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Rugged PC News and Developments [ Submit news] [News archive]
Xplore completes MobileIron Android MDM compatibility testing
Xplore announced that it has successfully completed the MobileIron Android Self Testing Program with its XSLATE D10 fully rugged tablet PC. The program is designed for manufacturers to verify whether their devices support the Google standard APIs, which are used by MobileIron to enable enterprise features such as password policies, encryption, and certificate management. Bryan Bell, VP, Engineering, Xplore, said “Xplore’s goal is to provide an easily managed enterprise mobility experience for our customers, whether they’re using a few Xplore rugged tablets to support small municipality workflows or deploying thousands of Xplore rugged tablets to drive complex global operations." [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SquareTrade Labs breakability test on iPhone 7
SquareTrade, which sells electronics protection plans, performed their "breakability" test on the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhones passed the dunk test (1 meter for up to 30 minutes) but did "suffer some audio muffling afterward." In the tumble test, the iPhone 7 had scuffed corners and a camera lens crack, the 7 Plus just a small crack. The iPhone 7 bent at 170 pounds of pressure, the iPhone 7 Plus at 180. Both iPhones shattered on their first facedown drop and were unusable after three drops. [See SquareTrade iPhone 7 & 7 Plus Breakability test result] -- Posted Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Handheld updates ultra-rugged Algiz 10X tablet with full-HD procap screen, concurrent GPS
The Handheld Group announced it has upgraded its 10.1-inch Algiz 10X ultra-rugged tablet computer from a 1366 x 768 pixel resistive touch screen to a 1920 x 1080 pixel 10-point capacitive multi-touch screen with optional active capacitive pen. Handheld also upgraded the positioning system of the Algiz 10X from a u-blox NEO-6T to a u-blox NEO-M8N with concurrent GPS and GLONASS support. The upgraded version uses Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB (64-bit). [See Handheld media release and Algiz 10X product page] -- Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Full review: Janam XT2 ultra-rugged touch computer
There's an increasing global demand for smartphone-style handhelds with industrial durability and extensive data collection technology. These are devices that look and work like modern smartphones, but won't break in the field and on the job. RuggedPCReview tested Janam's XT2, a super-tough, IP67-sealed handheld with an excellent 5-inch multi-touch display, integrated GPS, NFC/RFID reading, industrial grade scanning, and optional mag stripe reading and mobile broadband. We reviewed the Android version of the Janam XT2, but the impressive device is also available with Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise. [See full review of the Janam XT2] -- Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2016

DT Research launches DT395 rugged tablets with lower TCO than consumer devices
DT Research announced two new DT395 Series 8.9-inch tablet that the company says can have a lower total cost of ownership than consumer-grade tablets over the lifetime of the product. Powered by a quad-core Intel "Cherry Trail" Atom x5-8300 processor, the capacitive multi-touch tablets offer full 1920 x 1200 HD resolution, IP65 sealing, numerous integrated options, and run Windows 10 IoT Enterprise. [See DT Research media release and RuggedPCReview description, analysis and specs of the DT395GS and DT395CR] -- Posted Monday, September 19, 2016

JLT Mobile Computers boosts performance of its VERSO10+
JLT Mobile Computers announced that it has upgraded its VERSO+ 10 rugged mobile vehicle computer’s processor to the quad-core Intel "Bay Trail" E3845. The newer and much more powerful processor enhances the performance of the VERSO+ 10 computer (see RuggedPCReview's report on the VERSO+10) by approximately 2.5x compared to the Atom D2550 processor used in older models. Note that JLT also offers an Intel Haswell-powered high-performance option for the VERSO+10; this new E3845-based version boosts the power of the low-end model. [See JLT media release and VERSO+10 product page] -- Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Analysis: GammaTech's updated DURABOOK R11 with keyboard
In July, GammaTech announced it was now making available a special keyboard to go with its thin, lightweight DURABOOK R11 rugged tablet. That way, the R11 could work not only as a tablet, but also as a laptop, making it a more complete high-performance mobile computing solution. The resulting combination can be used for any mobile application subject to constant movement, bumpy rides, or use in damp or dusty areas, and where real-time information and updating is crucial. RuggedPCReview has now had the chance to examine GammaTech's solution. [See GammaTech DURABOOK R11 + keyboard] -- Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Panasonic upgrades Toughpad FZ-M1
Panasonic announced it has updated their 7-inch Toughpad FZ-M1 from a 1.6GHz Intel 4th generation Core i5-4302Y to a 1.1GHz Intel 6th generation Core i5-6Y57 as well as ancillary tech updates, a higher resolution 8mp camera, and a switch to Windows 10 Professional. Battery life is now up to 9 hours. List price is US$2,749. [See Panasonic media release and RuggedPCReview's report on the original Toughpad FZ-M1] -- Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Rugged light bulbs are here!
Now you can get rugged light bulbs! While incandescent bulbs are on their way out, the bulb form factor isn't, and that means light bulbs that break, shatter, get crushed or otherwise fail due to environmental impact or conditions. Not what one needs in the field, or anywhere. Which is why the folks at Lighting Science came up with the Durabulb, a shatter-resistant LED light bulb that in testing survived a drop it from an eight story building and being hit with a tennis racket. [See Lighting Science media release and demo video] -- Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2016

