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Rugged PC News and Developments [ Submit news] [News archive]
Full review: Handheld Group Algiz 10X 10.1-inch rugged Windows tablet with tech update and fresh new look
The third generation Handheld Algiz 10X addresses the needs of anyone who's been looking for a tough, rugged Windows 10 tablet for demanding work even under extreme environmental conditions, and one with a bright, sharp display large enough to comfortably work on. RuggedPCReview examined this latest version of the Algiz 10X that now comes with full-HD resolution, glove and rain-capable capacitive multi-touch, concurrent GNSS, an optional active stylus, the LTSB version of Windows 10, and a fresh and modern new look. [See full review of the Handheld Algiz 10X] -- Posted Thursday, April 27, 2017

Law enforcement agencies adopting DURABOOK rugged laptops and tablets
GammaTech announced it ended 2016 with broad sales to Law Enforcement customers across the country. The DURABOOK R11 tablet, SA14 semi-rugged laptop, and R8300 fully rugged laptop were purchased by Police and Sheriff departments in Missouri, Connecticut, Georgia, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Arizona, and Washington. Customers include the Denver PD, DeKalb Country Marshall's Office, Sweetwater PD, South San Francisco PD, Branson PD, Clallam County Sheriff, Chino Valley Police, Falls Township PD, Liberty County Sheriff and Pecos County Sheriff. [See GammaTech media release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Xplore expands price and performance range of the XSLATE R12 rugged tablet series
Xplore Technologies announced that it has added two additional CPU options to its XSLATE R12 rugged 12.5-inch Windows tablet. In addition to the Intel Core i7-7500U and Core i5-6200U processors initially available, Xplore has now added the Core i7-7600U at the high end and the Celeron 3865U at the low end. This gives the R12 series a wider performance range as well as a wider price range. The Celeron-powered tablet starts at US$2299 while the Intel Core i7 vPro version starts at $3299. When RuggedPCReview tested a Core i7-7500U version of the R12, it clocked the overall fastest PassMark benchmark numbers we had ever seen on a rugged mobile device. The i7-7600U powered new version should be faster yet. [See Xplore media release and RuggedPCReview report on the Xplore XSLATE R12] -- Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Handheld Group upgrades RAM and scanner in rugged Nautiz X2 Android hendheld
Handheld Group announced that their Nautiz X2 enterprise handheld now comes standard with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage. The 2D Imager model is also upgraded to the latest Honeywell N6603 high performance imager. Handheld originally offered the Honeywell N3680 as an optional 2D scan engine for the Nautiz X2. The N6603 offers a higher resolution sensor (844 x 640 vs 640 x 480), twice the scan rate, a wider field of view, wider scan range, and lower current draw. [See Handheld media release]
-- Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Janam partners with TouchStar to improve fleet management operations
Janam Technologies, a provider of rugged mobile computers that scan barcodes and communicate wirelessly, and TouchStar, a multinational provider of logistics and mobility software solutions, announced today that Janam’s XT2 is the preferred rugged mobile computer for TouchStar’s TransPac application. TransPac is a cloud-based application that integrates seamlessly with an organization’s fleet tracking and planning software. It enables users to view customer details, fulfill orders and print invoices while on-site with the customer. It also integrates directly with fleet management and accounting software to help improve driver efficiency and create an effective scheduling and delivery process. Janam and TouchStar will co-exhibit at NAFA’s Institute & Expo taking place in Tampa, Florida on April 26-27, 2017. [See Janam media release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017

JLT Mobile Computers selected by large international automaker for U.S. warehouse logistics use
JLT Mobile Computers announced it has won a contract with a large global automaker for the JLT VERSO+ 10 rugged computer. The units will be used in the U.S. warehouse, one of the customer’s multiple production and distribution sites around the globe. The order positions JLT well for further expansion at the customer, as it is part of a greater roll-out of future installations. “The compact VERSO+ 10 mobile computer represents a new class of rugged vehicle terminals, delivering the highest standard in terms of usability and reliability in the face of some of the industry’s harshest applications,” said Eric Miller, CEO of JLT Mobile Computers. [See JLT Mobile media release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017

VDC: Demand for legacy WIndows platforms rapidly waning in rugged handhelds while Android gains traction
VDC Research issued a new report that analyses the approximately US$5 billion global rugged handheld and rugged smartphone market. VDC states that although a majority of available rugged handheld devices are still Windows-based, demand is rapidly waning for legacy Windows platforms such as Windows Mobile/Embedded Handheld 6.5 and Windows CE. Google’s Android continues to gain traction among enterprise users looking to leverage Android’s active app development ecosystem. Rugged OEMs are responding to the need to bridge the performance and functionality gaps with consumer mobile technology. Many are taking this OS shift as an opportunity to upgrade their aging portfolios. [See Taking Stock of the Rugged Handheld and Rugged Smartphone Product Portfolio] -- Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2017

