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

December 2006

Fuzzy widebodies
Not only are Americans getting ever bigger and wider, our notebook screens do, too. According to the market research firm DisplaySearch, the 15.4-inch panel size with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels is currently by far the most popular in the US, grabbing 44.2% of the share. The Japanese are more modest, still favoring 15-inch displays with a measly 1024 x 768 resolution. Frankly, both puzzle us here at Pen Computing. After having worked with 12.1-inch 1400 x 1050 resolution on our Toshiba notebooks for years, giant low-res screens seem rather lame. -- Posted Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Motion signs up with ASUS
Motion Computing announced a manufacturing agreement with ASUSTeK, Inc., a leading provider of computers, communications and consumer electronics based in Taipei, Taiwan. ASUS will become an original design manufacturer of Motion tablet PCs and peripherals. New Motion products built by ASUS will be released beginning in 2007. This new agreement augments Motion's existing relationship with Compal Electronics based in Taiwan and China. Compal will continue as a strategic partner for Motion, including manufacturing of Motion's current award-winning product family as well as developing new Motion designs. Our take: Hmmm. Interesting, but a somewhat odd announcement. -- Posted Thursday, December 21, 2006

Panasonic adds Sprint Broadband to more Toughbooks
Panasonic announced that the business-rugged Toughbook W5 and T5 notebooks will now feature built-in support for Sprint Mobile Broadband services, including its upgraded EV-DO Revision A service where available. The ultraportable and reliable W5 and T5 join other 3G enabled Toughbooks, including the fully-rugged CF-29 notebook, CF-18 convertible tablet and semi-rugged CF-74, as part of Panasonic's portfolio of mobile broadband enabled notebooks. With this certification, users will have the option to access Sprint Mobile Broadband service running on the Sprint Power Vision Network in more than 220 communities (with a population of more than 100,000) and 725 airports across the US, a coverage area that encompasses more than 180 million people. -- Posted Tuesday, December 19, 2006

NEC readies a new rugged Tablet PC convertible, maybe
NEC certainly has a long history in pen, rugged and mobile systems, going all the way back to the beginning of pen computing where the NEC Versa pen convertible once played a not inconsiderable role. NEC also was among the first to embrace WindowsCE and was an innovator in that arena for several years. When Microsoft reinvented the Tablet PCs, NEC showed the impressive, ultra-thin Versa LitePad slate. And NEC Japan tantalized us with a few other rather impressive vertical market offerings along the way. Sadly, with the exception of the laudable Windows CE project, most of NEC's efforts quickly fizzled or never really made it over here at all. That may now change with the introduction of the latest NEC vertical machine, the ShieldPRO FC-N21S. Yes, it looks a lot like the Panasonic Toughbook CF-18 that's been around for four years or so, and at first look, the specs aren't that impressive. Core Solo chip, 10.6 x 10.1 x 1.9 inch body to accommodate a 12.1-inch screen, 5.5 pounds, IP54 rating. We'll see, but it's good to know NEC hasn't given up. -- Posted Wednesday, December 6, 2006

RFID Anywhere 3.0 inludes Information Location System
Sybase iAnywhere announced the latest version of RFID Anywhere, an extensible environment for developing and managing sensor network applications including RFID solutions. Version 3.0 adds a context-aware Location Information System. that allows businesses to not only track assets from a range of data collection points [such as passive RFID, active RFID, real-time location systems (RTLS), barcode, global positioning systems (GPS) and environmental sensors], but also enhance the value of this data by associating environmental inputs (e.g., temperature) along with the location data. An included web services layer allows organizations to transform static business information into business- aware intelligence. [see full release] -- Posted Monday, December 4, 2006

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