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

July 2009

Intermec reports loss, lower second quarter revenues
Intermec's second quarter 2009 ended June 28. Revenues were US$158 million with a net loss of US$6.5 million, compared to 2008 second quarter revenues of US$218 million and net earnings of US$7.7 million. Some of the decrease was due to currency translation and some to a challenging economic environment, with services holding up best. [See full press release] -- Posted Friday, July 31, 2009

Commontime and Psion Teklogix team up
CommonTime and Psion Teklogix joined forces to provide customers with a complete range of end-to-end mobility solutions and services that enhance business communications. This includes flexible line of business applications, full enterprise device management, email and instant message integration, end-to-end security, remote device management and backend data connectors––all available on Psion Teklogix’ rugged mobile handheld solutions. [See full press release] -- Posted Thursday, July 30, 2009

Big coup for Getac?
Taiwanese tech news agency Digitimes reports that the Chinese-language Commercial Times reports that Mitac Technology has gotten orders for over 7,000 rugged notebooks from the US Department of Defense. -- Posted Thursday, July 30, 2009

Full review: Core 2 Duo-powered 12.1-inch Winmate tablet
Winmate offers its rugged Tablet PC platform with a variety of displays and processors. For applications that require a large display and full Core 2 Duo processing power while still offering acceptable battery life, the fanless Intel U7500-based Winmate I880 is a strong candiate. Our Windows XP Embedded unit was exceptionally quick and responsive on just 512MB of RAM. [See full review of the Winmate I880 rugged Tablet PC] -- Posted Thursday, July 30, 2009

LED backlights to dominate in notebooks
We've been seeing more and more LED backlights in rugged mobile computers. That's because LEDs can have considerable advantage over CCFL backlights in terms of size, ruggedness, longevity, viewability, and power consumption. DisplaySearch predicts that by 2011 LED backlights will have almost 100% penetration in notebooks. [How to get the Quarterly LED & CCFL Backlight Report and Display LEDs: Lighting Up the Display World reports] -- Posted Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Former Itronix executive joins Xpore board
Xplore Technologies announced that F. Ben Irwin, who previously served as Senior VP of Engineering and Product Development at Itronix, has joined Xplore’s board of directors. Mr. Irwin has considerable experience with ruggedness testing standards and criteria. -- Posted Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Portable multifunction GPS display for aviation and more
No, it's not another guess at what the rumored Apple tablet might look like (though this would suit us just fine) -- it's the new AV8OR ACE, a GPS for airplanes. The ACE has a 7-inch sunlight-viewable touch screen with 800 x 480 resolution and is designed to eliminate paper charts for general aviation pilots (though it has optional automotive functionality). The 4.8 x 7.6 x 1.1 inch ACE can be used in conjunction with XM and traffic receiver, and can also do multimedia. Cost is US$1,999. [See product page for the Honeywell AV8OR ACE] -- Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Unitech bundles prepaid data plan with handhelds
Unitech and RACO Wireless, a provider of wireless data (via T-Mobile) to the M2M and telemetry industry, have partnered to create an out of the box mobility solution. Two of Unitech’s mobile computers (the PA600 PE and the PA968)now come bundled with a 6-month prepaid data plan that customers can activate right away with a RACO Wireless SIM card.
-- Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Atom vs. Atom: We're benchmarking two Advantech COM-Micro/COM-Express boards
The carrier board/system-on-module approach, popular in embedded system design, separates the CPU, chipset and memory from the carrier or solutions board. This approach, which reduces time-to-market and allows for quick customization, is also used in many rugged systems. We reviewed and benchmarked two new Intel Atom-based COM-Micro/COM-Express boards from Advantech, one with the Atom Z530 and one with the Atom N270. See review, benchmarks and specs] -- Posted Monday, July 27, 2009

Western Digital introduces terabyte 2.5-inch drives
With mobile applications requiring ever more data storage, Western Digital's new 1 Terabyte and 750GB 2.5-inch SATA hard drives will likely be very well received. The new terabyte WD Scorpio Blue -- the industry's highest-capacity 2.5-inch drive available -- has a MSRP of US$249.99 and the 750 GB version it is US$189.99. Both drives include ShockGuard technology that combines firmware and hardware advancements to meet the shock tolerance specifications required for mobile and notebook applications. [See WD Scorpio Blue product page] -- Posted Monday, July 27, 2009

