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

August 2009

Full review: RUGGEDBOOK SR858
Samwell is entering the heavily contested market for rugged notebooks with the tough-looking SR858 that provides a good balance between performance and battery life. Also unique in this class are the wide-format 13.3-inch 1280 x 800 pixel touchscreen and the convertible notebook form factor. We found the RUGGEDBOOK SR858, with its fully sunlight-readable display, an interesting addition to the current rugged notebook offerings. [Read full review of the Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR858] -- Posted Monday, August 31, 2009

Trimble launches utilities industry initiative
Trimble announced the launch of its "Trimble Utility Suite" initiative that will focus on expanding Trimble's field work productivity and safety solutions for generation, transmission, and distribution utilities worldwide. Trimble will add new solutions to its range of utility industry solutions and expand its professional services business across electric, gas, water, and telecom utilities. [See Trimble's Utility Field Solutions page] -- Posted Monday, August 31, 2009

Intrinsically safe ruggedized phone
Airo, a maker of ruggedized cell phones, announced the A25is Intrinsically Safe handset, available for delivery Q4 of 2009. The PXA270-based and Windows Mobile 6.1-powered A25is can handle 4-foot drops, is IP67 sealed, can operate in -4 to 122 degrees F, and operates under GSM/GPRS/EDGE. [See spec sheet of the intrinsically safe Airo A25is] -- Posted Monday, August 31, 2009

U.S. Air Force selects Getac B300 and V100 rugged computers
Getac and NCS Technologies, Inc., a manufacturer of its own line of mission-specific computers as well as some of Getac's products under license, announced today that the U.S. Air Force (USAF) has selected Getac B300 and V100 rugged computers as part of its Quarterly Enterprise Buy (QEB) program (see press release] -- Posted Thursday, August 27, 2009

Toshiba: new long-life LCD panels with LD backlights
Toshiba announced new color active-matrix TFT LCD modules for industrial applications with long-life LED backlights with a Mean Time Between Failure of 100,000 hours (approximately 11.4 years). The modules are designed for industrial applications, such as test and measurement equipment, medical equipment, mobile computing devices and more. The series includes eight new LCD products, available in four screen sizes: 5.7-inch, 8.4-inch, 10.4-inch, and 12.1-inch. Display resolutions are QVGA and VGA for the 5.7-inch module, and SVGA and XGA for the three larger sizes. [See Toshiba press release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 26, 2009

VDC Research to host free webcast on Managed Enterprise Mobile Services
On September 10, 2009, VDC is hosting a free webcast on why now is the time for managed enterprise mobile services. According to VDC, managed services for enterprise mobility solutions are receiving heightened consideration as organizations - from SMEs to FORTUNE 1000 - evaluate approaches to more effectively and efficiently support enterprise mobility applications while minimizing their financial risk exposure. What is less clear, however, is which mobile applications are candidates for early adoption, what the preferred business models will be and which end user segments - target industry sectors and organization size - represent early adopters. For webcast info, click here. -- Posted Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tech Q&A with DRS Tactical Systems's senior editor Doug Wyllie had a tech Q&A session with Pam Reilly, Fleet and Public Safety Business Development Manager for DRS Tactical Systems, makers of the DRS ARMOR X10 rugged tablet and the C12 rugged notebook convertible. [see Tech Q&A with DRS Tactical Systems] -- Posted Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Intermec industry newsletters
We received Intermec's latest "realtime" email newsletter on supply chain innovation. In this issue they discuss honest total cost of ownership, innovations in mobile technology, supply chain application examples, and their latest new products. All excellently done and informative. To subscribe to Intermec's newsletters, check their eNewsletters page] -- Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Replacing a hard drive with a SSD
We're seeing more and more rugged systems with solid state disks (SSDs) instead of conventional hard drives. SSDs have a number of advantages in terms of performance, heat generation, ruggedness and reliability. SSD prices have come way down, though they are still more expensive than hard disks. For a video tutorial on how to upgrade your rugged machine to an SSD, check Hot Hardware's excellent SSD upgrade guide. For all sorts of general SSD information, check the Solid State Disks Buyers Guide. -- Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2009

IP-67 rated rugged Sonim XP3 phone now at Best Buy
Can you drop your phone from up to 6.5 feet onto concrete; talk for up to 18 hours; submerge it in water; leave it outside at -5 to +130 degrees; cover it in dust; leave it on a freeway to be run over? You can if you have a Sonim XP3 Quest from Sonim Technologies, makers of rugged phones, now also available at Best Buy. So if you need a phone with an IP67 rating that's waterproof in up to 3.3 feet, the Sonim is it. -- Posted Monday, August 24, 2009