MediaTek: meet the chip maker that has powered your favorite gadgets for years
TechRadar has published an interesting article on MediaTek, a major chip company that remains relatively little known, despite its processors powering hundreds of millions of devices (including a good number of the rugged handhelds we've been reviewing). [Read MediaTek: meet the chip maker that has powered your favorite gadgets for years] -- Posted Friday, September 9, 2016

GammaTech's rugged DURABOOK SA14 notebook gets comprehensive tech updates
GammaTech announced that it has made some significant updates to its popular multi-use DURABOOK SA14 14-inch rugged notebook computer. Updates include a choice from four Intel 6th generation Skylake turbo processors featuring Intel HD Graphics 520; greater system memory; enhanced wireless/communications capability; added interface options; the inclusion of Microsoft Windows 10 operating system; and a longer warranty period. [See GammaTech DURABOOK SA14 product page] -- Posted Thursday, September 8, 2016

Olympus goes rugged with their new Vanta handheld X-ray Fluorescence Analyzer
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a technique used for non-destructive analysis of all sorts of materials. In essence, an XRF device shoots an x-ray beam that interacts with the atoms in the sample, and can then report on the elements and concentrations in the sample (see Wiki). Olympus realized that such XRF analyzers needed to be rugged too, and introduced the Vanta Series of XRF analyzers. Vanta can handle 4-foot drops, 14 to 122F temperatures, and is IP65 sealed. [See Olympus media release and Vanta product page] -- Posted Thursday, September 8, 2016

Janam Launches XT2 with Microsoft Windows 10
Janam Technologies LLC announced that Microsoft’s Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise operating system is now available on its 5-inch XT2 rugged touch computers. Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise, which is the replacement for Windows Mobile and Windows Embedded Handheld, provides maximum security, reliability and performance, and enables interoperability between the XT2 and IoT devices, independent of operating system protocols and platforms. Janam CEO Harry B. Lerner said "We’re thrilled to be among the first companies in our industry to bring Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system to customers who require it." [See Janam media release] -- Posted Thursday, September 8, 2016

Apple Event
Here's the scoop: Apple Watch Series 2 with new chip. It's now waterproof to 166 feet, with brighter screen (1,000 nits) and GPS. No word of battery life. iPhone 7 and 7 Plus with new chip, IP67, dual rear cameras on the 7 Plus (one wide angle, one 2x tele, some nice effects), 3.5mm audio jack replaced; use lightening connector instead. Wireless AirPods optional. Stereo speakers. Faster A10 chip, somewhat longer battery life. Storage doubled to 16GB/128GB/256GB, pricing same as 6s/6s Plus. Screen sizes and resolutions unchanged. A number of tweaks. Oh, and Super Mario now runs on iOS. We miss Steve. -- Posted Wednesday, September 7, 2016

JLT Mobile Computers selected by one of the largest transportation service providers in the world
JLT Mobile Computers announced it has completed delivery of a significant order won in March 2016 by one of the largest transportation service providers in the world. The order was for JLT1214P rugged forklift computers that will be deployed in the customer cross-dock forklifts at sites around the United States. The company selected JLT’s rugged computing solution despite fierce competition from established industry players. This deal represents a key milestone for JLT’s USA subsidiary, established in December 2014, and indicates excellent market acceptance of the JLT1214P computer. [See JLT media release] -- Posted Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Getac's successful transformation into a solutions provider
DigiTimes published an in-depth article on how Getac analyzed its business back in 2008, transformed its business focus to value-added niche market products while continuing to enhance its core technologies and capabilities, leading the company to its current position as a top three global rugged computer brand. [See "Beyond PC parts supplier: Getac Technology enabling business transformation to bring the maximum values of solutions and services"] -- Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Swedish Aqeri launches rugged military displays
Aqeri, a Swedish producer of rugged computer and communication equipment for extreme environments, introduced two new in-house developed displays. The 20-inch 92210 (1600 x 1200) and the 32-inch 92210 (1920 x 1080) are both IP65 sealed, have wide viewing angles, meet a large number of environmental tests, have various mounting options, and are perfectly suited for Army, Navy, Air Force or other demanding applications that require reliable components to perform under the most demanding conditions. [See Aqeri news] -- Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2016

