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Rugged PC News and Developments [ Submit news] [News archive]
Xplore secures yet another multi-million-dollar Android rugged tablet order from top telecommunications provider's fiber optic division
Xplore Technologies Corp (NASDAQ: XPLR) announced that one of the largest broadband and wireless telecommunications companies in the United States has placed a new $2.6 million follow-on order for Xplore XSLATE D10 tablets to support the ongoing expansion of its Fiber Optic Services Division workforce, which first standardized on the custom-engineered tablet platform in August 2016. It is the only fully rugged Android mobile device that offers full computing capabilities and the HDMI-in port technicians need to conduct high speed network quality tests at the time of install. [See Xplore press release] -- Posted Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The impact of iPhones on the rugged handheld market
Apple has been selling well over 200 million iPhones annually for the past several years. This affects the rugged handheld market both directly and indirectly. On the positive side, the iPhone brought universal acceptance of smartphones. That accelerated acceptance of handheld computing platforms in numerous industries and opened new applications and markets to makers of rugged handhelds. On the not so positive side, many of those sales opportunities didn't go to providers of rugged handhelds. Instead, they were filled by standard iPhones. There are many examples where aging rugged handhelds were replaced by iPhones, sometimes by the tens of thousands. That happened despite the relatively high cost of iPhones and despite their inherent fragility. [read The impact of iPhones on the rugged handheld market] -- Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Xplore secures million-dollar rugged tablet order from Latin American law enforcement agency
Xplore Technologies Corp (NASDAQ: XPLR) announced that one of the largest Latin American police forces has placed an order totaling more than $1 million for Xplore XSLATE B10 fully rugged tablets, vehicle docks and accessories. The 10.1" Intel-powered XSLATE B10 was the only rugged tablet solution on the market that could meet the law enforcement agency's strict performance standards and ergonomic requirements. [See Xplore press release] -- Posted Tuesday, September 12, 2017

What's IP69K?
Most readers of RuggedPCReview.com are very familiar with the IP ingress protection system that tells in two numbers how well protected a device is against solids and liquids. Most rugged mobile devices max out at IP67, which means totally sealed against dust and also able to handle short term full immersion in water. Recently, we've seen more claims of IEC 60529 IP69K protection. What does the "9K" stand for? That'd be complete protection against the high temperature, high pressure water wash-down procedures used in certain industries where intense cleaning is crucial. Testing includes close-up blasting of 176F water at 1160-1450 psi of pressure. -- Posted Monday, September 11, 2017

JLT Mobile Computers selected by Swire Coca-Cola, USA, one of the largest independent Coca-Cola bottlers in the United States
JLT Mobile Computers, a leading developer and manufacturer of reliable computers for demanding environments, has started the delivery of more than 300 of its JLT1214N forklift computers to Swire Coca-Cola, USA, one of the largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the United States. The delivery process will continue throughout 2017 and into the first quarter of 2018 as Swire Coca-Cola recently expanded its territory in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and northern Idaho, including the cities of Albuquerque, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, Spokane and Tucson. [See JLT Mobile press release] -- Posted Monday, September 11, 2017

Handheld launches blog at ruggedinformer.com
Handheld Group, a leading supplier of rugged mobile computers, announced the launch of its new blog, RUGGEDINFORMER.COM. RuggedInformer.com will serve as a resource for mobility professionals, field technicians, IT managers, and others who are engaged in workforce mobilization. It will be a resource to learn more about rugged computers and stay informed about mobility news and emerging rugged technologies. [See Handheld Group press release] -- Posted Friday, September 8, 2017

Airline swaps pen and paper for Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
European cargo airline West Atlantic is transforming life for aviation crew, who formerly used pen and paper to keep on top of logistics, by equipping them with Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 rugged tablets. The result is a better and more efficient working day in the form of saved time, increased user-friendliness and better overview. [See Panasonic Europe press release] -- Posted Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Review: Kingston IronKey S1000 FIPS 140-2 Level 3 compliant secure flash drive
USB flash drives are being sold by the hundreds of millions every year. They are terrific and everyone loves them. But they are also a major security risk and a primary source of data breaches. The solution is secure, encrypted USB keys compliant with FIPS 140-2 Level 3, which is mandatory for governments at any level and those who are doing business with government. RuggedPCReview is taking a detailed look at the
Kingston IronKey S1000 line of rugged, heavy-duty USB keys that truly protects your data. [See Kingston IronKey S1000 — for when you need a rugged, heavy-duty USB key that truly protects your data]
-- Posted Tuesday, September 5, 2017