Trimble introduces digital pen solution for construction
Trimble introduced a family of Digital Pen Solutions for the construction industry that provides the simplicity of working with pen and paper with easy conversion to digital data by using a dockable digital pen. Once digitized, the documents can be shared with project teams and designers to improve change documentation, track construction progress and reduce project risk. With immediate access to jobsite data, teams can keep projects on-track and minimize risks from poor documentation without the costs and delays of scanning and transcribing data from paper. The Trimble Digital Pen Solution leverages the Capturx technology--a jobsite proven technology used by hundreds of organizations to automate paper-based data collection. -- Posted Monday, August 24, 2009

Added: full PDF reviews of three rugged Winmate tablet PCs
We've added "print-style" PDF layouts for download of three of Winmate's rugged Tablet PCs. These are interesting as they compare a mostly common platform with three different processor architectures. The Winmate V280 uses a VIA chip, the Winmate IA80 an Atom N270, and the Winmate I880 an Intel Core 2 Duo. -- Posted Saturday, August 22, 2009

Motion extends its mobile Point-of-Care offering with Motion Clinical Workstations
Motion Computing announced a new line of Motion Clinical Workstations (MCW) designed to support a broad range of clinical workflows. They can be configured with the Motion C5 or Motion J3400, a small form factor PC, laptop, thin client or a combination of the available devices. Motion developed the MCWs as a complement to existing healthcare offerings that combine industry-leading technologies with specialized services to streamline access to patient information at the bedside. “This new line of MCWs is an extension of Motion’s healthcare expertise and focus on developing complete solutions for mobile clinicians,” said Mike Stinson, vice president of marketing for Motion. [See Motion MCW press release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009

LXE introduces ultra-rugged PXA320-powered MX9
LXE introduced the ultra-rugged MX9 handheld for outdoor logistics and data collection work under extreme conditions. The 2.1-pound device is powered by the 800MHz Marvel PXA320 processor, has a large 3.7-inch display, keyboard and scanner options, and integrated GPS. [Read description and specs of the LXE MX9] -- Posted Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Xplore gets contract from U.S. industrial services supplier PSC
Xplore Technologies announced a new contract with PSC, a national industrial services company for a roll-out of its iX104C4 tablet PC. More than 750 units are expected to ship during the roll-out, with 300 units delivered to date. The roll-out is scheduled to be complete by calendar Q2 2010. -- Posted Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ingenious Med's IM Quality solution goes mobile
Ingenious Med, a provider of mobile solutions for physicians, announced that the IM Quality solution, for Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) reporting, is now available on handheld devices. The addition of handheld PQRI reporting enhances the ability of physicians to capture quality and revenue information while rounding at hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and other healthcare environments. -- Posted Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Track & Trace Virtual Trade Show, December 2-3, 2009
With travel ever more cumbersome and expensive, virtual trade shows are coming on strong. We checked out some of the early ones and came away impressed. UBM International Media and AIM, the international trade association representing automatic identification and mobility technology solution providers, announced the Track & Trace Virtual Trade Show, December 2-3, 2009. [See info on the Track & Trace Virtual Trade Show] -- Posted Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rugged waterproof housings in Germany
European users of rugged handhelds and mobile systems should take a look at Andres Industries AG, a company that specializes in a variety of rugged/waterproof cases, mounting systems as well as a line of rugged Windows Mobile-based PDAs. -- Posted Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Xplore reduces OPEX and cash burn in Q1’10
Xplore reported revenue of $4,994,000 for the three months ended June 30, 2009 as compared to $4,451,000 for the three months ended June 30, 2008, an increase of approximately 12%. Xplore also reported significant reductions in its net loss and net cash used by operating activities of approximately 68% and approximately 93%, respectively, for the three months ended June 30, 2009 as compared to the three months ended June 30, 2008. [See Xplore financial results] -- Posted Friday, August 14, 2009

Intermec signs distribution agreement with BlueStar
Intermec announced it has entered into a distribution agreement with BlueStar, a global solutions-based distributor for Auto ID, Point-of-Sale, Mobility, and RFID products. The partnership strengthens Intermec’s Latin American reseller network and broadens the footprint of its product portfolio including the new CN rugged mobile computers and PB label and receipt printers. [See Intermec press release] -- Posted Thursday, August 13, 2009

