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Datalogic Falcon X3+

Rugged, ergonomic flashlight-style handheld for retail and warehousing gets technology and feature enhancements
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

The Datalogic Falcon X3+ was introduced August 2014 as the next generation of the company's top-of-the-line PDT, available in hand-held and pistol grip versions, for real time data capture and communication in supply chains, retail and warehousing.

Datalogic, of course, already has an exceptionally comprehensive lineup of handheld terminals ranging from the the full-size Kyman, to the smaller flashlight-handheld Skorpio X3, the full-size Pegaso PDA, the thumb-type Elf PDA, and the Memor X3. What sets the updated Falcon handheld apart, however, is a wide range of available scanners, including the ability to read 2D barcodes at extreme distances with a new extra long range 2D scanner. As before, this latest Datalogic Falcon is also available in a pistol grip version for scanning-intensive applications where that configuration works best.

The Falcon X3+ is about nine inches long, 3.5 inches wide in the display part of the device, and a maximum of just over two inches thick. It weighs about 22 ounces without the pistol grip, and about 25 ounces with the grip. That's quite compact and light for a device in this class. The X3+'s resistive touch screen display measures 3.5 inches diagonally. It uses transflective technology that provides good daylight readability. The resolution remains at 240 x 320 pixel QVGA for Windows CE-based versions. Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 versions come with full 480 x 640 pixel VGA now, something RuggedPCReview had suggested in an earlier analysis of the original Falcon X3.

Keyboard/keypad layouts can make or break the usability of a handheld terminal, and so Datalogic offers the Falcon X3+ with two different layouts, a numeric version with 29 keys, and an alphanumeric version with a separate numeric keypad. The former lends itself to rapid numeric data input with its large keys, the latter is more conducive for frequent text entry. Each version also has navigational keys and a large orange scan key. Polycarbonate key caps and metal snap domes guarantee the kind of longevity and reliability demanded by the X3's third party logistics clientele.

On the processor side, Datalogic still uses a Marvell XScale PXA family chip, but moved from the 624MHz version of the still competent PXA610 chip to the quicker 810MHz PXA310. RAM remains at 256MB, but Flash has quadrupled to a full gigabyte, with additional storage available via an SDHC-supporting microSD card slot. For operating system software, customers still have a choice between Windows CE 6.0 R3 or Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5. Battery capacity increased slightly to 19.2 watt-hours, easily good for a full shift. There's pre-licensed Wavelink terminal emulation and Wavelink Avalanche, as well as Datalogic desktop, firmware and configuration utilities.

The Datalogic Falcon has always been an exceptionally rugged device, and the new X3+ is incrementally even more so. While the X3+ still has the very wide operating temperature range of -4 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit of its predecessor, making it suitable for use in almost any environment, including commercial freezers, sealing is now at the IP65 level (as we also suggested in our earlier analysis). That means the unit is totally dust-proof, and now also able to handle low pressure water jets from all directions. This'll do not only for warehouse duty, but also for virtually all outdoors applications. The drop spec is an impressive six feet; few handhelds fall from that high.

Datalogic handhelds have always offered fast and rapid reliable data capture and communication, and the Falcon X3+ provides additional improvements in those areas. Wifi is now considerably faster by switching from just 802.11a/b/g to full CCX v4 certified 802/a/b/g/n. Scanner options have also been expanded. In addition to either a high-performance or long laser scanner or standard range 1D/2D imager there is now also an extra long range imager, with standard range versions offering Datalogic's patented "Green Spot" technology. There is also a 3-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash.

With this latest update to X3+ status, Datalogic boosted the Falcon's speed, capabilities and usability, while retaining the platform's field-proven design.

Also see Datalogic's news release on the Falcon X3+.

Specifications Falcon X3+
Added/last update Added 08/2014
Form-factor Rugged flashlight-style handheld
CPU Speed Marvell PXA310/806 MHz with Cortex-M3 co-processor
OS Windows CE 6.0 R3 or Windows Mobile 6.5
RAM/ROM 256MB/1GB
Card slots 1 MicroSD (SDHC compatible)
Display type Transflective daylight-readable TFT
Display size/res 3.5"/240 x 320 (Windows CE) or 480 x 640 (WEHH), anti-reflective
Digitizer/pens touch/1
Keyboard/keys 29-key numeric or 52-key alpha-numeric keypads with polycarbonate hard caps
Navigation directional control, triggers
Housing Industrial polycarbonate/ABS-blend plastic shell with thermoplastic urethane overmold
Operating Temp -4° to 122°F (-20° to 50°C)
Sealing IP65
Shock 18 drops from 6 feet to concrete
Size (WxHxD) 3.5 x 8.9 x 2.2 inches (88 x 225 x 55 mm)
Weight 21.4 ounces (23.8 ounces with pistol grip)
Power Li-Ion 3.7V, 5,200mAh (19.2 watt-hours)
Interface USB host and client, RS232, Ethernet via single slot dock, audio, dock
Scanning Either high performance laser, long range laser, standard-range 1D/2D imager, or extra long range 1D/2D imager; 3-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash
Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n, Class 2 Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
List price Inquire
Web Datalogic Falcom X3+ page
Contact www.datalogic.com
Contact Falcon X3+ brochure (PDF)
Windows Mobile Info
  • Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld
  • Windows Embedded Compact 2013
  • Windows Embedded 8 Handheld
  • Windows Embedded Compact 7
  • Windows Embedded Handheld
  • Windows Phone 7
  • Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3
  • Windows Mobile 6.5
  • Windows Mobile 6
  • Windows CE 6.0
  • Windows Mobile 5
  • Windows CE 5.0
  • Windows Mobile Smartphone
  • Windows Mobile 2003
  • Windows CE .Net
  • Windows for Pocket PC 2002
  • Pocket PC intro 2000
  • Windows CE H/PC Pro 1998
  • Windows CE 2.0 1997
  • Datalogic Falcon X3+