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Rugged PC News and Developments [ Submit news] [News archive]
Utilities aren’t the only ones finding their way with GIS
In its latest blog, Xplroe Technologies points out that geospatial applications aren’t exclusively beneficial to traditional field service sectors. Thanks to the proliferation of more advanced mobile computing technologies and the collective efforts of organizations such as Esri and industry leaders, GIS information is influencing the operational efficiency of professionals in almost every global industry. Xplore's Vertical Solutions Architect Bob Ashenbrenner explains the situation and opportunities in considerable detail in Geo Informatics Magazine. [See Geo Informatics article] -- Posted Friday, April 29, 2016

IDC: overall tablet sales down, detachables gaining
According to IDC, worldwide tablet shipments were down 14.7% in Q1/2016 vs Q1/2015. Of the 39.6 million, 87.6% were pure tablets, though mostly low-end. Apple's marketshare was at 25.9%, Samsung's at 15.2% Detachable sales rose to 4.9 million units. "Microsoft arguably created the market for detachable tablets with the launch of their Surface line of products," said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Device Trackers. "With the PC industry in decline, the detachable market stands to benefit as consumers and enterprises seek to replace their aging PCs with detachables." [See IDC media release] -- Posted Friday, April 29, 2016

Xplore gets $1 million order from leading US utility company
Xplore Technologies announced it has been awarded a $1 million order for its Xplore XSLATE B10 fully-rugged tablet from one of the nation’s top 10 electric power and natural gas utility company. The continued deployment and additional orders for the XSLATE B10 tablet are to help the company achieve cost savings and increase mobility in the utility field service. [See Xplore media release -- Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Zebra Technologies study finds seven in ten decision makers to accelerate warehouse technology investment by 2020
Zebra Technologies announced the results of its latest Warehouse Vision Study, which compares input from 1,378 IT and operations warehouse professionals. It shows how responses shifted between 2013 and 2015, as well as on expectations in 2015 versus 2020. In essence, consumer expectations will drive increased investment in IT and operational functions in warehouses over the next four years as manufacturing and logistics companies continue to adjust to delivering directly to consumers. In 2013 that meant more warehouse locations, but in 2015 emphasis is on more items shipped, shorter delivery times, labor performance and order accuracy. This means moving to more modern, full-featured warehouse management systems, real-time location systems, bar code scanning, voice picking, tablets, and IoT projects. Mark Wheeler, director, Warehouse Solutions, Zebra Technologies, said, "We see this as an enormous area of opportunity: providing workers with the tools they need to do their jobs accurately and productively will help companies meet and exceed customer expectations for accuracy and on-time delivery." [See Zebra news release and Warehousing 2020 infographic] -- Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2016

San Jose PD again chooses Getac B300 to refresh fleet
The San Jose Police Department (SJPD) has ordered an additional 400 Getac B300 G5 ultra rugged notebook computers to replenish its fleet of squad cars, after first purchasing in 2009. They chose the Getac B300 again because it has consistently reduced equipment downtime and maintenance costs while improving productivity in the field. SJPD has cars patrolling around the clock in a wide range of temperatures, so the Getac B300 G5 provides a much-needed upgrade to advanced technology, connectivity and durability. [See Getac media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Xplore Technologies secures contract with Top Ten largest fire-rescue department in the U.S.
Xplore Technologies announced it has secured a contract with one of the top 10 largest fire-rescue departments in the nation, for more than two hundred of its XSLATE D10 Android-based rugged tablets. The fire-rescue department selected the XSLATE D10 for electronic patient care reporting based on the flexibility of the Android operating system. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Friday, April 22, 2016

Intel to emphasize data center, IoT, cut 12,000 jobs
Intel announced a restructuring initiative to accelerate its evolution from a PC company to one that powers the cloud and billions of smart, connected computing devices. Intel said the data center and Internet of Things (IoT) businesses are their primary growth engines now, delivering $2.2 billion in revenue growth last year, making up 40% of revenue and a (slight) majority of operating profit, which largely offset a 10% decline in net revenue in the PC market segment. These changes will result in the reduction of up to 12,000 positions globally, or about 11% of the workforce by mid-2017. [See Intel media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Japan Inc sputtering
Not so long ago, Japan seemed unstoppable. But then came the Lost Decade or two, the emergence of Korea as an electronics world power, and then the more recent natural disasters. What once seemed unthinkable is a reality. Sharp sold. Toshiba just reporting it has cut 14,450 jobs worldwwide (see here), and now as a result of the most recent earthquakes, Sony had to close its imaging sensor production lines, which, according to ChannelNews, make over 40% of all camera sensors, as well as all the imagers in iPhones. -- Posted Monday, April 18, 2016

MobileDemand on barcodes and a barcode generator
MobileDemand published a blog entry on the basics of a barcode, followed up by an actual online barcode generator that allows creation of codes in several popular bar code formats, and even the ability to print them out in a grid on standard sheets of paper. See The Basics of a Barcode and the Barcode Generator. -- Posted Saturday, April 16, 2016