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: Sept. 2012
In September 2012, Getac its deal with FedEx TechConnect and introduced the Z710 rugged Android tablet. Panasonic upgraded most of its rugged notebooks to 3rd generation Core processors. The Handheld Group launched its Nautiz X1 rugged Android smartphone. MobileDemand introduced the xTablet T7200 with Pixel Xi screen. Intermec posted a video demonstrating major abuse on a CK71 handheld, and its Vocollect unit introduced the rugged SRX2 headset. Synaptics' ClearPad Series 3 offers multi-touch even with gloves on. DigiTimes predicted hard times for the Intel Atom, just when Intel announced the Atom Z2760 for Windows 8 tablets and convertibles. NORCO introduced the PPC-3308 rugged Tablet PC, Western Digital a super-thin 2.5-inch hybrid hard drive, and Avalue the EPS-QM57 series of Core i7-based rugged embedded industrial PCs. [See September 2012 archive] -- Posted Sunday, September 3, 2017

Intel's 8th-gen U Series Core processors
On August 21, Intel announced what the company calls their 8th Generation Intel Core processors. For now that's just four chips, the i5-8250U and i5-8350U, and the i7-8550U and i7-8650U (see here). From what we can tell, these remain 15-watt 14nm chips with the same 7th gen Kaby Lake architecture, which already was only a minor advance over 6th gen Skylake. What has changed, though, is that these four chips are all quad-core/eight thread systems, so whatever software takes advantage of that will be significantly faster. But what about battery life with all these extra cores? Intel says it's "uncompromised," and that's likely because the new chips run at a much lower base frequency (albeit higher turbo boost) than the equivalent Kaby Lake processors. So what we'll likely see will be the availability of 8th gen chips as high end options. But, for now, 8th gen doesn't look "must have." -- Posted Friday, September 1, 2017

Datalogic reports record quarter and half-year
While Datalogic has been very quiet about its lineup of rugged handhelds, overall the Italian-based company seems to be doing very well. Revenues for their Q1 were €157.8 million (US$187 million) up 7.7% compared to Q1 last year, and revenues for the first half of 2017 rose to €299.3 million (US$355 million), up 6.2% compared to the first half of 2016. [See Datalogic press release] -- Posted Thursday, August 31, 2017

Bradford Airport logistics increases productivity, improves overall operations with Zebra Technologies
Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), the market leader in rugged mobile computers, barcode scanners and barcode printers enhanced with software and services to enable real-time enterprise visibility, announced that Bradford Airport Logistics selected Zebra's TC70 touch computer to optimize its delivery process, increase worker productivity and improve customer satisfaction. Based in Houston, Texas, Bradford manages airport centralized receiving and distribution logistics centers globally. [See Zebra press release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Logic Supply launches GPU-capable, small form factor industrial PC ideal for image processing applications
Over the last few years, graphics performance has become an increasingly important feature among industrial, embedded and IoT hardware users for use in vision systems, VR and advanced workstation applications. So the folks at Logic Supply created their new MC850 small form factor industrial computer. The MC850 supports full height PCIe cards and thus can accommodate a wide range of networking, I/O and GPU expansion options, including the latest 10-Series GPUs from NVIDIA. There's an integrated 300W power supply, a variety of industrial I/O for connectivity to both modern and legacy systems, and numerous CPU options all the way up to a quad-core Intel Kaby Lake Core i7-7700T. Starting at US$974. [See the Logic Supply MC850 product page] -- Posted Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Handheld Group case study: Timber buyers increase accuracy, efficiency and profits with rugged handhelds
Technology has changed the way we do business today, but the overriding goal remains the same: be profitable. That's why smart people in the timber industry are always looking for an edge — technological or otherwise. Thanks to ultra-rugged portable handhelds, jobs that used to be time- and labor-intensive can now be done with drastically improved efficiency. And that translates to the bottom line. Dalton Smith, a buyer with Thomas Timber in Arkansas, USA, is using the Nautiz X8 rugged handheld data collector from Handheld Group, along with industry-specific software, to cruise timber plots faster and calculate bids more accurately. [Read "Timber buyers increase accuracy, efficiency and profits with rugged handhelds"] -- Posted Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Juniper Systems blog: Android AOSP: What You Need to Know
Android has long been suffering from version fragmentation, making devices and apps less compatible and upgradeable than they could/should be. Adding to the confusion is the presence of both Android AOSP (Android Open Source Project) and Android GMS (Google Mobile Services) devices. Juniper Systems' always informative GetRugged blog explained the difference between Android AOSP and Android GMS in an informative post written by Sarah Merrell. [See Android AOSP: What You Need to Know] -- Posted Tuesday, August 29, 2017