RuggON announces versatile Intel Skylake-powered 12.1-inch rugged in-vehicle terminal
RuggON announced that it is expanding its ruggVMC line of vehicle-mount computers with the new VX-601. Built around a superbright 12.1-inch with either resistive or capacitive touch, the Intel Core i5-6300U powered vehicle-mount runs wither Windows 7 Embedded or Windows 10 Iot and offers an unusually broad array of wired and wireless connectivity. A very wide input power range, ignition sense, remote wake, and integrated backup battery power good for 1.5 hours make the VX-601 suitable for a very wide range of vehicle and field deployments. [See RuggON media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the RuggON VX-601] -- Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2017

DT Research rugged tablet awarded C1D2 certification for safe operation in potentially hazardous environments
DT Research announced that its DT301 rugged tablet has been tested and Class 1 Division 2 Certified to operate safely in hazardous areas where flammable gases, vapors or liquids may be present within sufficient quantities to be explosive or ignitable. The C1D2 certification is recognized as the most widely accepted non-incendive standard in North America for products used in hazardous environments. "As a company specializing in purpose-built solutions for vertical markets, we strive to adhere to the highest standards required in a broad set of industries," said Daw Tsai Sc.D., president of DT Research. "We are proud to add the C1D2 certification to the robust features of the DT301 rugged tablet, making it a viable solution in many more environments." [See DT Research media release and RuggedPCReview analysis of the DT301] -- Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tablet EX Gear offers ingenious tablet chest packs
Tablets are great and increasingly used in the field, but you can't just stick them in a pocket like a smartphone. Realizing that, the crafty folks at Tablet EX Gear are offering a variety of tablet chest packs designed not only to easily stow away a tablet, but also providing space for whatever gear and peripherals you want to take with, and to make using the tablet easier. Very clever. Almost everyone working with a tablet in the field needs this. [See the Tablet EX Gear site] -- Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Mobile Demand and Phantom Controls SAM present the next generation fire truck
Operating fire trucks used to be a very manual thing. But MobileDemand and the folks at Phantom Controls proved that you can teach old dogs new tricks. They retrofitted an old St. Louis fire truck with their SAM (Scene Apparatus Manager) automated fire pump system to open and close valves, set the pressure for the pressure governor, select intakes for water supply, and alert the crew if there are any problems. It allows the truck operator to focus on the crew, their safety, and instantly set or reallocate pressure where and how it's needed. The truck itself has a panel PC, the operator uses a MobileDemand xTablet T8650 rugged tablet PC with Phantom Controls SAM software. The system will be demonstrated at FDIC 2017, April 24-29 in Indianapolis. For a great video on how it works, see this Facebook video (184,000 views as of 4/24!!!). -- Posted Monday, April 24, 2017

MPL rugged embedded computers used on racing sailboat
Swiss rugged embedded computer maker MPL AG reported in its newsletter that since January 2017, MPL AG is a technical partner for the Arnauld Godart-Philippe Sailing Team AGP. AGP uses MPL's PIP32 rugged embedded IPC for instrumentation, sensor monitoring and boat navigation. The racing team had been using MPL rugged computers since 2009 without any failures. [See MPL PIP30 rugged embedded systems] -- Posted Friday, April 21, 2017

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: April 2012
In April 2012, GD-Itronix opened an online store for its rugged computers and accessories, Motorola Solutions reported Q1 sales of almost US$2 billion and US$232 million profit, and Intel introduced its high-end quad-core 3rd gen"Ivy Bridge" Core processors. Microsoft announced there will be three versions of Windows 8 (plain Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows RT for ARM). Socket Mobile turned 20. iSiS-Ex released 19-inch Zone 2 workstations, Advantech created a site just for hazardous application solutions, IBM introduced a new foundation for mobile computing, and Intermec released two new rugged high-speed label printers. e-con Systems explained the challenges of integrating decent cameras into rugged systems, Cybernet Manufacturing launched the CyberMed T10 tablet for use in clinical environments. RuggedPCReview analyzed the nature and potential of Windows 8 for ARM devices and concluded it was probably a longshot.[See April 2012 RuggedPCReview archives] -- Posted Friday, April 21, 2017

noax Technologies releases S21WP industrial PC with industrial-grade PCAP Technology
noax Technologies, a German OEMr of industrial PCs (IPCs), has announced the release of the S21WP, the first IPC offering modified Projected Capacitive (PCAP) touchscreen technology which operates with the use of gloves even in extreme environmental conditions. The S21WP features food-safe screws and EPDM rubber seals to prevent the harboring of contaminants and allow for easy cleaning. Protected against shocks and vibrations, the slim design of the IPC features special grouting for gaps, which has the additional function of an anti-shock mounting. [See media release] -- Posted Thursday, April 20, 2017

Handheld offers OS options for new Algiz 10X models
Handheld Group announced that it has made Windows 7 available on its Algiz 10X ultra-rugged tablet computer. The Algiz 10X received an upgrade last year to a 10.1” HD projective capacitive touchscreen and offered the Windows 10 operating system. “At Handheld, we concentrate on the unique needs of enterprise deployments of our rugged tablets and handhelds,” says Johan Hed, director of product management. “Part of that value is to offer stability and flexibility to meet enterprises where they are. Windows 10 has enjoyed wide-spread enterprise acceptance, but Windows 7 is still important to many of our customers. Now we give them the option to choose.” [See Handheld media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2017

