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

June 2011

GD-Itronix introduces semi-rugged GD3015 tablet
General Dynamics Itronix introduced the GD3015 semi-rugged tablet computer, a 2.7 pound fanless design with a 10.4-inch transflective resistive touchscreen. The GD3015 runs Windows 7 on a 1.6GHz Atom Z530, offers good onboard connectivity, and a wealth of data collection options (GPS, RFID, Mag Card, camera, scanner, etc.). Sealing is at the IP54 level and the machine, which starts at US$2,400, can handle some abuse. [See description and specs of the General Dynamics Itronix GD3015] -- Posted Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: Winmate G-WIN W12I93S Rugged Panel PC
With the G-WIN W12I93S Rugged Panel PC, Taiwanese Winmate is increasing its line of panel computers that come in a variety of screen sizes, display technologies and processors. All share a solid aluminum housing and fanless design that should hold up well in adverse settings. With its 16:9 aspect ratio 1280 x 800 pixel 12.1-inch touch display, this latest Intel Atom-powered G-WIN model brings wide-format high resolution viewing to the line, opening new markets that require the more modern format and the higher resolution in a rugged, compact package. [Read full review of the Winmate G-WIN W12I93S Rugged Panel PC] -- Posted Thursday, June 30, 2011

Added : Elecsys Radix FW960 ultra-rugged handheld
Elecsys Corporation introduced the Radix FW960 ultra-rugged handheld computer designed with the needs of today's front-line field worker in mind. The FW960 runs Windows CE 6.0 on a 520MHz Marvell PXA270 processor, has a 3.5-inch QVGA display, a variety of backlit alphanumeric keypad options, and a wealth of standard and optional communications and data collection features, including integrated laser scanners or imagers, thermal printers, RFID, 3G WWAN and even AMR (automated meter reading) radio. With a wide operating temperature range, 5-foot drop spec, IP67 sealing, and a nearly indestructible Xenoy housing, the Radix FW960 warrants consideration. [See description and specs of the Radix FW960 ultra-rugged handheld] -- Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Motion CL900 verified as Citrix Ready
Motion Computing announced that the Motion CL900 is the latest Motion Tablet PC that has been verified as Citrix Ready. Citrix Ready is a product verification program that allows customers and users to quickly and easily find partner products and solutions that are trusted to enhance Citrix offerings. The CL900 joins Motion’s C5v, F5v and J3500Tablet PCs, making Motion’s complete line of rugged tablet PCs Citrix Ready verified. [See Motion press release] -- Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Algiz 7 tablet from Handheld now certified by Verizon Wireless
Handheld US, a North American supplier of rugged PDAs and devices, announced that its Algiz 7 rugged tablet computer is now certified for connectivity on the Verizon Wireless network. The Algiz 7 (see our review) is an ultra-rugged, 7-inch widescreen tablet that runs Windows 7 and offers users wireless communication across the globe via optional Gobi 2000 technology that supports both GSM and CDMA high-speed data networks, giving users their choice of wireless frequency anywhere in the world. [See press release] -- Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2011

British SBL scores contract for 12,500 Getac rugged tablet PCs
Getac UK reports that Software Box Ltd (SBL), an enterprise-level Value Added Reseller & Information Assurance Specialist has been awarded a £30m contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD). The contract includes 12,500 Getac rugged Tablet PCs for use by front line commands. Featuring the CAPS approved PGP HMG encryption product, the systems will enable access to asset management and secure facilities while on the move. [See Getac UK press release] -- Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2011

AIS offers Intel Atom-based panels running QNX
American Industrial Systems (AIS) points out that not all Intel Atom-based HMI (human machine interface) and OIT (operator interface terminals) touch terminals use Windows. AIS released a whole line of ruggedized 12.1-inch and 15-inch Atom-based terminals available with the QNX real-time operating system. -- Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Advantech TREK-510 with TREK-303L display
Fleet management and mobile resource management (MRM) are ever more important in the transportation industry. examined the Windows CE-based Advantech TREK-510 rugged in-vehicle computer/TREK-303 smart touch display combo, which offers a simple, cost-effective platform that can be used in numerous ways to integrate fleet operations more closely into overall corporate information systems, something that can have direct, and substantial, impact on the bottom-line. [See review of the Advantech TREK-510/303L] -- Posted Monday, June 27, 2011

Panasonic's upcoming rugged Android tablet
At Infocomm 2011 in Orlando, Panasonic showed an enterprise-grade Android tablet that the company says will start shipping in the fourth quarter of this year. Few specs have been revealed other than that the tablet will have a 10.1-inch XGA display like the original iPad, but support an active pen on its high-bright multi-touch display. Panasonic also promised full-shift battery life, 3G/4G WWAN, and to offer "durability, and ingress protection consistent with its other fully-rugged devices." Measuring 10.6 x 8.45 inches, the Pana tablet should be a very interesting addition to the emerging rugged media tablet market. -- Posted Monday, June 27, 2011

GD-Itronix signs license agreement with Microsoft
Microsoft and General Dynamics Itronix have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for General Dynamics Itronix devices running the Android platform (which for now is just the GD300). Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will receive royalties from General Dynamics Itronix. That's interesting insofar as, claiming that elements from both the Android user interface and the underlying operating system are in violation of its rights, Microsoft has already been successful in getting HTC to pay license fees for its Android-based devices. -- Posted Monday, June 27, 2011

Panasonic upgrades business-rugged Toughbook C1
Panasonic Solutions announced a technology update to the Toughbook C1 convertible notebook. The processor switched to a second-gen Intel Core i5-2520, disk capacity increased to 320GB, there's an optional 128GB SSD, faster RAM is used, multi touch + digitizer versions now have 4-8GB RAM, more powerful batteries yield longer battery life, the SD slot went to SDXC specs, and base price increased by US$100 to US$2,599. -- Posted Friday, June 24, 2011

Motion C5v tablets used in New Zealand health organization
Motion Computing reports that the Tairawhiti District Health Board in New Zealand upgraded its mobile technology solutions to the Motion C5v Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA). “We left the decision up to our clinicians who, immediately after testing a demo tablet, requested we implement the tablet PCs as soon as possible,” said Max Ponomarev, the Board's team leader for IT Infrastructure. “I can’t remember them ever being this enthusiastic about a new technology.” [See Motion press release] -- Posted Friday, June 24, 2011

Added: LXE Marathon tablet
Introduced late last year, the LXE Marathon field computer picks up the "open book" design that combines a display and a keyboard in a very compact tablet. The Marathon weighs just over two pounds, has a 7-inch 800 x 480 pixel outdoor-viewable touchscreen, runs Windows 7 on an Intel Atom Z530 processor, and includes a camera, a fingerprint reader that doubles as a mouse, and also offers a wealth of bolt-on accessories such as a mag stripe reader, 2D imager and extended battery for up to 6 and 9-hour operation. The device, which measures about 8 x 7.6 inches, includes 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth, and is sealed to IP 65 spec. [See description and specs of the LXE Marathon] -- Posted Thursday, June 23, 2011

PeopleNet chooses MobileDemand rugged Tablet PC for its portable onboard computing system
MobileDemand, the nation's leading provider of Rugged Tablet PCs to the transportation industry announced that PeopleNet has chosen the MobileDemand xTablet T7000 for the PeopleNet TABLET integrated onboard computing and mobile communications system for next generation fleet management. PeopleNet, a provider of innovative and integrated onboard fleet management systems, holds an exclusive agreement with MobileDemand and has begun taking delivery of thousands of MobileDemand xTablet T7000 Rugged Tablet PCs to offer its own customer base a way to improve driver efficiency and speed the accounting cycle. [See MobileDemand press release] -- Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New embedded Atom solutions from Advantech has examined two new embedded systems solutions from Advantech. The ARK-1503 is a very compact Intel Atom D425 or D525 powered fanless industrial PC for kiosks or industrial control applications. It can also work in conjunction with specially designed Advantech industrial displays via an I-Panel link or "golden finger" connector. The Advantech AIMB-213 is an Atom N455 or D525-based Mini-ITX motherboard for industrial and embedded applications. Measuring just 6.7 x 6.7 inches, it brings full PC functionality into all sorts of industrial systems projects. [See review of the Advantech ARK-1503 IPC and Advantech AIMB-213 Mini-ITX board] -- Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vocollect has the "Big Four" covered
Vocollect, which is now a business unit of Intermec, announced that with its latest software release for ruggedized mobile computers, it is now the only voice provider with voice-directed workflow solution support for all four of the leading vendors in the logistics and distribution market: Intermec, Psion, LXE and Motorola. Vocollect says that with the advent of Vocollect VoiceClient for Handheld Computers Version 2.0, starting this July, customers around the world can improve their business performance with the latest, most-deployed software across a broad range of devices. -- Posted Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Panasonic Toughbook 19 gets performance, display, and storage updates
Panasonic has given its venerable Toughbook 19 rugged convertible notebook computer another substantial update. There's a major performance boost via a switch to a 2.5GHz standard voltage Intel Core i5-2520M processor, amazingly still without the need of a fan. The display is now a slightly smaller 10.1-inch transflective design with a special reflective layer that provides great sunlight viewability without a superbright backlight. The 19 can now have up to 8GB of DDR3 RAM, a high-speed 320GB disk or up to 256GB of SSD, as well as upgraded wireless, including 4G LTE. [See description and specs of the Panasonic CF-19 Mark 5] -- Posted Friday, June 17, 2011

