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

June 2013

Xplore reports first profitable full year
Xplore Technologies reported financials for Q4 2013 and all of their fiscal 2013. Q4 revenues were US$7.14million with a net loss of US$164k. For the entire fiscal year 2013, Xplore reported revenues of US$30.5 million, up from US$27.5 million for fiscal 2012. There was a net profit of US$0.3 million for the full year, compared with a net loss of US$0.5 million in 2012, making it the company's first profitable full year. Xplore attributes the good results to increased marketplace acceptance of rugged tablets. [See Xplore financials release] -- Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013

Case study: How long-lifespan SSDs open new markets for POS
Innodisk, a designer, manufacturer and solution provider of industrial flash storage for embedded systems, reported that they are seeing a lot of interest in their new SSD storage products from the POS and retail industry. Innodisk said that POS systems using SSDs beat HDD units in terms of reliability, performance, power use, weight, size, noise, and durability. In a new case study, Innodisk showed how its customers are using SSD-based POS units in environments previously seen as difficult or impossible. [See Innodisk case study on how SSDs open new POS markets] -- Posted Thursday, June 27, 2013

DAP Technologies completes global operations expansion
DAP Technologies announced it is realigning operations with the goal to enhance service, support and customer integration needs. With the realignment, the Canadian office in Quebec City (shown in picture) will provide service and support; the UK office is the hub for all European service, support and integration; the Georgia sales office emphasizes on warehouse and logistics markets; the Taiwan office on supply chain efficiency; and the corporate head office in Arizona in integration customization for clients, service, support, and distribution. Also interesting, while in the past DAP concentrated on handhelds, the press release noted that DAP Technologies is now "helping companies make the transition from handhelds to robust, Windows-based rugged tablets and vehicle mount technologies." DAP Technologies President David Molesworth said, "this expansion enhances our ability to bring advanced rugged tablet and vehicle mount technologies to the market and provide customers with the support and customization they require. It’s become less about the product and more about integration and delivering an entire solution for the customer." -- Posted Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Motion Computing video on total cost of ownership in enterprise mobility technology
Motion Computing has made available an hour-long presentation by VDC Research's David Krebs entitled "Total Cost of Ownership Enterprise Grade Mobility Trends in EMEA." David explains, supported by a body of VDC research and survey results, how in today's economy, businesses are demanding that IT and infrastructure investments deliver tangible benefits and incur predictable costs. With all the choices available and the increased interest in low cost consumer grade tablets for professional use, decision makers need to understand the implications of non-purpose built tablet PC solutions. [See video on YouTube] -- Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blog: Logic Supply's logical approach to engineering their own systems
Logic Supply of South Burlington, Vermont, makes and sells rugged industrial and embedded computers and components. They also have their own ideas on how to go about engineering their own systems. RuggedPCReview interviewed Logic Supply's lead engineer Rodney Hill to find out how they do it. [Read more] -- Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Why the JTG Daugherty NASCAR racing team chose rugged Dells
A few weeks ago Dell reported that the JTG Daugherty Racing NASCAR team was using Dell's rugged Latitude ATG and XFR laptops. had a chance to speak with representatives from Dell and JTG Daugherty Racing on how they had chosen Dell's rugged technology, and how it was being used in their NASCAR Sprint Cup operation. [Read Why the JTG Daugherty NASCAR racing team chose rugged Dells] -- Posted Monday, June 24, 2013

Avalue announces Haswell-based ECM-QM87 3.5-inch SBC
Avalue Technology, too, has begun offering Haswell-based embedded solution products, starting with the ECM-QM87 3.5-inch Single Board Computer based on 25 to 47 watt TDP BGA versions of the 4th generation Intel Core processor family and the mobile Intel QM87 Express chipset. [See ECM-QM87 product page and press release] -- Posted Thursday, June 20, 2013

Xpore adds LTE-equipped version to its iX104C5 tablet lineup
Xplore Technologies announced it is now offering a special version of its utlra-rugged iX104C5 DMSR (dual mode sunlight readable) tablet. The new DMSR LTE model includes an integrated Verizon 4G LTE HSPA+EVDO (Rev A) module for maximum data transfer speed. -- Posted Thursday, June 20, 2013

