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

December 2015

Highton Electronics launches rugged 8” multi-function Intel Bay Trail-powered Tablet PC
Highton Electronics, a Chinese manufacturer specializing in in rugged phone and tablet devices, announced the HR802 rugged Tablet PC. Available with either Windows 10 or Android, the Intel Bay Trail Z3735F-powered 1.75-pound HR801 has an 8-inch 1280 x 800 procap display, up to 128GB SSD, Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS/GLONASS, NFC, 4G LTE, 2D barcode imager, and fingerprint scanner. We have not had hands-on with the HR802, but it appears that Chinese white box manufacturers are making significant progress in rugged tablets. [See Highton Electronics HR802] -- Posted Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Winmate launches 10.1" multi-touch Panel PC for maritime use
The market for interactive smart display systems for maritime use is rapidly growing, and it needs reliable, durable high-performance technology. Winmate's new W10IB3S-MRH2 Multi-Touch Marine Panel PC fills that need. It replaces cumbersome chart plotters and conventional PCs, providing superior connectivity, the ability to control and power multiple devices, and it is IEC60945 4th edition compliant. The rugged Winmate Marine PPC is ideal for small or large commercial vessels, fishing boats, recreational sailboats, and offshore racers. [See Winmate 10.1" Panel PC for maritime use] -- Posted Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Advantech receives Taiwan Excellence 2016 Award
Advantech announced that its TREK-773 third generation all-in-one mobile data terminal for heavy duty fleet management, TREK-733L compact light-duty mobile data terminal for local fleet management, and TREK-973 compact light-duty rugged tablet have been awarded a Taiwan Excellence 2016 Award. [See Advantech media release] -- Posted Tuesday, December 29, 2015

RAM Mounts named as CES 2016 Innovation Awards honoree
RAM Mounts reports that the Consumer Technology Association has named RAM's IntelliSkin and GDS Technology as a CES 2016 Innovation Awards Honoree. Products entered in this prestigious program are judged by a preeminent panel of independent industrial designers. [See RAM Mounts media release] -- Posted Thursday, December 24, 2015

Belgian Railways moves to Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1
Panasonic reports that when Belgian Railways (NMBS) was looking to update its train managers’ digital system, used to scan passengers' travel cards and e-tickets, provide information and sell tickets on board, it chose Panasonic’s Toughpad FZ-M1 tablet. "A project like this one for NMBS called for a unique solution," said Steven Vindevogel, country manager for Panasonic. "The Toughpad FZ-M1 used in the platform was specially designed for NMBS. We started with a device that we knew was suitable for the task at hand, while being flexible enough to be customized. It was a real challenge, but in the end we managed to integrate all the required functionalities, while keeping the weight to just 850g." [See Panasonic media release] -- Posted Sunday, December 20, 2015

Juniper Systems' Holiday wishes
Those talented guys at rugged handheld maker Juniper Systems are poets, too! Just go see their unique rendition of "Jingle Bells!" Who'd have thunk? [See Juniper's Jingle Bells holiday lyrics] -- Posted Friday, December 18, 2015

Olixir launches Mobile DataVaults with up to 8TB storage
Olixir reports that its rugged Mobile DataVault F32 is now available with up to 3TB capacity, and its semi-rugged Mobile DataVault F33/F43 with up to 8TB of storage. Both can be used as stand-alone external drives or in towers/racks, and both use fast USB 3.0 or eSATA. [See Olixir Mobile DataVault comparison matrix] -- Posted Thursday, December 17, 2015

ADLINK launches future-proof Smart Touch panel computers
ADLINK Technology introduced the Smart Touch Computer (STC) for industrial applications. Designed using the Smart Mobility Architecture (SMARC) computer-on-module concept to offer flexibility and scalability, the STC is available with 10.4”, 12.1” and 15” resistive or procap touch displays, and is powered by a quad-core Intel Atom E3845 processor. [See ADLINK media release] -- Posted Thursday, December 17, 2015

Janam and Mainstreet Inc partner to deliver retail mobility solutions
Rugged mobile computer provider Janam and Mainstreet Inc., which specializes on retail in-store systems, announced a partnership to deliver robust, flexible mobility solutions to retailers. The partnership was initiated in light of retailers' renewed focus on in-store technologies in an increasingly complex retail environment. -- Posted Thursday, December 17, 2015

Review: Octa-core powered rugged ARBOR Gladius 10
As tablets are becoming ever more popular in the workforce, there's an increasing need for products that are slim and light, but also tough enough for work in the field. One such tablet is ARBOR's fanless Android-based octa-core powered Gladius 10 that includes an industrial-grade scanner, excellent cameras, mini-HDMI, and IP65 sealing. [See full review of the ARBOR Gladius 10] -- Posted Wednesday, December 16, 2015

ADLINK Technology acquires PrismTech
The vast promise of IoT, the Internet of Things, continues to fuel mergers and acquisitions, and so far it's mostly been hardware vendors gobbling up software providers. A month ago Advantech reported it acquired B+B SmartWorx, and now ADLINK Technology announced the purchase of PrismTech, a supplier of software platforms, tools and services. [See PrismTech media release and Q&A] -- Posted Monday, December 14, 2015

Logic Supply launches very clever System Finder tool
The German expression "Die Qual der Wahl" refers to the pain of being confronted with too many choices. Which is something systems integrators often experience when sifting through hundreds of available hardware modules and platforms on a website before finding what they need. The ever innovative folks at Logic Supply know that and created The Logic Supply System Finder tool that allows customers to very quickly find what they need via a set of very clever filters. [Check out the Logic Supply System Finder] -- Posted Monday, December 14, 2015