Full review: Trimble's impressive Kenai 10-inch rugged tablet
While Trimble is best known for its GPS products and expertise, the company integrates all sorts of positioning technologies (GPS, laser, optical and inertial) with application software, wireless communications, and services to provide complete commercial solutions. With the Intel Bay Trail-powered Kenai, Trimble adds a rugged, versatile 10-inch class Windows 10 tablet with full 1920 x 1200 resolution and finger, stylus and glove capable capacitive touch. RuggedPCReview has now had the chance for a full, in-depth review of the Trimble Kenai. [See full review of the Trimble Kenai rugged tablet -- Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Advantech unveils IoT gateway starter kit
Advantech unveiled an IoT gateway starter kit designed to jumpstart innovation with a reliable platform and open gateway technologies. The package includes a ready-to-run system (Intel Celeron J1900 platform & Windows 7 Embedded), IoT software platform service (WISE-PaaS), software development kit and technical support service. This gateway is also verified to work with the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. [See Advantech IoT Gateway page] -- Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Xplore secures additional $1 Million order from U.S. railroad transportation company
Xplore Technologies announced it has been awarded an $1 million order for its Xplore Bobcat tablet computers from a leading U.S. railroad transportation company. The continued deployment and additional orders for fully-rugged Bobcat tablets is to help the railroad achieve cost savings and increase mobility in its yards. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Full review: Getac's brand-new Skylake-powered 14-inch semi-rugged S410 notebook, lighter and slimmer than ever
Getac announced its new 14-inch S410 semi-rugged notebook featuring extensive security features, custom configurability, and Intel Skylake performance for public safety, insurance, field service and other mobile professionals. The S410, which offers 1920 x 1080 resolution and capacitive multi-touch, is 29% thinner and 23% lighter than previous Getac semi-rugged laptops, and now offers hot-swappable battery design. [See Getac media release and RuggedPCReview full review of the Getac S410] -- Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2016

VDC Research: Panasonic has top global marketshare in rugged notebooks and tablets
Panasonic announced the company has been recognized as the global leader in rugged notebook and tablets sales for 2015, according to VDC Research. The new report, “Strategic Insights 2015: Enterprise Mobility Solutions,” revealed Panasonic leads both categories in revenue and units shipped globally and in all regions the report tracks – the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Panasonic sold 58.9% of the rugged notebooks and 50.7% of the rugged tablets purchased globally in 2015. -- Posted Monday, April 11, 2016

Unitech launches rugged Android keypad handheld
Unitech has launched the PA692A, a rugged Android 4.3-based handheld with a 3.8-inch capacitive touch display, integrated barcode scanner, RFID reader, and a physical keypad (either QWERTY or numeric). The PA692A, which joins the existing Windows Embedded Handheld-based PA692, carries IP65 sealing, can handle 5-feet drops, and has Gorilla Glass 3 display protection. [See Unitech media release and RuggedPCReview description, analysis and specs of the Unitech PA692A] -- Posted Friday, April 8, 2016

Juniper's Windows 10 Mesa 2 tablet now shipping
Rugged data collection solution provider Juniper Systems announced that its new Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet is now shipping. As the first Windows 10 device produced by Juniper Systems and the only IP68-rated Windows tablet on the market, the Mesa 2 joins a new category of data collection solutions—one that provides users with greater processing power and capabilities. [See Juniper media release and our preview of the Juniper Mesa 2] -- Posted Friday, April 8, 2016

Cognex enters rugged mobile terminal market
Cognex, a supplier of machine vision systems and industrial barcode readers announced that it has developed a new product line — ruggedized mobile terminals. The MX-1000 combines a modern smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S4/S5, Apple iPhone 5/5S, 6/6S and 5th gen iPod for now) with a rugged hand-held assembly that holds both the phone and a specially designed Cognex barcode reader. At a time where existing Windows Mobile/Embedded handheld devices are being phased out, Cognex expects that this unique combination will enable it to become a major player in a $500 million segment of the mobile terminal market. [See Cognex media release, the MX-1000 product page, and into video] -- Posted Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Juniper Systems blog: transferring data between Windows 10 and Windows Embedded Handheld
With Juniper Systems having introduced their first full Windows 10-based rugged device, the Juniper Mesa 2, the company published a very helpful blog entitled How to Transfer Data on Your Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet. -- Posted Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Xplore wins multi-million dollar order from global transportation company
Xplore announced it has secured a multi-million dollar order for its Xplore XSLATE D10 Android-based rugged tablet computers from a leading global transportation company. The order for the fully-rugged XSLATE D10 tablets is to help the transportation company achieve cost savings and increase mobility in its rail yards. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 6, 2016

BARTEC partners with Winmate to innovate the HazLoc market with advanced technology
Winmate and BARTEC, a leading provider of industrial safety technology, announced a partnership to accelerate the introduction of mobile enterprise solutions in the hazardous locations (HazLoc) market. The partnership has already resulted in the release of a Class 1, Division 2/ATEX Zone 2, 4G/LTE multi-carriers certified Windows platform-based industry tablet PC. A much anticipated Class 1 Division 1/ATEX Zone 1 will follow later in 2016. [See media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Samwell introduces new RUGGEDBOOK SR820s
Samwell introduced a new, faster version of its acclaimed SR820 rugged tablet platform. Successfully deployed around the world, the new SR820s is now based on the 1.91GHz quad-core Intel E3845 "Bay Trail" processor, supports USB 3.0, and provides up to five times the performance of the predecessor model. Samwell will show the new model at Computex Taipei, May 31 to June 4, 2016 at Booth M1231. [See Introducing RUGGEDBOOK SR820s -- Posted Monday, April 4, 2016

