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RuggON PM-311B

New version of versatile, no-nonsense, well-sealed rugged tablet boosts screen clarity in sunlight, offers advanced fingerprint reading and encryption options, snap-on MRZ+MSR reader
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

On May 24, 2016, Taiwan-based RuggON Corporation introduced the RuggON PM-311B rugged tablet computer as an update and upgrade to the company's existing PM-311. Among the numerous enhancements are higher performance, a clearer and brighter display, advanced security options, and the availability of various data collection options, including an MRZ+MSR reader that can read up to three lines of MRZ data.

The RuggON PM-311B has a 7-inch 16:10 wide-format display. Whereas even the original PM-311 was quite bright with an optional 700-nits display, the new PM-311B offers superior screen brightness and clarity with 850 nits as well as anti-reflective and anti-fingerprint coatings and direct-bonding. And the old resistive touch has given way to capacitive multi-touch.

In terms of size and weight, the tough looking PM-311B—designed primarily for law enforcement and similar deployments—measures a compact 8.9 x 6.6 inches and is just over an inch thick. Weight is a very manageable two pounds.

Designed to be ready for always-connected duty, the PM-311B features embedded GPS, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth v4.0, as well as 4G mobile broadband. Wired onboard connectivity includes dual full-size USB 3.0 ports, gigabit RJ45 LAN, a standard audio jack, and even a serial RS232 port for hook-ups to legacy gear and peripherals. A micro-SD card slot allows adding to the internal 128GB or 256GB SATA solid-state disk. There are two cameras, a 2mp front-facing conferencing cam, and a rear-facing 8mp documentation camera.

With the PM-311B tablet, RuggON made a special effort to equip this versatile rugged tablet with the latest access and data collection and security technology:

    Since standard swipe sensor aren't very good at accurately reading fingerprints on mobile devices, the PM-311B uses a high-res 508dpi capacitive reader for capturing very accurate prints. These can then be instantly checked against online databases via the tablet's speedy WiFi or 4G mobile broadband connection.

    And while many tablets offer mag stripe reading, the PM-311B goes a step farther with a combined snap-on MRZ+MSR reader. MRZ stands for Machine-Readable-Zone and used in document such as passports, drivers licenses, ID cards and travel documents. And since the PM-311B's snap-on reader has its own CPU and optics, it's no drag on the tablet processor.

    Security these days means more than just a password, and that's why RuggON makes available advanced encryption and authentication technology for the PM-311B. That includes a FIPS 140-2 certified encrypted solid state disk option as well as a customizable option of erasing the whole SSD with the press of a button (leveraging Phoenix's SecureWipe technology). Also available is a Janus USB Ignition Key, which is the only authentication solution that combines BIOS, Cloud services and a physical USB key to securely authenticate the user.

The PM-311 is a pure tablet without integrated keyboard, but it does have five programmable function keys for easy one-click access to often used apps and utilities.

In the engine compartment, things have changed, too, compared to the original PM-311. The competent but by now dated dual-core Intel N2600 has been replaced by a faster and more powerful quad-core Intel "Bay Trail" Celeron N2930 that comes with true Intel HD Graphics. We haven't had hands-on with the new PM-311B yet, but based on RuggedPCReview's benchmark database expect 2-2.5X performance compared to the original PM-311.

On the ruggedness side, the PM-311B claims IP65 sealing, which means it's totally dustproof, and can also handle low-pressure water jets from all directions (albeit with limited ingress permitted). It has a wide operating temperature range of -4 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, can be dropped from five feet to concrete, and has been tested according to MIL-SDT-810G procedures for mechanical shock and several other criteria. RuggON also stresses the advantages of its uHeater intelligent heater solution that—via controllers, sensors and heaters—determines which parts of the tablet need to be heated under different scenarios and conditions.

The new and significantly faster PM-311B doesn't seek to dazzle with avant-garde looks and styling. Instead, it excels at combining all the data collection and communication capabilities needed for law enforcement and similar jobs into a reasonable, versatile and very tough package. And that includes state-of-the-art features (such as being able to read three lines of MRZ data) that according to RuggON haven't been available on any other tablet before the PM-311B.

Taiwan-based RuggON Corporation was established in 2014 as a provider of ruggedized computing products. RuggON's stated mission is to raise the productivity of rugged computing solutions through creative, pioneering technology. Their lineup consists of RuggTAB tablets and RuggVMC vehicle mounts.
Specifications RuggON PM-311B
Added Added 05/2016
Type Rugged Windows Tablet PC
Processor Quad-core Intel "Bay Trail" N2930
CPU Speed 1.83GHz
Burst Speed 2.16GHz
CPU Thermal Design Power 3.5 watts
Standard/Max RAM 4-8GB DDR3L SO-DIMM
OS Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Pro
Graphics Intel HD Graphics
Disk/drive 128/256GB mSATA half-slim size SSD, optional 128GB FIPS 140-2 Level II SSD
Expansion bay No
Expansion slots 1 x Micro SD, 1 x Micro SIM
Display type Sunlight-readable TFT with 850 nits LED backlight, optical bonding, AR/AF treatment, Gorilla glass
Display size/res 7-inch/WXGA (1024 x 600 pixel)
Digitizer/pens Capacitive multi-touch
Keyboard/scale Optional external
Housing Unknown
Operating Temp -4° to 122°F (-20° to 50°C)
Sealing IP65
Drop MIL-STD-810G, 514.6, 26 x 5 feet drop
Shock Est: MIL-STD-810G, Method 516.6, Procedure I , 40g, 11ms operation
Humidity 5-95% w/o condensation
Thermal shock Est: MIL-STD-810G, Method 503.5, Procedure I
Vibration Est: MIL-STD-810G, Method 514.6, Procedures I & II
Altitude Est: MIL-STD-810G, Method 500.5, Procedures I & II
Security FIPS 140-2 encrypted SSD, 508dpi capacitive fingerprint reader, Janus USB ignition key, optional Phoenix SecureWipe,
Certifications CE, FCC, CB, CCC
Size (WxHxD) 8.85 x 6.6 x 1.05 inches (225 x 168 x 27 mm)
Weight 2.1 lbs (0.95kg)
Power 2,900mAH, 7.4V, 21.5whr smart Li-Polymer, optional external 7.4V 4,200mAH 31.1whr, hot-swapping option
Interface 1 x RS232, 2 x USB 3.0 Type A, audio, dock connector, 1 X RJ45 gigabit LAN; optional desktop and vehicle docks, optional snap-on MRZ+MSR reader, 2D barcode reader
Camera Rear: 8-megapixel AF with LED flash, front: 2-megapixel webcam
Sensors Gyroscope, G-sensor, E-compass, ambient light
Wireless Bluetooth V4.0 + EDR, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, embedded GNSS (GPS/QZSS/GLONASS, optional BeiDou), 4G LTE WWAN, NFC
List price inquire
Web page RuggON PM-311B product page
Brochure RuggON PM-311B brochure (PDF)
RuggON PM-311B

RuggON Corporation
3F., No.10, Ln. 181, Sec. 2, Jiuzong Rd., Neihu Dist.
Taipei City 114, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Telephone: 886-2-8797-1778
Fax: 886-2-8797-1881
Web: www.ruggon.com