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

May 2009

Another Mobile Clinical Assistant: Advantech MICA-101
With electronic medical records and automation in the healthcare field a high priority, a number of new "Mobile Clinical Assistant" tablet PCs are entering the market. We're taking a detailed look at Advantech's MICA-101, a 3.5-pound Atom-powered tablet with RFID, barcode reader, dual cameras and dual panel input. [Read full review of the Advantech MICA-101] -- Posted Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fujitsu offers protector sheets for touch screens
Fujitsu Components America, Inc. announced the release of new self-wetting adhesive protector sheets that reduce surface damage to touch screens and flat panel displays in use or during shipping, while preserving the optical quality and extending the life of the touch device. The RoHS-compliant protector sheets feature a 3H surface hardness that is scratch and chemical resistant, yet offers excellent stylus registration for touch applications. They are available in Anti-Glare (matte) and Clear Hardcoat – an Anti-Reflective coated version of the Clear is also available. [Read Fujitsu press release] -- Posted Thursday, May 28, 2009

DRS receives US$217 million rugged computer contract from U.S. Army
DRS Technologies, Inc. announced that it received a $217 million contract to produce rugged computing systems which include Joint Platform Tablet military rugged tablet (MRT) computers, keyboards, docking stations, interface cables and base plates in support of the Movement Tracking System (MTS) for the U.S. Army. The systems are designed and manufactured at the DRS Tactical Systems business unit in Melbourne, Florida. Deliveries will begin this year and continue into 2010. [Read DRS press release] -- Posted Thursday, May 28, 2009

Xplore receives major order for its rugged Tablet PCs
Xplore Technologies announced it has received significant orders totaling over $1 million from a major pharmaceutical company for its iX104C4 rugged Tablet PCs. Many of the devices will be utilized in clean room environments. -- Posted Thursday, May 28, 2009

Review: Winmate I980 rugged Tablet PC
Taiwanese computer manufacturer Winmate prides itself in offering innovative and highly customizable solutions based on your choice of processor and OS platform. We're taking a detailed look at the latest version of Winmate's rugged Tablet PC, the Intel Atom Z530-powered I980 that's available in 8.4, 10.4 and 12.1-inch display versions. [Read review of the Winmate I980 rugged Tablet PC] -- Posted Thursday, May 28, 2009

Review: Handheld US Algiz 8 rugged Tablet PC
Handheld US is a North American distributor of rugged PDAs and handheld computers. The latest update to their Algiz 8 rugged Tablet PC platform, now powered by an Intel Atom Z510 processor, offers more RAM and storage, longer battery life, and a super-bright 8.4-inch display option. We're testing speed, battery life and outdoor display performance. [Read review of the Handheld US Algiz 8 rugged Tablet PC] -- Posted Thursday, May 28, 2009

French vehicle inspection provider will deploy 2,500 LXE MX7 handhelds
LXE announced it has entered the vehicle-inspection services market with a major effort in partnership with Sakar Autovision, the leading provider of vehicle-inspection services in France. LXE will replace Autovision’s entire terminal fleet with LXE’s rugged mobile computers. The contract will include a total of 2,500 LXE MX7 computers, which will be deployed across Autovision’s network this year.
-- Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Juniper Systems to display at June trade shows
Juniper Systems, makers of the ultra-rugged Archer and Allegro handhelds, announced it will be at the following trade shows in June of 2009: American Public Transportation Association Rail Conference, June 16, 2009, Chicago, IL; Army Logistics Symposium and Exposition, Richmond, VA; 7th Annual North American Forest Ecology Workshop, June 22-26, Logan, UT; Association of Consulting Foresters, 60th Anniversary Conference & Tradeshow, June 28-July 1, Charleston, SC. -- Posted Friday, May 22, 2009

Data Ltd introduces rugged UMPC
LaPorte, Indiana, based Data Ltd, Inc., introduced the DLI 8400 ultra-mobile Rugged Tablet, ideally suited to a wide variety of harsh environment applications such as field service, first responders, fleet services and transportation. The Atom Z530-powered DLI 8400 measures 9 x 7.3 x 1.6 inches, weighs just 3.1 pounds, has a 30-key keyboard, IP54 sealing, a 4-foot drop spec, numerous expansion, wireless and data capture options, and is said to run up to nine hours on its dual Li-Ion batteries. [See description and specs of the DLI 8400] -- Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009