1 TFLOP in rugged systems
What if integrated Intel graphics are nowhere near powerful enough, and available discrete graphics modules aren't rugged enough for a project? Then it may be time to look at Abaco. Abaco, which used to be the embedded computing business of GE Intelligent Platforms, is a leader in bringing NVIDIA’s GPU technology to rugged products designed for deployment in the harshest environments. At GTC 2016, Abaco discussed their plans for NVIDIA’s new 1 TFLOP Jetson TX1 System-on-Module (SoM). [See Abaco media release] -- Posted Monday, April 4, 2016

Moore's Law revised; Intel moving to 30 month cycle
The Motley Fool reported that Intel will move away from its 24-month "tick-tock" cycle that was based on Intel co-founder Gordon Moore's "law" that the number of transistors on a defined piece of silicon will double every two years. Instead, Intel is moving to a 30-month "process, architecture, and optimization" cycle where the "optimization step adds another six month to the cycle. [See As Moore's Law Ends...] -- Posted Thursday, March 31, 2016

FBI certifies AMREL's XP7-ID rugged biometric smartphone
Fingerprint readers are on numerous devices these days, but when it comes to serious biometric verification, industrial-grade, FBI-approved technology and solutions are in order. And that's what AMREL's new XP7-ID ultra-rugged Android-based biometric smartphone offers. It combines a tough, waterproof 4-inch procap smartphone with a specialized "enrollment and verification" fingerprint sensor for defense, public safety, and industrial markets. [See description, analysis and specs of the AMREL XP7-ID biometric smartphone -- Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Foxconn buys Sharp for US$3.5 billion
It's official. Foxconn, a Taiwanese contract manufacturer, is buying Sharp, the storied Japanese electronics company with over a century of technology innovations, for US$3.5 billion. That's less than a fifth of what Facebook paid for the WhatsApp messaging applet. This is the first takeover of a large Japanese electronics producer by a foreign company. -- Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New RTX standard for rugged Computer-on-Module boards
Advantech, AAEON, Avalue, ARM, NXP and Texas Instruments announced collaboration on a new open form factor ARM-based Computer-On-Module (COM) specification for industrial applications. RTX, which stands for Rugged Technology eXtended, describes a compact (68x68mm), robust (2mm thick boards, four board connectors for stacking) standard with with excellent anti-shock and anti-vibration capabilities, wide-range power input and wide operating temperature range (-40° to 185°F), making RTX an innovative form factor for ruggedized applications. Advantech announced two initial RTX boards, the ROM-3310 and the ROM-3420. [See Advantech media release and RTX standards website] -- Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Getac aims for 30% market share for rugged devices in 2018
According to DigiTimes, Getac expects its revenues to reach US$620 million in 2016 with ruggedized product lines contributing over 50% of the revenues. The company is also aiming to increase its share in the ruggedized PC market to 30% in 2018, up from 20% in 2015, staying stably as the second largest player in the market. Getac had revenues of US$562 million for 2015 with net profits of US$39.4 million, up 44.91% on year. -- Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Janam introduces smartphone-style rugged 5-inch Android Lollipop touch computer
Janam introduced the Janam XT2, a smartphone-style Android 5.1-based touch computer. The IP67-sealed XT2 has a 5-foot drop spec, a very wide -4° to 140°F operating temperature range, yet its footprint is no larger than that of an iPhone 6 Plus. The XT2 has a 5-inch 1280 x 720 pixel procap display, dual cameras, MSR, RFID/NFC, and an integrated industrial-grade Zebra SE4710 1D/2D imager. [See Janam media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Janam XT2] -- Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2016

VIA demos Mobile360 Surround View System
VIA Technologies announced that it will demonstrate their new in-vehicle VIA Mobile360 Surround View System during the 2016 Mid-America Trucking Show being held from March 31st to April 2nd in Booth 60113 of the Kentucky Expo Center, in Louisville Kentucky. Specifically designed for real-time commercial vehicle monitoring, security, and tracking applications, the system utilizes VIA Multi-Stitch Technology to seamlessly combine up to six camera feeds on the fly and create an all-encompassing 360° view that can be displayed locally or remotely. [See VIA Mobile36 surround view system] -- Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2016

50 years of Intel innovations
In light of the recent passing of former Intel CEO Andy Grove, and the 40th anniversary of the microprocessor, TechRepublic ran a fascinating look back at Intel's top contributions to the field. [See 50 years of Intel innovations] -- Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2016

ARBOR IoT-500: Dashboard for the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is coming on strong, and with it a flood of hardware and software tools and building blocks. One of them is the ARBOR IoT-500, a small Android-based mini-panel PC with a high-res 5-inch procap display and comprehensive connectivity. The ARBOR IoT-500 can be mounted almost anywhere and provides a handy dashboard for visualizing, and responding to, what the Internet of Things is doing. Applications are endless. [See description, analysis and specs of the ARBOR IoT-500] -- Posted Monday, March 28, 2016

Avalue announces all-in-one mini POS
Avalue Technology announced the Mini POS, RiPac-10P1, a new all-in-one Mini POS retail solution featuring a 10.1-inch main display, an adjustable 5-inch customer display, a built-in NFC reader, an integrated thermal printer with rich I/O ports for further connectivity. The Intel Atom Z3735F-powered Avalue Mini POS measures only 11.8 x 12.4 x ,5.7 inches, making it suitable for applications such as hospitality, retail, ticketing, queue management and any place where space is limited. [See Avalue RiPac-10P1 Mini POS -- Posted Friday, March 25, 2016

