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

September 2008

LXE signs ScanSource as distribution partner
LXE, the wireless logistics computing business of EMS Technologies, and ScanSource, a rapidly growing distributor of AIDC and point-of-sale solutions, announced a distribution agreement that will significantly extend the availability of LXE’s products in the distribution channel. [Read LXE/Scan Source announcement.] -- Posted Monday, September 29, 2008

Is WiMax for real?
Over the past two years, almost every manufacturer we talked to has been contemplating WiMax. WiMax stands for "Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access" and is supposed to give you broadband speed over wireless connections. InfoWorld posted a real world experience with WiMax, and the results are a bit sobering. [Read InfoWorld's Road test: Does WiMax work in the real world?] -- Posted Monday, September 29, 2008

New: Panasonic Toughbook F8
Panasonic announced the Toughbook F8, an ultralight with the looks and design of Panasonic's rugged line of Toughbooks, down to the handle Toughbooks are famous for. The new machine sports a wide-format 14.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel WXGA display and, despite its small size and low weight of just 3.7 pounds, comes with an integrated dual-layer DVD Multi drive. Unlike most ultralights, the F8 packs serious performance with a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SP9300 processor while still delivering six hours of battery life. What's not to like? [Read description and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook F8] -- Posted Thursday, September 25, 2008

Panasonic announces T8 and W8 business-rugged ultralights
In keeping with the tradition of offering frequent technological and other updates, Panasonic introduced new versions of its T and W series of business-rugged ultralights. Both models receive the Centrino 2 treatment with 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo SU9300 processors, new chipsets, and the Intel WiFi Link 5100 that supports draft-N. Hard disk size and maximum RAM have been increased, and the machines are optionally available with integrated Gobi 3G global mobile internet (WWAN). Both the touchscreen-equipped T8 and the W8 with its integrated DVD writer weigh less than four pounds and have exceptional battery life. [Read description and specs of the Toughbook T8 and Toughbook W8] -- Posted Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lenovo reveals new ThinkPad X200t Tablet PC
The original IBM ThinkPad, all the way back in 1992 or so, was a pen computer, and a tablet at that. Consumer tastes dictated a switch to a notebook convertible format, and then for a good while there were no IBM Tablet PCs at all. When the ThinkPad line became part of Lenovo, that changed again. Lenovo now introduced an update to its X61 Tablet PC, the ThinkPad X200t. It gets the full Centrino 2 treatment, switches to a wide-format screen, includes WLAN and even wireless USB. And you can get one with ten hour battery life. [Read description and specs of the Lenovo ThinkPad X200t] -- Posted Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Full review: Advantech VITA-350E Automatic Vehicle Location Device
When it comes to GPS, most people think of mapping and navigation, but GPS also has other applications interesting for business as well as specialized commercial applications. We're talking GPS-based vehicle tracking. We reviewed the rugged Advantech VITA-350E device that, when placed in a vehicle, knows its location through its integrated GPS receiver and then communicates that GPS data, as well as other data collected through its digital I/O ports, to a central dispatch via an integrated cellular data module. This enables the dispatch to track the vehicle or even take manual or automatic action. The potential of this technology is tremendous. [Read review of the Advantech VITA-350E Automatic Vehicle Location Device] -- Posted Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Navman Wireless adds real time alerting to fleet management system
Navman Wireless North America, a global provider of vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions, announced the addition of real-time event alerting to its OnlineAVL2 fleet management software. Event alerts provide managers instant notification of costly and potentially dangerous situations, giving them the ability to proactively address situations, improve business and productivity, minimize or avoid potential problems, and reduce or eliminate extra costs. -- Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Socket Mobile provides scanning solution for Hanson Bridgett's legal library
Socket Mobile announced that San Francisco law firm Hanson Bridgett LLP, has chosen their bar code scanning solution to automate circulation and enable self-checkout at their
large legal libraries with more than 17,000 items in its main legal library. The bar code scanning solution incorporates Socket Mobile and Content Innovations technologies, including the Socket Cordless Hand Scanner and Socket SoMo 650 handheld computer loaded with Content Innovations' Windows-based ProBarCodes software.
-- Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Axcess demonstrates miner tracking safety system
In response to The Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006, Axcess International, Architron, and Foundation Telecommunications provided a live demo of a comprehensive mine communications, tracking and sensor system designed to deliver miner safety to underground mining operations. Using Micro-Wireless IDs in a wireless tunnel backbone communications system with automatic “self-healing” links and “mesh” multi-node communications paths, the system could be used to ensure the safety of the more than 344,000 miners in close to 15,000 mines in the United States alone. [Read press release on Miner Tracking Safety Demo] -- Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mobile phone barcode position paper
As more and more consumers are equipped with camera phones that are technically capable of reading barcodes, the global supply chain standards organisation GS1 released a position paper advising businesses to focus on standard barcodes for mobile applications. The aim is to prevent fragmentation in the current market for reading barcodes with cameraphones. [Read the GS1 position paper on camera phone bar codes]. -- Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Motorola introduces biometric attachment for MC70/75
Motorola announced a biometric attachment for its MC70 and MC75 enterprise digital assistants (EDAs), providing government, law enforcement and enterprise security agencies with advanced biometric identification and verification tools as well as real-time mobile data access in a single, rugged mobile computing platform. The GSA FIPS 201 certified fingerprint sensor in the biometric attachment is optimized for mobile environments, allowing agents to capture one to 10 fingerprints in a variety of conditions. Optional contact and contact-less smart card readers can be used to verify the identity of individuals against secure documents such as ePassports, ID cards, visas or employee ID badges.
-- Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Psion Teklogix introduces NEO
Psion Teklogix introduced the compact and handy NEO rugged terminal for retail and light industrial applications. The Windows CE 5.0-based NEO uses a 312MHz version of the Marvell PXA270, has a 2.7-inch QVGA sunlight-readable display with LED backlight, can be ordered with a numeric or alphanumeric keypad as well as with Bluetooth, WiFi and either a imager or laser scanner. The NEO can be use din extreme temperatures, survives 4-foot drop and carries IP54 sealing. [Read decription and specs of the Psion Teklogix NEO] -- Posted Monday, September 22, 2008