JLT Mobile Computers to showcase the importance of rugged IT solutions for mining operations
JLT Mobile Computers will be attending Canada’s premier mining event, CIM 2017 Convention, from April 30 to May 3 at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal to show its rugged computers with proven reliability that increases productivity and minimizes costly interruptions in mining operations. JLT will be demoing the outstanding capabilities of their latest generation, high-performance VERSO computers for heavy-duty industry, developed to withstand the most extreme conditions, including severe vibrations and chemicals, making them perfectly suited for use in mining industries. [See JLT Mobile media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Advantech identifies six growth engines at its 2017 Service-IoT Worldwide Partner Conference
At its 2017 Service-IoT Worldwide Partner Conference, Advantech discussed what the company considers the major growth engines for three major business areas. In Intelligent Healthcare those are promoting intelligent wards and solution-ready platforms as well as expansion into intelligent integrated operating rooms. In Intelligent Retail those are the creation of a global Intelligent retail eco-partners network as well as a cloud platform with integrated retail management software. In Intelligent Logistics, Advantech sees a need for a more complete range of industrial mobile solutions and application-ready platforms for safety In and out of vehicles. [See Advantech media release] -- Posted Friday, April 14, 2017

Zebra Technologies unveils SmartPack Trailer solution to optimize loading operations
Zebra Technologies Corporation announced SmartPack Trailer which provides the transportation and logistics industry with real-time operational visibility. SmartPack Trailer captures load density, trailer fullness, packages scanned and loaded per hour, and other relevant data and visuals, helping organizations achieve optimal performance and profitability. This is in line with Zebra’s Enterprise Asset Intelligence strategy of capturing operational data at the point of activity and then analyzing that data to derive actionable insights for personnel and dock managers. [See Zebra media release and SmartPack Trailer page] -- Posted Friday, April 14, 2017

Xplore secures $2.2 million order from new division at major global telecommunicationsprovider
Xplore Technologies announced that one of the nation’s largest telecommunications service providers has chosen to replace the standard laptops and Toughbooks previously used by its Digital Electronics Group (DEG) with Xplore XSLATE B10 Fully Rugged Tablet PCs. The initial order from DEG is valued at $2.2 million, with additional follow-on orders from the telco’s DEG, as well as other business units, anticipated as part of the customer’s multi-year commitment to standardize its field teams on Xplore rugged tablets. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Thursday, April 13, 2017

Victoria, Australia, police to use Motorola Solutions system and service for 10,000+ consumer handhelds
Motorola Solutions will provide a new mobility managed service to Victoria Police, bringing real-time information to at least 10,000 police officers equipped with iPads and iPhones. The technology will also help Victoria Police to preserve its mission-critical radio communications for essential emergency communications by removing lower priority traffic from the radio network. The solution includes, mPol, a mobile application developed by Gridstone, the Collingwood-based mobile application developer that's part of Motorola Solutions. Our take: That means another 10,000+ fragile consumer-grade devices on the street and in the field. Rugged would likely have been better in the long run. [See Motorola Solutions media release] -- Posted Thursday, April 13, 2017

L-com launches new line of armored M12 cable assemblies
When rugged gear must be connected out there in the field, waterproof screw-on or bayonet M12-style connectors are often used instead of standard I/O ports. But what about the cable itself? Is it strong enough? To make sure it is, L-com Global Connectivity, a manufacturer of wired and wireless connectivity products, has released a new line of armored M12 cable assemblies for use with industrial Ethernet, test equipment, I/O connectivity, sensors and actuators, and industrial control and factory automation. The inner cable jacket is resistant to oil, UV sun rays, weld splatter and is rated for 600V. Stainless steel armor protects the cable from damage and features 1,500 PSI of crush resistance. [See L-com media release] -- Posted Thursday, April 13, 2017

Unitech PA720 rugged Android handheld wins iF Design Award
Unitech announced that its newest Enterprise PDA, the PA720, has won the 2017 iF Design Award in recognition of its outstanding product design. At an awards ceremony held in Munich, the PA720 was selected by a panel of about 60 leading design experts as one of the winners of the top accolade. This year's competition saw a total of 5,500 products submitted from 59 countries. [See Unitech media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Unitech PA720] -- Posted Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Juniper Systems Geode sub-meter GNSS receiver
Using modern positioning technology to determine location on the planet within two or three meters is incredible. But sometimes it's not good and accurate enough. That's where sub-meter accuracy comes in. In a recent Juniper Systems blog post, John Florio discusses their Geode sub-meter GPS receiver, a powerful, easy-to-use, and affordable GPS solution that works with Windows, Windows Mobile and Android devices. Geode can be mounted on a pole, in a pack, or held in your hand. The systems offers all-day battery life, optional GLONASS capability, and connects either via Bluetooth or wire. The Geode is also compatible with Juniper Systems Aspect software, and many other mapping applications available such as Esri Collector for ArcGIS, ArcPad, and more. [See Let’s talk Geode Sub-meter GPS Receiver] -- Posted Monday, April 10, 2017