Kelli’s Gift Shop Suppliers improves its warehouse management solution with Janam rugged mobile computers
Janam Technologies announced that Kelli’s Gift Shop Suppliers, a wholesale distributor of gift products that offers more than 4,000 items from more than 700 vendors, has deployed XG3 rugged mobile computers from Janam to optimize its distribution center operations. With employees scanning approximately 20,000 items per day, Janam’s XG3 rugged mobile computer plays a critical role in maximizing efficiency and providing visibility into distribution processes within Kelli’s warehouse management operations. [See Janam media release] -- Posted Thursday, March 24, 2016

Xplore Technologies launches new integrated website
Xplore Technologies announced it has launched a new fully integrated website that showcases the combined strengths and product offerings of Xplore and Motion Computing. The new Xplore website serves as a central resource for partners and customers, reflecting the integrated product portfolio and future of Xplore. "It has been an exciting year of bringing the Motion Computing product line together with Xplore under one corporate brand and product umbrella,” said Peter Poulin, chief marketing officer at Xplore Technologies. “Feedback from our customers on how best to address the global rugged tablet market was a critical factor in the design, and content, of our new integrated website. We are confident our customers will find the right rugged tablet platform to meet their industry and business requirements.” [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2016

ARBOR unveils M1860 Android patient infotainment terminal
ARBOR Technology announced the ARBOR M1860, an 18.5-inch patient infotainment terminal based on the TI OMAP 4470 Cortex-A9 CPU, to complement its growing line-up of patient healthcare products. With the introduction of the M1860, Android joins Windows Embedded and Linux as available operating systems for ARBOR’s patient infotainment terminals, providing an alternative for customers creating applications for various healthcare scenarios where the additional OS option may reduce development time and deployment cost. [See ARBOR M1860 product page] -- Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2016

CTL announces rugged convertible Chromebook
CTL, headquartered in Oregon, announced the CTL J5 Rugged Convertible Chromebook. Featuring a 11.6-inch 1366x768 pixel 360-degree rotatable IPS display with 5-point capacitive multi-touch, the US$249 CTL Chromebook is ideal for schools or mobile professionals who want the versatility of an Intel N3050 "Braswell"-powered 3.5-pound Chromebook, which serves either as a notebook or a tablet, is splash- and drop-resistant, and has 10-hour battery life. [See CTL J5 Rugged Convertible Chromebook] -- Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Inventec and Advantech set up joint venture
According to DigiTimes, Inventec and Advantech announced the establishment of a joint venture, AIMobile, for R&D, production and marketing of high-quality industrial tablet and handheld solutions for retail, automotive and medical applications. Advantech chairman KC Liu pointed out that the company is seeing strong demand from clients for handheld IoT devices, and believes the market has strong potential for growth. -- Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Full review: Janam XT1 5.9-inch Android rugged mini-tablet
What if you seek a light and handy data collection and communication device with a larger screen than virtually any other handheld computer, but one that comes in a package that's smaller than even compact tablets and offers integrated industrial grade scanning? Then it's time to look at Janam's Android-based 5.9-inch XT1 "mini-tablet." [See full review of the Janam XT1 mini-tablet] -- Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2016

CipherLab's RS30 Android touch computer certified by MOBISOFT
CipherLab USA announced that its newest Android touch computer, the RS30, is certified for MOBISOFT’s Customer Ordering solutions. MOBISOFT has been providing Customer Ordering solutions that utilize CipherLab terminals for almost 20 years. CipherLab's new RS30 android touch computer is just the latest device that MOBISOFT's MOBIair Customer Ordering, Sales Order Entry and Mobile Labeling solution supports. -- Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Handheld signs framework agreement with Saab
Handheld Group announced that its Nordic subsidiary Handheld Scandinavia has signed a strategic agreement with Saab – a global defense and security solution provider. The 2-year agreement includes ultra-rugged tablets for Saab's military, aerospace and emergency services solutions and covers Handheld's existing range of tablets as well as future products. Saab has integrated Handheld’s Algiz 10X rugged tablet with Paratus, Saab’s modular information system for emergency care. The system has been deployed in ambulances throughout Sweden. Most recently, Saab deployed Algiz 10X rugged tablets equipped with SITHS smart card readers. SITHS (Secure IT for health care) is based on a two-factor electronic authentication protocol and is the current standard for all National Quality Registries in Sweden. [See Handheld Group news release] -- Posted Monday, March 21, 2016

Logic Supply releases 15-inch IP65 Panel PC
Logic Supply introduced the UPC-V315-QM77 rugged, fanless Panel PC. The colorful 15-inch panel is IP65-rated, has an all metal chassis, front facing camera and programmable physical function buttons, making it ideal for a wide range of industrial automation, kiosk, access control, inventory management and other HMI applications. [See Logic Supply media release] -- Posted Thursday, March 17, 2016