New rugged Trimble GNSS receiver raises the bar
Trimble introduced the NetR8 GNSS reference receiver for precise scientific and network infrastructure applications. The NetR8 is versatile and can support the most demanding applications for the earth science community and for the surveying, construction, mapping or agricultural industries. Optimized for field use, the lightweight and rugged Trimble NetR8 has 76 channels and supports GPS L1, L2, L2C and L5 signals as well as GLONASS L1/L2 signals. It consumes little power (and uses Power over Ethernet technology!), has remote connectivity, and can be used in extreme weather conditions thanks to IP67 sealing. -- Posted Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NEC announces Atom-powered panel computers
With the advent of Intel's ultra power-efficient Atom processors, everyone's rushing to offer Atom-based products. NEC, a company that has never shied away from mobile innovation, announced two new touchscreen panels, the 12PNC and the 15PNC, with the numbers relating to screen size. Both use the 1.6GHz Atom Z530 and run either Windows XP Pro or XP Embedded. Geared towards a variety of light-duty professional applications, the new NEC machines will initially be available on the Japanese market. [Read description and specs of the Atom-powered NEC PNC touchscreen computers] -- Posted Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Webinar: Fighting counterfeiting with "uncloneable" RFID chips
With counterfeiting a huge concern that spans all industries, RFID Journal is holding a webinar on fighting counterfeiting with uncloneable RFID chips. [Sign up] -- Posted Monday, September 15, 2008

Full review: GETAC P470 semi-rugged notebook
More and more businesses see the need for full-function notebooks that are tougher and can handle more abuse than standard commercial notebooks. The GETAC P470 has a powerful Core 2 Duo processor, a 14.1-inch 1280 x 800 wide screen with excellent anti-reflective properties, optional touch screen, and a wide variety of wireless broadband options. Its magnesium chassis and housing make it able to withstand abuse and it is spill-proof as well. [Read full review of the GETAC P470 semi-rugged notebook] -- Posted Monday, September 15, 2008

Panasonic to offer 3G Gobi solution on all Toughbooks
Panasonic announced it will offer Qualcomm's new Gobi global mobile Internet solution in its entire line of rugged laptops. Toughbook mobile computers featuring the multi-mode Gobi solution can take advantage of high-speed mobile Internet services offered by leading network operators in virtually all parts of the world. In addition, two of Panasonic's Gobi-enabled, fully rugged laptops, the convertible tablet Toughbook 19 and flagship Toughbook 30 notebook, have received certification from Verizon Wireless for use on its CDMA2000 EV-DO network. [see info on Gobi] -- Posted Thursday, September 11, 2008

Intermec introduces CK3 rugged mobile computer
Intermec added a new rugged mobile computer to its growing lineup of mobile data capture and communications handhelds. The CK3 is a rugged, multi-purpose flashlight-style device designed for warehousing and retail markets. The compact and handy CK3 weighs about a pound, is based on Windows Mobile 6.1, can accommodate 1D and 2D scanners, an RFID reader, as well as a variety of wireless communications methods and keypads. [See description and specs of the Intermec CK3 rugged mobile computer]
-- Posted Thursday, September 11, 2008