British adventurer relies on Getac B300 rugged laptop for record-breaking Atlantic solo row

British adventurer Charlie Pitcher broke the world record for rowing 2,700 miles solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 35 days, in his 20-foot rowboat. He used a Getac B300 rugged laptop to monitor weather conditions, navigational data, and communicate with his shore team and family via Iridium satellite connection. Pitcher praised the Getac B300, its bright anti-glare display, and said that "whatever the challenge the laptop met it and passed with flying colors." [See press release]
-- Posted Thursday, June 20, 2013

TabletKiosk's Sahara Slate PC i500 line of enterprise tablets gets major tech upgrade and performance boost
TabletKiosk announced that it has added two new models to its flagship line of 12.1" Tablet PCs. The new enterprise-grade Sahara Slate PC i535 and Sahara Slate PC i575 are powered by 3rd generation Intel Celeron and Core i7 vPro processors, offering improved performance, greatly enhanced battery life, and a number of hardware embedded security features. The new models also benefit from other major tech upgrades and now have front and rear-facing cameras, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1TB hard drives or up to 480GB of SSD, two USB 3.0 ports, DisplayPort, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 and a true native RS232 serial port for legacy device support. [See TabletKiosk press release and description, analysis and full specifications of the TabletPC i535/i575] -- Posted Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Full review: Advantech ARK-2150L -- Intel 3rd gen Core power and plenty of connectivity
And another opportunity to take a detailed look at a state-of-the-art industrial Box PC: the Advantech ARK-2150L provides 3rd generation Intel Core i3 or i7 performance and features in a compact, super-rugged enclosure with a footprint about that of a Samsung Galaxy tablet. The Core i7-3217UE based version we tested is as fast as leading rugged notebooks, but provides the extensive onboard connectivity, both legacy and current, that many embedded rugged deployments require. [See full review of the Advantech ARK-2150L industrialBox PC] -- Posted Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Xplore secures rugged tablet order from major US telecommunications provider
Xplore Technologies announced it has received POs for more than $1 million of its iX104C5 DMSR ultra-rugged tablets for deployment from a major U.S. telecommunications provider. The tablets will be deployed in the provider's construction and engineering divisions for use in various field service environments. These orders are a continuation of a previously established relationship. -- Posted Wednesday, June 19, 2013

ADLINK introduces initial 4th Generation "Haswell" Intel Core processor embedded systems offerings
Embedded computing product provider ADLINK Technology announced availability of its initial offerings on the 4th generation Intel Core processor family (formerly codenamed "Haswell") with Intel 8-series chipsets. The first products featuring the new gen processor are the COM Express Express-HL (shown) and Express-HL2, NuPRO-E42 (PICMG 1.3), and the CompactPCI cPCI-3510 and the Matrix MXE-5400 fanless embedded PC, enabling enhanced embedded applications in medical, defense, transportation, and industrial automation. -- Posted Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Panasonic introduces ruggedized, weatherproof, direct sunlight capable outdoor LCD displays for digital signage
Panasonic announced the new professional LCD display LFX6 for outdoor digital signage applications. The 47-inch Panasonic TH-47LFX6U professional LCD display, with a full 1,000 cd/m2 of brightness for high visibility even in direct sunlight, and IP44-level dust and water resistance, for outdoor uses such as quick-serve restaurants as digital menu boards in drive-thru lanes, shopping malls as advertising panels and store guides, college campuses for alerts and way finding, and public transportation hubs as schedule, route guide and advertising panels. -- Posted Monday, June 17, 2013

JLT Mobile doubles standard RAM for its rugged VERSA computers
JL Mobile Computers announced it has doubled the internal memory of its rugged fixed-mount Intel Core i7-powered VERSA computers to 8GB of DDR3 RAM. "With the VERSO series, the highest performance rugged vehicle computers in the market, we meet the tough customer requirements within the growing heavy-duty segment,” said Per Holmberg, CEO at JLT. "This upgrade reinforces our lead position within this demanding segment." -- Posted Monday, June 17, 2013

