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

December 2014

How going paperless can save quick-service restaurants money
In a recent webcast presentation moderated by QSR Magazine, Workforce Insight, a workforce management strategy and implementation consultancy, estimated that a 50-restaurant chain will spend an average of $250,000 on managers making unnecessary schedule edits a year due to poor planning and non-interactive scheduling tools. In addition, they estimated that automated scheduling solutions via mobile devices are saving QSRs 4-6 hours a week. [read How Going Paperless Can Save QSRs Big Money and Improve Productivity] -- Posted Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ARBOR releases PC/104-Plus module with quad-core Intel Atom E3800 family
Arbor Technology announced the release of the wide temperature range (-40 to 185F) Em104P-i2313 ETXp single board computer module with PC/104-Plus interface. The Em104P-i2313 is based on Intel "Bay Trail" dual and quad-core E3800 processors. Providing dual channel 24-bit LVDS, analog RGB, DDI, and DisplayPort, integrated Intel HD graphics, and dual independent display support, the inexpensive module opens new opportunities for systems integrators. [See ARBOR press release] -- Posted Monday, December 29, 2014

Juniper Systems: Meeting the needs of customers through rugged handheld customization
One of the big advantages rugged vertical market computing gear has over consumer technology is its customization potential. In a new article, Juniper Systems discusses how their customers' data collection applications are incredibly unique and varied, ranging from land surveying to pipeline monitoring, to electrofishing, to inventory management, and to countless others, and the many ways in which Juniper Systems handhelds can be customized. [Read Meeting the needs of customers through rugged handheld customization] -- Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Full review: Motion Computing's 12.5-inch Haswell-powered, highly configurable dual-mode input rugged R12 tablet
The uniquely designed R12 from Motion Computing is the sleeker, lighter, and faster successor of the company's J3600 tablet. The Intel Haswell-based R12 is a rugged, modern and highly configurable Windows tablet with strong performance and a bright, sharp 12.5-inch capacitive multi-touch display large enough for complex applications. Enterprise and business customers will appreciate its excellent connectivity and and integrated 8-megapixel documentation camera as well as the ability to add scanners, RFID, and even a legacy serial port through its optional "SlateMate" bolt-on modules. [See full review of the Motion R12] -- Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Rugged Toughpad tablets aid in U.N.’s Locust Watch Project
For thousands of years, the desert locust has been a genuine threat for hundreds of millions of people in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Its destruction of crops causes distress for farmers, inhabitants and ecosystems alike. To fight and prevent this plague, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) established the Desert Locust Information Service (DLIS) for the daily monitoring of environmental conductions and locust infestations on a global level. The United Nations selected Panasonic Toughpad FZ-A1 rugged Android tablets as an essential element for the success of this innovative project. [Read Rugged Toughpad tablets aid in U.N.’s Locust Watch Project] -- Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Review: Logic Supply Bay Trail-powered embedded Box PC had hands-on with Logic Supply's bright orange ML210G compact embedded industrial PC. Consisting of a good Intel Bay Trail-based Mini-ITX board in a fanless steel and magnesium enclosure, the ML210G offers a very solid, modular, and economically priced super-compact full Windows computing platform that can be used for a wide variety of embedded and industrial applications. [See review of the Logic Supply ML210G industrial PC] -- Posted Monday, December 22, 2014

Honeywell buys DataMax-O'Neil
Honeywell announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Datamax-O’Neil, a global manufacturer of fixed and mobile printers used in a variety of retail, warehouse and distribution, and health care applications, for $185 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015. Interesting situation: for the past few years, both Honeywell and Motorola have been on rugged company acquisition sprees. Now, Honeywell buys one of the two largest mobile printer companies, whereas Motorola Solutions was bought by another large mobile printer company (Zebra). [See Honeywell press release and DataMax-O'Neil press release] -- Posted Saturday, December 20, 2014

Boeing moves into former Intermec headquarters
The Puget Sound Business Journal reports that Boeing is moving into the 312,000 soft former Intermec headquarters in Everett, Washington. That's a sad reminder of the disappearance of Intermec, which once was on its way to US$1 billion in revenue, but then started reducing the Everett workforce by moving manufacturing overseas. The once proud company was absorbed by Honeywell in 2012, and only a few employees remained in the Everett facility. -- Posted Friday, December 19, 2014

Winmate's rugged E430M2 Android handheld automates African retailer's store and warehouse efficiencies
When South African bathroom product retailer CTM needed a solution for better manage assets, production time and distribution they found it in e-commerce software developed by Tangent Solutions running on Winmate's Android-based 4.3-inch E430M2-3BM rugged handhelds with built-in Motorola barcode scanners. The combo allows users to track incoming and outgoing products, storing and monitoring warehouse inventory information in real time, check a shipment’s location status and locate inventory records instantaneously. CTM also utilized the E430M2-3BM for a user-friendly payment system to streamline checkout and eliminate the need to exchange cash. [Read Winmate case report] -- Posted Friday, December 19, 2014

