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

April 2015

Honeywell releases Dolphin 75e rugged handheld with either Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld or Android 4.4
Honeywell Scanning & Mobility released the Dolphin 75e rugged handheld as the first of a next-generation of products running either Windows Embedded 8.1/10 Handheld or Android 4.4/5.0. Based on the powerful 2.26GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, the Dolphin 75e uses capacitive multi-touch on its 4.3 inch display, has five sensors, a dedicated 1D/2D imager, fast 802.11ac WiFi, dual high-res cameras, and Voice over IP. [See description, analysis and specs of the Honeywell Dolphin 75e] -- Posted Thursday, April 30, 2015

IDC: Samsung reasserts global smartphone shipment lead with focus on lower-cost models in 1Q2015
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), vendors shipped a total of 336.5 million smartphones worldwide in 1Q2015, up 16.7% from the 288.5 million units in 1Q14 but down by 10.9% from 377.5 million in 4Q14. In the overall mobile phone market (smartphones plus feature phones), vendors shipped 458.9 million units worldwide, flat from the 459.3 million units shipped in 1Q14. Samsung led in smartphone markets share with 24.5%, followed by Apple with 18.2%. Lenovo, Huawei and LG Electronics fill the top 5, each with about 5% share. [See IDC media release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Full review: innovative, affordable MobileDemand xTablet Flex 8
With their new xTablet Flex 8 8-inch tablet, MobileDemand breaks new ground by combining a modern, competent Intel Bay Trail-powered Windows 8.1 tablet with a specially designed and preinstalled case that provides very respectable ruggedness. The whole package, including the industrial-grade briefcase carrying handle and heavy duty handstrap costs less than an iPad mini 3! Yet, the 1.6 pound tablet's specs are impressive. Quad-core Z3775 CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 10-point capacitive multi-touch, and a 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display. [See full review of the MobileDemand xTablet Flex 8] -- Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2015

VDC Research: Rugged mobile market eyes rebound in 2015
According to a new report by VDC Research, the rugged mobile market, although flat overall in 2014 compared to 2013, saw significant year-over-year growth in the second half of 2014 and particularly in Q4. VDC says that although the rebound has been fueled almost entirely by the US market with several large-scale rollouts in the retail and transportation/logistics sectors, positive momentum is beginning to show in other regional markets, and that rugged Android has been a key storyline with major enterprise customers overcoming their tension by placing big bets on these solutions. [See VDC Research media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Getac announces significant upgrades to company’s fastest-selling F110 rugged tablet and V110 rugged convertible notebook
Getac released the updated V110 rugged convertible and the updated F110 rugged tablet. The second generation F110 and V110 products each feature a 5th generation Intel "Broadwell" processor, Intel HD Graphics 5500, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a front HD webcam and an updated LumiBond 2.0 touch screen that can be configured for use with gloves or with direct exposure to rain. Available processors are the Intel Core i5-5200U, i5-5300U, i7-5500U or i7-5600U. The V110 provides battery life of up to 13 hours of operation, and the F110 up to 12 hours of operation. -- Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Handheld Group strengthens management with industry veteran Jim Rimay
Handheld Group, a global manufacturer of rugged mobile computers, announced the appointment of Jim Rimay as new Vice President of Sales for its North American subsidiary. Rimay, who has joined the Handheld US management team, has decades of experience as an executive and sales manager in the rugged computing industry. Rimay most recently held a position with Motion Computing. Prior to this, he served as President of Getac North America for six years. He is also the former Vice President of Americas Sales with Walkabout Computers, a developer of Microsoft Windows-based ruggedized tablet and PCs. [See Handheld media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Xplore secures order for additional 3,400 Bobcat tablets
Xplore Technologies announced it received additional purchase orders in excess of $9 million for the delivery of 3,400 fully-rugged Bobcat Windows series tablets and docks. The tablets will be used by field service technicians in the telecommunications provider customer’s construction and engineering divisions. [See media release] -- Posted Saturday, April 25, 2015