VIA Technologies introduces Smart IoT Mobility system
VIA Technologies and Japan Taxi Co., Ltd. unveiled the Smart IoT Mobility system, which integrates a full suite of communication and connectivity features to enhance passenger convenience and safety while reducing costs through smart fleet management and new on-demand passenger services. The Smart IoT Taxi system comprises a rugged compact VIA AMOS-825 in-vehicle system and a 7” touch panel display, and has been finely tuned to withstand the rigors of the road through a number of key enhancements -- Posted Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Review: MobileDemand xCase for Microsoft Surface tablets
We've had a chance to field-test MobileDemand's xCase for Surface. Available for the Microsoft Surface 3 and Surface Pro 4, the xCase is really more than just a case. It's more like a tough, tight-fitting exoskeleton that converts a Surface tablet into a well-protected, easy-to-carry tool for jobs out there in the field, without losing any of the tablet functionality. [See review of the MobileDemand xCase for Surface] -- Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Juniper Systems on freezing and baking rugged handhelds
We love ruggedness testing "torture chambers." It's where rugged gear can be tested before shipping to customers, and it's also where manufacturers learn just how much their products can take. Juniper Systems' illustrated blog article "Yep, we bake and freeze our rugged handhelds" shows how they are testing their rugged handhelds and tablets. -- Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Android KitKat and Lollipop now on almost 3/4 of all devices
Google has published the latest Android version marketshare. Starting with oldest first, Gingerbread (2.3.x) still has 2.6%, Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.x) 2.3%, Jelly Bean (4.1, 4.2, 4.3) 22.3%, KitKat (4.4) 34.3%, Lollipop (5.x) 36.1%, and Marshmallow (6.0) 2.3%. [See source] -- Posted Monday, March 14, 2016

Gamber-Johnson announces new Zebra TabCruzer docking stations for Zebra ET50/55 tablets
Gamber-Johnson announced a series of TabCruzer docking stations for the Zebra ET50/55 rugged tablets as an easy solution to meet material handling and other fleet vehicle connectivity needs. The TabCruzer for Zebra has tested and passed MIL-STD 810G vibration and shock testing, SAE J1455 crash testing, and cycle testing @ 30,000 cycles for lock and docking mechanism. [See Gamber media release and TabCruzer product page] -- Posted Friday, March 11, 2016

Full review: GammaTech DURABOOK S15AB
The 15.6-inch semi-rugged Gammatech DURABOOK S15AB, successor to the company's earlier full-size DURABOOKs S15C and S15H, is an Intel Broadwell-powered notebook computer designed to be tougher and more durable than standard consumer models, but without the extra bulk, weight and cost of a fully rugged design. Compared to earlier versions, this is a lighter, slimmer design with longer battery life. [See full review of the GammaTech DURABOOK S15AB] -- Posted Thursday, March 10, 2016

ADLINK launches open modular architecture for industrial cloud computing and IoT solutions
ADLINK Technology, which provides cloud-based services, intelligent gateways, and embedded building blocks for IoT edge devices, introduced MICA, the Modular Industrial Cloud Architecture (not to be confused with Advantech's MICA medical tablets). In essence, for cost and availability reasons ADLINK proposes the use of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) platforms for the next generation of industrial IOT solutions. [See ADLINK media release and MICA page] -- Posted Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: March 2011
In March 2011, Advantech launched a rugged in-vehicle solutions campaign, Juniper Systems' Mesa Rugged Notepad was named NASA Tech Briefs Product of the Month, and Technology editor Geoff Walker presented an overview on the status of active digitizer technologies. LXE introduced the rugged Thor vehicle-mount and proudly announced their 2010 sales were up 29%. Getac released the MH132 rugged handheld, Psion said it was profitable in 2010, Microsoft released Windows Embedded Compact 7, Apple the iPad 2, and Western Digital bought Hitachi's hard drive unit. We reviewed the Fujitsu Lifebook T580, the Panasonic U1 Ultra rugged UMPC, and ACC Systems' AT870. The U.S. Army was going to test GD-Itronix GD300 wearable PCs, Eurotech released the WL1500 wearable computer, and DAP launched their next-gen Atom-based M9000 line of rugged dual-OS tablets. [See March 2011 archive] -- Posted Monday, March 7, 2016

Rugged tablet quality: Just what telecoms need to build quality networks
Xplore Technologies' latest blog looks at the fierce competition between telecom providers where pricing wars and special teaser deals are used to gain and retain customers. However, long-term retention and profitability, says Xplore, remains dependent on service reliability and the delivery of innovative, on-demand, cross-platform technologies, And this, the blog states, is why several of the top U.S.-based global telecom operators have invested so significantly in rugged tablet technologies for their mobile workforce over the past decade. [See Rugged tablet quality: Just what telecoms need to build quality networks] -- Posted Monday, March 7, 2016

Advantech's Smart Factory Road Show
Advantech alerts to a series of road shows that discuss the future of manufacturing, and changes that are being made to factories to make them more intelligent and connected. Concepts and technologies such as Industry 4.0, 3D printing, intelligent robots, and intelligent "things" make smart(er) manufacturing possible. Advantech and Gexpro invite you to join them in Sacramento, Calif., on April 14 for their Smart Factory Roadshow. [See registration, and Roadshow Preview video] -- Posted Friday, March 4, 2016

Full review: RuggON VM-521 vehicle-mount computer
With the VM-521, RuggON Corporation provides an elegant, meticulously designed and finished ultra-rugged vehicle mount computer for use in a very wide variety of deployments that require a solid, fixed-mount system. With a compact footprint that allows mounting almost anywhere, the very solid all-metal VM-521 addresses the needs of customers who require tablet computer power and functionality, but in a much more substantial package. [See full review of the RuggON VM-521 vehicle-mount computer] -- Posted Thursday, March 3, 2016

