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

February 2017

Panasonic Europe announces Toughbook CF-33
Panasonic Europe introduced the Toughbook CF-33, a 2-in-1 device that the company calls a fully rugged detachable laptop. The Intel Kaby Lake-powered 12-inch CF-33 will be the replacement of the venerable Panasonic Toughbook CF-31 that, against rising competition, had ruled the rugged laptop roost for a good many years. [See Panasonic media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-33] -- Posted Monday, February 27, 2017

eVision presents mobility solutions at Bartec Agile X IS DIV 1 and Zone 1 tablet launch
Bartec will officially launch their Agile X IS DIV I and Zone 1 tablet in the US market on 9 March 2017, at a private event in Houston. The Agile X IS is an intrinsically safe tablet pc that has a built-in scan engine, hot-swappable battery and diverse add-on module options to adapt to your working environment. [See media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the BARTEC Agile X IS] -- Posted Saturday, February 25, 2017

Zebra announces Q4 and full year 2016 financials
Zebra Technologies announced net sales of $942 million in Q4 2016 compared to $951 million in Q4 2015. Net income for Q4 2016 was $17 million, compared with a net loss of $28 million for Q4 2015. Full year 2016 sales were $3.574 billion in Q4 2016 compared to $3.65 billion in 2015. Net loss for 2016 was $137 million, compared with a net loss of $158 million in 2015. Of 2016 net sales, 65.2% came from the Enterprise division (i.e. the former Motorola Solutions enterprise division) and 34.8% from Legacy Zebra. In 2015, the split was 64.9 to 35.1%. Zebra CEO Anders Gustafsson said, "Zebra entered 2017 with an unmatched portfolio of innovative solutions, a solid backlog, and a healthy pipeline of opportunities to drive profitable sales growth." [See Zebra Q4 2016 financials] -- Posted Thursday, February 23, 2017

Blog: In search of the prepaid, transferrable SIM
At, we often analyze and report on mobile computing devices with integrated WWAN (mobile broadband) capability and a SIM card slot. it would be nice for us to be able to test device wireless data capabilities while we review them. We can't always ask vendors and manufacturers to get us test units with activated voice and data service, and we cannot, of course, set up cellular service for every such device that comes into our lab. So we wondered if there is an equivalent of prepaid phones and cards for SIM cards... [Read In search of a prepaid, transferrable SIM] -- Posted Thursday, February 23, 2017

VIA announces new VIA SOM-6X50 IoT acceleration platform
VIA Technologies announced the launch of the new VIA SOM-6X50 IoT Acceleration Platform for the rapid development of automated ticketing, signage, and kiosk devices. "Self-service systems that let consumers access information or purchase items with a tap on the screen or through their smart phone are critical for improving the user experience no matter whether it’s at a retail store or a parking lot,” said Richard Brown, VP International Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. “With our latest VIA SOM-6X50 IoT Acceleration Platform, we make it fast and easy for operators to design and build automated information display and transaction processing systems that meet their exact deployment needs.” [See VIA media release, the SOM-6X50 page, and the VIA Custom IoT Platform Design Services] -- Posted Thursday, February 23, 2017

Full review: Getac B300 ultra-rugged notebook computer
There are times when nothing but a full size, full function, tough and rugged notebook computer will do, and preferably one that isn't being restyled and redesigned every other year, because that needlessly obsoletes customer investment and equipment. The Getac B300 is one of those, one of the very few, and it's now in its sixth generation. RuggedPCReview conducted a full, detailed review of the now Intel Skylake-powered Getac B300. Performance has more than quadrupled compared to the original version, the super-bright, pushbutton-operated 1,400 nits backlight still dazzles, and yet the B300 remains completely compatible with every peripheral, dock and accessory ever made for it. [See full review of the Getac B300 ultra-rugged notebook computer] -- Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2017

NXT Robotics unveils rugged all-terrain security robot
Mobile robotics are playing an increasingly important role in the security of our borders, military facilities, and even power plants. To meet this growing demand, San Diego-based NXT Robotics has developed Scorpion, a rugged all-terrain and all-weather outdoor security robot designed to provide organizations with round-the- clock physical security monitoring and reporting capabilities. [See NXT Robotics media release and Scorpion product page]] -- Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Full review: DT Research DT311H 2-in-1 enabled rugged tablet
Addressing three hot tablet trends all at once — larger screen, higher resolution, and 2-in-1 hybrid functionality — the DT Research DT311H figures to be a strong contender in the rugged tablet market. RuggedPCReview performed an in-depth analysis and review of the IP65-sealed, high-performance 11.6-inch DT311H tablet that can instantly provide full laptop functionality without the extra bulk and weight of a permanently attached keyboard. [See full review of the DT Research DT301S] -- Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2017