IDC: Basic wearables soar, smart ones not so much
IDC reports that shipments of wearable devices reached 22.5 million in the second quarter of 2016, growing 26% year-over-year as new wearable uses (including enterprise productivity potential) slowly emerge. However, while basic wearables (mostly fitness trackers) surged ahead, smart wearables declined. Fitbit stayed in first place with 5.7 million shipped, but Apple tanked from 3.6 million down to just 1.6 million. [See IDC media release] -- Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Intel introduces Kaby Lake, the 7th generation of Core processors
In August, Intel officially introduced the first few of its 7th generation Core processors, codenamed "Kaby Lake." That comes at a time where the news about PCs generally isn't very good, where Microsoft has a very hard time convincing users to switch to Windows 10, and where it's becoming increasingly more difficult for vertical market hardware manufacturers to keep up with Intel's rapid-fire release of new generations of high-end processors. [read full RuggedPCReview blog article] -- Posted Monday, September 5, 2016

Rugged PC maker Getac Technology reports on-year growth in August revenues
According to DigiTimes, Getac Technology reported revenues of US$56.2 million for August 2016, increasing 16.6% from a year earlier. Accumulated 2016 revenues through August totaled US$381 million, increasing 5% from a year earlier. Getac posted revenues of US$570 million for all of 2015. -- Posted Monday, September 5, 2016

Wacom releases reflective electrostatic Bamboo Omni pen
Projected capacitive multi-touch is terrific, unless you want to write, do art or do anything else that requires a precise pen. Wacom is now addressing this issue with their new 5.6-inch long Bamboo Omni pen with a super-fine 1.9mm tip. It uses Reflective Electro Static (RES) technology that does not need a Bluetooth connection, but does have a rechargeable battery. The pen is supposed to work with most iPads, the iPhone 6, and most Android devices without pairing. Available November 016 for US$49.95. [See Wacom Bamboo Omni] -- Posted Thursday, September 1, 2016

Moxa unveils rugged computers for marine integrated automation systems
German Moxa has introduced the MC-110 Series of marine computers as part of its extensive line of marine computing solutions. The very compact MC-110 systems are marine-grade, Zone 2-compliant Intel quad-core E3800-based fanless DIN-rail automation computers designed to maximize connectivity and communications. The MC-1100 Series also supports “Moxa Hardware Monitoring” for device I/O status monitoring and alerts, system temperature monitoring and alerts, and system power management. [See Moxa MC-110 Series] -- Posted Thursday, September 1, 2016

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: September 2011
In September 2011, Socket Mobile shipped its 50,000th SoMo 650 handheld computer, the Handheld Group have its rugged Algiz XRW a touch screen, GE introduced the Wolverine III rugged panel PC, GammaTech the S15C2 semi-rugged laptop, and Microsoft previewed Windows 8. Qualcomm was working with Microsoft to have their Snapdragon CPUs power the first gen of Windows 8 PCs, the Trimble Nomad got an IP68 rating, Wacom introduced the "Inkling" pen to bridge the gap between paper sketching and digital drawing. Lowe's shocked the industry by buying 42,000 iPhones instead of rugged handhelds, just after United Airlines deployed 11,000 iPads. We reviewed the Getac X500, LXE was pushing its 2.2-pound Marathon Field Computer, Psion's Workabout Pro earned Apriva certification, and HP killed Palm's webOS devices. [See RuggedPCReview September 2011 archives] -- Posted Thursday, September 1, 2016

Weak tablet demand prompting vendors to leave segment
According to DigiTimes, a weakening tablet market has caused companies like Acer and Asustek to focus more on niche applications, and MSI to leave tablets altogether. Chinese white box vendors have mostly stopping pushing tablets. Wintel-based 2-in-1 device growth is strong, but not enough to offset tablet decline. Many tablet players have turned to develop products for niche markets such as industrial, enterprise, military and education. [See DigiTimes article] -- Posted Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Congrats to Xplore Technologies: 20 years of rugged tablets, and only rugged tablets
At the January 1997 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, I walked into the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center on the lookout for something — anything — new and exciting in tablets or pen computers. Sure, Microsoft had announced Windows CE at the Fall Comdex in response to Apple’s Newton Message Pad and the emerging “Palm Economy,” and our bi-monthly Pen Computing Magazine was doing well. But, by and large, handhelds and tablets were very far removed from the booming world of desktop computers and laptops and printers and the latest of absolutely-must-have PC software. But there, amidst all of the glitzy, glossy booths of mainstream computing was… an even glitzier and glossier booth by a company I had never heard of. They called themselves Xplore Technologies, and they were thinking big... [Read Congrats to Xplore Technologies: 20 years of rugged tablets, and only rugged tablets] -- Posted Monday, August 29, 2016

OLED not likely to replace LCD
According to DigiTimes, the Chairman of LCD maker Innolux doesn't think that OLED will replace LCD for mainstream display panels due to lower cost-to-performance ratio and lower reliability. He does see market niches for OLED in smartphones, wearables and VR due to lower cost. Longer term, he sees promise in Micro LED. [See DigiTimes article] -- Posted Monday, August 29, 2016