Getac financials and outlook
According to the Taipei Times, Getac chairman James Hwang told an investors’ conference that he expects Getac’s 2017 revenue to increase by 5-10% from 2016's NT$20.4 billion (US$666.5 million), driven by the mechanical components and rugged computer systems. In 2016, 47% of revenue, US$313 million, came from rugged systems, and Hwang said revenue from rugged systems could surge by a double-digit percentage 2017 on increasing orders from existing clients and Windows 10 conversion demand. [See article] -- Posted Friday, April 7, 2017

Lucas certifies Zebra TC51 Android Touch Computer for use with Lucas Move applications for voice picking and other warehouse functions
Lucas Systems, a provider of solutions for intelligent mobile work execution for warehouses and distribution centers, announced that it has certified Zebra Technologies’ TC51 rugged mobile handheld computer for use with Lucas Move mobile applications. The Zebra TC51 is the first Android-based industrial computer certified for Lucas Move, the mobile component of the Lucas Mobile Work Execution Solutions. Lucas Move guides users through their tasks using a combination of voice direction, speech recognition, visual user interfaces, barcode scanning, NFC and RFID. [See Lucas media release and RuggedPCReview's assessment of the Zebra TC51] -- Posted Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Xplore now ships rugged XSLATE D10 tablet with Android 6.0.1
Xplore Technologies announced its flagship Android rugged tablet, the 10.1-inch XSLATE D10, is now available with the upgraded Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system. With Android 6.0.1, battery life improves over 10%, lasting beyond full shifts, and up to 22 hours with an optional second battery. Marshmallow also brings several enhancements to the Android for Work and Voice Assist APIs, each may yield greater worker efficiency and application responsiveness. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Crystal Group showcases rugged embedded computers at Navy League’s Sea Air Space Exposition
Crystal Group announced it will highlight its rugged embedded computer line at Navy League's Sea Air Space Exposition. These embedded devices are ideal for use in environments where water threats, extreme temperature and volatile conditions occur; yet high capacity computing, graphics performance, power saving and long-term server availability are in demand. The SE16 Sealed Embedded Computer has an all-aluminum construction with custom EMI gasketing to seal the chassis, allowing it to operate while fully submerged in water up to one meter. The RE0814 is a rugged embedded computer with no moving parts is a cost-effective solution for harsh environments and critical around the clock land, sea, air, and space operations. [See Crystal Group media release] -- Posted Friday, March 31, 2017

ARBOR Technology launches Digital Signage Player with 6th Gen Intel Core™ i-series processors
ARBOR Technology, announced its new ELIT-1900 digital signage player with 4K/Ultra HD display support for commercial environments. Based on Intel 6th-gen Skylake-H CPU technology and containing an AMD E8860 GPU, the ELIT-1900 delivers outstanding processing performance and truly immersive graphics. [See ARBOR media release and ELIY-1900 product page] -- Posted Thursday, March 30, 2017

Getac partners with Trivalent to provide next generation data protection for the first time in rugged computing devices
Getac announced its partnership with Trivalent, a leading provider of next-generation data protection services, to deliver seamless and robust next-generation data protection for the first time on rugged computing devices. By integrating Trivalent’s software security into its line of rugged devices, Getac confirms its commitment to safeguarding customer data with technology that has been certified by the NSA. [See media release] -- Posted Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Added: Winmate EAC-PRO
Winmate's new EAC-PRO is an Intel 6th generation-based embedded computer for factory floor, vision systems, surveillance, machine automation, medical imaging and similar. It measures roughly 8 x 8 x 8 inches and weigh 10-12 pounds depending on configuration, and is perfect for projects that do require PCI and PCI Express expansion in a compact, industrial-grade package. And with Winmate using an embedded systems approach with the EAC-PRO, the company should easily be able to accommodate custom configurations with different SBC (Single Board Computer) and I/O boards. [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Winmate EAC-PRO and Winmate's EAC-PRO product page] -- Posted Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What happens when you don't upgrade your hardware
So the folks in the new SciFi movie Life are using Handheld Group's ultra-rugged Algiz 10X tablet when they retrieve a space probe returning from Mars. Problem is, the probe contains a very hostile organism that escapes containment and evolves. Quite obviously, had the scientists on the space station upgraded to the new and improved version of the Algiz 10X, the problem could have been avoided. Lesson: Always upgrade to the latest version! [See "Life" trailer on YouTube and also what the new version of the Algiz 10X looks like] -- Posted Saturday, March 25, 2017

Review: Getac T800 Gen 2 ultra-rugged Windows 10 tablet
The T800 is Getac's entry into the compact 8-inch rugged tablet market. Its footprint is just a little larger than that of an iPad mini, making it easy to carry around and stow almost anywhere. RuggedPCReview takes an extended look at this highly configurable, state-of-the-art Windows 10-based capacitive multi-touch tablet that can handle 6-foot falls and plenty of punishment. [See review of the Getac T800 Gen 2 ultra-rugged tablet] -- Posted Friday, March 24, 2017

