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

March 2010

Unitech introduces new ISV partner program
Unitech America has launched a new partner program for Independent Software Vendors (ISV). The program is a part of the Unitech Partner Network and is designed to address the unique needs of ISV partners and help them grow by providing exclusive technical support and marketing benefits. Program benefits include free hardware for testing and certification, a dedicated support team, marketing and sales support. To learn more about Unitech’s ISV Partner Program please contact Bill Lewis, Unitech’s Director of Sales and Marketing, at BillL @ -- Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Will industrial tablets benefit from the iPad?
On April 3rd, the Apple iPad tablet will be available in Apple stores. According to various reports, almost 300,000 iPads have been ordered before the device even became available. The hype is enormous, with experts falling all over themselves proclaiming why the iPad will succeed or fail. [... read more] -- Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Xplore's Holleran says iPad launch shows growth of tablet market
Xplore Technologies president Mark Holleran believes that the launch of the Apple iPad indicates "that the tablet PC industry is poised for wider acceptance and accelerated growth" as more and more people are becoming comfortable with the tablet form factor. This, Holleran argues, bodes well for Xplore which recently introduced additional military and clean room versions of its rugged iX104C4 tablet computer. -- Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Datalogic announces Power3 system platform
While we're still digesting the various implications of the "Open Source Mobility" business model launched by Psion Teklogix a few weeks ago (see Psion's OSM press release), Datalogic Mobile announced their new Power3 System Platform. Power3 included C3 (capture, compute, communicate), F3 (form, feel, function), and D3 (develop, deploy, direct). The new platform, whose first product probably is the just-released Datalogic Elf, is described on Datalogic's website. It includes such interesting things as a parallel computing architecture that combine a PCA chip with a Cortex-M3 processor. -- Posted Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Notebook hard drives now reaching 750GB
Western Digital announced that it is now shipping 750 GB of storage capacity in a standard-height 2.5-inch notebook hard drives, which is the industry's highest capacity to date in this form factor. The WD Scorpio Blue drives include WD's ShockGuard technology that protects the drive mechanics and platter surfaces from shocks, and SecurePark to ensures the recording head never touches the disk surface. The 750GB drives cost US$149, making massive storage capacity affordable in mobile systems. -- Posted Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Getac wins GCN FOSE Best of Show award
The Getac V100 won a Government Computer News FOSE Best of Show aware in the Portable Computer category. For a detailed description of the Getac V100 rugged convertible notebook computer, see our review here. -- Posted Friday, March 26, 2010

DuPont licenses optical bonding technology to Ocular
DuPont and Ocular announced a licensing agreement today whereby Ocular will deploy DuPont Vertak optical bonding technology to enhance the durability and readability of its advanced touch screens. [Read press release]
-- Posted Thursday, March 25, 2010