NYPD replacing 36,000 smartphones
After the New York Post published an article about the New York Police Department scrapping 36,000 Microsoft Windows Mobile 8.1-based Nokia Lumina 830 and Lumina 640XL smartphones, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Information & Technology Jessica Tisch issued a fiery response, saying that at the time the Windows Mobile platform was most effective at achieving their goals. As is, Microsoft no longer supports Windows Mobile 8.1, and the NYPD is replacing the Nokia phones with Apple iPhones. [See NY Post article and NYPD response] -- Posted Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Dell releases updated rugged tablet: state-of-the-art, lighter, sharper, more secure, and much faster
Talk about timing. A mere couple of weeks after we published our long term review of Dell's original Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet, Dell released its successor, the Latitude Rugged Extreme Tablet. The new model is much more powerful than the original and yet can last considerably longer between charges thanks to higher capacity batteries. Its much sharper display will be well received, as will be the addition of a USB 3.1 Type-C port, and the noticeably lighter weight. And a new kickstand makes the tablet an even better 2-in-1 solution. [See Dell press release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Dell 7212 Rugged Extreme tablet] -- Posted Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Review: ARBOR ARES-1970/1970-E modular high-performance rugged industrial controllers
Fanless embedded controllers are compact computers designed to handle a vast range of tasks behind the scenes. RuggedPCReview.com analyzed ARBOR Technology's modular ARES-1970 Series of rugged high-performance industrial controllers that come in various sizes to provide all required functionality in a package no larger than it needs to be. [See review of the ARBOR ARES-1970/1970-E/1970] -- Posted Monday, August 28, 2017

New squad car cameras allow remote viewing of police activity
Flossmoor, Illinois, police officials will soon be able to monitor traffic stops and other activity on camera, and in real time. Flossmoor has had cameras in its police cars since 2001, but the current squad car video recording program is outdated and will be replaced by new Getac squad car camera systems. “With unlimited storage, we are able to outfit each patrol vehicle with four cameras providing 360-degree coverage around the patrol car,” Deputy Chief Tod Kamleiter said. [See article] -- Posted Friday, August 25, 2017

MobileDemand first with rugged case for new Surface Pro
MobileDemand announced they are the first rugged case for the new Microsoft Surface Pro in the Designed for Surface program. Matt Miller, President and Founder of MobileDemand, said the company was the first to pass all testing requirements for the new Microsoft Surface Pro in the "Designed for Surface Program." There are several levels of testing done by the third party test agency in order to pass that includes fit and function, thermal and the 4 foot drop testing according to MIL-STD 810G. [See Surface Pro Rugged Bundle] -- Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2017

MyScript introduces Cloud Sync for Nebo App
MyScript, a pioneer in handwriting recognition and digital ink management technology has launched cloud sync for its notetaking app, Nebo. Until now, Nebo users could only save MyScript Interactive Ink notes within the app on their device. With the new cloud sync feature, users can quickly and easily upload and save their Nebo files to the cloud for later editing or use on other devices. By leveraging the power of the cloud and MyScript Interactive Ink technology, Nebo makes handwritten digital document creation both seamless and highly productive. -- Posted Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Xplore Receives new $2.7M Android rugged tablet order from top telecommunications provider to support workforce expansion within construction division
Xplore Technologies Corp (NASDAQ: XPLR) announced that one of the largest broadband and wireless telecommunications companies in the United States has ordered $2.7 million worth of Android-powered "mobile office" bundles to support the growth of its field-based workforce. Starting in late August, thousands of Construction division technicians will be equipped with quality- engineered Xplore XSLATE D10 fully rugged Android tablet PCs, which feature a 10.1" sunlight-readable multi-touch display, 4GB RAM, and a 64GB SSD that's powered by Android 5.1 Lollipop and an Intel® Atom E3845 Quad Core Processor. Xplore Platinum Partner SHI International Corp. will configure and implement the mobility solutions for project. [See Xplore press release] -- Posted Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What RuggedPCReview editors do on field testing trips
Having drinks with mermaids on sunken ship wrecks, that's what. In August, the RuggedPCReview editorial crew motored down to South Florida with a truck full of scuba gear, underwater cameras, underwater metal detectors, and dive computers that are IP69-sealed (if that existed) and run years on a single battery. The rugged adventurers explored eight shipwrecks, braved rain and choppy waters, but ran from swarming mosquitos in the Everglades. -- Posted Sunday, August 20, 2017

