Very rugged flashlight-style handheld
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
The GoBook Q200 was the successor of Itronix's successful Q100 ultra-rugged industrial PDA. Using a form factor that is between a PDA and a flashlight terminal, Itronix uses a 400MHz version of the durable PXA255 processor for power, Microsoft's CE .NET 4.2 OS for application development flexibility, and the longer form factor to give the device a full, backlit 52-key alphanumeric keypad. The large 3.7-inch 18-bit color display uses reflective TFT technology. Itronix offers a wide variety of integrated radio and scanner options as well as docks and cradles that provide additional functionality. The GoBook Q200's environmental specs, including a stellar IP67 rating, put it firmly into the ultra-rugged category. Radio options include the whole range of GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA, 802.11b/g is available as is Class II Bluetooth. Like its less powerful predecessor, this machine can handle any punishment, and Itronix has a superb reputation in support and assistance.
At a tour through the Itronix facilities in Spokane, we saw a video of a Q200 surviving an incredible 21 foot drop onto concrete. The concrete had a big nick, the Q200 didn't. The unit is RoHS compliant.
This machine is the same as the Itron FC200, where "FC" stands for Field Collector. As of May 2009, the FC200 is still listed as a current product on the Itron website (see here).
As far as Itron goes, mobile computing historians may remember that Itron Inc. started Itronix as a business unit in the late 1980s and then spun it off in 1992. While Itronix became part of Telxon, then Dynatech, which changed its name to Acterna and sold Itronix to an investment company before General Dynamics came in and formed General Dynamics Itronix around 2006, Itron itself is a global leader in advanced meter-reading gear. