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

June 2009

Rugged radio? You bet!
When we think "rugged" we generally mean tough, durable computers. However, there are also special radio modules for use in rugged applications. FreeWave Technologies, which makes high-performance spread spectrum and licensed radios for critical data transmission, announced the LRS455 radio that due to superior RF propagation characteristics (430-470 MHz at 2 watts), is ideal for rugged and heavily treed terrain applications in oil and gas, water/wastewater, electric and municipality markets. Check FreeWave's LRS455 Industrial Radio] -- Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Motion J3400 tablet now available with new Intel SU9600 CPU
Motion Computing has a long history of always quickly making the latest processors available to their customers. They did it again by offering the just released 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9600 in their flagship J3400 tablet (see full review of the J3400). The new processor, which has the same low 10 watt thermal design power of the 1.4GHz SU9400 that remains available, should make the already quick J3400 tablet even faster with little or no impact on battery life. [Read press release] -- Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rugged Juniper Archer handheld now with Hemisphere sub-meter GPS
The Juniper Systems Archer Field PC—which provides full Windows Mobile functionality and excellent connectivity in a virtually indestructable device—is now available with a special version of the Hemisphere GPS XF101 receiver that fully integrates with the handheld to deliver sub-meter DGPS to location-based applications in the most demanding environments. [Read full description and specs of the Archer Field PC/Hemisphere XF101 DGPS] -- Posted Friday, June 26, 2009

Trimble launches online rover tracking service in US
Trimble announced that it has launched Trimble VRS-iScope service in the U.S. The add-on service offers Trimble VRS Now subscribers in Florida, Iowa, Illinois and Colorado the ability to track and manage their assets in real time, as well as view their session history and rover information. {See info on Trimble VRS iScope] -- Posted Friday, June 26, 2009

New Parvus website: rugged look and feel
There's no doubt that the look and feel of a company's website has an impact on sales today. Klutzy, clumsy, sluggish websites with tons of Flash are a turn-off whereas cleanly designed logical, easy-to-navigate sites are a strategic advantage. Rugged COTS computing supplier Parvus knows that and redesigned its corporate website with a "rugged" look-and-feel, improved navigation, and focus on Parvus' military and aerospace products and expertise. -- Posted Thursday, June 25, 2009

Psion Teklogix upgrades its Mobile Control Center software
Psion Teklogix announced an upgrade to its device management software, Mobile Control Center (MCC), which enables customers to manage their Psion Teklogix and non-Psion devices remotely, more efficiently and economically. With the new MCC version 6.03 customers can assemble data on battery status, GPS location, WiFi signal strength or any other type of data that needs to be gathered for later reporting. -- Posted Thursday, June 18, 2009

Remote management of Datamax-O'Neil printers via Motorola MSP
Datamax-O’Neil announced that its line of portable printers will be enabled to operate within Motorola’s Mobility Services Platform (MSP) environment, providing remote management capabilities to maximize uptime and utilization among mobile workers. Motorola’s MSP is a comprehensive enterprise mobility management solution that can control up to 100,000 mobile devices across an enterprise’s network around the world. -- Posted Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sundt Construction picks Motion F5
Motion Computing announced that Sundt Construction has selected the Motion F5 Rugged Tablet PC for use on its jobsites. Sundt, which managed historical projects such as the relocation of the London Bridge to Arizona and the construction of Launch Pad 39-A at Cape Canaveral, chose the Motion F5 tablet PC because of its rugged design and integrated features, allowing Sundt’s project personnel to spend more time in the field, observing and managing the efforts of subcontractors, instead of spending valuable time shuttling back and forth between the construction office and the project site. [See Motion press release] -- Posted Monday, June 15, 2009

VDC Research report on global rugged mobile computer sales
According to VDC Research’s newest report on the market for rugged mobile devices supporting enterprise applications overall shipments reached US$5.38 billion in 2008. While the overall market was flat over 2007, in 2008 the market for large form factor devices increased by 11% while small form factor shipments contracted by 9%. In 2009 VDC Research expects the overall rugged market to contract by 10%. According to VDC analyst Casey Holmes, “The current market is certainly bleak, but there is a silver lining. Opportunity remains because today’s generation of mobile computers are not just sleeker, but designed to have real benefits in worker efficiency and customer service that save cost and maximize sales.” [See full VDC press release] -- Posted Monday, June 15, 2009

Full review: Getac PS535F
The GETAC PS535F rugged handheld complements the company's lineup of rugged notebook and tablet computers. It is a compact, handy device that offers a well-balanced combination of Windows Mobile/Pocket PC convenience and targeted professional features such as integrated high-accuracy GPS, a full 480 x 640 pixel VGA display, e-Compass, altimeter, and 3-megapixel camera. [Read review of the GETAC PS535F rugged handheld] -- Posted Saturday, June 13, 2009

Palm and Windows Mobile and how the iPhone really changed everything
We've covered mobile computing since 1993, and so with all the hoopla over the much anticipated release of the Palm Pre in early June of 2009, here are some thoughts about the ever-changing fortunes of the mobile platforms in our industry [... more] -- Posted Friday, June 12, 2009

We're analyzing an Intel Atom-based Mini-ITX board for industrial and embedded applications
Anyone building industrial/embedded systems that have substantial I/O requirements, including strong legacy support, yet must also run quietly and economically should take a look at Advantech's AIMB-210 Mini-ITX Single Board Computer. Fanless operation means no noise and no electric fan that can fail, and if performance matches the project, the cost of an Atom-based systems is generally much less than that of a Core 2 Duo setup. [See review of the Atom N270-powered Advantech AIMB-210 Mini-ITX board] -- Posted Thursday, June 11, 2009 report on LED backlights issued a new report on the status of LED backlight panels which are rapidly displacing conventional CCFL backlights. That's because LED backlights are slimmer and lighter, have lower power consumption, offer market differentiation, have dimming backlight capability, wide color gamut, and they benefit from the trend towards green displays. Among the challenges in LED backlights are design issues, and components availability and cost. As is, LED backlights currently have a 26% penetration in notebooks and 100% in netbooks. [See DisplaySearch Quarterly LED Backlight Panel Shipment & Forecast eport] -- Posted Thursday, June 11, 2009

Socket handheld + Optimus EMR = medical records solution
Socket Mobile and Optimus EMR, a provider of electronic medical records to the long-term care industry, have partnered to launch a joint solution for long-term care facilities. The solution incorporates the Socket SoMo 650Rx handheld computer with antimicrobial casing, and Optimus EMR software, which is a Electronic Medical Record solution designed for the post-acute care industry, allowing CNAs, nurses, therapists and other clinicians to accurately capture data during their normal work procedures. -- Posted Wednesday, June 10, 2009

GETAC aims to be #2 vendor of rugged PCs by 2012
According to Digitimes, Mitac Technology president James Hwang aims for GETAC to become the world's second largest vendor of rugged PCs by 2012. Rugged computers currently make up about 40% of overall Mitac revenue. Hwang said the company will focus on expanding models and shipments of rugged PCs. GETAC's current offerings include the A790, B300, M230, and P470 rugged and semi-rugged notebooks, the E100 and V100 Tablet PCs, and the PS535F rugged handheld. -- Posted Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Datalogic releases upgraded Memor handheld
Datalogic Mobile announced that its powerful pocket sized mobile solution, the Datalogic Memor, which fits into any pocket and weighs just eight ounces, has undergone a major upgrade. The Memor is now powered by a 624MHz Marvell PXA310 processor, can run WIndows Mobile 6.1, and read GS1 Databar. [See description and specs of the new Datalogic Memor] -- Posted Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Computex 2009 attendance up
DigiTimes reports that Computex 2009 attracted over 30,000 buyers and over 100,000 visitors for the first four days of the show, both numbers up (1% and 5%) compared to last year. The top-10 buyers were from the US, Japan, Hong Kong, China and South Korea. -- Posted Monday, June 8, 2009

Intermec Webinar on maximizing mobile workflow IT investment
On June 17 at 11AM EST, Intermec will hold a free Webinar entitled "Maximize Your IT Investment: Assessing the True Cost." It will feature David Krebs, Director of Mobile and Wireless Practice for Venture Development Corporation (VDC), and Jeff Sibio, Director of Industry Marketing for Intermec, who will share with you the benefits of total cost of ownership (TCO) and how it can be applied to mobile workflow. [See Signup page] -- Posted Sunday, June 7, 2009

Intel to buy embedded systems software vendor Wind River
Intel Corporation announced it will acquire Wind River Systems in a US$884 million deal. Wind River, which has 1,600 employees, is a leading software vendor in embedded devices. As an Intel subsidiary, Wind River will become part of Intel’s strategy to grow its processor and software presence outside the traditional PC and server market segments into embedded systems and mobile handheld devices. [Read press release] -- Posted Thursday, June 4, 2009

Xplore close to its goal for financing round
The Austin Business Journal reports that Xplore Technologies has raised $1.4 million of a planned $1.9 million round of capital. Founded in Toronto, Canada, in 1996, Xplore employs about 50 workers in Austin where it relocated its headquarters in 2004. -- Posted Thursday, June 4, 2009

RAM Mount solutions for Netbooks
There are millions of Netbooks out there, and they are being used in all sorts of commercial, industrial and professional applications. When used in vehicles, airplanes or boats, a good mounting solution is required, and that is where RAM Mounts' new lineup of RAM Mounts for Netbooks comes in. Based on the Tough Tray II, there is an almost endless variety of mounting possibilities with suction cups, vertical and horizontal arms, no-drill solutions and even special aircraft seat rails. [See Ram Mount solutions for Netbooks] -- Posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New: Intermec CN50 3.5/3.75G wireless multi-function handheld
Intermec introduced the Windows Mobile 6.1-based CN50 mobile computer that provides 3.5G/3.75G wireless support in a small and handy, yet quite rugged, package that weighs just 12 ounces, but includes 1D/2D barcode scanning, a 3.1-megapixel camera, GPS and digital compass, and an accelerometer for automatic display orientation. "Flexible network" technology allows using either CDMA or UMTS networks, and the device supports Intermec's new eDMI (enhanced mobile document imaging). [See description and specs of the Intermec CN50] -- Posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New: Intermec CN4 Series with 3.5G wireless support
At a time where adherence to security standards, customer satisfaction and total cost of ownership matter more than ever, Intermec introduced the CN4 and CN4e rugged mobile computers that build on the company's CN3 platform. The new Windows Mobile 6.1-powered devices support advanced 3.5G wireless WAN, Intermec's new eDMI (enhanced mobile document imaging) and they are even more rugged than the CN3 line (IP64, 6-foot drop, -4 to 140F). [See description and specs of the Intermec CN4 and CN4e] -- Posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009

GETAC's V100 now faster, more powerful
GETAC announced a substantial technology update to its rugged, versatile V100 Tablet PC convertible. The machine is now powered by a 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400 processor, can be ordered with more RAM (up to 4GB), larger hard disks (up to 320GB), and UL1604 certification for operation in potentially explosive environments. WiFi now supports 802.11 draft-n, and there's a ExpressCard slot. RuggedPCReview expects a 25-50% performance increase at the same or better battery life compared to the predecessor model. [See full review of the GETAC V100 rugged Tablet PC convertible] -- Posted Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Computex 2009 Info
Computex Taipei is the largest computer trade show in Asia, and the second largest in the world, after CeBIT in Germany. Like the long-departed Comdex, Computex is a hard core IT show as opposed to the more consumer-oriented CES. Computex is taking place June 2-6, 2009, in the Taipei World Trade Center. Click on the company names to see what the following sponsors are showing at Computex 2009: Advantech, DT Research, GETAC, Samwell. To see the Computex 2009 Show Guide, click here. -- Posted Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Synaptics releases new, customizable touchpads
Synaptics unveiled its new ClickPad solution. ClickPad is a larger-size touchpad that allows a variety of multi-finger gestures that can eliminate the need for physical buttons. All Synaptics ClickPads and Touchpads incorporate the latest gestures previously announced in the Synaptics Gesture Suite (SGS) 9.1: two-finger scrolling, PinchZoom, and pivot rotate, as well as three-finger flick and press. In addition, the Synaptics DualMode TouchPad is now available to support “under plastic” designs and provides OEMs with differentiation via custom 0D buttons and 1D scrolling support directly on the TouchPad surface, enhancing functionality and enabling new features. [See Synaptics press release] -- Posted Tuesday, June 2, 2009

RMT SwitchBack part of Raytheon US Army deal
The U.S. Army's TACOM Contracting Center awarded Raytheon $11.8 million to provide a GSE technology demonstration. The contract calls for early prototype testing in 2009 and refined systems delivery and testing in 2010. Justin Dyster,VP of Engineering at Black Diamond Advanced Technology, which is a product line of RMT, Inc. said, "Raytheon leveraged our combat-proven, ultra-rugged SwitchBack computer in a comprehensive solution that will meet the ambitious project schedule set by the Army and ultimately deliver our warfighters a reliable tool." [See Raytheon press release] -- Posted Monday, June 1, 2009

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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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