Juniper blog: creating specialized solutions based on Juniper Systems rugged handheld hardware
In an example of how rugged handhelds can be customized for specific deployments and then rebranded, Juniper Systems worked with partner E.H. Wachs to create the specialized HC-100 handheld. The HC-100 acts as a controller and a data collection device for their trailer and vehicle-mounted valve exercisers. [Read Juniper blog on creating the E.H. Wachs’ Valve Maintenance Controller] -- Posted Saturday, December 12, 2015

Janam's flagship line of rugged mobile computers now offers dual-OS support
Janam announced an addition to its XM series of rugged mobile handhelds. The new XM70, while retaining the form factor of the company's popular XM66, offers dual OS support. Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 remains available, but the XM70 also supports Android Jelly Bean. This allows customers to hedge their bets, examine migration possibilities, while benefitting from full peripheral compatibility with the XM66. The XM70 also brings substantial tech upgrades and doubles performance. [See Janam media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Janam XM70] -- Posted Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Getac Nov 2015 financials
According to DigiTimes, Getac Technology reported revenues of US$49.3 million for November 2015, increasing 4.9% on year, and US$503 million for January-November, rising 14.2% on year. Getac expects the ruggedized PC business to contribute 45% of its 2015 revenues, up from 40% in 2014. The increase will significantly improve the company's profits. The company expects the percentage to continue to grow to 50%. -- Posted Tuesday, December 8, 2015

An assessment of the Apple Pencil
A few weeks after the Apple iPad Pro began shipping, the Apple Pencil is now available also. Steve Jobs was adamantly opposed to pens, but 5-1/2 years after the iPad was first introduced, the Apple Pencil is here, at least for the big iPad Pro. It's expensive (US$99), but it may well change what users expect from a tablet. How well does the Apple Pencil work, and has Apple learned from history? [Read our assessment of the Apple pencil] -- Posted Monday, December 7, 2015

MobileDemand reveals two new rugged Windows 10 tablets with barcode scanning
MobileDemand announced the addition of two new powerful yet affordable Windows Professional devices with barcoding scanning capabilities. The 10.1-inch xTablet T1500 and the 8-inch xTablet T8500 are engineered specifically for the mobile workforce, where productivity is priority and device downtime is not an option. [See description, analysis and spec of the MobileDemand xTablet T8500] -- Posted Friday, December 4, 2015

An inexpensive solution for the glove/capacitive touch issue?
California-based GloveTacts believes it has a solution for using any capacitive touch device with gloves. They created special pads with embedded micro carbon filaments that simulates human skin conductivity and attach securely and durably to nearly any glove via an advanced 3M adhesive. [See GloveTacts] -- Posted Thursday, December 3, 2015

Exxon Mobil deploys Janam XM5 rugged handhelds
Janam Technologies LLC announced that ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, is deploying XM5 rugged mobile computers from Janam to improve fire protection inspection, testing and maintenance services. “It is critical for companies operating in hazardous conditions to ensure the safety of employees, neighbors and the environment,” said Harry B Lerner, CEO of Janam. “Our super-rugged, super-capable XM5 rugged mobile computer is Intrinsically Safe and uniquely designed to enable organizations like ExxonMobil maintain the highest standards of safety.” [See Janam media release] -- Posted Thursday, December 3, 2015

New JLT Mobile video demonstrates glove touch
In September we reported on JLT Mobile Computers' JLT1214P logistics panel computer with Rugged Projective Capacitive Touch (PCT) technology that works with gloves. And not just thin ones. A simple new video from JLT shows how well their new glove touch works. [Watch JLT glove touch video] -- Posted Wednesday, December 2, 2015

ADLINK announces new quad-core rugged fanless computer
ADLINK Technology announced its new Matrix MXE-1400 series of rugged quad-core Intel E3845-based fanless embedded computers, which the company claims has the highest I/O density among compact embedded systems. Capable of handling -40°F to 158°F extended operating temperature and extreme vibration/shock make the MXE-1400 an ideal choice for a wide range of applications supporting intelligent transportation, in-vehicle multimedia, surveillance and factory automation. [See ADLINK MXE-1400 Series]
-- Posted Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: Dec. 2010
In December 2010, Fujitsu got out of the hard drive business, Taiwan's OEMs beefed up to handle tablet technology (they now manufacture all iPads), Motorola decided to split into Motorola Mobility (cellphones) and Motorola Solution (enterprise and government business), with Moto Solutions expected to be an $8-9 billion company. GammaTech introduced the D12C convertible notebook and N-trig brought its pen and multi-touch technology to Android. The media predicted tablets would destroy the netbook market and eat into notebooks. DAP Technologies introduced the M4000 handheld and Psion the EP10 rugged PDA. Motorola and Janam resolved patent disputes. Atmel introduced a touch chipset that could handle gloves, Verizon turned on its 4G LTE service, and TI introduced the Android-capable dual-core OMAP4440 processor. We reviewed the DLI 8800 rugged POS tablet, the Getac B300, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which we viewed as the first serious competitor to the iPad. -- Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The value of edge computing
DigiTimes quotes NEXCOM's Chief Technology Officer as saying that despite IoT's emphasis on Internet and Cloud, edge computing -- i.e. the filtering, analyzing and interpreting of all the data collected by sensors -- may be where much of the IoT payoff is. Intelligently responding to the vast amount of real-time data fosters predictive maintenance, smooth flow of operations, and timely response to potentially crucial trends. -- Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Digitizes sees move to larger size tablets
DigiTimes predicts that Apple's iPad Pro and Microsoft's Surface 2-in-1 devices will boost demand for large-size tablets (more than 30 million units in 2016), partly offsetting shipment declines in small-size segments. This will result in global tablet shipments dropping only 4.8% on year to reach 196 million units in 2016. DigiTimes also sees China-based white-box players gradually forced out the tablet market as profit margins decline due to lack of differentiation. -- Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2015

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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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