Intermec wins DOD Automatic Identification Technology IV Contract
Intermec announced that it has been awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Army Contracting Command for Automatic Identification Technology. The contract includes Intermec's CK3 and CN3 rugged mobile computers as well as Intermec barcode scanners and mobile printers. [See full press release] -- Posted Monday, July 27, 2009

Added: Advantech PWS-8101M tablet and PWS-8033M PDA has added descriptions and specs of the Advantech PWS-8033M rugged industrial/military PDA (IP67-sealed, 3.7-inch VGA display, PXA270/624MHz, Windows CE 5.0) and the Advantech PWS-8101M rugged tablet computer (10.4-inch display, Core 2 Duo U7500, XP Embedded, IP65). -- Posted Friday, July 24, 2009

More orders for Parvus rugged military-grade DuraCOR 810
Parvus announced that it has received a follow-on order for additional rugged military-grade DuraCOR 810 mission computers from NIITEK, Inc., to support the company’s Vehicle-Mounted Mine Detection Systems. These systems utilize NIITEK’s Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) for road clearance missions. -- Posted Friday, July 24, 2009

Doster deploys Motion F5 Tablet PCs
Motion Computing announced that Doster Construction Company selected the Motion F5 Rugged Tablet PC for its jobsites. Using quality control punch list software on the tablet PCs, Doster teams can now complete tasks more efficiently, saving time and money on their construction projects. “Motion offered the best solution because the F5 was an all-in-one, rugged tablet PC with the performance we needed to run our applications,” said CJ Rainer, Network Support Specialist at Doster Construction. [See full press release] -- Posted Friday, July 24, 2009

Synaptics ClearPad 3000 takes multi-touch to a new level
Expanding its portfolio of ClearPad solutions, Synaptics introduced its advanced multi-touch ClearPad 3000 Series capacitive touch sensor solution that combines Synaptics' ClearPad sensing technology with the company's design-in services that help to make it easier for OEMs and ODMs of mass-market mobile handsets and other handheld devices to integrate high-resolution capacitive touchscreens with advanced multi-finger gesture capability into their products, bringing them to market faster and with less risk. [See Synaptics ClearPad] -- Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009

From the touchscreen front: Cirque and Ocular team up
Cirque Corporation, the inventor of the first commercially successful capacitive touchpad and a subsidiary of ALPS Electric, has formed a strategic relationship with Ocular, which is into display-centric solutions. The stated goal is to advance the state-of-the-art of touch display screens and a first step is incorporating Cirque's capacitive touch controller into Ocular's Crystal TouchT line of capacitive touch screens. All of these developments are important as we get more into touch-oriented solutions. [See press release] -- Posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Intermec introduces three new rugged printers
Intermec announced three new rugged mobile printers – the PB21, PB31 and PB51 “smart” rugged mobile receipt and invoice printers. The two, three, and four inch printers enable mobile workforces in route accounting, transportation and logistics, retail and field service applications to print high quality, graphically complex receipts. The new printers have a wide 5-122F temperature range, humidity and IP54 ratings, 6.5-foot drop spec, and 50g shock rating. -- Posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Trimble introduces GIS-based inspection/asset management solution for utilities
Trimble introduced a GIS-based office and handheld asset maintenance inspection solution for utilities that is comprised of two new products: the Trimble UtilityCenter Field Inspector software for handhelds and the Trimble UtilityCenter Maintenance-2 module. In combination with Trimble Mapping and GIS rugged handheld computers with integrated GPS, the software offers electric, gas, water, and wastewater utilities a scalable field solution for improving asset maintenance inspection operations. [See Trimble Utilities Field Solutions] -- Posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The changing nature of selling hardware
A new report by VDC Research reveals a disconcerting fact: Few channel organizations are making money these days. As a result, they are shifting their focus on application development, integration, managed services, etc. The problem, says VDC, is that there is a growing gap between channel organization needs and mobile hardware vendor partner strategies. [See PDF of press release on their on enterprise mobility vendor partner programs research] -- Posted Monday, July 20, 2009