Getac video solution sees increasing success
DigiTimes reports that Getac has successfully tapped into the police and law enforcement equipment market in the US with its Getac video solution (GVS) products. The company originally expected the solution to contribute 3% of its ruggedized IPC revenues by the end of 2017, but now estimates the percentage to reach 3-5% with increasing orders. The company also has set goals for its revenues to grow by a double-digit percentage every year for the next five years. -- Posted Thursday, August 17, 2017

Long term review: Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet
Dell has relatively quietly established itself as a major provider of rugged laptops, convertibles and tablets. RuggedPCReview has had the opportunity to have a Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet in the office and for everyday use on the desk, on the road, and in the field. The tough Dell tablet turned out to be a pleasant, competent and totally trouble-free companion and productivity tool. [See long-term test and review of the Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet] -- Posted Tuesday, August 15, 2017

DT Research: Why the military needs purpose-built tech from trusted solution providers
In a recent blog entry, DT Research explains why when it comes to military computing, rugged tablets provide the best bet for successfully achieving a variety of goals, including protecting data and troops deployed in response to in-theater conflicts. The military does not need the added threat of dropped communication and not being able to reliably access detailed plans. [read DT Research blog -- Posted Tuesday, August 15, 2017

An inside look at R&D: Panasonic Toughbook put to the test
Makers of rugged mobile computers test their products in accordance with various ruggedness testing procedures described in documents such as the MIL-STD-810G. Most of the time, testing is done by specialized third party testing labs, but market leaders generally also do their own testing in their own labs. Panasonic just issued a blog post and video that covers how Panasonic ensures that its mobile devices live up to the promise of rugged reliability. [See An inside look at R&D: Panasonic Toughbook put to the test] -- Posted Monday, August 14, 2017

Xplore Technologies reports profitable first quarter results
Xplore Technologies announced revenues of US$20.0 million for Q1 of their fiscal year 2018, reflecting increased sales of rugged tablets as well as resolution of previously disclosed supply chain constraints (up from US$16.5 million for Q1 2017). Q1 2018 showed a net profit of US$239k compared to a net loss of US$1.7 million in Q1 2017. For fiscal 2018, Xplore continues to anticipate revenue to range between $75 million and $85 million and also anticipates multiple profitable quarters and positive cash flow for the full fiscal year 2018. [See Xplore press release] -- Posted Thursday, August 10, 2017

Xplore rugged tablets driving data collection efforts for net zero deforestation project in Colombia
Xplore Technologies. (NASDAQ: XPLR) announced that its XSLATE D10 Android rugged tablets are being used as the primary data collection platform for the Net Zero Deforestation Project currently underway in the rainforests of Caquetá, Colombia. The project, a joint-effort between the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and The Nature Conservancy local office, aims to map and analyze the spatial and demographical implications of the deforestation process occurring in the region. [See Xplore press release] -- Posted Tuesday, August 8, 2017

DT Research and Phase II deliver rugged tablets for Mobile IT for defense teams
DT Research, a leading designer and manufacturer of purpose-built computing solutions for vertical markets, announced that along with Phase II in booth T13 (RTO Consulting), they will showcase rugged tablets for mobile IT at the AFCEA Technet show in Augusta GA from August 8th to 10th. [See DT Research press release] -- Posted Tuesday, August 8, 2017

IDC: tablet market declines in Q2/2017
IDC reports that worldwide shipments for tablets declined 3.4% year over year in 2Q17, reaching 37.9 million. The decline included detachable tablets. "There's been a resetting of expectations for detachables as competing convertible notebooks offered a convincing and familiar computing experience for many," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. Of market leaders, Apple sold 11.4 million tablets for the quarter, up 14.7% over Q2/2016. Samsung stayed at 6 million. [See IDC release] -- Posted Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Motorola Solutions reports Q2 2017 financial results
Motorola Solutions reported sales of US$1.497 billion for Q2, 2017, up 5% from US$1.430 billion a year ago. GAAP operating income for Q2 2017 was US$257 million, up 15% from US$224 for Q2 2016. [See Motorola Solutions press release] -- Posted Thursday, August 3, 2017