Scottish ambulance service to use 1200 Getac T800 rugged tablets for emergency operations
Getac reports that the Scottish Ambulance Service has signed a deal with leading ICT supplier Terrafix to use Getac’s T800 fully rugged thin and light Windows 8.1 tablets within its fleet of emergency vehicles. Each ambulance will be equipped with two tablets - one for use in the front of the vehicle for mobilisation and routing, and the other positioned in the rear of the vehicle, but remaining portable to be used as a method of recording Electronic Patient Report Forms. [See media release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Juniper Systems: The future of drones in data collection
In honor of Earth Day, Juniper Systems presented a discussion in their Get Rugged blog on the future of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and whether they may take over certain tasks done with rugged handhelds today. [Read what Juniper Systems product managers Josh Egan and John Florio have to say about UAVs]. -- Posted Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The NAUTIZ X1 ultra-rugged handheld now with Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5
Over the past few years, rugged equipment manufacturers have generally introduced dual OS-capable devices first with Windows and then also with Android. The Handheld Group is doing it the other way around with its ultra-rugged Nautiz X1 handheld and enterprise smartphone (see our full review). The IP67-sealed Nautiz X1, which has a 4-inch procap display and weighs just 6.3 ounces, was launched with Android and is now also available with the ubiquitous Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 OS that provides OEMs and enterprises with application portability between Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Embedded Handheld devices. [See Handheld Nautiz X1 product page] -- Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2015

AAEON's new RTC-900B 10.1-inch Windows tablet offers toughness and practicality on the go
AAEON, a developer of industrial computing solutions, announced the launch of the 10.1-inch WXGA RTC-900B rugged Intel Atom E3825 powered Windows 8.1 tablet with capacitive multi-touch and Corning Gorilla Glass protection. Designed for use outdoors or in hazardous environments, the 2,7-pound tablet features a scratch, vibration and IP65 water-proof design, optional 900 nits display, as well as battery life of up to 7 hours. There's Wi-Fi, 3G/4G WWAN, Smart Card reader, NFC, a 5mp camera, as well as microSD and USB 3.0. Designed for logistics and fleet management, the RTC-900B, which was honored with the 23rd Taiwan Excellence Awards, opens cloud computing options and provides real-time data for advanced fleet management purposes. [See AAEON RTC-900B product page and spec sheet] -- Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2015

ARBOR releases rugged ultra-small Intel Bay Trail-powered "jack-of-all-trades" industrial Box PCs
ARBOR Technology announced the release of the IEC-3300. Based on Bay Trail Intel Celeron SoC and Atom E3800 family processors the IEC-3300 series is an ultra-small Boxed Chassis System designed for a wide range of industrial applications. With its small footprint, dustproof design, and operating temperature range of -4°F to 131°F, the IEC-3300 is an extremely versatile offering for warehousing, transportation, and factory floors. [See ARBOR IEC-3300 product page] -- Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Datalogic reports preliminary sales revenue Q1 2015
Datalogic reported preliminary sales revenues for the first quarter of 2015 of 122.3 million Euro ($131.2 million), with a growth of 13% compared to the first quarter of 2014 (+4% at constant exchange rates) and down slightly compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, due to the seasonal effect. [See media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Datalogic executive recognized for lifetime achievements in retail technology and industry growth
Datalogic announced that Matt Schler, their Vice President New Technologies, received the prestigious Richard Dilling Award from AIM, the Association for Automatic Identification and Mobility. The Award is considered the AIDC industry’s highest recognition for lifetime achievements that have furthered industry growth through significant applications and new technological developments. Mr. Schler joined Datalogic, then Spectra-Physics, 38 years ago and is currently responsible for leading the New Technologies Team within Datalogic Labs. [See media release] -- Posted Monday, April 20, 2015

Xplore Technologies acquires Motion -- How it came about
Today I listened to the full Investor Call broadcast Xplore held on April 16 about its acquisition of Motion Computing, and a lot of things are clearer now (listen to it here). So here's a more complete picture of what happened. [ more] -- Posted Friday, April 17, 2015

Xplore Technologies acquires Motion -- What it means
On April 16, 2015, Xplore Technologies and Motion Computing announced that Xplore was acquiring Motion. This was not a total surprise as both companies are in the rugged tablet computer market, both are pioneers in tablets, and both are located within ten miles from each other in Austin, Texas. And yet, the announcement came as a surprise to me. [... read more] -- Posted Thursday, April 16, 2015