Moto's popular, versatile pistol-grip MC9000 Series mobile computer gets a thorough tech update, and it could net the company billions in replacement sales
Over the years, Motorola Solutions has sold over two million MC9000 Series rugged handhelds. Now they introduced the MC9200, which is compatible with all 9000 Series peripherals and accessories, but packs considerably more punch with a 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor, twice the memory and storage, and faster WiFi (802.11a/b/g/n). On the software side, it's now Windows Embedded Compact 7 or Embedded Handheld 6.5.3, and there's FIPS 140-2 Level 1 certification. [See press release and our description, analysis and specs of the Motorola Solutions MC9200] -- Posted Monday, June 17, 2013

Full review: Advantech's tiny ARK-1122 industrial Box PC
What if you have a stationary application somewhere out there in the field where ruggedness matters, and you need full Windows, but there just isn't much room at all? Consider the ARK-1122 embedded Box PC from Advantech. It runs Windows 7 or Windows Embedded Standard 7 on a 1.86GHz Intel Atom N2800, has plenty of standard-size connectivity, yet isn't even as long as a Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, and weighs less than the original iPad. [See review of the Advantech ARK-1122 industrial Box PC] -- Posted Sunday, June 16, 2013

CipherLab adds push-to-talk to rugged CP60 handheld
Cipherlab USA announced that push-to-talk is now available on their Windows CE/Mobile-based CP60 enterprise mobile computer. With a WLAN or WLAN ad-hoc connection, push-to-talk can also pair up with just about anyone under the same subdomain. [See description and analysis of the Cipherlab CP60] -- Posted Thursday, June 13, 2013

Intermec research: Mobile technology could cut pickup and delivery times by a third
Intermec polled 375 transport and logistics managers at organizations of over 500 employees within the UK, France, Germany, USA, Australia and New Zealand on the impact mobile technology has on their operations. Among the key findings: New technology could reduce pickup and delivery times by almost a third. Yet, despite believing that mobile technology is effective in improving operational efficiency, almost 3/4 have not evaluated existing processes for the last two years. [See New Technology is Critical to Meeting Customer Demands results] -- Posted Thursday, June 13, 2013

Microsoft announces general availability of Windows Embedded Compact 2013
Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Embedded Compact 2013. Unlike the Windows Phone consumer-oriented versions (and Windows Embedded Handheld that's based on Windows Phone 8), WEC 2013 is clearly targeted at small industrial devices based either on x86 or ARM processors. The press release emphasizes applications such as logic controllers, HMI panels, RFID scanners, lab equipment, GPS devices and other embedded devices. There is now Visual Studio 2012 support, quicker startup, and a general emphasis on improved performance. Our take: Yet another "small" version of Windows may confuse Microsoft's mobile and embedded customers who have become uncertain which is what, what each is for, and what's compatible with what. [See Microsoft WEC 2013 press release and the Windows Embedded Compact 2013 product page] -- Posted Thursday, June 13, 2013

Juniper Systems "All under one roof" video

Rugged handheld computer maker Juniper Systems posted a fun video showing how very quickly they can respond to customer issues and requests with a full project team meeting, because their entire operation, including design and manufacturing, is under one roof.
-- Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2013

F4Tech releases SilvAssist version 3.0.1
F4Tech announced the release of SilvAssist Toolbar Version 3.0.1. SilvAssist is a set of GIS tools for managing forest inventory cruises that aims to be easy to use, save foresters time, and help improve decision making. [See SilvAssist product page] -- Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Getac Z710 rugged tablet now in ATEX config
Getac announced its Z710 Android-powered rugged tablet received ATEX (Explosive Atmosphere) certification for explosive environments. According to the company, this makes the Z710 the world's first rugged Android tablet to offer the optional ATEX Zone II/22 certification for use in hazardous and explosive environments such as the petrochemical, pharmaceutical and oil and gas industries, where ATEX compliance is often mandatory when carrying out inspection and maintenance work and emergency notification. [See Getac press release and our review of the Getac Z710] -- Posted Wednesday, June 12, 2013