Trimble reports Q2 2017 financial results
Trimble reported sales of US$661.9 million for Q2, 2017, up 9% from US$609.6 million a year ago. GAAP operating income for Q2 2017 was US$62.6 million, up 55% from US$40.5 for Q2 2016. [See Trimble press release] -- Posted Thursday, August 3, 2017

Datalogic announces new Healthcare Memor X3 HC Mobile Computer
Datalogic, a global leader in automatic data capture and industrial automation markets, announces the availability of the Memor X3 HC mobile computer. This device is the direct result of Datalogic working closely with healthcare professional to assure their needs are met in demanding healthcare applications. The Memor X3 HC device is fabricated using tough chemical resistant materials that maintain the integrity of the housing even after repeated cleaning with the strong disinfectanting healthcare solutions. [See Datalogic press release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Datalogic Memor X3 HC] -- Posted Thursday, August 3, 2017

Group Mobile launches website dedicated to Getac rugged mobile computing products
Group Mobile, a rapidly expanding premier provider of innovative, full-service mobile technology solutions today announces the launch of a new microsite dedicated to Getac rugged devices and accessories. Getac's business includes rugged notebooks, rugged tablets and rugged handheld and mobile video system devices for military, police, fire, utility, insurance and field-service customers. The ShopGetac.com microsite will provide Getac and Group Mobile customers with a faster and more flexible way to shop for Getac rugged devices and accessories online. [See Group Mobile press release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Adlink Technology sees rising revenue
It's always good to know where all the players in the rugged computing industry rank in terms of overall revenue, and that includes embedded systems and industrial PC makers. Taiwan-based industrial PC (IPC) maker Adlink Technology is one of them, and, according to DigiTimes, they just announced consolidated revenues of US$169.7 million for the first half of 2017, up 13.87% on year. 38% of that revenue came from the Americas. -- Posted Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A future where quality is king -- A look at Zebra's 2017 Manufacturing Vision Study
RuggedPCReview takes a closer look at Zebra's 2017 Manufacturing Vision Study that provides not only information on how over a thousand manufacturing industry executives see the current and future use of data capture technology of their operations. We find that Zebra also offers a compelling blueprint of how to move from a strictly ROI model to embarking on a future where simple cost-cutting is replaced by greatly enhanced visibility over both supply chains and production lines via a finer mesh of intelligent gates, optimizing both quality and cost in the process. [Read A future where quality is king -- A look at Zebra's 2017 Manufacturing Vision Study] -- Posted Monday, July 31, 2017

Zebra study reveals one-half of manufacturers globally to adopt wearable tech by 2022
Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), the market leader in mobile computers, scanners, and barcode printers enhanced with software and services to enable real-time enterprise visibility solutions, today revealed the results of the Zebra's 2017 Manufacturing Vision Study, a body of research analyzing the emerging trends shaping the future of industrial manufacturing. The global study revealed manufacturers are adopting the IIoT to enhance visibility and improve quality. [See Zebra press release] -- Posted Monday, July 31, 2017

Our tribute to GammaTech's 30 year Anniversary
GammaTech Computer Corporation is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month, July 2017. That's amazing longevity in an industry where big names come and go. And it marks GammaTech as one of the pioneers in an industry and technology that truly changed the world. So congratulations, GammaTech, on your 30th anniversary, and for contributing so much to making computers durable, tough and rugged enough to hold up out there on the job and in the field. And for keeping them affordable. Best of luck for the future. You have much going for yourselves. [Read GammaTech celebrates its 30th anniversary] -- Posted Monday, July 31, 2017

DT Research blog: Military-grade rugged tablets answer the call of duty
A recent DT Research blog describes how purpose built rugged tablets for the military meet a variety of challenges faced daily by military personnel on or off base, in an office setting or a demanding environment. High-grade, cutting edge technology is nothing new for the US Armed Forces, but rugged tablets are becoming more popular across branches and bases, on land, in the air, and at sea. [See Military-grade rugged tablets answer the call of duty] -- Posted Monday, July 31, 2017

Utah State University Engineers Without Borders students use Juniper Archer 2 to identify dangerous arsenic levels in Peru
Arsenic is a carcinogen, increasing cancer rates for those who ingest it. Found at high levels in the groundwater in a number of countries, a group of seven Utah State University engineering students left for the Puno region of Peru, just north of Lake Titicaca, to work toward eliminating the problem. After data collection training from members of the Juniper Systems team and extensive arsenic removal research prior to the trip, students worked to identify arsenic levels through sample mapping and removal exploration. [Read full blog post] -- Posted Monday, July 31, 2017