Janam introduces XM2-RFID for Rail
Janam introduced the XM2-RFID for Rail, a compact, rugged keyboard PDA with RFID reader and industrial-grade scanner. Based on Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, Janam's new handheld RFID reader is primarily targeted at the North American freight and transportation industry which currently uses over 1.3 million railroad cars equipped with automated equipment identification (AEI) RFID tags. [See description, analysis and specs of the Janam XM2-RFID for Rail] -- Posted Thursday, April 16, 2015

Xplore Technologies to acquire Motion Computing
Two pioneers in rugged mobile tablet computing are joining forces as Xplore Technologies announced it has agreed to acquire Motion Computing. Xplore has been a driving force in ultra-rugged tablets since 1996, Motion burst on the market in 2001 as a primary provider of enterprise and healthcare market tablets. Both have recently expanded their offerings with complementary tablet products. Xplore (fiscal 2014 revenues of $36 million) and Motion (unaudited fiscal 2014 revenues of $83 million) are both headquartered in Austin, Texas, within ten miles of each other. “Nearly fifty percent of Motion revenue comes from outside the United States,” said Mark Holleran, president and COO of Xplore. “Leveraging the mature distribution channels that Motion has developed over the last 10 years, Xplore will significantly expand its international reach. “Motion is excited about what this combination brings to its customers and business partners,” said Peter Poulin, CEO of Motion. “The capital backing of Xplore supports a robust product pipeline and customer service capabilities that are critical to enterprises with whom Motion has had long standing relationships.” RuggedPCReview wishes the combined companies luck and success. [See press release] -- Posted Thursday, April 16, 2015

Xplore blog: things to consider when choosing rugged tablets
A new entry in Xplore's blog discusses four points to consider when choosing rugged tablets for mobile workforces. They include the need for security that's equal rugged, being open to different OS options, the necessity for implementation testing, and the importance of mobile device management. [See Xplore blog entry] -- Posted Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Full review: Samwell SR820s rugged Bay Trail-powered tablet
The Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR820s represents a major performance upgrade to Samwell's long-running, popular 8.9-inch SR820 Windows tablet platform. testing showed that users of the original SR820 can expect a massive speed and responsiveness improvement, while new users will find in the upgraded, quad-core Intel Bay Trail-powered SR820s a field-proven, extremely rugged tablet that can handle both legacy and new deployments with ease. [See full review of the Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR820s rugged tablet] -- Posted Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Motion Computing: Article on Field Worker Connectivity
Motion Computing published a reprint of an article run in the November/December 2014 issue of Electricity Today magazine. The article, entitled "Field Worker Connectivity -- Moving mobile technology to the job site," represents a nicely illustrated overview of applications, tips, issues, opportunities, and dos/don'ts of field deployments in electric utilities and similar industries. [View reprint] -- Posted Monday, April 13, 2015

Panasonic 4K Toughpad receives updates, much lower price
While most users consider 10-inch tablets the norm, Panasonic's Toughpad 4K tablet, initially launched in 2013, has a 20-inch screen. That means four times the display real estate. Better yet, the display offers 4k resolution, 3840 x 2560 pixel! But while everyone loved the razor-sharp display, few liked the $5,999 price tag. That's changed now. Panasonic introduced a much appreciated update that includes a switch from 3rd gen to 5th gen Core processors, HDMI 2.0, and, best of all, a much lower price. The updated Panasonic Toughpad 4k, which has a magnesium alloy frame enclosed in a reinforced glass fiber case, will cost US$2,999 when it becomes available in July. [See Panasonic media release] -- Posted Monday, April 13, 2015

Full review: 2nd generation Handheld Group Algiz 10X
The Handheld Group gave its ultra-rugged 10.1-inch Algiz 10X Windows tablet a significant technology upgrade that includes a quad-core Intel Celeron N2930 processor with integrated Intel HD Graphics and ancillary technology, much faster wireless, USB 3.0, and a much better display. RuggedPCReview tested the 2nd gen Algiz 10X and found an overall 2X performance improvement as well as better battery life. [See full review of the Handheld Group Algiz 10X] -- Posted Saturday, April 11, 2015

