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

October 2015

Added: CipherLab 9700 Series
Businesses around the globe are still using a large number of legacy Windows CE/Windows Mobile applications that face uncertain and/or costly upgrade paths. Often, the solution is to just keep using them. But what if the old hardware fails or is no longer supported? That's what the folks at CipherLab created the 9700 Series of rugged scanner handhelds for. [See description, analysis and specs of the CipherLab 9700 Series] -- Posted Thursday, October 29, 2015

Acromag and Alta Data Technologies team to offer advanced rugged avionics COTS systems
Acromag and Alta Data Technologies announced Acromag’s new IP67-sealed, Intel Haswell-based ARCX small form factor mission computer with Alta’s avionics interface cards for rugged avionics systems. The ARCX is a COTS design with one or two PMC/XMC expansion interfaces (see detailed ARCX presentation). Alta offers a wide variety of avionics PMC and XMC MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC high density interface cards field tested with the ARCX. Combined, they make for excellent price-performance and configuration flexibility for military/aerospace deployable systems such as vetronics, C4ISR, payload management, as well as command and control for drones and robotics.[See Acromag news release] -- Posted Thursday, October 29, 2015

Los Angeles Department of Health Services selects Janam for inventory management solution
Janam Technologies, a provider of rugged mobile computers that scan barcodes and communicate wirelessly, announced that Los Angeles County’s Department of Health Services, which includes 19 health centers and four hospitals, will deploy Janam XG3 rugged mobile computers (see Janam XG3 on RuggedPCReview) for inventory management and tracking of medical equipment and supplies. Janam’s XG3 rugged mobile computers will provide staff with real-time location of medical equipment or prompt and efficient care delivery. The XG3 will also help to provide assurance that assets are safe and ready to use. [See Janam media release] -- Posted Thursday, October 29, 2015

Apple posts another huge quarter
Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter ended September 26, 2015. Apple sold 48 million iPhones, 9.9 million iPads and 5.7 million Macs. The company posted quarterly revenue of $51.5 billion and quarterly net profit of $11.1 billion. These results compare to revenue of $42.1 billion and net profit of $8.5 billion, in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 62% of the quarter’s revenue. Overall, fiscal 2015 was Apple’s most successful year ever, with revenue growing 28% to nearly $234 billion. [See Apple media release] -- Posted Thursday, October 29, 2015

Handheld’s NAUTIZ eTicket Pro II now available with Android
Handheld Group announced that its NAUTIZ eTicket Pro II is now available with the Android 4.2 operating system. The Nautiz eTicket Pro II is a rugged mobile ticket validation and fare collection device for the public transportation industry. Its portable rugged ticketing device and data collector features a built-in Arcontia smart card reader and a high-performance 2D imager. The device weighs just 11.8 ounces and is built for use in harsh outdoor and industrial environmental conditions including rain, extreme temperatures and bright sunlight. [See Handheld media release] -- Posted Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dell to include NEXT area fingerprint sensor in rugged notebooks and tablets
NEXT Biometrics announced that Dell has implemented NEXT fingerprint sensors in a range of their 2016 commercial and ruggedized market notebook and tablet products. Research shows that size is key to fingerprint sensor system performance, and NEXT's active thermal principle area fingerprint sensors are a cost-effective solution. -- Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2015

GammaTech's Intel Broadwell-powered DURABOOK S15AB: thinner and lighter
There are times and applications that require a full-size notebook that's tougher than what consumer laptops can handle, but that's not as heavy and expensive as a fully-rugged notebook. That's where the new 15.6-inch Intel Broadwell-powered DURABOOK S15AB comes in. It's just 1.1 inches thick and weighs well under six pounds. [See description, analysis and specs of the GammaTech DURABOOK S15AB] -- Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Datalogic preliminary Q3 2015 sales up 15.3%
Datalogic reports Q3 2015 revenues of €134 million, up 15.3% from Q3 2014. Datalogic's Automatic Data Capture division (which includes the former Datalogic Mobile) saw its revenues grow by 16.7% to €90.3 million compared to Q3 2014. Specifically, some major growth has been observed in the US and Asia Pacific in the Retail and T&L segments. For the first nine months of the year, preliminary sales revenues reflect the gradual improvement achieved by all divisions in Q3, and came in at €391.3 million, with a growth of 15.1% compared to the first nine months of 2014. [See Datalogic financials press release] -- Posted Friday, October 23, 2015

Free Winmate webinar on choosing warehouse technology
Winmate will hold a free webinar entitled "How to Choose the Right Warehouse Technology to Increase ROI" on November 5, 2015. Join WinMate’s Khalid Kidari to learn about advanced rugged, mobile technologies and how they’re being used to streamline warehouse operations. [Register for free Winmate webinar] -- Posted Thursday, October 22, 2015