Review: ARBOR Technology ARES-1230/1230-E/1231 fanless embedded controllers
When it comes to embedded fanless controllers — the usually hidden Box PCs that control all sorts of things and make them work — sometimes you need a lot (or a whole lot) of I/O in a fanless embedded controller PC, sometimes you don't. It's good to have choices. And that's what ARBOR Technology provides with their ARES-1230/1231. [See review of the ARBOR ARES-1230, 1230-E, and 1231] -- Posted Friday, August 26, 2016

VDC Research on the global market for enterprise tablets
VDC Research issued a new report entitled "The Global Market for Enterprise Tablets." While VDC Research sees the overall tablet market to shrink some over the next five years, they project the rugged tablet market to slightly grow from US$590 million in 2016 to US&624 million in 2020. VDC Research projects that while Windows will remain the primary OS in rugged tablets, Android will gain significant growth. Competition between consumer grade and rugged tablets in enterprise Line-of-Business deployments remains fierce, with protective cases currently the most popular accessory. And what's the most important enterprise deployment selection criterion? Battery life. [See Executive Brief of The Global Market for Enterprise Tablets] -- Posted Thursday, August 25, 2016

Eastpointe Fire Department switches to Dell
C&G Newspapers reports that the Eastpointe, Michigan, Fire Department is replacing their old Panasonic systems with Dell Latitude 14 Rugged computers. C&G reports that the department's current computers are not compatible with the new CLEMIS (Courts and Law Enforcement Management Information System) Computer Aided Dispatch system that will go live in September. [See C&G article] -- Posted Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Xplore blog: Buying accessories to fit the tablet, or vice-versa?
It's a chicken or the egg thing. Some may say the inclination to select a rugged tablet first — and then hope you can find the right mounting design to support it in your forklift or patrol car — is all wrong. That it’s more logical to think about the accessories needed to support your workflows first... and then decide which mobile computers should be shortlisted. Who's right? [Read The Mounting Debate: Do You Buy Accessories to Fit the Rugged Tablet, or Vice Versa?] -- Posted Monday, August 22, 2016

Zebra scores IDSA International Design Excellence Award
Zebra Technologies announced that the TC8000 enterprise mobile computer has been named a Gold winner in the 36th annual International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) conducted by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). The TC8000 — competing against over 1,700 design projects from 30-plus countries in IDEA 2016 — is a rugged handheld mobile computer with an innovative design that has proven to increase productivity and reduce fatigue for workers in highly intensive barcode scanning environments. [See Zebra media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Zebra TC8000]
-- Posted Monday, August 22, 2016

Review: Advantech SOM-5897 COM Express module
COM Express modules measure just 4.9 x 3.75 inches and are used to power all sorts of embedded systems where toughness and reliability matter. We tested the SOM-5897 that is available with no fewer than nine different Intel Skylake i7, i5, and i3 processors, as well as Xeons and a Celeron. Ours came with a Core i7-6820QE, and it became our new benchmark performance king, faster than any mobile rugged system we ever tested, and faster than our production desktops. Quite impressive. [See review of the Advantech SOM-5897 COM Express module] -- Posted Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wavelink terminal emulation available on Janam’s XG3 rugged mobile computers
Janam Technologies announced that customers of its XG3 rugged, gun-shaped, mobile computer now have access to a custom Wavelink Terminal Emulation client. Wavelink TE allows more than 10 million mobile devices worldwide to access, manage and maintain connections to host system applications, enhancing IT staff and mobile workforce productivity,and allowing organizations to spend less time on support and more time on improving operational efficiencies. [See Janam media release] -- Posted Thursday, August 18, 2016

Xplore receives US$13.5 million follow-on order for Android-based XSlate D10 rugged tablets
Xplore announced that one of the largest broadband and wireless telecommunications companies in the United States has ordered more than 9,000 XSLATE D10 fully rugged tablet PCs. With this $13.5 million investment, the customer intends to completely eliminate the use of laptops by its fiber optic service division. Xplore says that after extensive field testing, the XSLATE D10 rugged tablet was the only mobile computing solution with the flexibility and adaptability to meet the division’s field-service performance standards and Total Cost of Ownership target. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Review: Winmate FM10 modular vehicle-mount PC
The 10.4-inch FM10 is part of Winmate's modular lineup of Intel Bay Trail-based vehicle-mount computers for use in a wide variety of commercial, industrial and government applications. Winmate used a cost-saving approach via common docks, system units, peripherals and accessories. Unlike many panel computers, the FM10 can be operated either on vehicle power or use its own internal battery, allowing for seamless move between vehicles and locations, as well as occasional use as a self-contained mobile tablet. [See full review of the Winmate FM10 modular vehicle-mount PC] -- Posted Monday, August 15, 2016