Xplore secures new workforce mobility project with major telecommunications provider
Xplore Technologies announced that it has secured multiple orders for its high performance XSLATE R12 rugged tablet PC part of a new multi-year project with one of the largest telecommunications providers in the United States. The long-time Xplore customer is now equipping its Outside Plant Engineers with the Intel®-powered 2 in 1 tablets, office docks and accessories as part of a division-wide mobile technology upgrade that began this month. The XSLATE R12 will replace standard-issue corporate laptops and replicate the paper-based planning workflows that have been used for years. Xplore expects ongoing orders over the next several quarters in support of this project. [See Xplore press release] -- Posted Thursday, July 27, 2017

Rugged mobile computer maverick GammaTech Computer Corporation celebrates 30th anniversary
GammaTech Computer Corporation is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month. Founded in 1987, GammaTech is the North American branch of Twinhead International Corporation. Best known for its DURABOOK brand of rugged laptops, tablets, and all-in-one computers, the company has a long history in the U.S. mobile device market. "The devices our customer's purchase are critical to the success of their missions," said Tom Wang, President, GammaTech. "When it comes to government, law enforcement and the support of critical infrastructure, businesses want to partner with a company that has extensive market expertise and delivers on reliability and performance, but also one that will be around if you need assistance. With 30 years in the mobility space and a focus on rugged computing solutions designed to operate in environments where failure is not an option, GammaTech is a company our customers and partners can trust. We look forward to the next 30 years of partnership, and innovation." [See GammaTech press release] -- Posted Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Trimble introduces new Android application for field surveying and data collection
Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) introduced today Trimble® Penmap® for Android, a cloud-connected application for field surveying and high-accuracy Geographic Information System (GIS) data collection that works on mobile handhelds, smartphones and tablets. The application runs on a variety of Android devices, including the rugged Trimble TDC100 handheld, and supports full-featured Trimble Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receivers such as the Trimble R10, R8s and R2 receivers. [See Trimble press release] -- Posted Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Themis launches its next generation RES-XR6 Rugged Servers with Skylake Architecture
Themis Computer, a manufacturer of rugged computing platforms, today announced the launch of its next generation XR6 Rugged Enterprise Servers (RES) featuring the newest Intel® Xeon® Scalable (Skylake) Processors. "The inexorable march of Moore's Law continues," said Bill Kehret, CEO of Themis Computer. "and our latest generation of Rugged Enterprise server products will continue to offer the industry's best value for mission critical applications, outside the datacenter." [See Themis press release] -- Posted Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Hampshire firefighters safer and public better served with integrated communications
Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MSI) and Radiocoms today announced that Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service will deploy 1,000 MOTOTRBO radios and the WAVE 5000 Mobile Communicator service. The agreement will enhance communications and the safety of fire staff both in-vehicle and on the frontline. The new MOTOTRBO DP4601e portable radios will provide the fire service with a range of innovative features such as push-to-talk instantaneous communication, enhanced audio quality, integrated accelerometers for man-down protection, Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi. [See Motorola Solutions press release] -- Posted Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Full review: RuggON PM-311B 7-inch rugged tablet
Small rugged tablets are increasingly used in all sorts of field-based data collection and data verification deployments. With their Blaxtone PM-311B, RuggON offers a tough and exceptionally versatile rugged tablet platform that has uses in numerous public safety, government, military, industrial and commercial applications. With a footprint no bigger than that of an iPad, the PM-311B fits almost anywhere, yet offers full Windows 10 IoT Enterprise features, performance and capabilities. RuggedPCReview examined the PM-311B in detail and found it an exceptionally versatile tool of impeccable quality. [See full review of the RuggON PM-311B] -- Posted Tuesday, July 25, 2017

DT Research and ITG bring purpose-built rugged tablet solutions to defense health market
DT Research, the leading designer and manufacturer of purpose-built computing solutions for vertical markets, and Integration Technologies Group (ITG) announced the companies will showcase several models of the Rugged Medical Tablets in the ITG booth #509 at the Defense Health Information Technology Symposium (DHITS), Orlando, FL, USA — show July 25-27 in Orlando. [See DT research press release] -- Posted Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Dell Rugged to face extreme test in Clipper Round the World yacht race
Clipper Round the World announced that Dell Rugged laptops and tablets will equip this year contestants in Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race, one of the toughest endurance races through the most inhospitable corners of the globe. Dell’s Latitude Rugged devices will be fitted to each of the Clipper Race’s twelve 70-foot ocean racing yachts. Crew members will rely on the machines for navigation, communicating to home base, and recording their journey. A special feature is how the devices are specially equipped to handle the extreme heat, cold condensation, shock, and salt water erosion they will experience in their 11 month race. [See Clipper Round the World press release] -- Posted Friday, July 21, 2017