MobileDemand case study: Forklift-mounted tablet means increased operator productivity
MobileDemand published a new case study on Minnesota-based Japs-Olson, a producer of bulk direct mail and commercial print items. The company's forklift-based computing solution suffered from intermittent WiFi connectivity and lack of reliability and performance, slowing down operations. A switch to MobileDemand's rugged xTablet T1600 with custom external WiFi antennae resulted in less data lost, greater productivity from the forklift operators, and less need for IT support. [See MobileDemand case study and case study video] -- Posted Thursday, October 22, 2015

Trimble releases the ultra-rugged, IP68-sealed Nomad 1050
The original Trimble Nomad was one of the first rugged handhelds we tested at RuggedPCReview. We even tested it underwater, on scuba. Trimble has been updating the Nomad over the years, and now released the Nomad 1050 with a faster processor, more storage, higher GPS accuracy, and new options. And it's now IP68-sealed. They tested it for an hour in 6.5 feet of water! [See description, analysis and specs of the Trimble Nomad 1050] -- Posted Thursday, October 22, 2015

Storage wars: Western Digital buys SanDisk
Western Digital announced it will acquire SanDisk for about US$19 billion in a move that further reduces the number of independent storage technology industry pioneers and leaders (Western Digital 45 years and roughly US$15 billion annual sales, SanDisk 27 years and roughly US$7 billion annual sales). The companies largely have complementary product lineups (Western Digital hard drives, SanDisk memory cards, USB and solid state drives). [See media release -- Posted Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Xplore gets $1.1 million follow-up order from telecomm provider
Xplore announced it has received an additional $1.1 million-plus order for its fully rugged Bobcat Windows series tablets and docks from a major U.S. telecommunications provider as a follow-up to a $9 million purchase in April of 2015. The tablets are deployed to field service technicians in the construction and engineering divisions. -- Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2015

ARBOR secures rugged tablet order from heavy equipment manufacturer for forklifts
ARBOR Technology Corporation announced it has secured a volume order for ARBOR's Gladius G0975 rugged tablet with the VMC 975 dock from a heavy equipment manufacturer. At the completion of the project, the manufacturer will install the Gladius G0975 on 200 forklifts across six factories. The tablets will be used to direct the driver while performing picks in the factory, and it will interface with a standalone barcode scanner, which collects the inventory information about what is being collected and distributed. -- Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Getac releases rugged IP65-sealed Core M-powered RX10 and RX10H tablets for healthcare and field deployments
Getac introduced the RX10 and RX10H twins, adding to its growing roster of rugged tablet computers for various enterprise, government and industrial markets. The two versions of the Intel Core M-powered 10.1-inch and IP65-sealed tablets are specially configured for their respective markets, the RX10H healthcare market version with an anti-microbial housing and RFID/NFC, the RX10 field version with a faster processor, larger storage, and 4G mobile broadband. Both have a super-bright 800 nits 1920 x 1200 pixel capacitive multi-touch display with wet and glove capability. [See full review of the Getac RX10 and RX10H] -- Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Honeywell AIDC white paper discusses where to go from Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5
Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 is getting very long in the tooth, and the absence of a clear migration path means that numerous enterprise operations are facing tough decisions. According to Gartner, a full half of all currently deployed mobile enterprise apps will have to be rewritten or replaced in the next two years. But what will it be? Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld? Windows 10? Android? iOS? Or just HTML 5? Honeywell AIDC created a helpful white paper on the issue. [See Strategic Insights into Selecting the Operating System that Best Meets Your Long-Term Business Vision] -- Posted Monday, October 19, 2015

Getac names Scott Shainman president of North American operations
Getac announced that Scott Shainman has been named president of Getac North America. Shainman has spent the last four years at Getac, first as Getac’s director of channels for North America, where he expanded the company’s partner ecosystem, and most recently as senior director of sales for North America. During his tenure at Getac, Shainman has provided essential leadership and fostered innovative business initiatives to further position Getac as a leading manufacturer in the rugged device market leading the company to achieve record sales growth. [See Getac media release] -- Posted Sunday, October 18, 2015

Vringo acquires rugged systems reseller Group Mobile
Vringo, which engages in the innovation, development and monetization of intellectual property, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held International Development Group (IDG), a holding company that consists of wire-free charging technology company fliCharge, and Phoenix, Arizona-based rugged computer reseller Group Mobile. [See Vringo media release] -- Posted Friday, October 16, 2015

Winmate releases rugged FM10 modular vehicle-mount PC
Winmate introduced the Winmate FM10 modular vehicle-mount PC. A rugged, fanless design based on Intel Bay Trail processor technology, the IP65-sealed Winmate FM10 has a sunlight-readable 10.4-inch GFG resistive touch screen, a wide 10 to 60 Volt power input range, and a field-replaceable front panel. [See Winmate media release and FM10 product page -- Posted Thursday, October 15, 2015

After 20 years, the Toshiba dynaPad is back!