DT Research All-in-One medical-cart computers first to power continuous data access at Point-of-Care
DT Research announced the DT590 Series of All-in-One Medical-Cart Computers, integrating small and inexpensive hot-swappable batteries to facilitate mobility for healthcare applications. The DT590 series — available in 19, 22, or 24-inch versions with a Intel 5th Generation Core or Celeron processors — boasts a 3-bay hot-swappable battery system for zero downtime work environments to increase mobility over traditional workstations and decrease costs and maintenance associated with medical cart systems. [See DT Research media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the DT590 Series] -- Posted Monday, August 15, 2016

Review: Advantech's multi-talented rugged MIT-M101 Windows tablet
Sometimes, what's needed is a rugged, speedy, unique and modern Windows tablet designed for a wide range of applications, both indoors and outdoors. And that's what we found the 10.1-inch, procap, Intel Bay Trail-powered MIT-M101 tablet from Advantech to be. It's a no-nonsense, expertly made multi-purpose platform equally well suited to demanding applications in the field as in clinical environments and mobile patient care settings. [See full review of the Advantech MIT-M101 rugged tablet] -- Posted Monday, August 15, 2016

Success report: University of Minnesota researchers choose Surface tablets in MobileDemand rugged case
The University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities is home to the Freeman Lab, an academic biological research group of professors and students who are constantly exploring the in’s and out’s of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics, investigating interesting enzymes made by bacteria and fungi that play a role in making antibiotics. When they decided it was time replace pens and paper as their main source for data recording, the Freeman Lab chose the Microsoft Surface 3 with a MobileDemand rugged case as their perfect solution. [See MobileDemand success story] -- Posted Monday, August 15, 2016

Xplore reports fiscal Q1/2017 financials
Xplore Technologies announced revenues of US$16.5 million for Q1 of 2016 (down from US$24.04 million for Q1 2016). Q1 2017 showed a net loss of US$1.7 million compared to a net loss of US$224k in Q1 2016. For fiscal 2017, Xplore continues to anticipate revenue to range between $85 million and $95 million, reflecting the impact of what the company believes is a temporary global slowdown in the rugged tablet market and shipment delays experienced during the first fiscal quarter. [See Xplore financials] -- Posted Thursday, August 11, 2016

Why we take things apart and show what's inside
At RuggedPCReview, we take things apart. We open up handhelds, tablets, panels, notebooks and industrial PCs. We dissect them methodically, documenting our progress, jotting down observations and commentary. What we find inside a product becomes part of our detailed reviews, including pictures of the insides and of interesting details. [read more] -- Posted Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Review: Tablet Technologies ConkerTab NX10 with Pixel Qi
Assume you work outdoors a lot, in the blazing sun. And you need a computer for your work. If you use a laptop or tablet with a conventional display, even if it's one of the best, chances are you may not a happy camper. But there are a very few tablets that have a special "Pixel Qi" display that works in direct sunlight, the brighter the better. One of them is the 10.1-inch, Bay Trail-powered ConkerTab NX10 from Tablet Technologies in the UK. [See full review of the ConkerTab NX10 with Pixel Qi display] -- Posted Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Xplore rugged tablets now available to Pennsylvania's public sector agencies via COSTARS
Xplore Technologies announced that its complete portfolio of Xplore and Motion by Xplore rugged tablet PC solutions is now available for purchase through the COSTARS Cooperative Purchasing Program in Pennsylvania. The COSTARS IT Hardware Contract 003-437 awarded to Xplore VAR partner Allegiance Technology now enables all Pennsylvania state and local government agencies — including law enforcement, EMS, and fire departments — to directly purchase any of Xplore’s ultra-rugged, fully rugged or rugged tablet PCs and accessories through Allegiance without additional authorization. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 3, 2016

IDC: tablet shipments down 12% in Q2 2016 with market shifting from media consumption to productivity
According to IDC, worldwide tablet shipments, including detachables, were 38.7 million in Q2 of 2016, down 12.3% year over year as vendors begin to refocus product lines and consumers hold off on purchases. 65% were Android-based, 26% Apple iOS-based, and 9% Windows-based. IDC sees early signs of change as the Android vendor list has contracted and champions of the OS have begun to offer Windows-based products, hedging against the decline of Android slates. In terms of unit sales, Apple boosted its leadership to 25.8%, ahead of faltering Samsung (15.6%) and hard-charging Lenovo, Huawei and Amazon. "Others" is down from 48.2% to 42.4%. [See IDC media release] -- Posted Monday, August 1, 2016

Advantech sales, profits up first half of 2016
Industrial computing device maker Advantech reported first half of 2016 revenues of NT$20.79 billion (US$660 million), up 10% from first half of 2015, and net profit of NT$1.46 billion (US$46.3 million), up 10% on year. -- Posted Monday, August 1, 2016