Full review: Datalogic R Series vehicle computers
The Datalogic R Series is a trio of vehicle/fixed-mount computers with 7.0, 10.4 and 12.1 inch touchscreens. All three models are fanless, extremely solid, extremely rugged, run the Windows CE operating system, and provide access to a vast library of Windows CE applications and utilities, as well as leveraging customer investment in software and development tools already in use for CE-based handhelds. takes a detailed look at the Datalogic R Series. [Read full review of the Datalogic R Series of vehicle computer] -- Posted Monday, July 20, 2009

Glacier Computer releases Windows CE-based rugged tablet
Glacier Computer, a developer and distributor of rugged industrial computing solutions, is expanding its Everest line of computers with the Windows CE-based E2000. Built on the company's rugged E4000 Series, the new E2000, available in various display sizes and configurations, is an all-in-one industrial computer for forklift and fixed-mount harsh environment applications. -- Posted Monday, July 20, 2009

Novatel releases 2-in-1 EV-DO Rev. A card
Verizon Wireless and Novatel Wireless announced the availability of the PC770 2-in-1 PC Card and Express Card that provides access to Verizon Wireless’ highly rated high-speed Mobile Broadband EV-DO Rev. A service. The card uses NovaSpeed technology that enables high-speed simultaneous uploads and downloads and can be used with an ExpressCard or a PC Card slot. The card costs $99.99 with, surprise, a new two-year contract. -- Posted Friday, July 17, 2009

Intermec equips up to 7,500 couriers with rugged CN3 handhelds
Intermec Technologies announced that Hermes, the UK’s largest home delivery courier company, has selected the Intermec CN3 mobile computer to support its nationwide network of “lifestyle” couriers. Formerly Parcelnet, the parcel delivery firm will equip up to 7,500 couriers with the CN3 to improve efficiency, customer service, and provide new services for Hermes customers across the UK. [See Intermec press release] -- Posted Friday, July 17, 2009

RMT 8404 now available with Atom processor, 1100-nit display
The RMT Duros™ 8404 rugged tablet computer (see our original review) has been reengineered to include an Intel® Atom™ Processor and an improved sunlight-viewable 8.4” diagonal SVGA resistive touch screen. Already one of the most rugged PCs on the market due to features including its solid-aluminum chassis and non-rotating compact flash drive, the Atom processor and new screen are designed to boost performance of the computer in the field. [See full press release] -- Posted Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rugged wearable keyboard
In critical situations, instant and reliable communication is imperative. iKey's new AK-39 keyboard is designed to be worn on the arm so it doesn't restrict movement. The ruggedized, wearable keyboard is designed to meet MIL-461 standards and is intended for use in harsh electromagnetic interference (EMI) environments. Its small-footprint features all of the essential components for military applications, including a pointing device, right-button functionality, and adjustable green LED backlighting that is also available with night vision (NVIS) compatibility. -- Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Spellex releases Tablet PC Suite 2009
Spellex announced a new version of their popular Spellex Tablet PC Suite that includes thousands of new medical, pharmaceutical, biotechnical, and legal words to enhance handwriting recognition and spell checking capability. The Spellex Tablet PC Suite 2009 allows a Tablet PC to better recognize handwritten industry terms while greatly enhancing the Microsoft Office basic English spell checker with hundreds of thousands of industry terms. Pricing for the Spellex Tablet PC Suite 2009 starts at $99.95 depending on the number of industry dictionaries. -- Posted Monday, July 13, 2009

Motion nows ships C5 and F5 tablets with the Hydis AFFS+ display
Motion Computing announced that the F5 Rugged Tablet PC and C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant now include the Hydis AFFS+ (Advanced Fringe Field Switching) display as a standard feature. That's an excellent move as the Hydis AFFS+ display, thanks to its brightness and perfect viewing angle, is hands-down by far the best display for Tablet PCs. [Read Motion press release on the Hydis AFFS+ display in the C5 and F5] -- Posted Monday, July 13, 2009