GammaTech partners with En-Net Services to bring its rugged computers to government agencies
GammaTech announced its newest partnership with En-Net, an information technology solutions supplier to public sector and government entities throughout the US. This partnership gives all En-Net customers access to GammaTech’s entire Durabook line of rugged mobile computing solutions. [See GammaTech media release] -- Posted Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Report: Global Medical Tablet PC Market 2016
QY Market Research offers "The Global Medical Tablet PC Industry 2016 Market Research Report" on the current state of the Medical Tablet PC industry. The report is said to focus on leading industry players with company profiles, product pics and specs, capacity, production, price, cost, revenue and contact info. There's analysis of upstream raw materials, equipment and downstream consumers analysis, as well as analysis of Medical Tablet PC industry development trends and marketing channels. (Note: we have not seen the report, nor does the release contain any data) [See Global Medical Tablet PC Market 2016] -- Posted Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Case study: Rugged Nautiz X4 handhelds improve logistics and cargo monitoring for a Scandinavian transport company
Handheld Group reports that Scandic Trans, a transport provider in Finland, has chosen Handheld's Nautiz X4 rugged handheld computers to meet their needs of logistical management, full communication capabilities and real-time cargo monitoring in every environmental condition. The Nautiz X4 also makes their jobs easier while saving time and increasing efficiency. [See case study] -- Posted Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Samwell announces availability of RUGGEDBOOK SR820s
Samwell reports that the first batch of their well-received RUGGEDBOOK SR820s has been sold out and a new production run is underway. The SR820s represents a major performance upgrade to Samwell's long-running, popular SR820 rugged tablet platform. Users of the original SR820 can expect a massive speed and responsiveness improvement, especially if they are migrating from older units with rotating storage. -- Posted Monday, February 29, 2016

Xamarin acquisition changes Microsoft's Android porting strategy
Microsoft has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Xamarin, a provider of native mobile development tools. This has an impact on Microsoft's project "Astoria," the Windows Bridge for Android, which is now discontinued. In a February 25 Windows blog, Microsoft says, "For those developers who spent time investigating the Android Bridge, we strongly encourage you to take a look at the iOS Bridge and Xamarin as great solutions." -- Posted Friday, February 26, 2016

Advantech sees revenue growth in 2015
Digitimes reports that Advantech has announced consolidated revenues of NT$38 billion (US$1.14 billion) for 2015, up 6.35% on year. In 2015, Advantech's revenues from the Greater China region accounted for 31% of the company's overall figure, following by North America's 29% and Europe's 15%. -- Posted Friday, February 26, 2016

Yet more that the naked eye can't see
As a follow-up on our article on the Cat S60 thermal imagining smartphone (see More than the naked eye can see), thermal imaging isn't everything that can now be done comprehensively and inexpensively in the field: FLIR also offers their GF343, a video camera that can visualize Carbon Dioxide (CO2) as part of their gas detection visualization series of cameras that can "see" a variety of gases (see FLIR gas detection systems). -- Posted Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sharp accepts Foxconn bailout, but it's not a done deal
Apparently, Foxconn is about to take control of Sharp in a deal that would have Foxconn control almost 2/3 of Sharp's stock. The ironic part here is that over the past two decades or so we've been witnessing the outsourcing of electronics production to so-called contract manufacturers for cost reasons. The question, obviously, becomes whether the outsourcing was inevitable, or short-sighted. As is, it appears not to be a done deal just yet (see Foxconn Casts Doubt on Sharp Deal After Winning Board Vote). -- Posted Thursday, February 25, 2016

MobileDemand introduces tough xCase for Surface tablets
Here's a whopper: MobileDemand introduced the xCase for Surface. Big deal? You bet. Somehow, unexpectedly, Microsoft managed to make their Surface tablets an impressive success. By some estimates, they sold six million Surfaces in 2015. Unfortunately, as sleek, elegant and powerful as Surface tablets are, they are not rugged. And that limits their use in the enterprise and in the field. MobileDemand plans on changing that with the new xCase, which is not just any case. The company has compiled a lot of experience in designing rugged enclosures with their Flex tablets, and their rugged Surface case builds on that. There's a tough, rubber-lined exo-skeleton, big rubber bumpers, protected ports, a hand strap, a briefcase handle, a shoulder strap, adjustable kickstand, a good type cover keyboard, and even an optional vehicle mount. With this, the formerly fragile Surface passes an enhanced MIL-STD-810G drop test. And opens entirely new rugged tablet horizons. [See the new xCase for Surface at MobileDemand] -- Posted Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Getac adds 1080p-capable rugged camera to Veretos
Getac announced its new 1080p-capable Veretos Body Worn Camera for law enforcement officers walking the beat or patrolling in their cruisers. The body worn camera joins Getac’s Veretos Video System, which includes an in-car mobile video recording system engineered for use in law enforcement vehicles to capture all activities in and around the vehicle as they happen. When combined with the recently introduced Veretos Cloud secure evidence management and file storage technology, the Veretos system becomes a comprehensive law enforcement solution for mobile, wearable, and building surveillance video and audio capture. [See Getac Veretos system>/a>] -- Posted Wednesday, February 24, 2016

