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

December 2011

IEI Mobile launches new website
IEI Mobile, a new business unit of Taiwanese IEI Technology Corp., has launched a new website focusing on industrial, ruggedized tablets, PDA and automotive PCs as well as on mobile systems solutions for a variety of markets. Mobile hardware products currently include the Intel Atom-based ICEFIRE and ICEROCK tablets; the MODAT 100, 200 and 328 industrial PDAs; and the iKarPC and VTT-1000 on the vehicle computing side. -- Posted Friday, December 30, 2011

Added: full lineup of Janam rugged handhelds
Janam is a new York-based provider of an interesting lineup of rugged handheld computers that all aim to supply tried-and-true functionality in handy, durable packages and employing mature technology, both on the hardware and the software side. On the Windows side of things, Janam offers the Windows CE-based XM60+ and Windows Mobile-based XM66 (see here), and the XG100 with a gun-style handle that includes the unit's battery (see here). For those who seek to continue using Palm OS-based applications, Janam has the XP20 (160 x 160 mono) and XP30 (240 x 320 color) using the Palm 5.4.9 Garnet OS (see here). -- Posted Thursday, December 29, 2011

MobileDemand: Rugged Tablet PCs ideal for the battlefield
MobileDemand posted their latest Ruggeddized Computing Blog entry entitled "Rugged Tablet PCs Ideal for the Battlefield." In it, MobileDemand explains why rugged tablets are a cost-effective way to enhance a wide range of battlefield functions. -- Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Winmate unveils ruggedized, Intel Atom/Windows Embedded Standard 7 powered 9.7-inch tablet with projected capactive touch
Winmate announced the attractively styled R09ID9M-RTL1, also known as the Winmate 9.7-inch Compact Rugged Tablet PC. Running Windows Embedded Standard 7 on an 1.6GHz Intel Atom N2600, the semi-rugged device brings the elegance and ease of use of projected capacitive touch to embedded systems custom applications. There's also USB and LAN/HDMI connectivity, WiFi, Bluetooth, optional 3.5G WWAN, and despite the extra ruggedness, the tablet still only weighs two pounds. [See description and specs of the Winmate 9.7-inch Compact Rugged Tablet PC] -- Posted Sunday, December 25, 2011

Intermec receives increased line of credit
Intermec announced that it has expanded its Line of Credit with Wells Fargo to US$150 million. While there are no immediate plans for the proceeds, the new three-year agreement increases the company's current borrowing capability from $100 million to $150 million, and extends the maturity date to December 31, 2014. “The expansion of our financing agreement reflects Intermec’s solid financial position and enhances our flexibility in operating our business as well as our ability to consider strategic opportunities on favorable terms,” said Patrick Byrne, president and chief executive officer of Intermec. -- Posted Saturday, December 24, 2011

HABEY USA introduces Atom E600-based rugged fanless PC
HABEY USA has released the BIS-6625 ultra compact connected embedded computer designed around the latest Intel Embedded Atom E600 series System-on-Chip (SoC). On a footprint of only 5 x 5 inches and weighing just two pounds, the aluminum/steel BIS-6625 has two Gigabit Ethernet ports for high speed networking, three mini-PCIe slots, is ready for wireless and 3G/4G connectivity, and has four COM ports. There's also a CAN bus header to support IEEE 1588 in-vehicle, industrial automation and medical device data transmission. [See HABEY BIS-6625 product page]
-- Posted Thursday, December 22, 2011

Motorola Solutions retail survey: vendors and customers positive on mobile technology
Motorola Solutions' annual Holiday Shopping Survey reports that 75% of surveyed retail associates and managers feel they provide a better in-store customer experience when equipped with the latest mobile technologies. Shoppers echoed a similar sentiment as more than two-thirds (67%) reported heightened satisfaction with retailers where in-store associates utilized the latest technologies to assist in the shopping experience. [See Motorola Solutions press release] -- Posted Wednesday, December 21, 2011

u-blox achieves sub-meter GPS accuracy with Precise Point Positioning
u‑blox announced the availability of the NEO-6P GPS module with standalone sub-meter Precise Point Positioning (PPP). PPP is made possible by a proprietary algorithm combined with ionospheric correctional data received from satellite based augmentation systems such as WAAS (USA), EGNOS (Europe) and MSAS (Japan). [See u-blox NEO-6P product page] -- Posted Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Datastick introduces new rugged VSA-3300 Vibration Spectrum Analyzers
Datastick Systems announced four new rugged VSA-3300 models in its line of affordable, handheld VSA Vibration Spectrum Analyzers, which are used to detect and diagnose problems in rotating and reciprocating machinery before breakdowns occur. The new rugged VSA-3300s use the IP67-rated Palm Garnet-based Meazura MEZ-1500 handheld computer, so that an external rugged case is no longer required. [See VSA-3300 webpage] -- Posted Monday, December 19, 2011