Toshiba's Digital Products Division announced the dynaPad, which the company calls the world's thinnest (6.9mm) and lightest (1.25 pounds) 12-inch Windows tablet. The picture above shows the 1994 Toshiba dynaPad T200 on the left and the 2015 Toshiba dynaPad on the right. As early as 1968, computer visionary Alan Kay had described the DynaBook as a "dynamic medium for creative thought, capable of synthesizing all media -- pictures, animation, sound, and text -- through the intimacy and responsiveness of the personal computer." Today, 47 years later, Toshiba's release says that "we are closer to achieving the vision: truly personal computers that act as a complete medium for learning and expression." There's been progress for sure. The new dynaPad weighs less than a third of the 1994 version, its larger display has 8 times as many pixels, and its processor probably runs at about 50 times the clock speed. But there's still the Wacom pen, and still the dream of the ultimate digital notebook. [See Toshiba dynaPad media release]
-- Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Advantech reports higher revenue
Digitimes reports that Advantech's September 2015 revenue increased 3.7% to US$99.5 million compared to September 2014. The company has totaled US$874 million in year-to-date revenues, up 6.4% compared with the same time last year. -- Posted Monday, October 12, 2015

Ascent MIL-STD-810G-tested rugged solar power solution
Ascent Solar announced that its new rugged fully-integrated and IP67-sealed photovoltaic power solution, the MilPak E, has passed MIL-STD-810G testing. Weighing 8.5 pounds, the foldable photovoltaic blanket with an attached waterproof battery case provides 86.5 watt hours of power storage with battery management circuitry, a 55 watt 24 volt power circuit, and two high-current USB circuits. Clearly an interesting product for those who need extended power away from the grid. [See Ascent Solar media release] -- Posted Monday, October 12, 2015

Windows 10 installs up to 110 million
MobileDemand's Ruggedized Computing Blog observed that with Microsoft offering Windows 10 for free as an upgrade from Windows 7 and 8, it's no surprise that many have jumped at the chance to see what Microsoft's latest OS has to offer. A day after its July 29th release, there were 14 million installs, which skyrocketed to 75 million less than a month after that. At the "Windows 10 devices" on October 6th, Microsoft's Terry Myerson announced that figure has now reached 110 million installs. -- Posted Monday, October 12, 2015

JLT Mobile boosts performance and user experience on its VERSO line of heavy-duty rugged computers
JLT Mobile announced a significant upgrade to its VERSO Series of heavy-duty rugged computers. New processors provide 2.5 to 4.0 times the performance of the predecessor models. The VERSO 12 now comes with the the JLT Rugged PCT projected capacitive touch technology that can handle wetness and use with gloves. Both models can be fitted with 4G LTE as well as A-GPS/GLONASS. [See JLT media release and our description, analysis and specs of the new JLT VERSO 12 and VERSO 15] -- Posted Saturday, October 10, 2015

PC market: stormy with a chance of sunshine
According to IDC and Gartner, the conventional PC market isn't doing well. In Q3/2015, worldwide shipments dropped roughly 10% compared to Q3/2014, and that's despite the new Windows 10. Bucking the trend is Apple, which roughly shipped as many Macs. Overall, about 74 million PCs were shipped, with Lenovo (20%), HP (18.5%) and Dell (14%) leading, and Apple, Acer and Asus all in the 7% range. Both research firms, however, were cautiously optimistic about stabilization and mild recovery. [See Gartner and IDC media releases] -- Posted Saturday, October 10, 2015

Arbor Solution secures rugged tablet order from heavy equipment manufacturer for forklifts
Arbor Solution announced it has secured the first volume order from a heavy equipment manufacturer to equip its forklifts with rugged tablets. The customer purchased Arbor's Gladius G0975 rugged tablet with the VMC 975 dock for its forklifts in one factory. At the completion of the project, the manufacturer will install the Gladius G0975 (see our review of the G0975] on 200 forklifts across six factories. The tablets will be used to direct the driver while performing picks in the factory, and it will interface with a standalone barcode scanner, which collects the inventory information about what is being collected and distributed. [See Arbor Solution media release] -- Posted Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Xplore: Mobile workers take note of tablets' handwriting skills
Handwriting recognition was once supposed to be the feature that put tablets on the map. It didn't work out that way because recognizing cursive is very difficult. Handwriting recognition technology still exists, though, and is built into virtually every tablet (Microsoft bought many of the initial HWR systems). A new entry in Xplore's blog discusses this issue, and how it's high time to take another look at handwriting recognition. [See Xplore's "Mobile Workers Take Note of Tablets’ Handwriting Skills"] -- Posted Tuesday, October 6, 2015