Panasonic’s new rugged 2-in-1 detachables reflect European market demand for hybrid mobile devices
Panasonic Europe notes that a new IDC whitepaper predicts that IT buyers will be equipping their mobile workforces with more detachable mobile devices in 2017. With an increased awareness of the need for data entry and content creation to improve productivity, the predicted screen size sweet spot for these devices will be displays of 12-13.3 inches. Which pretty much describes the recently introduced fully rugged 12-inch Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 and the semi rugged 12.5-inch Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2. Both are 2-in-1 detachables offering the best of both worlds with tablet and notebook functionality in a single business device. [See Panasonic media release] -- Posted Friday, March 24, 2017

Crystal Group and Intel forge rugged autonomous vehicle all-weather solution to deliver on IoT promise
To meet the growing demand for reliable technology on the Internet of Things (IoT), Crystal Group, a designer/manufacturer of rugged computer hardware, announced the development of a rugged server able to withstand extreme temperature variations for commercial autonomous vehicles (AVs). Crystal Group's Intel-powered RS363S15F Rugged 3U Server is just one example of an agile and rugged system with applications for the commercial AV market. Crystal Group and Intel have been working with other technology companies and major automotive OEMs as part of the Intel Internet of Things Solutions Alliance to build systems to support the entire driverless vehicle ecosystem. [See Crystal group media release and RS363S15F rugged 3U server] -- Posted Friday, March 24, 2017

GCSS-Army Deploying 9,783 Getac F110 G3 Rugged Tablets
The Global Combat Support System branch of the U.S. Army (GCSS-Army) has ordered 9,783 Getac F110 G3 rugged tablets with docking stations. After a thorough vetting process, GCSS-Army determined the Getac F110 G3 would be the best new rugged tablet to replace several aging and outdated Army management information systems across tactical logistics environments within the Army’s Active and Reserve components as well as the National Guard. The Getac F110 G3 tablets will ultimately be used to capture UID data using its built-in barcode reader to provide unprecedented asset visibility. [See Getac media release] -- Posted Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Added: Handheld Group Algiz 10X Gen 3
Product description and specs of the heavily updated 3rd generation of the Handheld Group's ultra-rugged Algiz 10X tablet now available on RuggedPCReview. Major updates include switch to 1920 x 1200 pixel, 16:10 aspect ratio, 10.1-inch display; switch to capacitive multi-touch with glove and rain modes; addition of optional active pen; switch to u-blox NEO-M8N positioning; and switch to Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB. [See description, specs and analysis of the Handheld Group Algiz 10X] -- Posted Monday, March 20, 2017

Full review 6th gen GammaTech DURABOOK SA14
The GammaTech DURABOOK SA14 is a modern semi-rugged laptop solution for customers who need more durability and ruggedness than consumer notebooks generally provide, but still at an affordable price. Now powered by Intel 6th generation "Skylake" processors, the impressively well-built SA14 convinces with very good performance, great battery life, a large display that works very well outdoors, and plenty of onboard I/O, all at a very reasonable cost. [See full review of the semi rugged GammaTech DURABOOK SA14] -- Posted Friday, March 17, 2017

Wireless Network Solutions completes validation of Janam XT2 rugged touch computer
Janam Technologies announced that value-added reseller Wireless Network Solutions has technically certified Janam’s XT2 rugged touch computer. This validation ensures interoperability between Janam’s Android-powered XT2 and Wireless Network Solutions’ Inspector+ 4.0 software. Inspector+ 4.0 is a cloud-based Android application that enables businesses in the airline, healthcare, and oil and gas industries to replace pen and paper tracking. The newly released software provides enterprise organizations with a robust method of cost-effectively improving inspection processes. [See Janam media release] -- Posted Thursday, March 16, 2017

Handheld appoints new President of Its North American subsidiary
Handheld Group announced the appointment of Mike Zelman as President of its North American subsidiary, Handheld US. Mike Zelman has been on the Handheld US board since its inception and most recently served as Vice President of Business Development for Handheld Group. Prior to joining Handheld, he served as Vice President of Marketing for Merix, a leading global manufacturer of complex interconnect solutions. He has also held management positions within the mobile computing division at Trimble, the electrical component business at Flextronics, and the semiconductor group within Agilent Technologies. [See Handheld media release] -- Posted Thursday, March 16, 2017

Global tablet shipments below 40 million in Q1/2017
According to DigiTimes, global tablet shipments in Q1/2017 will be less than 40 million units for the first time since Q2/2012. For all of 2016, tablet shipments were 183 million units. -- Posted Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Xplore expands scope of rugged tablet deployment with top 10 U.S. electrical power and natural gas utility company
Xplore Technologies has received a new $750K expansion order from one of the nation’s top 10 electric power and natural gas utility companies, bringing the value of the multi-year field service mobilization initiative to more than $3.5M to-date. These additional XSLATE B10 fully rugged (IP65) tablet PCs and in-vehicle docking solutions will be deployed to the nuclear plant and material logistics groups, among others, to facilitate service dispatch, deliver asset intelligence to infrastructure assessment teams, and improve the efficiency and coordination of repair crew actions. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Monday, March 13, 2017

Motorola Solutions expands managed & support services with Chile acquisition
Motorola Solutions announced that it has acquired Interexport, a company that provides managed and support services for communications systems to government agencies, public safety and enterprise customers in Chile. Motorola Solutions expects Interexport to add approximately $50 million in revenue for 2017. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. [see Motorola Solutions media release] -- Posted Monday, March 13, 2017