RuggON rugged tablet helps Artemis Racing optimize America's Cup performance
On the case study front, Artemis Racing, a professional sailing team with a long tradition and Swedish heritage, sealed the preliminary victory at America’s Cup World Series Chicago, a global classic sailing race from June 10 to 12, 2016. Remaining consistent throughout all four rounds of the race was key to achieving the victory, and RuggON's Intel Broadwell-based 10.1-inch PX-501B helped in tracking and recording data and performance throughout the practices. [See RuggON case study and RuggedPCReview's detailed assessment of the RuggON PX-501] -- Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Juniper Systems: Using the Mesa 2 rugged tablet as a desktop PC
With the great proliferation of smartphones and tablets, more and more work is being done on mobile devices. But there will always be a need to sit down in an office and work on a full keyboard and a large desktop screen. A recent blog by Juniper Systems' Katelyn Heiner describes how to use the company's super-rugged Mesa 2 Windows 10 tablet as a desktop PC. [Read How to use the Mesa 2 rugged tablet as your desktop PC] -- Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Xplore: When rugged tablet displays show their true colors
In a new blog entry, Xplore's Tom Kost mused, "Unfortunately, the loose definition of 'outdoor viewable' and the wide variations of display technology used within each mobile device class make a confident decision challenging sometimes without seeing a laptop or tablet’s true colors for yourself — in the actual outdoor working environment, not a simulated one." That, of course, is ever so true, and Tom's article is a good trigger to think the outdoor viewability issue through again. [Read When rugged tablet displays show their true colors] -- Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Full review: ARBOR Gladius GT-500 rugged 5-inch Android handheld computer with WorldMode communication
While ARBOR Technology Corp. already has the sleek 5.5-inch Gladius 5, with the new IP67-sealed Gladius GT-500 the company offers a more substantial, more field-oriented Android 5.1-based handheld computing device with industrial-grade scanning for tough jobs in even the most challenging environments. Built around the MediaTek "WorldMode" MT6735 smartphone platform, the dual-SIM Gladius GT-500 merges 2G, 3G and 4G communication technologies and is capable of seamlessly roaming across high-speed 4G LTE networks uninterrupted. [See full review of the ARBOR Gladius GT-500] -- Posted Monday, July 25, 2016

Verizon to acquire Yahoo
After rejecting a US$45 billion offer from Microsoft back in 2008, Yahoo's operating business is now being acquired by Verizon for just US$4.8 billion, a quarter of what Facebook paid for WhatsApp. Verizon bought AOL last year and will integrate Yahoo into AOL. Interesting how the mighty internet companies have fallen and are getting snapped up by telcos. [See Verizon media release] -- Posted Monday, July 25, 2016

Unitech first to be certified for Android version of IntelliTrack Stratus
IntelliTrack and Unitech America announced the official certification of the new Stratus Mobile Inventory App on Unitech’s PA700 and PA692A rugged handheld computers, providing customers a powerful, yet easy to use cloud-based inventory control solution. [See Unitech media release] -- Posted Saturday, July 23, 2016

Corning unveils Gorilla Glass 5
Seems like only yesterday that we spoke with Corning's Dr. Nagaraja Shashidhar in 2009 about their Gorilla Glass, on the occasion of Motion being the first to use Gorilla Glass in a tablet. By 2010, Gorilla Glass was used in 200 million phones, and by 2012 in over a billion. Gorilla Glass 2 (2012) was thinner, Gorilla Glass 3 (2013) more scratch-resistant, and Gorilla Glass 4 (2014) was "twice as tough." Now, Corning introduced Gorilla Glass 5, which provides better protection against breakage from everyday drops. Corning said that "In lab tests, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 survives up to 80% of the time when dropped face-down from 1.6 meters onto rough surfaces." [See Corning media release] -- Posted Friday, July 22, 2016

GammaTech adds detachable keyboard option to Its popular DURABOOK R11 tablet
GammaTech announced the addition of an optional detachable keyboard for its 11.6-inch DURABOOK R11 rugged tablet. "Rugged mobile tablets, such as our DURABOOK R11, make it possible to have the Internet, high-definition cameras, spreadsheets, GPS capability, and more at users' fingertips, no matter where their jobs take them," stated Tom Wang, GammaTech president. "Add in a keyboard, and that handy tablet now acts like a laptop, with all of the pluses of easily using word processing programs, updating files, and writing emails at the job site thrown in." [See GammaTech media release] -- Posted Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Microsoft's Q4/2016 financials
Microsoft reported revenue of US$20.6 billion and a profit of US$3.1 billion for its Q4/2016. Of revenue, Productivity and Business Processes (Office, Exchange, etc.) contributed $7.0 billion, Intelligent Cloud (Azure, Windows Server, etc.) $6.7 billion, and More Personal Computing (Windows, hardware, Xbox) $8.9 billion. Revenue from Surface tablets was up 9% to $4.1 billion. Which is just abut the size of the entire worldwide rugged computing market. [See Microsoft media release] -- Posted Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Demand for metal injection hinges to grow, along with 2-in-1 hybrid devices
DigiTimes reports that demand for injection molding-made (MIM) hinges is expected to grow as many upcoming 2-in-1 devices will use them. According to research firm Canalys, despite an overall 16% on-year decline in PC shipments, 2-in-1 device shipments will grow 13% this year. -- Posted Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Unitech releases Verizon 4G LTE/XLTE certified rugged Android PA700V indoor/outdoor handheld
Unitech is not just for inside the proverbial "four walls" anymore. The company announced it has partnered with Verizon to bring Verizon 4G LTE and XLTE to its rugged Android-based high-resolution 4.7-inch PA700V data collection tool. The PA700V has an integrated 1D/2D imager, is IP65-sealed, offers a wide operating temperature range, and can handle 4-foot drops. [See description, analysis and specs of the Unitech PA700V] -- Posted Monday, July 18, 2016