ARBOR wide-screen Panel PC optimizes production efficiency for the garment industry
ARBOR Technology, a leading provider of embedded computing solutions, is pleased to announce that its 11.6” ASLAN-W812C has been selected to be installed on an automatic sewing unit as a control monitor, responsible for the optimization of production operations and manufacturing processes. The ASLAN-W81XC series, launched in Q4 2016, is an addition to ARBOR’s acclaimed widescreen industrial Panel PCs. There are two models (ASLAN-W810C and ASLAN-W812C) available with 10.1” and 11.6” displays respectively. [See ARBOR media release] -- Posted Friday, February 17, 2017

Scan handle transforms rugged tablet into barcode scanning powerhouse
MobileDemand has designed a scan handle attachment for the new xTablet T8650 rugged tablet. The optional accessory snaps directly to the back of the device to enable fast and ergonomic barcode scanning using the rugged tablet’s built-in 2D barcode scanner. The Scan Handle, which connects via Bluetooth, is powered by a swappable battery, providing up to 90 hours of continuous use on a single charge. [See MobileDemand media release and watch xTablet T8650 Scan Handle demo video] -- Posted Thursday, February 16, 2017

Avalue presenting seamless smart retail solution at EuroShop 2017
Avalue Technology, an embedded solution provider and an associate member of Intel Internet of Things Solutions Alliance, will be joining one of the world’s largest retail trade show, EuroShop, at Düsseldorf, Germany, on March 5-9, 2017. Visit Avalue’s Café-Boutique at Hall 7, Booth A36 to experience seamless retail solution. Avalue’s omnichannel retail solutions include modules such as in-store marketing, customer satisfaction, customer behavior analysis, point of sale, store management and business analytics. [See Avalue media release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2017

GammaTech to feature newest rugged computers at the AFCEA West 2017 Conference
GammaTech announced it will be partnering with Transource to showcase their latest DURABOOK line of rugged computers for leading military personnel at the AFCEA West 2017 Conference in the Transource booth (#1137 and #1139). The conference will take place from February 21-23 in the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA. Meeting or exceeding most difficult Military Standards, DURABOOK tablets and PCs are designed for demanding environments and can withstand the most hostile, toughest military applications. Whether in actual combat or preparing for it, these rugged devices offer power, performance and reliability to meet the needs of today’s military personnel. [See GammaTech media release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sony develops next-gen camera image sensor for mobile devices
Interested in the future of cameras integrated into mobile devices? Sony just announced a new 3-layer stacked 21-megapixel CMOS image sensor with DRAM for smartphones and the like. The sensor captures still images of fast-moving subjects with minimal focal plane distortion as well as 4k/60fps video and super slow motion movies at up to 1,000 frames per second. [See Sony media release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2017

GammaTech to show rugged computers designed for healthcare professionals at HIMSS 2017
GammaTech announced the company will be partnering with Lund Industries to showcase their DURABOOK line of mobile rugged computer options for medical professionals at HIMSS 2017 in the Lund Industries booth, #3203. The HIMSS 2017 Annual Conference will take place February 19-23 in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. GammaTech’s DURABOOK line of rugged computers will be mounted to Lund Industries’ DataCart products, resulting in state-of-the-art care carts ideal for use in medical situations such as telemedicine, behavioral health, stroke and nursing home use, where dependable technology can ensure that the professional’s attention will be focused on the patient. [See GammaTech media release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Xplore fulfills Initial $1.3M order to enable world’s first Android tablet-based vehicle safety and emissions system
Xplore Technologies announced that it has fulfilled an initial $1.3 million order for its XSLATE D10 tablet PCs and is in the process of deploying them as part of the first rugged tablet-based vehicle safety and emissions system ever built for a public or private-sector emissions safety program. The completely mobile system, which is also the first to leverage an Android device, exclusively relies on Xplore XSLATE D10 fully rugged tablet PCs to power the field and back-office workflows of vehicle safety and emissions programs across the United States. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Monday, February 13, 2017

VIA to showcase Smart Transportation Solutions
VIA Technologies announced that it will be showcasing its latest Smart Transportation Solutions at the 2017 Embedded World Exhibition and Conference being held this March 14-16 in Nuremberg, Germany. The VIA booth #2-551 is in Hall 2 of the Nuremberg Exhibition Center. Highlights on display at the VIA booth include a broad spectrum of commercial-grade systems, HMI starter kits, and IoT acceleration platforms that can be rapidly customized for in-vehicle and in-station applications. See VIA media release] -- Posted Thursday, February 9, 2017