AI at the Edge: Motorola Solutions and Neurala to work together on intelligence for cameras
Interesting things are happening in mobile cameras used as bodycams and similar. Instead of just recording footage, there emerging camera systems can actually analyze image streams on the fly and search for objects (like types of cars) or persons of interest such as missing children and suspects.Motorola Solutions announced that it will work with artificial intelligence (AI) company Neurala to develop intelligent cameras for public safety users. The companies will work together to integrate Neurala’s AI capabilities with Motorola Solutions’ software and cameras, including its Si500 body-worn camera. [See Motorola Solutions press release] -- Posted Friday, July 21, 2017

Four Seasons building products achieves greater supply chain efficiency with Janam rugged Mini-Tablets
Janam Technologies LLC, a leading provider of rugged mobile computers that scan barcodes and communicate wirelessly, announced that Four Seasons Building Products, a division of Latium USA, one of the largest privately held remodeling groups, is using the Android-powered XT1 rugged mini-tablet from Janam to provide full visibility across its supply chain. [See Janam press release] -- Posted Thursday, July 20, 2017

Zebra unveils high-performance industrial printers that improve operational visibility and productivity
Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), the market leader in rugged mobile computers, barcode scanners and barcode printers enhanced with software and services to enable real-time enterprise visibility, introduced the new ZT600 and ZT510 industrial printers designed to withstand the harshest environments while delivering superior print quality and uptime. Zebra also announced Printer Profile Manager Enterprise, a browser-based remote printer management solution for Zebra® Link-OS® enabled printers that greatly reduces cost and management time. [See Zebra press release] -- Posted Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Switch to PCIe SSDs helps updated Xplore R12 rugged tablet shatter benchmark performance records
Xplore Technologies' rugged 12.5-inch XSLATE R12 tablet was already among the fastest devices RuggedPCReview has ever tested. Now Xplore raised the ante once again by switching to an even faster Kaby Lake processor and, most importantly, switch from SATA to PCIe solid state disks. The result is absolutely blazing PassMark benchmark performance. The updated XSLATE R12 is half again as fast as the predecessor model, and the overall fastest device we have tested in the RuggedPCReview lab. [See Xplore press release and Hot-rodding the rugged tablet — Xplore Technologies presents super-high performance version of its sleek, lightweight 12.5-inch R12 Kaby Lake Windows tablet] -- Posted Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Chicago Communications Community recognizes Zebra Technologies for intelligent enterprise campaign
Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), the market leader in rugged mobile computers, barcode scanners and barcode printers enhanced with software and services to enable real-time enterprise visibility, announced its "Intelligent Enterprise" campaign has earned two notable communications industry awards, the Golden Trumpet Award and Skyline Award in the B2B marketing category. [See Zebra press release] -- Posted Saturday, July 15, 2017

15 years ago, Microsoft was ready to change the world with the Pocket PC Phone
15 years ago, Microsoft invented the smartphone. They really did. It was called the T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone. In the September 2002 issue of Pen Computing Magazine, RuggedPCReview.com editor Conrad Blickenstorfer wrote: No one knows just yet if the world is ready for a convergence between cell phones and PDAs. And no one really knows if such a convergence makes sense in the first place. Be that as it may, in my book the T-Mobile/Pocket PC Phone Edition combo is far and away the best attempt at a completely integrated wireless voice and data communicator yet. Microsoft and its hardware partners really went all out on this one, and the result is magnificent. No product or service is for everyone and that applies for the T-Mobile as well. But if you've been waiting for a powerful wireless PDA that is also a cellphone, this is it. The wait is over. [Read the full article T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone (August 2002)] -- Posted Friday, July 14, 2017

Crystal Group announces next generation rugged rackmount computer line-up with new Intel Xeon processor family (Skylake) architecture
Crystal Group, a leading designer/manufacturer of rugged computer hardware, announced today the redesign and integration of its rugged rack mount computer series with the latest Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processor Family powered by Skylake. The next generation of Crystal Group's rugged rackmount products include a host of robust enhancements including a substantial jump in compute performance, greater scalability, increased security, and even more agility to adapt to changing technologies. The improved capabilities are critical in today's rapid technology transformations. [See Crystal Group press release] -- Posted Friday, July 14, 2017