US DoD awards Psion Teklogix 1,600 additional units
Psion Teklogix announced that the Department of Defense has ordered more than 1,600 additional units of the company’s ruggedized mobile computers (mostly 7535G2 handheld computers, 8525G2 vehicle mount computers). Building on its 20 year relationship with the DoD, Psion Teklogix will supply devices for use by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and the Defense Logistics Information Service (DLIS). This additional acquisition will bring the total number of Psion Teklogix devices being used by the DoD to more than 8,000 units around the world. [Read press release] -- Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The right lighting for police squad computers
Officer John Rivera wrote an interesting article at on laptop display readability requirements in police squad cars. Rivera discusses what matters in real world usage, and mentions the technologies used by Panasonic and General Dynamics Itronix. [Read The right lighting for police squad computers] -- Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Panasonic to deploy Gobi2000 on entire line of rugged Toughbooks
Panasonic announced it would deploy Gobi2000 technology across its line of rugged mobile computers. Toughbook mobile computers featuring the upgraded multi-mode Gobi2000 solution can take advantage of increased global connectivity options, faster data-transfer rates and integrated GPS. The company will deploy the latest Qualcomm Gobi technology with the help of Sierra Wireless. [See press release] -- Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Group Mobile adds rugged NEXCOM tablets
Group Mobile, a Phoenix, Ariz. based online reseller of rugged computers has added NEXCOM's MRC 2100 and MRC 2300 rugged tablet PCs to its product offerings. NEXCOM is a Taiwanese technology firm that first introduced the tablets in 2008, and has been adding to the lineup ever since. The latest model, the rugged MRC 2300 tablet PC, is based on Intel's new Atom processor, the 1.6GHz N450. [See description and specs of the NEXCOM MRC 2300] -- Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Motorola releases upgraded MC75A
Motorola announced an updated version of its successful MC75 "enterprise digital assistant." Physically, the device stays pretty much the same, but the technology has been beefed up significantly, and thanks to a switch to Windows Mobile 6.5, the interface looks all different. The fairly compact (6.0 x 3.3 x 1.7 inches, 14 ounces) MC75A is now powered by the 806MHz Marvell MXA320, has more RAM and storage, a 3.2mp camera, upgraded scanners, and 3.5G wireless. The MC75A can handle 5-foot drops, is IP54-sealed, has a 14 to 122F operating temperature range, and is fully compatible with Motorola Mobility Suite and Mobility Services Platform. [See description and specs of the Motorola MC75A] -- Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Datalogic announces rugged Elf professional PDA
Datalogic announced a new industrial/professional PDA designed for a variety of field service/sales, delivery, retail and logistics markets. The PXA310-powered device runs Windows Mobile 6.5 on a 3.5-inch VGA display, and offers a complete set of integrated communication (WiFi, Bluetooth, voice/data WWAN, GPS) and data collection (laser scanner or imager, RFID) features. The Datalogic Elf, which measures 3.2 x 6.2 x 1.65 inches and weighs just under a pound, can be ordered with either a QWERTY or a numeric keypad. The Elf can handle 5-foot drops, is IP64-sealed, and has a wide 14 to 122F operating temperature range. [See description and specs of the Datalogic Elf] -- Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Psion community: UC Expo coverage
On its Community Blog, Psion Teklogix has a nicely illustrated report from its exhibit at the UC Expo that took place in London, March 10-11, 2010. [See Psion Teklogix UC Expo coverage] -- Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Motion rugged tablets now Verizon Wireless ready
Motion Computing announced that the rugged J3400 Tablet PC now features integrated access to the Verizon Wireless 3G mobile broadband network. The Motion C5, F5 and J3400 Tablet PCs are now all Verizon Wireless network ready under the Open Development program, which is designed to offer businesses and consumers the ability to use wireless devices, software and applications not offered by the company on its nationwide wireless network. [See Motion press release] -- Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2010

GD-Itronix GD6000 selected by CPS Energy
The vehicle-rugged GD6000, manufactured by General Dynamics Itronix, was selected by Texas-based CPS Energy as the rugged computer for its field-service technicians and as part of its emergency response process. The GD6000 weighs slightly more than six pounds and includes integrated GPS, WWAN, WiFi, Bluetooth and an Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 processor, powerful enough to support real-time maps and GPS in use everyday by CPS Energy field technicians. [See press release and full review of the GD6000] -- Posted Monday, March 22, 2010

Socket introduces new WLAN SDIO Cards with broad OS support
Socket Mobile announced the availability of the Socket Go Wi-Fi! P322 with internal antenna and P322X with external antenna. These cards pack full 802.11a/b/g functionality into the small SD Card form factor, support an extended operating temperature range (-4 to 185F), and offer a ruggedized mounting option. The new caards are currently available to OEM customers that support Windows Mobile 6, Windows CE 5.0 and Windows CE 6.0, and, via embWiSe, that support Linux, Nucleus or ThreadX operating systems. [See product page at Socket Mobile] -- Posted Friday, March 19, 2010

InfoWorld: How Microsoft tried and failed to rule mobile
InfoWorld published an interesting and informative article/slidehow on Microsoft's involvement in mobile computing over the years, and author Josh Fruhlinger is spot-on. [See InfoWorld's How Microsoft tried and failed to rule mobile] -- Posted Friday, March 19, 2010

Added: Unitech HT680
Addressing a need for a small and handy (i.e. pocktable) data collection terminal rugged enough to be used almost anywhere, Unitech introduced the HT680 mobile computer. The HT680 weighs just 11 ounces, has a 2.7-inch QVGA touch display, includes Bluetooth and comes in four versions with permutations of 1D laser scanner or 2D imager, with or without WiFi. WWAN is optionally available, and the device can handle a 6-foot drop. [See description and specs of the Unitech HT680] -- Posted Friday, March 19, 2010