Intermec CN3 now available with Windows Mobile 6.1
Intermec announced that their CN3 rugged mobile computer, a compact PXA270-based handheld with extensive wireless communications capabilities, now uses Windows Mobile 6.1 that offers a variety of improvements and advanced features including enhanced virtual memory, increased application speed, faster boot-up and an improved user interface with increased performance and stability. [Read description and specs of the Intermec CN3] -- Posted Thursday, September 11, 2008

Toshiba announces 240GB 1.8-inch hard drives
Toshiba, the pioneer in small form factor hard disks, has shipped over 60 million 1.8-inch drives since the year 2000. They now announced the world's first dual-platter 240GB and single-platter 120GB 1.8-inch HDDs for integration into portable mobile devices and UMPCs. The 4200 rpm drives are fairly rugged (operating shock resistance 500-600G, 2ms) and are 1/3 more energy-efficient than previous gen drives. [See] -- Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2008

GETAC upgrades V100 with superbright display
GETAC upgraded its Core 2 Duo U7600 powered V100 rugged notebook convertible by including its Sunlight Readable Technology (SRT) that combines a superbright 1,200 nits LED backlight with circular polarization anti-reflectivity coatings for superb sunlight viewability. This is the technology GETAC pioneered in its B300 rugged notebook (see our GETAC B300 review). With the new display, the versatile V100 is a state-of-the-art solution for outdoor computing under all lighting conditions, even direct sunlight. [See review of the GETAC V100 rugged convertible notebook.] -- Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Psion Teklogix launches 2nd annual Technology Leadership Series
Pion Teklogix, a global provider of wireless/rugged computing solutions, announced its Second Annual Technology Leadership Series, a ten-city North American tour developed to provide timely technology education on the tools and trends managers can use to maximize efficiencies in their operations. Starting in October 2008, the series will bring together industry experts from Psion Teklogix, Aruba Networks and Vocollect to discuss how wireless technology, mobile computers and voice-directed business solutions are increasing profits and return on investment for mobile, logistics and supply chain operations. For more information, visit
-- Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2008

GD-Itronix doesn't shy away from real world testing
Lt. Frank Borelli (ret) is editor-in-chief of and has been doing equipment evaluations for the police and military communities for many years. He doesn't like it when rugged manufacturers shy away from real world testing (neither do we!). Well, General Dynamics Itronix was the first to step up to bat when Lt. Borelli wanted to do some real world testing on a rugged notebook. So a GD-Itronix VR-2 rugged laptop got the Borelli treatment, and the GD-Itronix VR-2 passed it with flying colors. -- Posted Friday, September 5, 2008

Ghosts of MicroSlate
Once upon a time, Canadian MicroSlate was a pioneer in rugged mobile computing with its impressive line of lunchbox-styled Datellite computers. MicroSlate is no more, but there's a connection to Nova Mobility Systems, a provider of rugged tablets and handhelds that includes the old Melard/MicroSlate SideARM. Nova Mobility has now signed a letter of intent with OCTuS, Inc., which in 2005 was in business combination discussions with MicroSlate, to form an entity that would release proprietary UMPC, Tablet and Mobile Internet Device products in 2009. Nova also seeks to receive royalties from enforcing old MicroSlate patents with co-plaintiff Typhoon Touch Technologies. -- Posted Thursday, September 4, 2008

Motion updates LE1700 semi-rugged tablets
Motion Computing announced an update to its successful line of LE1700 semi-rugged Tablet PC slates. As before, there is a performance and an economy version, but both now use Core 2 Duo processors. For demanding applications, there is now an optional 60GB Samsung solid state disk. The biggest news is the availability of an incredibly sharp SXGA+ 1400 x 1050 pixel display. It has a 170 degree viewing angle in all directions and can be ordered in a highly effective sunlight-viewable "UltraView Anywhere" version. Read a full review of the updated semi-rugged Motion Computing LE1700. -- Posted Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rapid City Regional Hospital picks Motion C5
South Dakota-based Rapid City Regional Hospital, a not-for-profit regional medical center, has chosen Motion Computing’s 300 Motion C5 mobile clinical assistants (MCA) solution, to enhance the functionality of the hospital’s existing MEDITECH Client Server Health Care Information System. -- Posted Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Getac B300 rugged notebook receives full Salt Fog certification
GETAC announced that its B300 ruggedized notebook PC has received full Salt Fog certification based on testing standards set by DOD MIL-STD-810F – 509.4. Salt Fog is a specialized test used to evaluate and determine the effectiveness of protective coatings and finishes on materials to repel salt corrosion. Adding Salt Fog certification to the already rugged Core 2 Duo L7500 based notebook that has the brightest display in the industry at a full 1,200 nits makes the computer an ideal choice for military installations and marine applications where salt or salt air can impact equipment performance. [See full review of the Getac B300] -- Posted Tuesday, September 2, 2008

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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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