GD-Itronix introduces GD8200 ultra-rugged notebook
General Dynamics Itronix has introduced the GD8200 ultra-rugged notebook computer, a substantial technology update to the GD8000. Now equipped with a 2.2/2.9GHz Intel Core i7-2655LE processor and ancillary circuitry, the GD8200 should be substantially more powerful than its predecessor, while retaining full backward compatibility and its 8-hour battery life rating. Graphics performance is improved and additionally benefits from DynaVue II technology. The IP65-rated GD8200 also supports numerous wireless standards including 4G LTE. Pricing starts at US$4,460. [See description and specs of the GD-Itronix GD8200] -- Posted Friday, June 17, 2011

DAP introduces small and rugged M1000 handheld
DAP Technologies introduced the M1000 handheld computer that is hardly larger than a standard mobile phone, but has voice capability and a barcode scanner or imager, making it suitable for inventory control, picking and packing and other advanced scanning applications. Powered by a 624MHz Marvell PXA310 processor and running either Windows CE 6.0 or Windows Mobile 6.5, the 8.2 ounce DAP M1000 has a 2.8-inch QVGA touch display, impressive ruggedness specs, a micdro-SD card slot, and can be configured with 3G WWAN and either a laser scanner or 1D/2D imager. [See description and specs of the DAP Technologies M1000] -- Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Getac introduces flagship X500 rugged notebook
Getac introduced the Getac X500 ultra rugged notebook that combines state-of-the-art Intel Core i7 technology, a large 15.4-inch sunlight-viewable resistive multi-touch display, available discrete nVidia graphics, extensive onboard connectivity, and an optional expansion chassis with either full-size PCI or PCIe card slots. [See description and specs of the Getac X500] -- Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Inexpensive WD Rugged Case adds 7-foot protection to external USB 3.0 drive
Anyone needing more on-the-go storage than most modern mobile computing devices come with should take a look at Western Digital's new WD Nomad Rugged Case. It's an inexpensive box that provides moisture, dust and impact protection to WD's line of My Passport external drives. tested the new WD Nomad Rugged Case (US$29.95) with a 500GB USB 3.0 My Passport Essential drive (US$99) and came away impressed. Vast storage, no power supply needed, super-fast, and a 7-foor drop spec! [See description and impressions of the WD Nomad Rugged Case] -- Posted Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Honeywell to acquire LXE parent EMS Technologies
Honeywell announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire EMS Technologies, the parent of rugged mobile computer maker LXE, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $491 million, net of cash acquired. EMS's $181 million Global Resource Management (GRM) division, which includes LXE, will likely become part of Honeywell Scanning & Mobility. Honeywell has a history of purchasing rugged computer makers, adding Hand Held Products (Dolphin handhelds) at the end of 2007, and Metrologic (scanners and Optimus PDA) in mid 2008. [See Honeywell press release] -- Posted Monday, June 13, 2011

Will Nordstrom buy iPods or rugged/durable POS handhelds?
According to reports, upscale department store Nordstrom will deploy several thousand mobile POS devices in over a hundred of its stores. The handhelds will be used to locate merchandise, perform credit card transactions, etc. Nortstrom has been testing Apple iPods with card reader sleeves as well as other handhelds. With smartphones/handhelds becoming an essential part of everyone's life, their increasing use in business is almost guaranteed. The question is how many of those deployments will be adapted consumer devices, and how many will be rugged, durable devices? Not everyone needs rugged, but a device that's more durable, doesn't cost a fortune, and results in lower total cost of ownership is an opportunity for the rugged handheld industry. -- Posted Sunday, June 12, 2011

JLT Mobile launches jFlex "flexible fixed" platform
Analyzing the increased use of consumer handheld tablets as on-board computers, JLT Mobile Computers found that such computers frequently break down because they are not rugged enough. So JLT created "Flexible Fixed," a vehicle-mounted Intel Atom-powered computer platform that offers IP65 sealing, operates in temperatures from -22 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit, and is resistant to vibration in excess of the recommended limits for trucks and warehouse trucks. The jFlex computers easily detach from the vehicle so they can be removed at night or moved from vehicle to vehicle. [See JLT jFlex concept] -- Posted Friday, June 10, 2011

Intermec launches new education solutions
Intermec, announced its newest education solution offerings consisting of two distinct and interactive end-user training programs designed to meet the deployment needs of Intermec's diverse customer base. With online and onsite components, Intermec is providing its enterprise customers with the tools needed to adopt and implement new technologies with ease and realize faster return-on-investment (ROI). [See Intermec press release] -- Posted Friday, June 10, 2011