Handheld Group announces Algiz 8X rugged Windows tablet
Handheld Group announced their new Algiz X8 rugged Windows 10 tablet, designed for modern field workers who require a powerful, portable computer for mobile tasks. Powered by an Intel "Braswell" N3710 quad-core processor, the Algiz 8X has a bright (600+ nits) 1280 x 800 pixel 8-inch procap wet/glove-capable multi-touch display with active pen support, can handle extreme environmental conditions, and provides extensive onboard connectivity and a "backpack" system for custom features. [See Handheld media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Handheld Group Algiz 8X -- Posted Wednesday, February 8, 2017

MediaTek introduces 16nm octa-core Helio P25
MediaTek announced the launch of its 64-bit MediaTek Helio P25, the newest addition to the MediaTek Helio P series mobile processor family. The new chipset, which clocks up to 2.5GHz, combines a 16nm ARM Cortex-A53 Octa-core processor with MediaTek Imagiq image signal processor technology (ARM Mali-T880 dual GPU, 4k video supported) and dual camera features (up to 24mp or 13mp+13mp). [See MediaTek press release and Helio P25 product sheet] -- Posted Wednesday, February 8, 2017 launches a new Lineup of rugged fanless Mini PCs (a Sparton company) has launched a new lineup of rugged fanless Mini PCs. The company's most comprehensive offering to date, the new LPC-800 series is versatile, robust and designed for a variety of demanding environments and applications. The LPC-800 series consists of 4 small form factor models; The LPC-810 is the smallest and lightest, the LPC-830 a mid-size system equipped with more storage and I/O functionality and LPC-860 which offers the highest performance in the series and lastly the LPC-862 which expands on the LPC-860 with two expansion slots. See Stealth media release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Xplore rugged tablets become first mobile PC platform to improve beer delivery process for largest distributor in Caribbean
Xplore Technologies announced that the largest beer distributor in the Caribbean has begun using Motion F5m by Xplore rugged tablets to track and schedule beer shipments among its 600 delivery trucks in the Dominican Republic. The company is also using F5m tablets to run an inventory control management application on its bottling lines and storage areas for the 20 brands it sells on behalf of its parent company, which is currently the largest beer distributor in Latin America and the fifth largest beer distributor in the world. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Kyocera DuraForce PRO rugged smartphone wins iF Design Award 2017
Kyocera announced that its Kyocera DuraForce PRO rugged 4G LTE smartphone with a super wide view HD (1080p) Action Camera received the iF DESIGN AWARD 2017. Built not just to survive in harsh environments, DuraForce PRO is shockproof, drop-proof, and dustproof, with IP68 sealing and MIL-STD-810G tested protection against dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog, humidity, immersion, temperature shock and icing/freezing rain. [See Kyocera media release and DuraForce Pro product page] -- Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Motorola Solutions reports full-year 2016 financials
Motorola Solutions reported 2016 full-year sales of USS$6.04 billion, up 6% from US$5.69 billion in 2015. 2016 operating earnings were US$1.07 billion, up 7% from 2015's US$994 million, with 2016 net earnings of US$560 million vs. US$640 million in 2015. The product vs. services sales breakdown was about 60:40. For 2017, Motorola Solutions expects revenue growth of 1-2%. [See Motorola Solutions financials media release -- Posted Saturday, February 4, 2017

Xplore reports their fiscal Q3/2017 financials
For Q3 of their fiscal 2017 financials, Xplore Technologies reported revenue of US$24.5 million, compared to US$27.0 million for the same quarter a year ago. Xplore reported net income for the quarter of $219,000 compared to net income of $786,000 for the three months ended December 31, 2015. As far as revenue goes, Xplore said the numbers reflect increased demand for multiple Xplore platforms, offset slightly by production capacity constraints caused by orders weighted heavily toward XSLATE D10 and Bobcat devices. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Friday, February 3, 2017

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: February 2012
February 2012 was a busy month in rugged computing! DAP opened a second US office and previewed their V1010 vehicle computer. Motion expanded its presence in the UK with a new Country Manager. Xplore reported their first-ever profitable quarter, Intermec posted $850 million in revenue for the year and launched the CV41 rugged forklift computer. Juniper added a HazLoc version of its Mesa, Psion a Neo handheld with UHF RFID, and Trimble introduced a new gen of its rugged Juno GIS handhelds. Android started to make a move: Harris introduced the RF-3590 rugged Android tablet, Motorola the LEX 700 mission-critical Android handheld, and and Winmate introduced the Android-based 4.3-inch E430M handheld. AMREL received a quality award, the US Air Force selected the Getac B300 for QEB fully rugged laptop category, and Panasonic reported on its 3,500+ unit Navistar Toughbook deployment. [See full January 2012 archive] -- Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Crystal Group White Paper on specialized rugged electronics
Crystal Group, a designer/manufacturer of combat-proven rugged commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) systems, announced the availability of a new white paper that provides system engineers with an overview to understand why ruggedized electronics are critical components of Direction Finding and Locating Systems. [Crystal Group White Paper section rehistration and download] -- Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2017

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