Motion announces exhibition schedule for early 2011
Motion Computing announced it will share key insights and display its vertically-focused enterprise tablet PCs at a variety of industry events throughout January and February, including the 2012 International CES (January 10 – 13, 2012, Las Vegas, NV), NRF 101st Annual Convention & EXPO (January 15 – 18, 2012. New York, NY), DistribuTECH Conference & Exhibition (Jan 24 – 26, 2012, San Antonio, TX), B2B Demand Generation Conference (Jan 31 – Feb 1, 2012, San Francisco, CA), and HIMSS12 Annual Conference & Exhibition (Feb 20 – 24, 2012, Las Vegas, NV). -- Posted Sunday, December 18, 2011

Winmate introduces hybrid 4.3-inch rugged handheld with capacitive touch
While most consumer smartphones run Android or the iOS and have capacitive touch screens, most rugged industrial handhelds still use resistive screens and Windows CE/Mobile. Winmate has now introduced the S430T hybrid device, a rugged industrial handheld with a conventional form factor, but equipped with projected capacitive touch and capable of running either Android 2.3.4, Windows CE 6.0 or Windows Mobile 6.5. The IP67-sealed device includes u-blox GPS, and can be equipped with optional WWAN, scanner or RFID. [See description and specs of the Winmate S430T] -- Posted Friday, December 16, 2011

GammaTech introduces updated, faster 13.3-inch rugged convertible Tablet PC
GammaTech announced the R13C, a very significantly upgraded version of its R13S convertible tablet. The new model is much faster with an Intel Core i7-620LM processor, can have up to 8GB of fast DDR3 RAM, much larger disks, and ingress protection goes from IP54 to IP65. The 13.3-inch display now supports multi-touch, and it has an extremely bright 1,000 nits backlight. [See the GammaTech R13C spec page] -- Posted Thursday, December 15, 2011

VIA announces Android support for embedded x86 boards
VIA Technologies announced Android support for its VIA x86 embedded platforms, starting with support for the VIA EITX-3002 Em-ITX board. VIA states that running Android on an x86 platform offers increased flexibility, great multimedia support and cost saving advantages for embedded applications such as in-vehicle entertainment and interactive kiosks. [See video demo of Android running on VIA x86 board] -- Posted Thursday, December 15, 2011

InTouch newsletter #111
We received's always informative InTouch newsletter, 111th edition (see here). -- Posted Thursday, December 15, 2011

Army finds non-rugged smartphones lacking
One of the most frequent questions we receive is what mobile computing form factor the military will go with. Well, our friends at AMREL just reported on the US Army's second Network Integration Evaluation (NIE) that included an assessment of the potential use of non-rugged commercial smartphones. The results were negative, with failures at high temperatures, displays that washed out in sunlight, connectors that broke, and dirt gumming up the works. In addition, many soliders found the flood of information on smartphones distracting. [See AMREL blog on NIE -- Posted Thursday, December 15, 2011

Motorola Solution introduces MC2100 mobile computer
Motorola Solutions introduced the MC2100, a value-conscious enterprise mobile handheld computer for inventory management and similar tasks. Weighing just 8.5 ounces, the rugged MC2100 runs Windows Embedded CE 6.0 on a 624MHz Marvell PXA320 processor, has a 2.8-inch QVGA display, offers the choice of 1D laser, 1D imager, or 1D/2D imager, and includes push-to-talk. [See description and specs of the Motorola Solutions MC2100]
-- Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Intermec partners with intrinsic safety specialists to create explosion-protected mobile computer product
Intermec and German ecom instruments, a manufacturer of intrinsically safe mobile solutions for over 25 years, have entered a partnership to develop and deliver an explosion-protected mobile computer product for key markets requiring computing solutions for hazardous environments in 2012. In essence, this means that ecom will apply its expertise in modifying mobile devices to meet a variety of intrinsic safety standards to one or more of Intermec's handheld computers. -- Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review: Advantech-DLoG MTC6 vehicle mount terminal analyzed the Advantech DLoG MTC6, an ultra-rugged Intel Atom Z510-powered vehicle mount terminal designed for logistics applications in distribution centers, port yard container cranes, warehouses, mining vehicles, forklifts, and even in deep-freeze areas. The MTC6 comes in two screen sizes (10.4 and 12.1 inches), can run a variety of standard and embedded operating systems on lean hardware, can be mounted in numerous ways, and offers a wealth of communications and data capture options including VoIP, scanning and RFID. [See review of the Advantech DLoG MTC6] -- Posted Sunday, December 11, 2011

ADLINK to support Kontron's new ARM/SOC-centric COM platform
ADLINK Technology announced it will support Kontron's new Computer-on-Module (COM) standard (see here) for ultra low-power embedded architecture platforms with a new line of products. Building on their design experience with ARM/RISC in OEM and Intelligent Display projects, this marks ADLINK's first endeavor outside x86 boundaries for a standard form factor product offering. -- Posted Thursday, December 8, 2011

Getac notebooks to be deployed in rebuilt Warren 911 system reports that the Warren, Ohio City council will purchase of 27 Getac rugged laptops as part of rebuilding their 911 system. Officials state that the new system will improve response capability and also save the city money. -- Posted Thursday, December 8, 2011