TabletKiosk and SoftKinetic collaborate on first integrated 3D interface for the enterprise tablet market
SoftKinetic, which provides 3D vision and gesture recognition solutions, together with TabletKiosk, a manufacturer of enterprise-grade tablet PCs, announced they have joined forces to bring embedded 3D camera technology to the portable Tablet PC market. A conceptual prototype integrates the SoftKinetic DepthSense 3D camera with TabletKiosk's Sahara Slate PC i500 platform to provide 3D facial and gesture recognition, 3D mapping, image capture and virtual reality for an enhanced user experience. [See TabletKiosk press release] -- Posted Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Completion of Intermec sale to Honeywell postponed
The deadline for the completion of the sale of Intermec to Honeywell, already approved by shareholders in Match 2013, was extended by another four months. This, reports the Seattle Times, as a result of the Federal Trade Commission requesting additional information about the deal's antitrust implications. Intermec has over 2,200 employees, with two-thirds in the US. -- Posted Monday, June 10, 2013

Intel announces next-gen "Bay Trail" Atom platform for tablets and ultra-mobile devices
Intel also announced that its next-generation 22nm Intel Atom processor-based SoC for tablets based on the Silvermont microarchitecture will include quad core processing, Gen 7 graphics, support for DX11, full HD, Intel Burst Technology 2.0, hardware-based security features, 2x CPU improvement and 3x graphics improvement, and support for both Windows and Android. [See Intel press release] -- Posted Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Haswell (Intel 4th gen Core) has landed: emphasis on mobile, graphics, economy
Well, we can finally officially talk about "Haswell," Intel's 4th generation Core processor family and technology. A detailed report has to wait a few days as most RPCR staff is on the road, so here's just the gist of it: this time it's more about refinements, efficiency and enhanced technologies than about raw performance, so don't expect a lot more speed. There are, however, new graphics levels (including Iris Pro graphics with embedded dedicated memory), and some approach the performance of discrete graphics. Primary emphasis in the 4th gen seems to be on mobile chips, with potentially great power savings. There's a new chipset series (8-Series "Lynx Point") and also a new socket (LGA 1150). There's now support for three independent displays streams, so great news for signage applications. There is a large number of new chips, all with slightly different capabilities, so careful study is required to pick the right one. -- Posted Tuesday, June 4, 2013

JLT Mobile Computers selected to reduce CO2 emissions from road transports
JLT Mobile Computers announced that the company’s rugged vehicle computer VERSO has been selected as the exclusive computer platform for the Volvo lumber trucks used in the project ETTdemo designed to fulfill Sweden’s goal of greatly reducing CO2 emissions from road transports as well as the forestry industry’s goal to reduce fuel consumption for lumber transport. [Read press release] -- Posted Monday, June 3, 2013

What happend in rugged computing 5 years ago: June 2008
Almost a quarter million signatures were submitted to Microsoft with the request to save Windows XP. Panasonic introduced the Toughbook U1, Motorola the MC75 enterprise PDA,and LXE the MX3X and the VX3X. MobileDemand demonstrated how one can use a rugged tablet as a hammer, and we did a big review of Getac's rugged B300 notebook. Psion reported that the TSA was beginning to use Pstion Teklogix Workabout Pro handhelds to scan electronic boarding passes. [See the June 2008 archive] -- Posted Monday, June 3, 2013

Toshiba boosts storage capacity of new enterprise SSDs to 1.6 Terabyte
Toshiba announced it will start sample shipments of its new enterprise SSD series with capacities up to 1.6 Terabyte. This means that solid state storage, which can offer significant speed and reliability advantages over rotating media, is closing the storage capacity gap that traditionally existed between SSD and hard disks. Using a dual-port 12Gb/sec SAS interface, the new Toshiba SSDs come in a form-factor equivalent to industry-standard 2.5-inch HDDs. [See Toshiba Enterprise SSD product page] -- Posted Monday, June 3, 2013

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