RuggedPCReview blog: Are "mobile" sites really needed?
A few days ago I used one of the readily available website analysis tools to check RuggedPCReview.com. The resulting report gave me a stern "site not mobile-optimized" lecture. "Mobile-optimized," of course, refers to the fact that sites on the one-size-fits-all world wide web are being viewed on a very wide range of devices with a very wide range of screen sizes. And it is certainly true that viewing a webpage on a 27-inch display is a very different experience from viewing it on a 4.7-inch smartphone... [read blog article] -- Posted Friday, March 10, 2017

Havis adds computing solutions to work truck, van fleets
Havis announced it has added vehicle-specific computer docking and mounting solutions designed to increase mobile productivity in work trucks, vans and SUVs. Havis will display the solutions at the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show March 14-17, 2017, in Indianapolis, IN. Havis offers vehicle-specific solutions for a number of top-selling brands, including Ford, Chevrolet, Ram, Nissan and more. Havis said it will display a total mobility solution installed in a 2016 Nissan Frontier during the show. -- Posted Friday, March 10, 2017

Site improvement: easy search for product reviews
The "recent reviews/additions" list in the righthand column of the RuggedPCReview front page contains links to almost a thousand products reviews. To make it easier to list just the products of a certain company, or search for a particular product or groups of products by name, we added a "filter" input box. So if you type in "Getac" you instantly get a list of all Getac reviews on our site. Let us know if this is useful. -- Posted Thursday, March 9, 2017

Datalogic is recognized as best channel vendor for 2017 by Business Solutions Magazine
Datalogic, a leader in Automatic Data Capture and Industrial Automation markets, and producer of bar code readers, mobile computers, sensors, vision systems and laser marking equipment, is proud to announce that it has been named a Best Channel Vendor for 2017 by Business Solutions Magazine. Datalogic scored well in all seven categories and placed high in four specific divisions (product features, product reliability, channel friendly, and channel program [See Datalogic media release] -- Posted Thursday, March 9, 2017

Avalue/Bytec Healthcare offer IP67-sealed mobile power packs
With all the horror stories of overheating, burning and exploding batteries, everyone has become somewhat cautious in dealing with them. There are, however, situations where certain types of battery packs must be routinely cleaned and disinfected, such as healthcare environments. To that extent, Avalue Technology's healthcare alliance partner, Bytec Healthcare, has launched intelligent Geni-Tec battery modules. The IP67-sealed mobile Geni-Tec Modules can be washed under running water, deep-cleaned, and disinfected with NHS solutions. [See Avalue media release and Geni-Tec Power Systems page] -- Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2017

VIA to debut VIA VTS-8589 OPS board at Embedded World 2017
VIA Technologies announced it will debut its new VIA VTS-8589 OPS board at the 2017 Embedded World Exhibition and Conference being held this March 14-16 in Nuremberg, Germany. Compliant with Intel’s Open Pluggable Specification (OPS), the VIA VTS-8589 can be installed into OPS-compatible displays without the need for additional power, connectivity, or real estate. [See VIA media release and VTS-8589 OPS page] -- Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ubiqconn buys RuggON to expand global industrial IoT strategy
Ubiqconn, a subsidiary of FICG (First International Computer Group), announced the acquisition of RuggON, a supplier of rugged portable computing systems and industry sponsor of RuggedPCReview.com. Ubiqconn considers the acquisition a step towards offering complete Mobile IIoT (Industrial IoT) solutions and expanding its global Industrial IoT (IIoT) market strategy. The management team remains after the acquisition, and resources from parent company FIC Group will be provided to expand product lines and branding development for RuggON. [See Ubiqconn media release] -- Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Getac expects revenues to grow strongly in second half of 2017
Digitimes reports that rugged PC manufacturer Getac Technology expects its revenues to decrease sequentially in the second quarter, and that shipping volume will grow strongly in the second half due to increased procurement orders. Getac currently is the second largest vendor in the rugged industrial PC market, holding a market share of 16-18%. Getac is looking to boost the market share to 30% in the next three years. -- Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2017

U.S. Navy awards Patriot Technologies. a large-scale rugged tablet contract for naval shipyards
Patriot Technologies announced a five-year blanket purchase agreement awarded by the Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization-Scott Field Office for the US Navy to procure rugged tablet computer designed by DT Research, a designer and manufacturer of purpose-built computing solutions for vertical markets. The US Navy selected the DT311 rugged tablets to deploy to personnel working at various shipyards for technical maintenance management, warehouse inventory control, field testing and training, and other field data operations. See media release] -- Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Getac introduces MX50 5.7-inch secure, rugged Android tactical tablet for armed forces
Getac introduced its first rugged tactical tablet, built from the ground up, for combat-ready military forces, including dismounted warfighters, elite enforcement agencies and Special Forces military units. The Android-based, Intel x5-Z8350 powered 5.7-inch tablet is heavily ruggedized and will meet the Common Criteria ISO/IEC 15408 computer security certification as well as the NSA’s Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) guidelines and Data-at-Rest (DAR) requirements. [See Getac media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Getac MX50] -- Posted Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Zebra study: 7 in 10 retailers will invest in IoT technologies to revolutionize customer experience
Zebra Technologies published the results of their 2017 Retail Vision Study. The study revealed that nearly 70% of retail decision makers surveyed are ready to make changes to adopt the Internet of Things (IoT), and 65% plan to invest in automation technologies for inventory management and planogram compliance by 2021. This includes investment in mobile devices, kiosks and tablets to increase payment options, mobile point-of-sale, micro-locationing, big data predictive and software analytics for loss prevention and price optimization, and more. [See Zebra media release and one-page summary infographic] -- Posted Monday, March 6, 2017