U.S. Army Reserve Selects DT Research's DT311H rugged tablet for training missions
DT Research, which specializes in the development of information appliances for vertical markets, announced the U.S. Army Reserve has selected the Intel Broadwell-powered 11.6-inch and IP65-sealed DT311H rugged tablet to support their training missions. The DT311H offers ratings for water and dust resistance (IP65), shock and vibration protection (MIL-STD-810G), EMI and EMC tolerance (MIL-STD-461F), and is also HERO (Hazard of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordnance) certified and NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) compliant. [See DTResearch media release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 24, 2016

DigiTimes: AMD may hit new lows in market share
There was a time when AMD processors were a credible and fairly popular alternative to Intel's chips. And, more recently, a time where AMD and Nvidia went head-to-head in the discrete GPU market. Now DigiTimes says that AMD's market share may hit new lows in both categories. -- Posted Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cat S60 — IP68-sealed rugged Android smartphone with integrated thermal imaging camera
Caterpillar — yes, Caterpillar — introduced the Cat S60, which the company calls "the world's first thermal imaging smartphone." The Snapdragon 617 octa-core powered Android Marshmallow phone has a bright 540 nits 4.7-inch procap display that can handle wetness and gloves. Ruggedness specs are quite impressive with a 6-foot drop, and what appears to be IP68 sealing. The Cat S60 is said to be waterproof down to 17 feet for an hour, and its 13mp documentation camera can supposedly be used underwater. And it has a built-in FLIR Lepton module. So you get thermal imaging built right into your rugged smartphone. [see Catphones media release and our lengthy assessment at Cat S60 — More than the naked eye can see] -- Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2016

CalAmp introduces rugged TTU-2840XTreme trailer tracking unit designed for extreme environments
CalAmp announced the TTU-2840XTreme, a high value asset tracking device designed to operate in extreme environmental conditions. The IP68-sealed rugged device is ideal for tracking trailers, containers and other assets that are exposed to the elements. The device includes GPS,d supports 4G LTE, GPRS, CDMA 1xRTT and HSPA, and is compatible with both 12- and 24-volt vehicle power systems. The TTU-2840XTreme uses an on-board alert system that continuously monitors the vehicle environment and responds instantly to pre-defined threshold conditions such as time, date, motion, location, geo-zone and directly instrumented inputs. -- Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Panasonic announces two more fully rugged handheld tablets
Panasonic announced that it is complementing its growing handheld tablet lineup with fully rugged 4.7-inch IP67-sealed handhelds available either with Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise or Android 5.1.1. Powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, the Toughpad FZ-F1 (Windows) and FZ-N1 (Android) offer glove-touch and rain-sensing procap displays with optional active pen, up to 500 nits brightness, integrated ergonomically angled scanner, 5mp/8mp cameras, and a 6-foot drop spec. Pricing starts at US$1,500. [See description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook FZ-F1 and Toughbook FZ-N1] -- Posted Monday, February 22, 2016

Case study: Incheon Airport chooses ARBOR Technology to manage its flight information system
Soul's Incheon International Airport is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world. Consistently rated among the best airports worldwide, Incheon handles an average of 1,600 daily flights, placing enormous importance on performance, simplicity and durability of flight information and baggage control systems. In a new case study, ARBOR Technology proudly points out that their ELIT-1650 IPC filled on those requirements as well as various airport construction specifications, and 800 units have been installed at Incheon International Airport, providing efficient and durable service for hundreds of thousands of passengers passing through this airport. [See Case study -- Incheaon Airport, Korea] -- Posted Friday, February 19, 2016

Xplore on true and genuine protection against environmental threats
Xplore Technologies' increasingly detailed and sophisticated blog takes a look at the sad fact that not all rugged tablets are in fact rugged enough. [See Military-Grade Rugged Tablets Must Prove Genuine Protection against Environmental Threats] -- Posted Thursday, February 18, 2016

CipherLab USA announces partnership with Petrosoft
CipherLab USA, an AIDC technology company, announced a strategic partnership with Petrosoft, an end-to-end retail automation company. This partnership expands CipherLab’s distribution channel and market presence by leveraging Petrosoft’s end-to-end retail solutions as well as its sales, support, training and marketing expertise. Sergey Gorlov, President and CEO of Petrosoft. “The CipherLab 9700 is the only inventory scanner included in Petrosoft’s product catalog. Our decision to add CipherLab to the company’s POS, made-to-order, back-office and fuel management technology is based on the company’s product reputation, value and ease of integration with C-Store Office, Petrosoft’s back-office solution." -- Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Reality check: where does leading edge mobile hardware stand?
When assessing how a particular area or niche of the overall computing market compares to the absolute leading edge, one only has to look at the latest in consumer smartphones. Case in point: Hothardware.com's assessment of the Huawei Mate 8, a 6-inch smartphone with 8mp front and 16mp rear camera with optical image stabilization, eight sensors, and 11.5 hour battery life. Hothardware.com was underwhelmed by its mere "mainstream" 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixel) resolution but quite intrigued by the device's octal-core 64-bit, 16nm, ARM Cortex A72-based Kirin 950 processor made by Huawei's own semiconductor design house called HiSilicon that beat all competition in most major benchmark scores. [See HotHardWare's review of the Huawei Mate 8] -- Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Advantech unveils embedded computing platforms with integrated IoT remote management software
Advantech unveiled its full range of embedded computing platforms based on the the Intel "Braswell" Pentium/Celeron N3000 family of processors. These include the SOM-3568, SOM-6868 and SOM-7568 COM modules, the PCM-9310 and MIO-2030 SBCs, the AIMB-216 industrial motherboard; as well as the ARK-3405 fanless embedded Box PC. All are equipped with multiple OS, value-added software, and built-in intelligent management technology, such as WISE-PaaS/RMM, an IoT device remote monitoring and management platform for ensuring continuous system uptime and reduced maintenance costs. [See Advantech media release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2016