Consumerization of rugged markets? recently posted an article on Windows Mobile and the vertical markets, and concluded with the question, "What will the small but significant number of vendors who make and sell Windows Mobile devices do as their chosen operating system platform looks increasingly dated and is becoming a target of customer dissatisfaction?" We received some good (and rather concerned) feedback on that column, and think it's an issue that is not going to go away. [...more] -- Posted Thursday, March 18, 2010

Full review: Logic Instrument FieldBook
In a phenomenon that caught the computer industry by surprise, consumers have been buying tens of millions of "netbooks." They did that because netbooks are smaller, lighter, handier and less expensive than full-size notebooks. We're starting to see a similar trend in the mobile rugged computing industry with the introduction of smaller, lighter and handier tablet computers that weigh three pounds or less, yet provide performance that's more than adequate for many jobs. has just completed a full review of the Logic Instrument FieldBook. [See full review of the Logic Instrument FieldBook] -- Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ocular's new Crystal Touch website
Ocular, which makes the Crystal Touch line of projected capacitive touch screens that are well suited for harsh environment multi-touch applications, has unveiled an attractive and informative new website at Also check out their See White Paper on capacitive touch screen technology] -- Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2010

First Mobile Technologies releases new vehicle docking stations
First Mobile Technologies, which specializes in in-vehicle solutions, announced a number of new vehicle docks. The fully-rugged FirstDock XT2 XFR in-vehicle docking station for use with the Dell XT2 XFR includes an in-dock DVD writer as well as 12 different peripheral ports. The company's redesigned FirstCradle Universal is rugged, versatile mounting solution that holds virtually any netbook, notebook, or tablet computer. First Mobile Technologies also has a new in-vehicle solution for the Panasonic Toughbook 52 with the First Mobile CF-52 Docking Tray.

-- Posted Monday, March 15, 2010

GD-Itronix launches GDAssurance solution validation program
General Dynamics Itronix introduces the new GDAssure Solution Validation and Installation Certification Program that evaluates and certifies that a customer’s rugged computer, software and peripherals operate as they are intended in a simulated day-to-day operating environment. The GDAssure Solution Validation and Installation Certification Program is available as part of a sales contract and takes from 60 to 90 days to complete. [See GD-Itronix press release] -- Posted Monday, March 15, 2010

Advantech acquires industrial PC maker DLoG
Advantech, a leading IPC and eAutomation provider, announced the acquisition of DLoG GmbH, a German manufacturer of a variety of mobile and stationary panel PCs with displays ranging from 7 to 15 inches. DLoG has about 75 employees and 2009 revenues of about US$18 million. Under Advantech's leadership, the company will focus on four in-vehicle computing markets: Intralogistic, Heavy Duty, Stationary Applications, and Fleet Management. [See review of [See press release] -- Posted Saturday, March 13, 2010

Android discussion at Psion Teklogix
On Psion Teklogix's new community site, Psion's Peter Ahn stated that "Android OS may become an important player in the long run. Having said that, Android O/S is still in its enfancy today, and our industry may not move fast in bringing business applications to Android O/S." Ahn also said that there are indirect benefits from the iPhone/Android war as WinCE/WinMo has been adding some of their features, such as finger touch and gesture support, an improved browser and an app store. [See Android discussion at Psion Teklogix community] -- Posted Thursday, March 11, 2010

LXE parent EMS provides financials, outlook
EMS Technologies released quarterly and year-end financials that included an $18.5-million goodwill impairment charge on its LXE mobile computing and logistics business. [See article by Ottawa Business Journal] -- Posted Thursday, March 11, 2010

Augmentix parent company goes private
Austin, Texas based Entorian, which owns rugged computing solutions company Augmentix, posted a profit on sales of $12.5 million in the fourth quarter and annual sales of $45 million, mostly from rugged product sales. Entorian, which will concentrate on its rugged, mission-critical mobile and server computing solutions, announced it will delist itself from NASDAQ and go private. Note that Augmentix is Dell's manufacturing partner for the Latitude E6400 XFR rugged notebook and XT2 XFR rugged Tablet PC. [See release] -- Posted Thursday, March 11, 2010