Winmate's G-WIN Heavy-Duty Panel Computer: Concept and Testing
In its latest newsletter, Winmate ran an illustrated compilation of RuggedPCReview's discussion and commentaries on the company's expanding series of G-WIN heavy-duty panel computers. The focus is on the differences between ruggedness and ruggedness testing in heavy-duty panel computers compared to portable mobile computers.
[Read Winmate's G-WIN Heavy-Duty Panel Computer: Concept and Testing]
-- Posted Monday, March 6, 2017

Full review: MobileDemand's rather amazing US$595 2-in-1 rugged Windows xTablet Flex 10A
It's difficult to figure out what to make of MobileDemand's xTablet Flex10A. It's essentially a generic 10-inch Windows tablet inside expertly designed and executed ruggedization armor, and including straps and handles and pen and screen protector and all. And with an optional very well matched detachable keyboard it becomes a remarkably useful 2-in-1 hybrid. All for US$595 (plus about $100 for the keyboard and easel). [See full review of the MobileDemand xTablet Flex 10A] -- Posted Monday, March 6, 2017

Disruptive innovation?
In a recent Xplore blog, Bob Ashenbrenner postulates that "if you want to get things done, don’t let innovation (or tech) become disruptive." As we are continuously bombarded with new technology and pressure to rethink and innovate, do we perhaps focus too much on change and reinventing, and not enough on reaping the benefits from tried-and-true methods and technology? Good questions, and certainly something to think about. [See If You Want to Get Things Done, Don’t Let Innovation (or Tech) Become Disruptive (Part 1)] -- Posted Friday, March 3, 2017

Panasonic Europe announces Toughbook CF-33
Panasonic Europe introduced the Toughbook CF-33, a 2-in-1 device that the company calls a fully rugged detachable laptop. The Intel Kaby Lake-powered 12-inch CF-33 will be the replacement of the venerable Panasonic Toughbook CF-31 that, against rising competition, had ruled the rugged laptop roost for a good many years. [See Panasonic media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-33] -- Posted Monday, February 27, 2017

eVision presents mobility solutions at Bartec Agile X IS DIV 1 and Zone 1 tablet launch
Bartec will officially launch their Agile X IS DIV I and Zone 1 tablet in the US market on 9 March 2017, at a private event in Houston. The Agile X IS is an intrinsically safe tablet pc that has a built-in scan engine, hot-swappable battery and diverse add-on module options to adapt to your working environment. [See media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the BARTEC Agile X IS] -- Posted Saturday, February 25, 2017

Zebra announces Q4 and full year 2016 financials
Zebra Technologies announced net sales of $942 million in Q4 2016 compared to $951 million in Q4 2015. Net income for Q4 2016 was $17 million, compared with a net loss of $28 million for Q4 2015. Full year 2016 sales were $3.574 billion in Q4 2016 compared to $3.65 billion in 2015. Net loss for 2016 was $137 million, compared with a net loss of $158 million in 2015. Of 2016 net sales, 65.2% came from the Enterprise division (i.e. the former Motorola Solutions enterprise division) and 34.8% from Legacy Zebra. In 2015, the split was 64.9 to 35.1%. Zebra CEO Anders Gustafsson said, "Zebra entered 2017 with an unmatched portfolio of innovative solutions, a solid backlog, and a healthy pipeline of opportunities to drive profitable sales growth." [See Zebra Q4 2016 financials] -- Posted Thursday, February 23, 2017

Blog: In search of the prepaid, transferrable SIM
At RuggedPCReview.com, we often analyze and report on mobile computing devices with integrated WWAN (mobile broadband) capability and a SIM card slot. it would be nice for us to be able to test device wireless data capabilities while we review them. We can't always ask vendors and manufacturers to get us test units with activated voice and data service, and we cannot, of course, set up cellular service for every such device that comes into our lab. So we wondered if there is an equivalent of prepaid phones and cards for SIM cards... [Read In search of a prepaid, transferrable SIM] -- Posted Thursday, February 23, 2017

VIA announces new VIA SOM-6X50 IoT acceleration platform
VIA Technologies announced the launch of the new VIA SOM-6X50 IoT Acceleration Platform for the rapid development of automated ticketing, signage, and kiosk devices. "Self-service systems that let consumers access information or purchase items with a tap on the screen or through their smart phone are critical for improving the user experience no matter whether it’s at a retail store or a parking lot,” said Richard Brown, VP International Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. “With our latest VIA SOM-6X50 IoT Acceleration Platform, we make it fast and easy for operators to design and build automated information display and transaction processing systems that meet their exact deployment needs.” [See VIA media release, the SOM-6X50 page, and the VIA Custom IoT Platform Design Services] -- Posted Thursday, February 23, 2017

