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

October 2007

EQO mobile internet phone app for WinMo smartphones
EQO Communications announced the release of a native Windows Mobile beta version of its mobile VoIP, text and IM application. EQO is a free mobile application that lets users call anywhere in the world for rates as low as 2.3 cents USD/minute (1.2p) and also features inexpensive international text messages and free access to popular instant messaging services, including MSN, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, ICQ and Jabber. [See the EQO Windows Mobile VoIP/text/IM page
-- Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Study: Business-grade PDAs have lower failure rate, lower TCO
Socket Communications announced findings of research into the real lifetime cost of mobile computing products used in businesses.A study by Venture Development Corporation shows that consumer-grade handhelds result in up to 23% higher Total Cost of Ownership than business-specific durable devices, such as the SoMo 650 business mobility solution from Socket Mobile, when used in a working environment such as healthcare or field service. Companies frequently underestimate the hazards mobile devices will be exposed to and that most organizations fail to do effective TCO analysis before selecting a mobile device. As a result, organizations select consumer devices based on lower upfront costs, but eventually pay for their decision with shorter product lifecycles and lost productivity. [See our full review of the Socket Mobile 650 business handheld] -- Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Roper Mobile Technology acquires Black Diamond
Roper Mobile Technology, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Roper Industries, announced the acquisition of Black Diamond Advanced Technology and its flagship product, the SwitchBack PC. Debuted in the fall of 2006 as the world’s first rugged UMPC (Ultra Mobile Personal Computer), the SwitchBack is a light and compact Windows XP-based PC with a novel replaceable "BackPack" that can be customized to fit customers' requirements. Roper Mobile now includes DAP Technology, JLT, and Black Diamond. The image below shows the company's lineup of rugged mobile computers on its new website. [See Roper Mobile SwitchBack PC]

-- Posted Monday, October 29, 2007

Full review: Dell Latitude ATG 630 -- superb outdoor display
Battling established competition from General Dynamics-Itronix, GETAC, Panasonic and others in the semi-rugged notebook market, Dell offers the ATG D630, a ruggedized version of their high-volume Latitude 630, a platform that has a fairly long 18-month product cycle -- desirable in large-scale commercial and government market deployment. The Intel Core 2 Duo-powered ATG has very good price/performance, is as configurable as all Dells, and comes with what is currently the best outdoor-readable display on the market. Read our detailed review of the Dell ATG D630. -- Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Full review: Motorola/Symbol MC35 -- PDA, phone, camera, scanner, GPS all in one
The durable, pocketable Symbol MC35 from Motorola is a true mobile EDGE GPRS/GSM voice and data communicator running the Windows Mobile 5.0 Premium Phone Edition on a 416MHz Marvell PXA270 processor. The MC35 also has image capture and bar code scanning capabilities via a 2-megapixel digital camera that can instantly scan and process any 1D and 2D codes. An integrated GPS module supports a wide range of location-based services and applications. Bluetooth 1.2 supports wireless modem communication, printing, synchronization and more. An internal 802.11b/g wireless LAN allows for fast data connectivity and also, via third party applications, "walkie-talkie" Voice over IP connectivity. [Read our full review of the Symbol MC35 Enterprise Digital Assistant] -- Posted Friday, October 12, 2007

Psion Teklogix four-year product roadmap
On, Vanessa Ho reports on Psion Teklogix's four-year product lineup, as presented at the company's Ascend 2007 forum in Atlanta. Mobility devices are important as that will be a US$3.7 billion market by 2001, up from 2.4 billion in 2006. 802.1n will be important. In supply chain logistics there will be smaller, more ergonomic next-gen multi-function VoIP WWAN capable devices. Vehicle mounts is a smaller market, under US$1 billion, but still grows 6% annually. Those devices will be smaller, include Vista, sunlight readable touch displays. Another emphasis is enabling speech recognition in all products. Psion Teklogix will continue to offer Widows CE, with 6.0 devices by early 2009. Remote software maintenance and upgrades are important, as well as RFID solutions. [Read full report on Psion] [See our reviews of the 1st Gen WorkAbout Pro, 2nd Gen WorkAbout Pro, 730 G2, and 735 G2] -- Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2007

iKey introduces NVIS Green B compliant rugged keyboards
NVIS stands for Night Vision Imaging Systems, a technology needed for safe flight during nighttime. NVIS devices intensify and magnify light at night and often come as helmet-mounted goggles. The outside then may look green, and instruments and displays, of course, must be of a certain type to be optimally visible with NVIS. NVIS colors for aviation are defined in MIL-L-85762A. The standard defines the exact chromatic limits for green, yellow and red. See excerpt from the Digital Avionics Handbook. iKey's rugged computer peripherals for military applications now include LED backlit NVIS Green B compliant keyboards compatible with night vision goggles. -- Posted Tuesday, October 9, 2007

EMS Expo 2007 Oct 9-13, 2007
More than 7,000 safety public professionals are attending EMS Expo 2007 at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando. The show, in its 19th year, is for the First Responder community - paramedics, instructors, nurses, physicians, purchasing agents, etc. - and features education and also an expo on the latest technology available to First Responders. GETAC will showcase its rugged computers, the V100, M230 and W130, Panasonic, DRS, Wise, etc., will be there as well as numerous providers of software and peripheral solutions. -- Posted Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Seagate starts volume shipment of hybrid drives
Hybrid technology -- combining two complementary technologies and using each for what it does best -- is hot in automobiles, and now it has arrived in disk drives. Seagate, the world's number one hard drive maker, began shipping in volume hybrid notebook disc drives that combine disc storage with flash memory to deliver more power efficiency, faster boot-ups and greater reliability for the laptop PCs. The new 80/120/160GB Momentus 5400 PSD (Power Savings Drive) puts commonly used hard drive data onto a 256MB Flash for faster boot-up, lower power consumption, and reducing wear on the drive. Access speed is improved by putting frequently used data onto Flash. Windows Vista deliver native support for hybrid drives, and we're likely to see the seemingly very sensible technology. [See Seagate Momentus 5400 PSD page] -- Posted Monday, October 8, 2007

Added: 4P all-in-one Field Digital Assistants
4P Mobile Data Processing, hedquartered in Padova, Italy, has been designing and manufacturing specialized handheld terminals and computers for demanding field applications since 1989. The FDA300 Field Digital Assistant is a modern data collection and Auto-ID handheld with barcode scanner, RFID, camera, and cellphone functionality. The "all-in-one" FDA600 adds integrated printer, mag card reader and Smart Card reader. [Read description and specs of the 4P FDA300 and 4P FDA600] -- Posted Monday, October 1, 2007 secures is the web's #1 listed resource for reviews and information on ruggedized PCs. However, since we review and list at least as many rugged handheld devices, we secured the rights to as well. -- Posted Monday, October 1, 2007

Nokia plans to buy map maker Navteq
Finnish cellphone maker Nokia said it plans to buy digital-map supplier Navteq for almost US$12 billion. This comes after navigation device maker TomTom recently said it plans to pay about US$2.5 billion for Navteq's only serious rival, Tele Atlas. So instead of having two independent digital mapping companies supplying their maps to device makers, they will be owned by device makers. What will that mean for the competition? And for rugged device manufacturers and vendors who increasingly rely on GPS and mapping systems as part of the functionality of their products? -- Posted Monday, October 1, 2007

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