VIA to demo cryptographic security solutions at Computex 2009
According to VIA, its Nano, C7 and Eden processors platforms are the only processors that currently offer a built-in advanced cryptographic engine. VIA announced that it will be showing examples of its customized security solution service at Computex 2009, helping customers to employ a comprehensive and effective security infrastructure in all segments. [View what VIA plans for Computex 2009] -- Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009

DisplaySearch: Touch screen module revenues to reach $9B by 2015
In its recently released 2009 Touch Panel Market Analysis Report, DisplaySearch forecasts the total touch screen module market will grow to $9 billion by 2015, from $3.6 billion in 2008, with a CAGR of 14%. DisplaySearch surveyed over 170 suppliers of touch screen modules, controller ICs, ITO films and other technologies to produce the report. These firms are profiled in the report, and 2008 shipments and revenues for over 100 touch screen suppliers are included. -- Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009

Next-gen netbook Atom to combine CPU, chipset.
Infoworld reports that Intel revealed more details on its next-gen Atom netbook platform in a conference call. Codenamed "Pine Trail," the platform will combine chipset and processor in a single chip. The change may result in better speed and even lower overall power consumption. Pine Trail is said to go to PC manufacturers in the second half of 2009. [See InfoWorld report] -- Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009

Microsoft to have large Embedded Systems presence at 2009 Computex
Digitimes reports that despite the difficult global economy, the Microsoft showcase at Computex 2009 in Taipei will be the company's largest ever, especially in the embedded space. The 18 Windows Embedded partners are AdvanPOS Technology, Advantech, Advanced Micro Devices, AVerMedia Technologies, BSquare, Citaq, Flytech Technology, Fugoo, ICOP Technology, Injoy Motion, Intrinsyc Software International, Johnson Health Tech, Mitac International, Nvidia, Partner Tech, Posiflex Technologies, Protech Systems and SilverPAC. -- Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009

Another review of the General Dynamics Itronix GD6000
ChannelWeb posted a review of the General Dynamics Itronix GD6000 vehicle-rugged notebook computer and concluded that "overall, we found it to be a capable, sturdy notebook, ready to withstand most rugged environments." [See ChannelWeb review of the GD6000] -- Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009

Home Hardware Stores selects Intermec CK3 rugged handhelds
Intermec announced that Home Hardware Stores Limited, Canada’s largest independent hardware, lumber, building materials and furniture retailer, in collaboration with Intermec Honours Partner, Ryzex, has selected the Intermec CK3 mobile computer for use across its over 1,000 retail stores. The CK3 will be used to help manage the retailer’s more than 60,000 items and accompany its in-store POS operations. The solution delivers considerable improvements and increased efficiencies in inventory management, store ordering, and pricing and promotions for each independent store Dealer. [Read press release] -- Posted Thursday, May 21, 2009

LXE to develop next gen rugged handheld for Itron
LXE, the rugged mobile computer business of EMS Technologies, announced a multi-year relationship with Itron in which LXE will develop and manufacture Itron’s next-generation ultra-rugged wireless handheld computer. Itron, a technology provider to global energy and water industries with 2008 revenues of US$1.9 billion, will have exclusive rights to sell the LXE-developed wireless handheld in the water, gas and electric utility markets. Mobile computing historians may remember that Itron started Itronix as a business unit in the late 1980s and then spun it off in 1992. -- Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New: RAM Mounts for the Panasonic CF-H1 Mobile Clinical Assistant
RAM-Mounts of Seattle, Washington -- undisputedly the leading innovator and manufacturer of rugged, durable mounting systems and docking stations for mobile electronics with their patented ball and socket mounting system that allows you to mount practically anything anywhere -- has introduced a whole line of mounting products for the Panasonic ToughBook CF-H1 Mobile Clinical Assistant. [See description and pics of the new RAM Mounts for the Panasonic H1 Mobile Clinical Assistant] -- Posted Monday, May 18, 2009