Trimble introduces GNSS-Inertial OEM modules for high-precision positioning
Trimble introduced the Trimble AP Series of compact embedded GNSS-Inertial OEM boards plus an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU). The combined technology allows system integrators to add precise multi-frequency GNSS positioning and inertial data capabilities to their systems to provide continuous mobile positioning and high-accuracy orientation in poor signal environments. -- Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Panasonic now uses MIL-STD-810G for testing
Panasonic announced its fully-rugged line and Toughbook U1 are the first to be certified by an independent third party test lab to meet the newer and more demanding MIL-STD-810G standard for environmental conditions, which was issued in October 2008 and supersedes MIL-STD-810F. The announcement was made at the company’s annual meeting of its Toughbook Premier Partners, an elite group of resellers and solution providers, in Scottsdale, Arizona. [See Panasonic press release] -- Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mitac posts year-on-year revenue growth
Mitac, which makes the rugged Getac computer line, announced a 12% sales increase for July 2009 compared to July 2008. -- Posted Thursday, August 6, 2009

VIA offers extreme temperature Nano-ITX board
VIA Technologies announced the VIA EPIA N700-10EW Nano-ITX board, designed for industrial and embedded applications in environments with extreme temperatures. Guaranteed to maintain absolute stability at temperatures ranging from -4F to 158F, the fanless 4.7 x 4.7 inch VIA EPIA N700-10EW can be used in environments that generally preclude x86 computing. These include specialized industrial applications as well as extreme climate scenarios like desert, mountain and high altitude environments. -- Posted Thursday, August 6, 2009

Two new VDC reports on bar code scanners and RFID services
VDC Research has published two new reports with important market research for the bar code scanners and RFID professional services markets. The total bar code scanner market exceeded US$1.8 billion in 2008, but is expected to soften considerably in 2009 and probably not reach 2008 levels again until 2013. RFID professional services, on the other hand, are expected to steadily rise from their current US$1 billion level as a result of the technology’s sustained penetration of brown- and greenfield markets, high-levels of customization, continued scope expansion, and increased integration requirements. [See VDC releases on bar code scanners and RFID services] -- Posted Tuesday, August 4, 2009

National Instruments introduces wireless sensor network
National Instruments announced the NI wireless sensor network (WSN) platform, a complete remote monitoring solution that consists of NI LabVIEW software and reliable, low-power wireless measurement nodes. With the demand for wireless remote monitoring applications growing, WSN is an integrated solution that provides the required measurement quality, power management and reliable hardware for long-term, remote deployments. [See National Instruments' Wireless Sensor Networks page] -- Posted Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sultanate of Oman’s Building and Establishment Census to use Archer Field PCs with ESRI ArcPad
The General Census of Population, Housing and Establishments will be conducted in April 2010 in the Sultanate of Oman. The difference this time round to the last census in 2003 is that GIS technology from ESRI® and mobile devices – the Archer Field PC from Juniper Systems, Inc., are being utilized in an effort to efficiently and accurately capture required data. [Read full release] -- Posted Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Juniper Archer Longbow remote positioning GPS handheld
Juniper Systems, Inc. and Surveylab Ltd. launched the Archer Longbow™ remote positioning GPS handheld. By combining a rugged computer, GPS receiver, 3D compass, digital camera and a laser rangefinder, the Longbow provides the user with an all-in-one mobile GIS data capture solution. The laser is available in 100 meter, 300 meter and 1,000 meter versions. [See Longbow description and specs or Archer Longbow brochure] -- Posted Tuesday, August 4, 2009

RAM Mounts' new Seat-Mate
A lot of rugged and mobile systems are used in vehicles, but a full, permanent installation isn't always necessary. This is where RAM Mounts' new Seat-Mate comes in. It's a super-simple mounting base that installs in less than a minute and turns almost any passenger seat into a workstation. The Seat-Mate base fits seamlessly into RAM's vast lineup of mounting solutions and components, and can be used with trays for notebooks, netbooks, tablets, and handhelds. [See description of the RAM Seat-Mate] -- Posted Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Full review: Waterproof, ultra-rugged 2T Hydrus
There's rugged, and then there's ultra-rugged, nearly indestructible and fully waterproof. That would describe the highly customizable Hydrus handheld from Two Technologies. It's a 2.5-pound Marvell PXA270/Windows CE-powered handheld with a large 55-key keypad, a 5-megapixel imager/scanner with laser auto-focus and illuminators, 40 hour battery life, and yes, we even tested it underwater [See full review of the Two Technologies Hydrus and see YouTube video of the Hydrus underwater] -- Posted Monday, August 3, 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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