AIM/Intermec interview: RFID: Fixed vs. Hand-held Data Collection
AIM (Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility) ran an interesting interview on the issue of fixed vs. handheld data collection with Kurt Mensch, RFID product strategist at Intermec. [Read interview] -- Posted Thursday, December 8, 2011

U.S. Forest Service selects Psion Workabout Pro 3 as mobile platform for National Forest System
Psion announced that the Workabout Pro 3 has been approved for purchase by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for use within the National Forest System. The USFS will have the option to order Workabout Pro 3s under the terms of a five-year blanket purchase agreement with Psion partner Handheld Systems Inc.. Blanket purchase agreements enable federal agencies in the U.S. to establish ongoing agreements for repetitive orders to help meet recurring needs for supplies and services. [See Psion press release] -- Posted Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Full review: MobileDemand xTablet C1200 convertible Tablet PC
MobileDemand of Hiawatha, Iowa, is primarily known as the manufacturer of the xTablet family of rugged Tablet PCs, but the company also offers the xTablet C1200, a convertible tablet that easily transforms from a Tablet PC to a rugged laptop, addressing the needs of mobile professionals who need laptop-class connectivity and access to business applications anytime, anywhere. examined the C1200 in an extended review and found to to be a powerful, versatile, and very competent rugged multi-purpose device. [See full review of thew MobileDemand C1200] -- Posted Monday, December 5, 2011

Stealth scores OEM Hardware System Building Partner of the Year Inc. (Stealth Computer) announced it has been selected as the winner in the OEM Hardware System Building Partner of the Year at the 2011 Microsoft Partner Network IMPACT Awards for providing their customer with a rugged PC solution that could operate reliably in the agricultural field. The Stealth LPC-460FM is a fanless PC that was successfully deployed in the harsh environments of farm machinery due to its durability, diminutive size and mobile functionality. -- Posted Friday, December 2, 2011

Datalogic acquires PPT Vision
Datalogic announced the acquisition of PPT Vision, Inc., a U.S. company that has been in the machine vision market for nearly 30 years. The acquisition is intended to strengthen Datalogic's presence in the artificial vision market, which has high growth potential within the Industrial Automation field. -- Posted Friday, December 2, 2011

Getac UK announces rugged 7-inch Android tablet
Getac UK has announced a 7-inch fully rugged Android-based tablet computer. The Getac Z710 tablet is designed to withstand 5-foot drops, carries IP65 sealing (i.e, it's dust-proof and can handle water jets from all directions), can handle operating temperatures from -22 to 140° Fahrenheit, and passes numerous MIL-STD-810G tests. The Z710 runs Android 2.3, comes with 16GB of memory, has a microSD Card slot, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, USB, dual cameras (HD front, 5mp rear). Note that the new Getac tablet has not yet been announced in the US where John Lamb, Director of Marketing, Getac Inc., stated "We have numerous rugged notebooks, convertibles, handheld and tablet products in development and we are excited about the pipeline." [See Getac UK press release] -- Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011

HCI introduces Android-powered TVs for healthcare
HCI has released the next generation of their RoomMate TVs designed specifically for use in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. The new connected TVs run the Android OS and use Android apps to entertain and educate patients, visitors, and staff. [See HCI Android TV platform] -- Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011

MobileIron 4.5 to offer comprehensive Android security platform
MobileIron announced global availability of MobileIron 4.5, which provides a deep set of security features to Android devices. With support for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), MobileIron 4.5 includes encryption enforcement, secure SSL VPN, Exchange account configuration with certificates, a single MobileIron client for all Android devices, hardware lockdown and more. -- Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011

VIA celebrates 10 years of Mini-ITX
When VIA Technologies' Robert Kuo created the Mini-ITX VT6010 reference design in November of 2001, few expected the 6.7 x 6.7-inch x86-compatible form factor to become as successful in all sorts of embedded systems as it has. To celebrate, VIA published the "Small is Beautiful: 10 Years of Mini-ITX" eBook available for download in either PDF or tablet/Smartphone reader formats. [View/download 10 Years of Mini-ITX] -- Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011

Essay on wearable computing
Corey Christiansen posted an interesting essay on the history and status of wearable computing on See Getting Schooled in Wearables). -- Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011

Neonode scores another zForce license win
Neonode announced that ultra-rigged phonemaker Sonim Technologies has signed a worldwide license for Neonode's zForce optical touch technology. zForce uses an infrared beam grid to detect touch and finger location, meaning there is no need for a digitizer overlay. The signing of a number of high-profile technology licences over the past couple of years represents a remarkable turn-around for Neonode, a company which initially attempted to sell its own ahead-of-their-time N1 and N2 smartphones (see our 2005 and 2007 reviews of the Neonode N1 and Neonode N2). [See Neonode press release] -- Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011

u-blox 6-based 3G HSPA/CDMA rugged vehicle tracking
GenX Mobile introduced its new rugged vehicle tracking 3G HSPA product line based on the u-blox compact LISA wireless module series, the world's smallest 3G modem family, and a u-blox 6 GPS receiver module. GenX Mobile 3G HSPA products are geared to be cost-effective, yet robust wireless fleet tracking units for fleet managers and service providers. [See press release] -- Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011

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