Rugged computing gear in the movies
It's always nice to see some of our favorite rugged computing gear in blockbuster movies. Currently showing: Panasonic Toughbooks and Xplore iX104 rugged tablets in "Furious Seven." -- Posted Saturday, April 11, 2015

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago? April 2010
In April of 2010, Intel unveiled the Intel Atom-based rugged convertible Classmate PC (which we don't think ever went anywhere). We reviewed the big, tough Tadpole Topaz laptop by General Dynamics Itronix, Juniper System's formidable TK6000 rugged handheld, and Samwell's original SR820 rugged tablet. We wrote about Waterproofing rugged computing equipment, commented on the Microsoft Pocket PC's 10th anniversary ("It could have and should have been a contender"), and that Microsoft just had moved Windows Mobile into the Windows Embedded group. We marveled at Toshiba's new 200GB 2.5-inch hard disk, and also at Psion Teklogix' made-over UK office. [See RuggedPCReview news April 2010] -- Posted Tuesday, April 7, 2015's best traffic month ever
March 2015 was's highest traffic month ever. According to our ISP, for March 2015, RuggedPCReview served 1.48 million hits, 162,000 pages, 63,250 visits, and 38,400 unique visitors. -- Posted Tuesday, April 7, 2015

AMREL launches line of fully rugged displays
Rugged computer supplier AMREL branched out by launching the MOJAVE line of fully rugged displays. Display sizes include 10, 15, 19, 22, 24, 40 and 46 inches. Independently certified for MIL-STDs 810 and 461, MOJAVE displays are designed for military command center, in-vehicle, and stand-alone applications as well as in industrial settings such as Oil & Gas, mining, and logistics. "While Mojave fully rugged displays are new to the American market, they have been successfully used by European and other defense forces for some time," stated Kalvin Chen, AMREL's Vice President of Operations. [See AMREL MOJAVE displays] -- Posted Monday, April 6, 2015

Windows 7 still leads by a very wide margin
According to Net Applications, Windows 7 continues to rule the desktop with a 58% marketshare. In second place, surprisingly, remains the by now ancient Windows XP with 17%, solidly ahead of Windows 8.1 with 10.6%. No other major Windows or Mac OS release even reached 4%. [See Net Applications Desktop OS Market Share] -- Posted Thursday, April 2, 2015

LAPD to start deploying rugged body cameras
According to the LA Times, Los Angeles police officials said that the department has received its first batch of Taser AXON body cameras and hopes to deploy the new technology this summer. The 3.5 ounce ruggedized and weatherized cameras have an operating temperature range of −4°F to 122°F, provide 12 hours of battery life, a 130 degree wide-angle lens, and can be worn on shirts, belts pockets or mounted on windshields. The cameras list for US$399 and record 640 x 480 VGA video at 30 fps. [See LA Times article, the AXON camera product page, and the site] -- Posted Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New ARBOR COM Express Compact module with single-chip Intel Core i7-4650U processor
ARBOR Technology, a provider of embedded computing solutions, announced the release of the EmETXe-i87U2 COM Express Compact Type 6 module supporting 4th Generation Intel Core processors. The 1.7GHz dual-core i7-4650U used in the module is a low-power single-chip solution with a maximum turbo frequency of 3.3GHz, integrated chipset, Intel vPro, and Intel HD Graphics 5000. Despite increased performance, the maximum thermal design power (TDP) is a mere 15 watts. See ARBOR media release and ] -- Posted Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Handheld NAUTIZ X8 with Android now shipping
Handheld Group announced that they have started shipping the Android version of their popular Nautiz X8 handheld. Handheld says that the fully rugged Nautiz X8, with its compact design and large 4.7-inch capacitive multi-touch screen, has received an overwhelmingly positive response from reviewers and customers alike. [See Handheld Nautiz X8 page, and RuggedPCReview's report on the Windows version of the Nautiz X8] -- Posted Wednesday, April 1, 2015

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