PDA-based Epoc blood analysis system
Very cool video showing how a PDA-based blood gas analysis system uses single-use Smart Card for blood analysis, then wirelessly reports findings, reducing errors and helping make faster treatment decisions. The PDA used is the Socket SoMo 650rx, a healthcare market version of the SoMo 650. [See Alere Epoc/Socket Mobile 650 video] -- Posted Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Renesas ramps up USB 3.0 production
Renesas Electronics, the premier manufacturer of USB 3.0 host controllers, reports they have now shipped 30 million units and monthly production is now six million units. USB 3.0 is ten times faster than USB 2.0 (up to 5 Gbps vs. just 480 Mbps), reduces power consumption, and is downward compatible with USB 2.0. Expect it to take over in rugged technology soon as well. [See Renesas USB devices page] -- Posted Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Amazing video: Juniper Systems Mesa tablet
What you're seeing in this picture is a Juniper Systems Mesa rugged tablet bouncing along a dirt road, attached to a speeding truck. And it still worked afterwards! Even at we don't subject products to such punishment! [See Juniper Mesa video and our full review of the Mesa] -- Posted Monday, June 6, 2011

A smaller ZigBee module
We're starting to see more devices with ZigBee, a low-power IEEE 802.15.4-2003-based wireless sensor technology increasingly used for all sorts of wireless control and monitoring applications that's said to be simpler and less expensive than Bluetooth. RF Monolithics just introduced the ZPM3570 2.4 GHz ZigBee Pro module at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) 2011. The module measures just 0.63 square inches and provides a complete ZigBee PRO solution including on-module chip antenna and 1MB flash memory for data logging. [See ZigBee module specs] -- Posted Saturday, June 4, 2011

Intermec Solutions Event in Houston
Intermec will hold one of their Peak Performance Solutions Events in the Houston area June 17, 2011, providing an opportunity to learn more about how Intermec total solutions can help companies streamline operations in field service and warehouse/distribution. [Learn more and sign up for Intermec Houston Event -- Posted Friday, June 3, 2011

Dell updates Latitude ATG and XFR models
A good two years after introducing the ruggedized Latitude E6400 XFR, Dell announced its successor, the Latitude E6420 XFR. At the same time, Dell also announced a new semi-rugged, the Latitude E6420 ATG. Both new machines include 14-inch wide screens, Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors, increased battery life, enhanced ruggedness, and just generally newer technology. The new machines will especially appeal to Dell shops who wish to stay with the same vendor for their semi-ruggeds and ruggeds. [See Dell Latitude E6420 XFR and Latitude E6420 ATG] -- Posted Friday, June 3, 2011

Harris enhances Falcon III AN/PRC-117G battlefield networking capability
Harris Corporation, an international communications and information technology company, is broadening the deployment of network-enabled missions with the latest software release for the Falcon III AN/PRC-117G multiband manpack radio system software. [See AN/PRC-117G wideband tactical radio] -- Posted Friday, June 3, 2011

Toughbloggers reports on ENEL's 5,300 Panasonic Toughbook 19 deployment
Seen on Panasonic's Toughbloggers site: Italian Utility Company Enel Maximizes Smart Grid Installation with Rugged Computers -- a brief report on how one of the largest European utility providers (Enel) initially used handheld PDAs, but then ended up deploying more than 5,300 Panasonic Toughbook 19 convertibles, all fitted with a mobile broadband connection. [See Toughbloggers entry]
-- Posted Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fujitsu donates LIFEBOOK notebooks to help in Alabama's recovery
Fujitsu announced that it has partnered with the Clanton Police Department to assist in the recovery of tornado-stricken Alabama by donating LIFEBOOK notebooks for use by state and local emergency service agencies. The LIFEBOOK notebooks, distributed to six counties throughout the state, are being deployed in a variety of ways, including helping relief centers and shelters manage assets and fill out insurance claims. A police department, completely wiped out by the tornadoes, is using their LIFEBOOK notebooks to conduct normal operating procedures. -- Posted Thursday, June 2, 2011

3M Introduces new mobile software for physicians
3M Health Information Systems introduced 3M Mobile Physician Solution, a complete suite of mobile software apps, including Mobile Patient Lists, Mobile Rounds, Mobile Dictation, and Mobile Charge Capture. The suite is available on the iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Mobile devices. [See 3M Mobile Solutions for Physicians] -- Posted Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Handheld Group selected as a Red Herring Top 100 Europe Tech Company
The Handheld Group has been recognized by the global media company Red Herring with its Top 100 Europe award, marking Handheld Group as one of the most innovative private companies in Europe. The award recognizes both quantitative and qualitative achievements. -- Posted Wednesday, June 1, 2011

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