Xplore introduces Clean Room version of its rugged iX104C4 tablet
Xplore Technologies, struggling to survive and become profitable in a tough economy, has been staying in the news with a succession of special-purpose version of its flagship iX104C4 rugged tablet computer. The latest one is a special "Clean Room" model for use in environments designed to avoid any sort of contamination in the manufacturing process (such as chip making or the pharmaceutical industry). 500 of the tightly sealed iX104C4CR computers are currently being used in clean room settings. [See Xplore iX104C4 Clean Room brochure] -- Posted Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What will the impact of the Apple iPad be?
In a couple of days, people can start ordering the Apple iPad. It's not a rugged device, but its success or failure will undoubtedly have an impact on mobile computing for years to come. And everyone wonders whether the iPad will indeed fill the niche between smartphone and full notebook or desktop, or whether Apple made the right decision by scaling up the iPhone rather than scaling down a notebook. [Read "Will the iPad replace my iPhone?]" -- Posted Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Motorola introduces new single-channel program
Motorola unveiled the Motorola PartnerEmpower Program, which brings together all Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions (EMS) partners under a single channel program framework. Prior, there were separate channel programs for radio solutions, wireless broadband and Symbol. To be honest, it's all rather confusing and it should be interesting to see how it works out. [See press release and video] -- Posted Tuesday, March 9, 2010

LXE offers Genesta SyVox on its HX3 voice-activated wearable
LXE and Genesta, a provider of data collection solutions for industrial, transportation, and logistics applications, announced the availability of Genesta's SyVox Client on LXE's HX3 voice-directed wearable computer. SyVox Client, already available on LXE’s HX2 wearable and MX7 handheld computer, is a speech-enabled data collection application designed for industrial applications. -- Posted Monday, March 8, 2010

Psion Launches “Ingenuity Working" open online community
Community-building is all the rage, and now Psion Teklogix has one, too. Its new website "Ingenuity Working" is meant to bring developers, partners and customers closer together in an effort to make Psion Teklogix more transparent, to share Psion's IP portfolio with vendors and suppliers, and to generally foster open dialogue with the customer and reseller community. [See Psion's] TDS tried something like this a while ago with its, but that's now reverted to more of a sales and less of a community site. -- Posted Monday, March 8, 2010

Mobile computing to pull PC industry out of slump
According to market research firm Gartner, the PC industry will be overwhelmingly driven by mobile PCs, thanks to strong home growth in both emerging and mature markets. "We expect mobile PCs to drive 90% of PC growth over the next three years," said Mr. Shiffler. "In 2009, mobile PCs accounted for 55% of all PC shipments; by 2012, we expect mobile PCs to account for nearly 70 percent of shipments." Worldwide PC shipments are projected to total 366.1 million units in 2010, a 19.7% increase from 305.8 million units shipped in 2009, according to the latest forecast by Gartner. [read Gartner press release] -- Posted Friday, March 5, 2010

2T Hydrus Luna now available with RFID
Two Technologies introduced the Hydrus Luna RFID, an ultra-rugged handheld computer designed for operation in the harshest working conditions. The Hydrus has 40+ hour battery life, IP68 sealing, and is pretty much indestructible (see our full review with video]. The Luna RFID version has an HF 13.56MHz reader/writer housed within the Hydrus PACK, and supports most ISO 15693, ISO 14443A&B, MIFARE, LR-1512, I-CODE. Tag-it and my-d tags. -- Posted Thursday, March 4, 2010

Psion Teklogix introduces WorkAbout Pro 3
Psion Teklogix introduced the WorkAbout Pro 3 rugged handheld terminal that represents a technology, ergonomics, and expandability upgrade of the company's line of WorkAbout handhelds. The new model is quicker, tougher and more versatile, and adheres to Psion Teklogix's new "Open Source Mobility" philosophy that emphasizes a modular product platforms that allow sharing of common components and tools with developers, resellers and clients. [See description and specs of the Psion Teklogix WorkAbout Pro 3] -- Posted Thursday, March 4, 2010