SoftBank buys ARM
SoftBank, the Japanese telecom and internet company that, among many acquisitions, once bought the storied Comdex tradeshow and then also Sprint, announced they are buying ARM for about US$31 billion. Chip architectures licensed from ARM, of course, power most smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and similar in the world. -- Posted Monday, July 18, 2016

Preview: DT Research DT311H
With the large-screen 11.6-inch capacitive multi-touch DT311H, DT Research offers a high-performance Intel Broadwell-powered thin-and-light Windows tablet for complex applications that require extra screen real estate. An optional active digitizer with high-precision pen is available as well. And the addition of a 2-in-1 version of the DT311H makes the platform that much more attractive [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the DT Research DT301H] -- Posted Monday, July 18, 2016

Preview: DT Research DT301S
With the handy and compact 10.1-inch capacitive multi-touch DT301S, DT Research offers a state-of-the-art, Intel Skylake-powered thin-and-light Windows tablet that's tough enough to be deployed in vast array of applications that require more than run-of-the-mill consumer tablets can provide. And the addition of a 2-in-1 version of the DT301S makes the platform that much more attractive [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the DT Research DT301D] -- Posted Monday, July 18, 2016

DT Research announces two ultra-rugged 2-in-1 tablets
DT Research announced new 2-in-1 ultra-rugged versions of its 10.1-inch DT301 and 11.6-inch DT311 series. Built to withstand extreme outdoor environments, the slim, lightweight designs with numerous customizable options are also well-suited for the office with water-resistant detachable keyboards, full 1920 x 1200 pixel capacitive multi-touch displays, IP65 sealing, internal hot-swappable batteries, and advanced hardware-software security. [See DT Research media release] -- Posted Monday, July 18, 2016

U.S. Army Reserve expands deployment of DT Research's ultra rugged tablets
DT Research announced the U.S. Army Reserve is expanding use of the DT311H rugged tablets into other army facilities to support training missions and other logistics. This marks the second Army Reserve contract for Rugged Tablets that DT Research has been awarded this year. “We are delighted that the Army Reserve has decided to leverage our Ultra Rugged Tablets within additional environments,” said Daw Tsai Sc.D., president of DT Research. “The U.S. Army Reserve sets a high bar for hardware and software solutions with many specialized requirements and their expanded deployment of our DT311H tablets underscores our commitment to deliver the highest quality purpose-built computing products in the industry.” [See DT Research media release] -- Posted Monday, July 18, 2016

Janam teams with FieldStack to empower retailers
Janam Technologies LLC announced that its XM5 has been selected as the preferred rugged mobile computing platform for retailers using FieldStack’s lean retail software that provides inventory automation as well as optimization of the POS experience, e-commerce, loyalty programs and staff management. Doug Lloyd, Janam VP of Global Sales Operations said, “It is very gratifying when the strengths of a product like the XM5 – specifically, its small size, light weight, blazing fast computing speed, all-day battery life and best-in-class barcode scanning – come together to support a winning software solution like the one from FieldStack.” [See Janam media release] -- Posted Thursday, July 14, 2016

Disk drive maker Seagate to cut 6,500 jobs
Venerable hard disk maker Seagate reported preliminary Q4 of US$2.65 billion. The company said it shipped 37 million hard drives with an average capacity of 1.7TB per drive, making for a record 62 exabyte capacity, up 46% year-over-year. Seagate's plan, however, includes reducing the global headcount by about 6,500 employees, or 14% of its global headcount by the end of fiscal year 2017. [See Seagate media release] -- Posted Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Handheld Group introduces rugged Nautiz X2 enterprise-level Android smartphone with integrated scanning
Handheld Group introduced the Nautiz X2, an iPhone 6s Plus-sized rugged Android "Lollipop" device designed to merge contemporary smartphone sophistication with enterprise-level capabilities and toughness as well as industrial-grade 1D or 1D/2D integrated scanning. [See Handheld Group media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Handheld Nautiz X2] -- Posted Tuesday, July 12, 2016