Panasonic works with Volkswagen to deliver a next generation production line mobile testing solution for the automotive manufacturer
Volkswagen and Panasonic have collaborated to create a new rugged and versatile Automotive Mobile Test Solution (AMTS). Christoph Lach, Project Manager, at Volkswagen AG explained: "The AMTS is based on the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 tablet and it meets our production requirements. We use the hardware for commissioning the control units in the vehicle. We have the option of connecting to an external vehicle communication interface, which enables us to communicate with the vehicle, but we can also load the UPS-Client from the vehicle. The steering wheel holder meets all the requirements we had here in the group, which means it's compatible with every steering wheel." [See Panasonic press release] -- Posted Thursday, July 13, 2017

Xplore Technologies collaborates with Microsoft to accelerate Internet of Things solutions
Xplore Technologies Corp announced it has joined Microsoft Azure Certified for Internet of Things (IoT), ensuring customers get IoT solutions up and running quickly with hardware and software that has been pre-tested and verified to work with Microsoft Azure IoT services. Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT allows businesses to reach customers where they are, working with an ecosystem of devices and platforms, allowing for faster time to production. [See Xplore media release -- Posted Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Windows Phone 8.1 support ends, raising many questions
Windows Phone 8.1 support ended July 11, 2017, a bit more than three years after it was introduced. That comes after Windows Phone 7 users could not upgrade to Windows Phone 8, and Windows Mobile users were stranded when the original Windows Phone appeared. Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise is supposed to be the successor of Windows Embedded Handheld, but Windows 10 Mobile's marketshare is minuscule. It's hard to figure out where Microsoft is going in the mobile space, especially since developers don't seem thrilled with adapting Windows 10 "unified core" code to Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise. Most of today's handheld hardware is inherently powerful enough to fun full Windows, but that's often overkill for many mobile deployments. -- Posted Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Juniper’s “Mapping Blitz” helps Bear River Land Conservancy maintain important habitat
In its latest blog entry, Juniper Systems relates how Juniper staff worked with members of the Bear River Land Conservancy to aid in the conservation of important habitat along the Bear River. Using the Geode Sub-meter GPS Receiver, the Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet, and the Allegro 2, a handful of our rugged handheld enthusiasts mapped updates and information on important plants, large debris, fence lines, and more while getting additional hands-on experience using Juniper’s data collection solutions. [See Juniper’s “Mapping Blitz” Helps Bear River Land Conservancy Maintain Important Habitat] -- Posted Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: July 2012
In July 2012, we published a case study on using the Mobile Demand xTablet T7000 rugged Tablet PC in diving and marine exploration. YRCW Worldwide deployed Intermec CN70e rugged handhelds to 10,000 drivers. Motorola Solutions reported very good Q1 2012 with 7% sales increase over Q1 2011, and Xplore reported its third consecutive quarter of profitability. Motion released their CL910 tablet, Getac the Atom N2800-powered 10.1-inch E110 tablet, and Australian Tough Corp called it quits. RuggedPCReview tested an Xplore iX104C5 tablet over a full 160 degree temperature range. Parvus received a US$4.9 million order for DuraCOR rugged mission computers deployed in mine detection, and a Dell Latitude E6420 XFR rugged notebook arrived at our test lab. [See July 2012 archives] -- Posted Monday, July 10, 2017

IOGEAR KeySlate Ultra-Slim Bluetooth 4.0 Keyboard
Tablets have changed the world, and 2-in-1 designs are broadening their appeal even more. But often the usefulness of both tablets and 2-in-1s comes down to having a good keyboard. That's what (among lots of other cool stuff) the folks at IOGEAR provide, great keyboards for tablets. We tested their iOS version and loved it (they offer versions for Android and Windows as well) . [See review of the IOGEAR KeySlate Ultra-Slim Bluetooth 4.0 Keyboard, with some contemplations about keyboards in general] -- Posted Saturday, July 8, 2017

Updated: Dell Latitude 14 Rugged
Dell is known for quickly and nimbly making available the very latest technology to its customers around the globe. Dell Rugged, however, knows that consistency, continuity and compatibility is what matters most to their markets. So instead of frequently replacing their rugged and semi-rugged laptops and tablets with new ones, Dell Rugged quietly keeps their true and tested lineup up-to-date. No wonder their market share in the rugged space has been growing. [See updated description, analysis and specs of Dell's full-size Latitude 14 Rugged] -- Posted Saturday, July 8, 2017

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