Full review: GammaTech ruggedized Durabook P24 all-in-one
Primarily known for its rugged tablets and notebook computers, GammaTech recently branched out into all-in-one terminals with its new Durabook P24 for those who need the space-saving convenience of a modern all-in-one desktop, but in a package that's tougher than consumer products such as the Apple iMac, and also easier to configure, upgrade and service. RuggedPCReview examined the P24 in detail and it's an impressive offer indeed. [See full review of the GammaTech P24 all-in-one] -- Posted Thursday, December 18, 2014

GammaTech DURABOOK SA14 rugged notebook earns honorable mention status
GammaTech Computer Corp., a major international manufacturer and supplier of innovative notebook and tablet computers, has received an Honorable Mention in the 2014 CRN Test Center’s “2014 Products of the Year” listing for its DURABOOK SA14 rugged notebook. [See GammaTech press release] -- Posted Thursday, December 18, 2014

Fujitsu launches two new Stylistic enterprise tablets
There was a time when Fujitsu dominated the tablet scene with its various semi-rugged and rugged Stylistic models, but over the past several years Fujitsu tablets were less visible. Now, Fujitsu announced the launch of its next-generation tablets, the Fujitsu STYLISTIC Q555 and STYLISTIC Q335. The Q335 is an 8-inch 1280 x 800 pixel Intel Atom quad-core Z3735F powered Windows tablet ideal for business users requiring enhanced portability, the 1.47-pound 10-inch 1920 x 1200 Q555 a semi-rugged 2-in-1 with enterprise-grade security. [See Fujitsu press release] -- Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: December 2009
Parvus announced that its DuraCOR 810 mission computers had been integrated into Northrop Grumman's MQ-5B Hunter Unmanned Aircraft System. Raytheon developed mission software apps for the iPhone/iPod Touch. We examined the new Atom N450 and Atom D410/510, but weren't quite sure where they were going. Psion Teklogix proudly announced new contracts. Motorola released the MC3090-Z, Panasonic swallowed Sanyo, Seagate entered the SSD market, the Wall Street Journal praised MobileDemand's innovative marketing, DLI announced the Atom Z530-powered, DLI 8800 Mobile POS tablet, and Trimble showed what farmers can do with GPS. The Examiner declared Windows Mobile dead, and Intel celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Windows Embedded partner Program. -- Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Logic Supply and ACP partner to create ThinManager-ready industrial Thin Clients
Industrial and embedded computer manufacturer Logic Supply has released their first ThinManager-Ready thin client system on the Intel Bay Trail-based ML210 industrial computer platform, the designation meaning it has undergone extensive testing by ACP and comes pre-loaded with the necessary ACP BIOS, allowing for direct download of the appropriate firmware directly from ThinManager. -- Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Handheld holiday trade-in program offers up to $200 savings on new NAUTIZ X8
Handheld Group announced that its Crazy Christmas trade-in promotion will allow customers to save up to $200 on a brand-new NAUTIZ X8 by trading in an approved competitive device. The NAUTIZ X8 is a compact field data collector with a brilliant 4.7-inch capacitive touchscreen. [See Handheld Group trade-in program] -- Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Xplore secures further military order
Xplore Technologies also announced it has secured a multi-million dollar purchase order for its iX104C6 M1 ultra-rugged Windows tablets as part of an ongoing military program that utilizes the tablets for field data collection. It follows two previous multi-million dollar orders for iX104C5 M1 ultra-rugged Windows tablets from the same customer. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2014

United Airlines picks Apple iPhone 6 Plus over rugged handhelds for 23,000 flight attendants
United Airlines announced the carrier will equip its flight attendants with Apple's iPhone 6 Plus, putting safety and service information at flight attendants' fingertips while enhancing their ability to meet customers' needs. The airline will begin distribution to its more than 23,000 mainline flight attendants during the second quarter of 2015. Upon introduction, the devices will have the ability to handle most onboard retail transactions and will enable access to company email, and the company's Intranet as well as policies and procedures manuals. [See United Airlines news release] -- Posted Friday, December 12, 2014

Xplore Technologies extends contract with large airline
Xplore Technologies announced additional orders for its XC6 Windows tablet PCs by one of the world's largest and most well-known airlines. The new order extends the previously announced multi-million dollar project, arming the airline's ground crews with ultra-rugged tablets at airports across the U.S. [See Xplore press release] -- Posted Thursday, December 11, 2014