GammaTech releases DURABOOK D14RM
GammaTech announced the DURABOOK D14RM, a business-rugged notebook with a 14.1-inch wide-format display and an optional touch screen. Based on the Intel Centrino 2 platform, the 5.5-pound notebook offers a good balance of performance, battery life, connectivity and ruggedness, all at an economical price. [Read description and specs of the GammaTech D14RM] -- Posted Thursday, July 9, 2009

Full review: the new business-rugged Getac 9213
The new Getac 9213 is a smartly designed business-rugged machine that offers full commercial notebook functionality and long battery life in an elegant, lightweight package that is far more durable and able to handle the occasional spill and drop. Unlike netbooks, the Getac 9213 doesn't compromises performance, comes with a DVD Super Multi Drive, a sunlight-viewable 13.3-inch wide screen, and only weighs 3.6 pounds. [Read full review of the business-rugged Getac 9213] -- Posted Thursday, July 9, 2009

Added: Data Ltd DLI 8500 vehicle-mount computer
Data Ltd., Inc., is a Laporte, Indiana based manufacturer and reseller of rugged wireless data collection devices. The DLI 8500 is a tough vehicle-mount machine with a 10.4-inch indoor/outdoor touchscreen, excellent connectivity, and the ability to run multiple simultaneous wireless radios. Depending on the intended application, the DLI 8500 can run Vista, XP Pro, XP Embedded, or even Linux. [Read description and specs of the Data Ltd DLI 8500 vehicle mount computer] -- Posted Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Unitech releases RFID-enabled PA600 HF rugged PDA
Unitech, the world's third-largest provider of rugged PDAs, announced an addition to its PA600 family of rugged PDAs. The PA600 HF is a Windows Mobile-based rugged handheld with both a 1D/2D imager and a 13.56MHz High Frequency RFID reader that supports ISO15693, ISO14443A and ISO14443B standards in a single device. [See description and specs of the Unitech PA600 HF] -- Posted Wednesday, July 8, 2009

ike1000 industrial strength GPS handheld
Surveylab announced the launch of its new ike1000 series of remote positioning GPS handhelds that combine GPS, 3D compass, digital camera and laser rangefinder to provide professional users with an all-in-one GPS data capture solution. With the ike1000, which appears to be using as its basis the ultra-rugged Archer handheld by Juniper Systems, you can do things like aiming at a remote target up to a kilometer away to capture the target’s position as a GPS coordinate and take a picture in the process. -- Posted Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Motion extends its "Share Your Solution" campaign
Motion Computing has extended its innovative "Share Your Solution" campaign. Launched in April, the campaign has provided a place for Motion software and hardware partners to share solution benefits with Motion’s customers, resellers and the media. To encourage additional submissions, Motion will continue accepting solution stories throughout the end of the year, with Flip Videos awarded monthly. [See full press release] -- Posted Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Added: all Psion Teklogix vehicle-mounts has added descriptions and specs of all current Psion Teklogix vehicle-mount computers. They include the Windows CE-based 8515 (6.4-inch VGA), 8525 G2 (8.8-inch half-VGA), 8530 G2 (10.4-inch SVGA), as well as the Windows XP Pro/Windows XP Embedded 8580 (10.4-inch display) and 8590 (12.1-inch display) models.
-- Posted Friday, July 3, 2009

Datalogic to open new facilities in Vietnam
Following Europe and the United States of America, the globalization of Datalogic continues in Asia. The Italian company,which is a leading producer of barcode readers, data collection mobile computers, RFID systems, photoelectric sensors for the industrial automation sector and cutting edge solutions, will inaugurate its new facilities in Vietnam, located in the Saigon High Tech Park on July 10th 2009. -- Posted Thursday, July 2, 2009

Where do rugged computers come from?
Where do rugged computers come from? Not always where you think. In an increasingly global marketplace the old system of companies designing, making, selling and servicing their products is increasingly going by the wayside. looks at some of the new business models. [Read Where do rugged computers come from?] -- Posted Wednesday, July 1, 2009

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