u-blox brings centimeter-level precision GNSS technology to the mass market
u-blox has launched the NEO-M8P GNSS receiver modules delivering performance down to centimeter-level accuracy (which we assume means below 1 meter/3.3 feet). Measuring a tiny 12.2 x 16 x 2.4 mm, NEO-M8P is the smallest high precision GNSS RTK (real time kinematic) module available for GPS and GLONASS satellite-based navigation systems. The rover with the u-blox NEO‑M8P‑0 receives corrections from the u-blox base receiver NEO-M8P-2 via a communication link that uses the RTCM (Radio Technical Commission for Maritime Services) protocol, enabling centimeter-level positioning accuracy, making the modules ideal for for applications such as unmanned vehicles and robotic guidance systems. [See u-blox media release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Keeping an eye on the level of technology offered in consumer tech: Dell Venue 8
With the massive global reach of smartphones and tablets, what consumers expect from their personal gear has a direct impact of what they expect from rugged gear. With that in mind, we bought a Dell Venue 8 Series 7000 tablet so we could examine it in detail. What can Dell's 8.4-inch consumer/business Android tablet do? What's the technology inside the US$399 list device? How does it feel and handle? And what can rugged mobile computing manufacturers learn from it? [Read Keeping an eye on the level of technology offered in consumer tech: Dell Venue 8] -- Posted Monday, February 15, 2016

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Arbor M1256
Advantech PPC-L61T
Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR858
Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR820
Socket Somo 650rx
Juniper Systems Allegro MX
Parvus Zypad WR1100
Handheld U.S. Kenaz R100 GPS
GammaTech Durabook RT10
VarTech SuperCube
GD Itronix GD8000
Motion Computing J3400
Dell Latitude E6400 XFR
Panasonic Toughbook H1
Motorola MC55 EDA
TabletKiosk MediSlate i1040XT
RMT Duros 1214
Trimble Tablet
Winmate IA80 Tablet PC
VIA AMOS-3000
Advantech ARK-3399
Trimble Yuma
StealthBOX Warrior
Glacier Ridgeline Q100
Glacier Ridgeline T600/T650
Mentor Ranger
Dell Latitude XT2
Panasonic Toughbook 52
Datalux Tracer
GD-Itronix GD6000
LXE VX8
LXE VX9
Winmate V280
DT Research WebDT 400
Handheld U.S. M3 Mobile
Case study: GD-Itronix MR-1
Advantech AIMB-256
DT Research WebDT 520
Fujitsu Esprimo MA
RMT SwitchBack
VIA VIPRO VP770
RAM Mounts for Panasonic U1
Panasonic Toughbook H1
DRS ARMOR X10
Fujitsu LifeBook U820
Fujitsu LifeBook P1630
RMT DAP CE8640B
Xplore iX104C4
Sonim XP1 rugged phone
Motorola VC6096
Advantech TREK-775
Fujitsu Stylistic ST6012
Panasonic Toughboook F8
Panasonic Toughboook T8
Advantech VITA-350E
Lenovo ThinkPad X200t
Psion Teklogix NEO
NEC PNC
GETAC P470
Intermec CK3
Motion LE1700
HP Elitebook 2730P
Xplore Technologies iX104C4
Two Technologies Hydrus
Motion Computing F5
Juniper Allegro MX Field PC
Aceeca MEZ1500
2 Technologies Jett.eye
Electrovaya SC-4000
Secure Comm Lynx
Secure Comm Orion
Fujitsu LifeBook T1010
Fujitsu LifeBook T5010
RMT Duros
Advantech MARS-1030
GETAC B300
Panasonic CF-U1
Datalogic Kyman
Averatec Voya 6400
Lenovo ThinkPad X61
LXE VX3XPlus
Advantech MARS-3100S
LXE MX3XPlus
Motorola MC75
GETAC E100
Advantech MARS-3100R
Handheld US M3 Mobile
Trimble GeoExplorer 2008
NEXCOM 2100 Series
Averatec Voya 4600
Averatec Voya 4400
DT Research WebDT 520
Panasonic Toughbook W7
DRS ARMOR C12 full
Gateway C-141
GETAC B300
GETAC P470
General Dynamics Sectera Edge
DRS ARMOR X10
DRS ARMOR C12
Dell Latitude XFR D630
GD-Itronix Duo-Touch II
AMREL MRK8
Casio DT-X7
LXE Tx700
LXE Tx800
Roper Mobile Duros
DT Research WebDT 310
DT Research WebDT 360
Psion Teklogix ikôn Rugged PDA
Intermec CV30
Intermec CV60
Wyse X90Le thin client
Ricoh 500SE
Intermec CK61EX
Fujitsu Lifebook P1620
GETAC E100
Panasonic CF-30 update
Metrologic SP5700
MobileDemand xTablet T8700
Data Ltd DLI 8300
Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC
Toshiba Portege R500
Juniper Systems Archer
LXE MX8
Intermec CK32IS
Intermec CN3
Dell ATG D630
Symbol MC35
Psion Teklogix WorkAbout Pro G2
4P FDA600
4P FDA300
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)
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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