logistics applications, the MTC 2100-MD for medical and point-of-sale markets, and the ruggedized MRC 2100. All three share a compact, well protected housing, an 8.4-inch sunlight readable touchscreen display, and fanless design thanks to using Intel's new and very energy-efficient Atom processors.

While the three models address different markets, all share the sunlight readable touchscreen, Bluetooth 2.0, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, a 2.0 megapixel digital camera and a Z510 or 530 Atom processor. All also have a four-way navigation disc with an enter button in the center.

The MTC 2100 model is designed for applications such as inventory tracking, mapping and other logistics support, and comes with a laser barcode scanner and an integrated GPS receiver.

The MTC 2100-MD, in addition to sporting a white housing as is currently fashionable for medical computing equipment, has an onboard RFID reader for use with RFID tag applications.

The MRC 2100 is somewhat more rugged device with special rubber padding. It can handle four foot drops and is designed to be used in forklifts and other vehicles.

The battery is said to last between four and eight hours. NEXCOM's plans for the device are unknown as well, though we would not be surprised to see it sold in the US market under different brandnames.

Update March 2009: While NEXCOM's initial release suggested three different 2100 Series tablets, for now the company offers the ruggedized MRC 2100 that can, however, be equipped with barcode scanner or RFID.

Update March 2010: Group Mobile, a prominent Phoenix, Ariz.-based reseller of rugged computers, has added the NEXCOM MRC to its lineup.

Added/changed Added 04/2008; updated 03/2009, updated 03/2010
Form-factor Rugged mobile tablets
OS Windows XP
Processor Intel Atom Z510 or Z530
CPU Speed 1.1 or 1.6GHz
Chipset US15W
Standard/Max RAM up to 2GB DDR2 SDRAM in one 200-pin socket
Disk/drive 8GB PATA SSD or 1.8-inch PATA hard disk
Card slots unknown
Display type Sunlight readable TFT
Display size/res 8.4-inch/800 x 600
Digitizer/pens 4-wire resistive touch/1
Keyboard/scale Onscreen and optional mini-USB keyboard
Sealing IP54
Drop 4-feet
Operating temp. -4 to 122 F
Vibration MIL-STD-810F method 514.5C-3 (Highway truck): 5G PTP at 5-500Hz
Housing Unknown material with protective rubber bumpers
Size (WxHxD) 11.4 x 8.4 x 1.8 (including rubber cladding)
Weight 3.65 lbs. (including rubber cladding)
Power 11.1V 2,600mAH Li-Ion, "4 - 8 hours"
Interface 2 USB 2.0, 1 mini-USB, audio in/out, dock, SiRF III GPS, 2.0MP camera, RFID, laser barcode scanner, fingerprint reader
Wireless 802.11/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR; optional 3.5G CDMA or WIMAX module; optional 1D laser barcode scanner or RFID
List price US$1,699 (at GroupMobile.com)
Contact www.nexcom.com
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