Electronic Health Records Stimulus Alliance formed
Allscripts announced the formation of a coalition of technology innovation leaders to educate 500,000 U.S. physicians about opportunities aligned with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The EHR Stimulus Alliance - which includes Allscripts, Cisco, Citrix, Dell, Intel, Intuit, Microsoft Corp., and Nuance - is a nationwide campaign by healthcare and technology companies to help physicians explore opportunities associated with the ARRA. Alliance members are sponsoring The EHR Stimulus Tour, an education program with hundreds of planned virtual and physical events for physicians in cities across the U.S. -- Posted Thursday, May 14, 2009

Full review: General Dynamics Itronix GD8000
General Dynamics Itronix has upped the ante in the hotly contested rugged notebook field with the new GD8000 that replaces the XR-1. Emphasis is on better performance, much longer battery life, and even greater ruggedness. And then there's the vaunted DynaVue sunlight-viewable display technology. Can the GD8000 deliver and put the heat on the competition? [Read full review of the General Dynamics Itronix GD8000] -- Posted Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ultra-rugged handheld with true Xenon photo flash
Two Technologies, headquartered in Horsham, PA, which designs and manufactures customizable, rugged handheld computers, introduced the ultra-rugged Hydrus Luna. The IP68-rated Windows CE-powered device sports 40 hour battery life and a 5-megapixel camera with a true Xenon photo tube flash. See description and specs of the Two Technologies Hydrus Luna] -- Posted Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Intermec RFID implementation wins "Best Use of RFID"
Intermec's implementation of RFID technology at Vail Resorts was voted “Best Use of RFID” by an independent panel of judges at the RFID Journal Live! conference in Orlando, FL. The 22 independent judges chose the winners, based on two primary criteria: did the RFID application break new ground, and did it deliver benefits to the customer? Vail and Intermec won because their RFID deployment effectively improved the experience of skiers at the Vail resorts by using Intermec CN3 mobile computers with IP30 handheld RFID readers. -- Posted Monday, May 11, 2009

Phoenix offers Bluetooth-based locking system
Phoenix Technologies now offers Phoenix Freeze, an always-on Bluetooth proximity system that automatically locks a notebook computer whenever the user walks away from it. Freeze works by pairing a Bluetooth phone with a laptop so that the laptop locks whenever the user walks away with the phone. Upon return to a predefined proximity, the computer unlocks. In some situations, this may be an interesting alternative locking and unlocking rugged machines with passwords or finger swipes. -- Posted Monday, May 11, 2009

Review: Handheld US Algiz 10 rugged Tablet PC
The Algiz 10, offered by Handheld U.S., is a compact, Windows XP-based rugged Tablet PC that offers a good balance of performance, features, ruggedness, portability, and battery life. The other thing that sets it apart is its 10.4-inch display that is larger and offers higher resolution than that of most machines in its class. [See review and specs of the US Handheld Algiz 10] -- Posted Friday, May 8, 2009

LXE appoints General Manager
EMS Technologies, Inc. announced the appointment of Stephen Newell as general manager of LXE Inc., the company’s rugged mobile computer business. Newell most recently served as VP of Satcom sales for the EMS SATCOM business unit, where he led the formation of a global aeronautical sales team and also led the military and government sales group, overseeing major military program wins and supporting key government prime contractors, Boeing and Lockheed Martin. -- Posted Friday, May 8, 2009

Amrel handheld biometric solution on a rugged PDA platform
Built on Amrel's rugged DA5 PDA platform, the DA5-B includes a digital face camera with integrated flash, an optical fingerprint scanner, a built-in iris illuminator and auto-capture iris scanner, and an acoustic sensor. Combine that with a biometric software suite software and you have a handheld device that enables mobile biometric recognition and data capture for military, law enforcement, and many other security applications. [See description and specs of the Amrel DA5-B handheld biometric solution] -- Posted Thursday, May 7, 2009