-- for older news, see the RuggedPCReview Archives --
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GETAC P470
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DRS ARMOR C12
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GD-Itronix Duo-Touch II
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Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC
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Intermec CN3
Dell ATG D630
Symbol MC35
Psion Teklogix WorkAbout Pro G2
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GETAC V100
HHP Dolphin 7850
Trimble Nomad 800
LXE HX3
Augmentix XTG630
Trimble Nomad 800 preview
Datalogic Skorpio
Datalogic Pegaso
Datalogic Memor
Datalogic Jet
Trimble Juno ST
CATCHER CCAP
GD-Itronix GoBook MR-1
GD-Itronix GoBook VR-2
MobileDemand xTablet T8600
GD-Itronix DynaVue Technology
Toshiba Portege R400
GETAC A790
Outdoor readable screens 07
Talla-Tech RPDA-57 Juno ST
Talla-Tech Tacter-31M
Fujitsu U8240 UMPC
Panasonic CF-08
GETAC M230
Socket SoMo 650
Motion Computing LE1700
Symbol/Motorola MC35
Motorola MW810
Motorola ML910
The UMPC end of 2006 (PDF)
PacStar 3500
Psion Teklogix 8515
Motion Computing C5
Toshiba Portege R400
Panasonic CF-19
Panasonic CF-30
Dell Latitude ATG
Toshiba Tecra M7
Electrovaya PowerPad 95
Otterbox 7000
Symbol WT 4000 Series
Electrovaya SC-3100
WalkAbout Hammerhead Xtreme
ViewSonic V38r
Itronix GoBook XR-1
MobileDemand xTablet T8600
Itronix Hummer
Twinhead Durabook D13RI
Toshiba Tecra M4
Twinhead N15RN
Itronix GoBook VR-1
Motion LS800
Xplore iX104C2
TDS Ranger 500X

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  • Features
    Getac Cirque du Soleil
    Getac 25th Anniversary
    Can your rugged computer handle thermal stress?
    Industry Q&A: Opportunities for rugged tablets as a result of the iPad
    Industry Q&A: Opportunities for rugged tablets as a result of the iPad (Part 2)
    Conference reports
    5th Annual DisplaySearch Digital Signage Conference at InfoComm12 2010 Handheld Group Conference
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    The editor and co-founder of Pen Computing Magazine launched RuggedPCReview.com 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 RuggedPCReview.com 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."

    Historic review archive

    iPAQ h6315
    Dell Axim X50v
    Asus A730w
    Itronix GoBook III
    Itronix GoBook VR1
    WalkAbout RT900/XRT
    Getac A770
    Panasonic CF-29
    Casio IT-3000
    iPAQ 1700/3000/4700
    Motorola v710
    Electrovaya SC2000
    HP TC1100
    Fujitsu Stylistic ST5000
    Sharp Actius TN 10W
    Tungsten T3
    Sony UX50
    Dana Wireless
    Tungsten E
    Tapwave Zodiac
    Samsung i500
    Sony CLIE NX80V
    Intermec CT60
    Electrovaya Scribbler
    Xplore iX104
    FIC SlateVision
    HP iPAQ 4000 Series
    HP iPAQ h2215
    Danger HipTop
    Palm Zire 71
    Tungsten C
    Tungsten W
    Sony NZ90
    Kyocera 7135
    HP iPAQ 5450
    HP iPAQ 1900
    Dell Axim X5
    Palm Tungsten T
    AlphaSmart Dana
    ViewSonic V35
    Toshiba e335
    Toshiba e740
    New iPAQs
    Acer C100
    Compaq TC1000
    Fujitsu Stylistic ST4000
    Motion M1200
    Toshiba Portege 3500
    ViewSonic V1100
    T-Mobile PPC
    Sony CLIE SJ20 & SJ30
    Bluetooth vs Treo
    CLIE NR70V
    Treo 270
    Treo 90
    Panasonic 07
    Panasonic 01
    IBM TransNote
    Palm m515
    Palm m130
    Handspring Treo 180
    Palm i705
    Sony T415
    iPAQ 3800 Series
    Toshiba e570
    Casio E-200
    Sony S320 & MYLO
    Sony N610C
    Palm m125
    Visor Neo & Pro
    HP Jornada 568
    Casio IT-700
    Itronix GoBook
    Fujitsu 3500
    Sony Clie 710c
    NEC MobilePro 790
    Kyocera Smartphone
    Casio BE-300
    HandEra 330
    Palm m500 and m505
    HP Jornada 525
    Intermec Model 70
    UR There @migo
    Fujitsu LT C-500
    Handspring Visor Edge
    VisorPhone
    Palm m105
    All Palm devices