AMREL adds slim, lightweight ROCKY DS11 tablet
AMREL introduced the Rocky DS11, a powerful rugged 10.1-inch tablet targeted at military and industrial deployments. Powered by an Intel "Ivy Bridge" Core processor, the DS11 weighs just over three pounds and is only 0.8 inches thick, yet includes plenty of onboard connectivity. The capacitive touch display offers 1,000 nits luminance and provides a "no light" or night vision option. [See description, analysis and specs of the AMREL Rocky DS11] -- Posted Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Seattle Times keeps delivery drivers connected with rugged Windows tablets
MobileDemand reports that The Seattle Times faced a challenge when the tablets they used to assist drivers in documenting each delivery and pick-up were failing due to weather and mishandling. After testing several hardware alternatives, The Seattle Times found that the MobileDemand xTablet Flex 10 was the ideal solution for their delivery drivers. [See MobileDemand case study] -- Posted Friday, October 2, 2015

Are we seeing Pen Computing 3.0?
A new article on Microsoft on Seeking Alpha on Microsoft highlighted Microsoft's strong position in Surface laptop/tablet hybrids. In their recent Q4 results, Microsoft's Surface tablet revenues grew 117% to $888 million, and full-year Surface sales rose 65% to exceed $3.6 billion. In fiscal 2014, Surface sales were $2.19 billion, up from 2013's less than $1 billion. That means that Microsoft's current year Surface revenue are almost as much as we estimate the entire worldwide rugged computing market -- handhelds, tablets and notebooks combined -- to be (about US$4 billion). Given that both Surface and the new iPad Pro emphasize the importance of the pen, are we seeing the emergence of Pen Computing 3.0, after Pen Computing 1.0 1991-1993 and Pen Computing 2.0 2001/2002? -- Posted Friday, October 2, 2015

VDC: enterprise-focused tables stealing the show
VDC's recently published 2015 Global Market for Enterprise Tablets report shows annual growth of enterprise tablets -- which represent approximately 15% of the overall tablet market -- at 12.1% through 2019. Compared to other mobile form factors, tablets are an increasingly popular selection for enterprise line-of-business applications. VDC noted that a flurry of new tablets targeting the enterprise user from specialty rugged mobile vendors Zebra (the ET50/ET55), Xplore (XSlate B10), and Apple (iPad Pro) are directing the spotlight on the enterprise segment. [Get the VDC executive brief] -- Posted Friday, October 2, 2015

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: Oct. 2010
In October 2010, Intermec reported Q3 2010 revenues of US$169 million, up from US$159 million for Q3 2009, and acquired Hungarian software developer GATC and their Skynax software solution. Datalogic revenues were up 32% over same quarter 2009. We reported that although WiMAX got a head start, it did not have a chance against LTE as the next-gen wireless technology. ARBOR Technology released the Gladius 720 and 820 rugged tablet computers. Trimble bought ThingMagic, Getac released the S400 semi-rugged laptop, DAP the rugged M2000 Series of PDAs, Handheld the Nautiz X3, Datalogic the Falcon X3, and Casio Business Solutions the sleek (for 2010) IT-800 handheld. Microsoft and partners showed nine new Windows Phone 7 phones. -- Posted Friday, October 2, 2015

RuggON Corporation joins as our newest industry sponsor
We welcome RuggON Corporation of Taiwan as a new RuggedPCReview industry sponsor. RuggON specializes in both Windows and Android-based rugged tablets (the ruggPAD line) as well as rugged vehicle mount computers (the ruggVMC line). For a more detailed description of the company and its products, see RuggON's homepage on RuggedPCReview, RuggON's own site, as well as description, analysis and specs of each of RuggON's products on RuggedPCReview. -- Posted Thursday, October 1, 2015

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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.

    "Over the many years that we have been testing and reviewing rugged mobile computers, and in our professional careers prior, we have noticed that there is very little standardization and that potential clients are often confused where and what to buy," said Dr. Conrad H. Blickenstorfer, Editor-in-Chief of and former CIO of the New York State Dormitory Authority. "We hope that our new service will answer many questions and provide all the answers a client needs to make an informed decision."