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Rugged PC Review Monthly News Archive [ Back to news index]

February 2011

RuggedPCReview's 2011 media tablet table
It took a year for the industry to come up with serious competitors to Apple's iPad, but now customers increasingly have vendor/platform/features options when it comes to selecting media tablets. We've compiled a spec table of the major media tablets, 15 in all, and will keep adding to the list, so check back frequently. [View RuggedPCReview's 2011 Media Tablet Spec Table] -- Posted Monday, February 28, 2011

CoActiv EXAM-PAD bundles 10-inch Win 7 tablet with PACS software
We're starting to see custom applications sold packaged with the new breed of media tablets. An example is CoActiv Medical, a healthcare software and IT systems provider that sells digital image and data storage services and related solutions for hospitals, imaging facilities and medical practices of all sizes. CoActiv is now offering the Windows 7-based EXAM-PAD Model 10 PACS (picture archiving communications system) solution with exam viewing technology that connect to an EXAM-PACS server to display high quality multi-modality images securely in real time from anywhere in the world. The tablet itself appears to be a an Atom N450-powered Onkyo TW117 media tablet with a 10.1" capacitive multi-touch 1024x600 LED display. [See CoActiv EXAM-PAD page] -- Posted Monday, February 28, 2011

Fujitsu announces Stylistic Q550 tablet
Fujitsu, which had been one of the very pioneers in tablets but recently concentrated on convertible notebooks, again has a Stylistic tablet. The Intel Atom-based Q550 runs Windows 7 on a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel outdoor-viewable multi-touch screen that can also be used with an electromagnetic pen in an auto-switching arrangement. There's an SD Card slot, Smart Card, a fingerprint reader, 30 or 62GB of solid state disk, as well as WiFi, Bluetooth and optional Gobi 3000 with GPS. Pricing starts at under US$800 and the device will be available in April. [See description and specs of the Fujitsu Stylistic Q550] -- Posted Friday, February 25, 2011

NEC releases contactless hybrid finger scanner
With security becoming ever more important, NEC's announcement of a hybrid finger scanner that can simultaneously acquire fingerprint and finger vein characteristics without physical contact is relevant. The NEC HS100-10 works with major access management software (such as IBM Tivoli and Novell) and NEC will provide the “Hybrid Finger Authentication Development Library.” [See NEC hybrid finger scanner] -- Posted Friday, February 25, 2011

Intel's super-fast Thunderbolt connection technology
Intel announced the "Thunderbolt" high-speed PC connection technology that combines high-speed data transfer and high-definition display on a single cable. With a top speed of 10Gbps, Thunderbolt is twice as fast as the just emerging USB 3.0, and more than 20 times as fast as standard USB 2.0. Thunderbolt can provide up to 10 watts of power to peripherals, and is compatible with existing USB and Firewire peripherals via adapters. Likewise, DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, or VGA display can also use Thunderbolt with an adapter. The Intel-developed technology is coming to market through a technical collaboration with Apple, and is available first on Apple's new line of MacBook Pro laptop computers. [See Intel Thunderbolt press release and technology primer] -- Posted Thursday, February 24, 2011

Xplore closes financing and expands working capital
Xplore Technologies announced that it received $1 million in gross proceeds from the issuance of 1 million shares of Series D Participating Convertible Preferred Stock in a follow-on private placement. "The private placement and modified working capital agreement, together with the recent recapitalization, provide Xplore with added financial flexibility for the upcoming launch of our new improved iX104 rugged tablet PC that is scheduled for release in early Spring" stated Mr. Philip Sassower, Chairman and CEO. [See press release] -- Posted Thursday, February 24, 2011

Added Q&A feature receives many questions relating to rugged computing devices, pen computers, PDAs, Tablet PCs, touch and display technology, and other topics related to mobile computing equipment. Some are answered in our large library of product reviews, editor blog entries and in our technology primers. If time allows, we directly answer reader questions via email and make responses of common interest available on the Q&A page. [See Rugged PC Review Reader Q&A] -- Posted Thursday, February 24, 2011

DLI announces 4th gen rugged vehicle-mount computers
DLI -- a manufacturer of rugged tablets, in-vehicle computers, and mobile POS devices -- announced the release of the DLI 9200 Vehicle-Mount Computer. The Intel Atom D525 powered DLI 9200 is available with a 12.1” or 15" outdoor-viewable LED touchscreen and offers a wide choice of multiple and concurrent wireless radio. The DLI 9200 will be available in the middle of March; nicely configured at US$1995. [See DLI 9200 webpage] -- Posted Tuesday, February 22, 2011