Full review: Getac B300 ultra-rugged notebook computer
There are times when nothing but a full size, full function, tough and rugged notebook computer will do, and preferably one that isn't being restyled and redesigned every other year, because that needlessly obsoletes customer investment and equipment. The Getac B300 is one of those, one of the very few, and it's now in its sixth generation. RuggedPCReview conducted a full, detailed review of the now Intel Skylake-powered Getac B300. Performance has more than quadrupled compared to the original version, the super-bright, pushbutton-operated 1,400 nits backlight still dazzles, and yet the B300 remains completely compatible with every peripheral, dock and accessory ever made for it. [See full review of the Getac B300 ultra-rugged notebook computer] -- Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2017

NXT Robotics unveils rugged all-terrain security robot
Mobile robotics are playing an increasingly important role in the security of our borders, military facilities, and even power plants. To meet this growing demand, San Diego-based NXT Robotics has developed Scorpion, a rugged all-terrain and all-weather outdoor security robot designed to provide organizations with round-the- clock physical security monitoring and reporting capabilities. [See NXT Robotics media release and Scorpion product page]] -- Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Full review: DT Research DT311H 2-in-1 enabled rugged tablet
Addressing three hot tablet trends all at once — larger screen, higher resolution, and 2-in-1 hybrid functionality — the DT Research DT311H figures to be a strong contender in the rugged tablet market. RuggedPCReview performed an in-depth analysis and review of the IP65-sealed, high-performance 11.6-inch DT311H tablet that can instantly provide full laptop functionality without the extra bulk and weight of a permanently attached keyboard. [See full review of the DT Research DT301S] -- Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Scan handle transforms rugged tablet into barcode scanning powerhouse
MobileDemand has designed a scan handle attachment for the new xTablet T8650 rugged tablet. The optional accessory snaps directly to the back of the device to enable fast and ergonomic barcode scanning using the rugged tablet’s built-in 2D barcode scanner. The Scan Handle, which connects via Bluetooth, is powered by a swappable battery, providing up to 90 hours of continuous use on a single charge. [See MobileDemand media release and watch xTablet T8650 Scan Handle demo video] -- Posted Thursday, February 16, 2017

Avalue presenting seamless smart retail solution at EuroShop 2017
Avalue Technology, an embedded solution provider and an associate member of Intel Internet of Things Solutions Alliance, will be joining one of the world’s largest retail trade show, EuroShop, at Düsseldorf, Germany, on March 5-9, 2017. Visit Avalue’s Café-Boutique at Hall 7, Booth A36 to experience seamless retail solution. Avalue’s omnichannel retail solutions include modules such as in-store marketing, customer satisfaction, customer behavior analysis, point of sale, store management and business analytics. [See Avalue media release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2017

GammaTech to feature newest rugged computers at the AFCEA West 2017 Conference
GammaTech announced it will be partnering with Transource to showcase their latest DURABOOK line of rugged computers for leading military personnel at the AFCEA West 2017 Conference in the Transource booth (#1137 and #1139). The conference will take place from February 21-23 in the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA. Meeting or exceeding most difficult Military Standards, DURABOOK tablets and PCs are designed for demanding environments and can withstand the most hostile, toughest military applications. Whether in actual combat or preparing for it, these rugged devices offer power, performance and reliability to meet the needs of today’s military personnel. [See GammaTech media release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sony develops next-gen camera image sensor for mobile devices
Interested in the future of cameras integrated into mobile devices? Sony just announced a new 3-layer stacked 21-megapixel CMOS image sensor with DRAM for smartphones and the like. The sensor captures still images of fast-moving subjects with minimal focal plane distortion as well as 4k/60fps video and super slow motion movies at up to 1,000 frames per second. [See Sony media release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2017

GammaTech to show rugged computers designed for healthcare professionals at HIMSS 2017
GammaTech announced the company will be partnering with Lund Industries to showcase their DURABOOK line of mobile rugged computer options for medical professionals at HIMSS 2017 in the Lund Industries booth, #3203. The HIMSS 2017 Annual Conference will take place February 19-23 in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. GammaTech’s DURABOOK line of rugged computers will be mounted to Lund Industries’ DataCart products, resulting in state-of-the-art care carts ideal for use in medical situations such as telemedicine, behavioral health, stroke and nursing home use, where dependable technology can ensure that the professional’s attention will be focused on the patient. [See GammaTech media release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Xplore fulfills Initial $1.3M order to enable world’s first Android tablet-based vehicle safety and emissions system
Xplore Technologies announced that it has fulfilled an initial $1.3 million order for its XSLATE D10 tablet PCs and is in the process of deploying them as part of the first rugged tablet-based vehicle safety and emissions system ever built for a public or private-sector emissions safety program. The completely mobile system, which is also the first to leverage an Android device, exclusively relies on Xplore XSLATE D10 fully rugged tablet PCs to power the field and back-office workflows of vehicle safety and emissions programs across the United States. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Monday, February 13, 2017

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