Intermec CK3 introduces Vocollect SRX Wireless Headset
Vocollect, Inc., a leader in voice-centric solutions for mobile workers, announced the availability of Vocollect’s wireless headset, the SRX, on the Intermec CK3 rugged mobile computer. The solution helps mobile workers in warehouses and distribution centers to use voice and voice-enable their devices. Beverage distributor Odom Corporation has utilized Vocollect Voice with the CK3 to improve perfect order fulfillment rates from 76% to 99%, increase the amount of bottles processed per hour from 360 to 500, and improve case pick rates per hour from 95 to 156. [See Vocollect on Intermec CK3 brochure] -- Posted Thursday, March 4, 2010

New: Panasonic Toughbook C1
Panasonic introduced the Toughbook C1, an ultra-light "business-rugged" notebook convertible with Intel's latest 2010 Core processor technology. The dual input (digitizer/capacitive multi-touch) C1 is the first Panasonic ultralight that uses a convertible tablet PC design, therefore bringing this versatile form factor to those who do not need the ruggedness and weight of the company's Toughbook CF-19 that uses the same approach. It is also the first keyboard-based Panasonic Toughbook that incorporates innovations pioneered in Panasonic's Toughbook H1 tablet, such as dual hot-swappable batteries and an integrated strap for easy holding and carrying. [Read full description and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook C1] -- Posted Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rugged, sealed 20-inch military-standad LCD display
Sometimes only a really big display will do, but what if it needs to be rugged and well-sealed, too? That's the market Control Express of Finland addresses with their new CEF 20xs military class display. I's a 20-inch shock-suspended LCD with 1600x1200 UXGA resolution, perfect viewing angles in all direction, a steel chassis, IP54 sealing, and protection against vibration, external bumps and shocks, and watertight military connectors. [See CEF-20xs product page] -- Posted Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Motion announces first annual Excellence in Mobile Point of Care Award
Motion Computing also announced the first annual Motion Excellence in Mobile Point of Care Award, designed to recognize a commitment and dedication to deploying Mobile Point of Care Solutions that focus on enhancing clinician satisfaction and delivering the highest possible quality of patient care. The first winner is Springfield, IL-based St. John's Hospital. With more than 600 C5s in use, the hospital has seen an increase in bedside patient scans from just 20 percent to 97 percent – resulting in improved accuracy of data collected and an increase in data efficiency. [See Motion's healthcare solutions page] -- Posted Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Motion announces new peripherals for its rugged tablets
At the 2010 HIMSS conference, Motion Computing announced new peripherals and solutions for its tablet PCs. The new ReadyDock with Ethernet and Mobile Dock with built-in lock for the Motion C5 mobile clinical assistant (MCA) and F5 Rugged Tablet PC offer more storage, charging and management options while the Motion Medical Dictionary streamlines documentation processes for healthcare professionals. [See Motion press release] -- Posted Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Parvus gets ISO 9001:2008 certification
Parvus Corporation announces its successful certification to the ISO 9001:2008 standard after accredited ISO registrar Eagle Registrations Inc. assessed Parvus and found it in full compliance with this globally recognized ISO quality standard, spanning the scope of "the design, integration, production, and support of embedded computer, control, and communication subsystems and boards for use in military, aerospace, homeland security, transportation, and general industrial applications." [See release] -- Posted Monday, March 1, 2010

Thinix demos medical software on Advantech MCA
Thinix, a developer of touchscreen user interface technology announced it will demonstrate its Thinix Touch software on the Advantech MICA-101 mobile clinical assistant and the Advantech PIT-1702 patient infotainment terminal at HIMSS, which is taking place March 1-4 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA, USA. Also, see detailed paper on Thinix Touch for MCA Devices. -- Posted Monday, March 1, 2010

HP Elitebook 2740p: a tech update of the 2730p
HP has also updated its elegant and durable Tablet PC convertible to the new generation of Intel Core processors. The HP Elitebook 2740p is a technology update to the earlier HP 2730p with Core i3/i5 processors, more and faster memory, larger disks, multi-touch and optional Gobi/GPS. [See description and specs of the HP Elitebook 2740p] -- Posted Monday, March 1, 2010

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