VIA launches rugged touch screens for embedded applications
VIA Technologies announced the VIA VID series of industrial-class touch screen displays designed for interactive kiosks, POI and POS embedded systems, etc. Available in both ruggedized (IP65, -10 to 70C) and open frame configurations, the VIA VID series spans 7 inch to 19 inch form factors and offers longevity support, scalability and a feature set geared for commercial and industrial deployment. [See VIA VID product page] -- Posted Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Motion announces low-end version of C5v MCA tablet
Motion Computing is now offering a low-end version of its C5v Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA) using an Intel Core i3 processors and a smaller 30GB solid state disk. This new option makes a lower entry price point (US$1,899) available for healthcare organizations that require the durability, integrated features and ergonomic design of the C5v, but do not need the advanced systems management capabilities of the Intel i5 or i7 vPro processors. -- Posted Tuesday, February 22, 2011

XP Embedded enters extended support phase
Microsoft announced that Windows XP Embedded SP3 exited mainstream support and entered the extended support phase of its lifecycle on January 11, 2011. During the Extended Support phase for Windows XP Embedded, Microsoft continues to provide security updates at no additional charge and paid support remains available. Extended support for Windows XP Embedded is available until January 12, 2016. [see Microsoft press release] -- Posted Friday, February 18, 2011

Trimble launches new GeoExplorer 6000 handhelds
Trimble introduced the Windows Mobile-based GeoExplorer 6000 series of high-accuracy Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) handheld computers. The series delivers dramatic improvements in difficult GNSS environments such as urban canyons and under tree canopy using Trimble Floodlight satellite shadow reduction technology. The TI OMAP 3503-based 6000 Series includes 256MB RAM, 2GB Flash, SDHC, a dual-frequency GPS and GLONASS receiver and antenna, 5-megapixel camera, 3.5G data, 4.2-inch full-VGA sunlight-readable display, 4-foot drop spec, IP65 sealing, and a field-swappable 28 watt-hour battery. It comes in two versions, the GeoExplorer 6000 series GeoXH with real time decimeter (4 inch) accuracy, and the GeoXT with 75 cm (30 inch) accuracy in real time and 50 cm (20 inch) accuracy after postprocessing. The previous GeoExplorer continues as the GeoExplorer 3000 Series.
-- Posted Friday, February 18, 2011

Microsoft announces Windows Embedded platforms for Thin Clients
Microsoft announced Windows Embedded for thin clients, which can offer cost-effective, secure and reliable solutions for a variety of applications. The company issued a white paper on thin clients (see here) and also a Q&A session on Embedded for thin clients with product manager Alexa Barron (see here) -- Posted Thursday, February 17, 2011

LXE becomes part of EMS Global Resource Management
EMS Technologies has combined the their LXE and EMS Global Tracking divisions to form the EMS Global Resource Management business to better meet growing demand for “in-transit visibility,” one of the Company’s most promising growth opportunities. The leader of the new group, Dino Koutrouki, said: “LXE’s technology portfolio, including wide-area radios and rugged computers, will complement the satellite-tracking capabilities of EMS Global Tracking." -- Posted Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Motion to launch CL900 in UK/Ireland through Box Technologies
Box Technologies, a premier Motion value-added distributor, has been named as the distributor to launch the new Motion CL900 rugged tablet computer in the UK and Ireland. [See Box Technologies press release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Juniper Mesa Geo 3G AT&T network-ready
Juniper Systems announced that their innovative Mesa Geo 3G Rugged Notepad has received network-ready approval from AT&T Wireless and can operate on America’s largest expanded digital UMTS/HSDPA 3G network. This makes the Mesa Geo 3G Juniper Systems' first fully rugged device supported on AT&T’s high-speed nationwide network. Juniper Mesa Rugged Notepad] -- Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New reviews: Advantech ARK-3390, ARK-6320 and AIMB-780
Catching up on the backlog in our review queue, the following product reviews are now available: Advantech ARK-6320 (Mini-ITX box PC), ARK-3390 (Industrial Box PC), and AIMB-780 (high performance Core i3/i5/i7 industrial ATX motherboard). -- Posted Saturday, February 12, 2011

Handheld opens Asia-Pacific subsidiary in Sydney
Handheld Group of Sweden announced the opening of Handheld APAC Pty Ltd., in Sydney, Australia. The new subsidiary will provide sales, marketing and support services to Handheld’s business partners in the Asia-Pacific region, supplying rugged mobile computers through an expanding partner network in the fast-growing region. Besides offering a local presence to current partners, the Sydney office will also serve as the company’s springboard into Asian markets. [See press release] -- Posted Thursday, February 10, 2011