VDC observations: 2009 Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose
VDC Research reported on the 2009 Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose and found that multi-core, virtualization, security, small form factors, and particularly application-specific support for customers continued to be strong themes among embedded systems providers. VDC said that many embedded systems vendors are realizing that to win business in today’s environment they must be able to take cost out of the development process for their customers. VDC also observed that a clear theme with embedded vendors was increasing the depth and breadth of application support that they are making available to their customers. [See VDC's press release on their 2009 Embedded Systems Conference observations]
-- Posted Thursday, May 7, 2009

Where GPS is headed: rugged, waterproof Garmin 550 with camera
An interesting example of where GPS units are headed are the newly released Garmin 550 and 550t. They are small rugged units for hiking, geocaching and other outdoorsy uses, and include U.S. topo maps, a barometric altimeter, 3-axis electronic compass, a microSD card slot and—for the first time—a 3.2-megapixel digital camera that geotags each picture with the location of where it was taken. Oh, and the devices carry an IPx7 rating, which means they are waterproof. -- Posted Thursday, May 7, 2009

LeCroy introduces PC Card based USB analyzer
LeCroy, a maker of serial data test solutions, announced a new low-cost USB 2.0 analyzer called the USBMobile T2. This PC card-based analyzer features the defacto standard CATC Trace hierarchical display and starts at US$799. Designed to meet the needs of USB developers in the embedded system and software markets, the USBMobile T2 makes lab quality analysis tools affordable for engineers at every level of USB design and test. -- Posted Thursday, May 7, 2009

New MobileDemand video - Tablet PC in a Paint Shaker!
MobileDemand released another video in their "Torture Chamber Series" where they subject their xTablet T8700 rugged Tablet PC to all sorts of abuse. In this latest one they strap their super-tough tablet computer to an industrial paintshaker machine, attach an accelerometer to it, and then record the g-forces on the machine while it is being shaken. Quite impressive. [See MobileDemand T8700 rugged Tablet PC on a paint shaker] -- Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Added/updated AMREL rugged computer lineup
Based in El Monte, California, AMREL (AMerican RELiance) has a long history of offering value-added applications in vertical markets. We've added/updated our database of Amrel's rugged computers as follows: Amrel Rocky DR8 (8.4-inch) and DK8 (12.1-inch) rugged slates, and Amrel Rocky RT8 (13.3-inch), RK8 (15.1-inch), and RF8 (17-inch) rugged notebooks. Note that Amrel's slates and notebooks generally come in an "M" (military) and an "I" (industrial) version. We also added the very interesting Atom-power, instant-on Amrel HBS, which stands for "Handheld Biometric Solution." -- Posted Monday, May 4, 2009

Psion Teklogix creates multi-regional ruggedized mobile device
Psion Teklogix announced the integration of the Gen 2 CAEN UHF RFID’s A528 compact reader into Psion Teklogix’ handheld WORKABOUT PRO. The WORKABOUT PRO’s, combined with the A528’s ability to operate in the U.S. (FCC part 15), European (ETSI EN 302 208), and IC (Canadian) regulatory environments, creates the first multiregional ruggedized mobile device available for the North American market. -- Posted Monday, May 4, 2009

Intermec releases Q1 2009 financials
Intermec announced first quarter 2009 (ending March 29, 2009) revenues of $163 million and a net loss of $10.4 million, compared to 2008 first quarter revenues of $217 million and net earnings of $7.7 million. I“We delivered first quarter operating results in line with guidance provided in February and did a solid job of managing cash. We are very confident in our market position and strategy. Our new product programs are on track to address growth opportunities this year and in the future,” said Patrick J. Byrne, Intermec’s president and CEO. “Our focus going forward is to lower our break-even point while positioning the Company for strong operating leverage and growth when the markets recover.” -- Posted Monday, May 4, 2009

JLT Mobile Computers appoints new CEO
Swedish JLT Mobile Computers, maker of a line of rugged tablets and vehicle/fixed mount computers, has appointed Per Holmberg as their new CEO. Holmberg has served at Xilinx, the company whose Field Programmable Gate Array technology powers the SwitchBack rugged UMPC by RMT, whose line of Duros computers is of JLT origin. It's a small world in the rugged industry. -- Posted Friday, May 1, 2009

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