Full review: Motion Computing CL920
Motion's CL-series was among the first serious enterprise market Windows tablets with capacitive multi-touch when the platform was launched in early 2011. Now in its third generation, the new Motion CL920 is much faster and much more powerful thanks to its Intel Bay Trail Pentium N3540 processor. Ancillary technology (WiFi, BT, USB, WLAN, GPS, cameras, etc.) was updated as well, and there's now a superb new display with Gorilla Glass 3. [Read full review of the Motion Computing CL920] -- Posted Wednesday, December 10, 2014

New rugged components
Looks like reliable components that won't break are getting increased attention, with all sorts of companies introducing rugged, more durable components. Extreme Engineering Solutions announced new rugged MIL-STD-810 tested Solid-State Drive solutions for applications requiring long-term availability and a stable supply chain (see X-ES press release). Fortinet, a global network security provider, launched four new "Rugged" networking, security and wireless devices purpose-built to meet the demanding standards of public utilities, oil and gas, mining, manufacturing and the transportation industries that operate in harsh physical environments (see Fortinet press release). -- Posted Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Cincoze enters North American market with innovative rugged industrial computers and Panel PCs
Emerging Taiwanese IPC company, Cincoze is bringing their take on rugged, high-performance computer hardware to the US and Canadian markets with the launch of their new North American branch. Cincoze says it has developed an expansive line of innovative industrial computers, including a selection of unique, highly-modular panel PCs. [See Cincoze's industrial computing product lineup] -- Posted Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Winmate releases new Bay Trail DIN rail Box PC
Winmate introduced their new fanless Intel Bay Trail N2930-powered IBDR Box PC that measures just 6.0 x 5.5 x 3.4 inches. The Winmate IBDR Box PC offers extensive I/O including legacy RS232/485 serial ports with isolation, as well as digital I/O, three USB ports, four RJ45 gigabit Ethernet jacks, VGA video, and up to 256GB of mSATA solid state storage. Intended use includes automation control, data collection in industrial and building automation control, factory automation, and data transmission applications.[See Winmate IBDR Box PC] -- Posted Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Total Cost of Ownership: The difference between a consumer tablet versus a rugged tablet
One of the many arguments for using ruggedized computing technology instead of inexpensive consumer grade products is that higher initial cost is more than offset by significantly lower failure rates and resulting costs. Xplore Technologies revisits this issue in a new blog post entitled "Total Cost of Ownership: The difference between a consumer tablet versus a rugged tablet" and there's also a link to a TCO calculator. -- Posted Tuesday, December 9, 2014

GPS tracking solution provider Electric Compass joins Motion Computing’s Motion Valued Partner Program
Electric Compass, which specializes in mobile enterprise GPS solutions, announced it has been accepted into Motion Computing’s Motion Valued Partner Program. Motion Computing is the global leader in integrated mobile computing solutions with a complete line of purpose-built, rugged and highly mobile tablet PCs, combined with services and solutions. Electric Compass’s flagship solution, Electric Compass Tracker allows enterprises to track the GPS location of field workers -- Posted Monday, December 8, 2014

Arestech launches an ultra-compact and price-competitive fanless embedded Box PC
Arestech Co. Ltd. announced a new price-competitive, fanless 1.83 GHz Intel N2930-powered embedded box PC, the BPC-3022. Designed for digital signage, medical, automation, computer-integrated manufacturing, etc., applications, the compact BPC-3022 is protected against electromagnetic interference, has a wide operating temperature, low power consumption, and offers multiple display ports. [See Arestech BOC-3022 page] -- Posted Thursday, December 4, 2014

JLT Mobile Computers forms US subsidiary
Swedish developer and manufacturer of rugged computers JLT Mobile Computers announced the formation of a US subsidiary in Tempe, Arizona. JLT first entered the US market in 1999 and has since 2007 been the ODM of Vehicle Mount Terminals (VMTs) for DAP Technologies. From now on, using the same local staff, JLT will handle sales, services and staging of its VMTs across the North American market. The new JLT US organization is led by Eric Miller, former VP of Sales at DAP. [See JLT Mobile Computers press release] -- Posted Tuesday, December 2, 2014

ARBOR introduces wide-format Bay Trail powered ASLAN industrial Panel PCs
ARBOR Technology, introduced the ASLAN series of fanless industrial Panel PCs with 16:9 ratio widescreens for a greater operation and viewing experience for industry automation and field sites applications. The ASLAN series offers three models with 15.6, 18.5 and 21.5 inch screens, uses Intel Celeron Processor J1900 quad-core CPUs. The ASLAN series comes with DVI-I video, dual speakers, three LAN jacks, four USB and four COM ports, and an IP65 front panel. [See ARBOR ASLAN Series] -- Posted Monday, December 1, 2014

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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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