HP announces webOS-powered TouchPad
As expected, Hewlett Packard announced the TouchPad, a tablet that is virtually identical in design, size and weight to the Apple iPad, but runs webOS, which Palm pioneered on its Pre and Pixi smartphones. Powered by a 1.2GHz Qualcomm "Snapdragon" processor and offering either 32 or 64GB of memory, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G WWAN, and a 1.3mp camera, the TouchPad will be available in the summer of 2011. HP did not release information on battery life, price or carriers. The emergence of the impressive webOS in a device from a major manufacturer may have an impact on the course tablets take in the rugged market as well. [See description and specs of the HP TouchPad] -- Posted Thursday, February 10, 2011

How to be in the news
For anyone selling anything, being in the news is everything. And the more exposure the better. But how does one get the news out? How often, and what makes most sense? There are many answers, but we can certainly share how we get news. -- Posted Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Full review: updated Getac V100
The Getac V100 is a compact rugged mobile computer that can either be used as a standard laptop or, by rotating the display, as a tablet PC. The latest technology update (2010/2011) includes an energy-efficient ultra-low voltage 1.2GHz Intel Core i7-640UM processor, a large 320GB serial ATA hard disk, gigabit Ethernet, fast wireless PAN and WAN implementations, SD Card reader, super-bright outdoor-viewable screen, and an integrated camera. spent several weeks with the updated V100 and found much to like. [Read detailed review of the updated Getac V100] -- Posted Tuesday, February 8, 2011

LXE introduces the powerful LXE Tecton rugged handheld
LXE announced the Tecton rugged handheld, targetted at warehouse and supply chain applications. The Tecton replaces the successful LXE MX7. While the exterior looks pretty much the same, LXE provided very substantial performance and software upgrades, and also includes the latest laser scanner or 1D/2D imaging technology. Available with either Windows Mobile 6.5 or Windows CE 6.0, the Tecton carries IP65 sealing, can handle up to 5-foot drops and has a 14 to 122F operating temperature range. [See description and specs of the LXE Tecton] -- Posted Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Japan's Embedded Technology 2011 Trade Show Nov 2011
Japan Embedded Systems Technology Association (JASA) will be holding its annual Embedded Technology Conference and Exhibition (ET2011) in Yokohama, Japan, November 16-18, 2011. Last year, approximately 22,000 registered attendees visited ET2010, the largest embedded technology event in the world. -- Posted Saturday, February 5, 2011

Intermec 2010 financials: slightly up
Intermec announced 2010 revenues of US$679 million, with a net loss of US$5.3 million. That compares to full year 2009 revenues were US$658 million with a net loss from continuing operations of US$10.9 million. Fourth quarter 2010 revenues were US$200 million and net earnings from continuing operations were US$7.9 million. Q1 2011 revenues are expected to be within a range of $160 to $170 million. [See Intermec financials] -- Posted Thursday, February 3, 2011

Mobile Demand adds xTablet C1200 rugged convertible tablet
Mobile Demand announced it is complementing its lineup of rugged Tablet PCs with the xTablet C1200 convertible tablet computer. The C1200 has a 12.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel touch display with optional digitizer and runs Windows 7 on an Intel Core i5-520UM ultra low voltage processor. The 12.9 x 10.9 x 1.6 inch device weighs 5.5 pounds, has an integrated carry handle, solid state storage, a spill-resistant keyboard, and a 4-foot drop spec. I/O can be customized via modules, and a secondary battery can boost battery life to eight hours. [See description and specs of the Mobile Demand xTablet C1200] -- Posted Thursday, February 3, 2011

Reviews: Advantech ARK-3403 and ARK-3440 industrial IPCs
Industrial Box PCs are the unsung heroes of rugged computing. They consist of reliable embedded computing hardware inside compact, rugged enclosures. And they can be configured for just about any task, anywhere. took a detailed look at the Advantech ARK-3403 and ARK-3440 Box IPCs that share a fanless aluminum housing, but otherwise couldn't be more different: one uses a 1.66GHz Intel Atom D510, the other a powerhouse 2.53GHz Intel Core i7-610E. See description, benchmarks and specs of the Advantech ARK-3403 Box IPC and Advantech ARK-3440 Box IPC. -- Posted Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Added: Quantum 3D Thermite embedded visual computers
Quantum3D, located in San Jose, Calif., specializes in open-architecture, realtime computing solutions for industry-specific applications. Their Thermite TVC (Tactical Visual Computing) line includes includes a wearable unit that weighs just 1.65 pounds, one for vehicle applications, and a high-performance version for advancing graphics/rendering/ray tracing. All are ultra-rugged and water-proof. See descriptions and specs for the Quantum 3D Thermite TL, TVC2, and TVC3. -- Posted Tuesday, February 1, 2011

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    The editor and co-founder of Pen Computing Magazine launched late 2005 as a website dedicated to providing news and information about rugged mobile computer technology and its applications. The site aims to be an industry clearinghouse for rugged computing equipment hardware reviews as well as an information source on rugged computing terminology, definitions, testing, and enabling technologies.

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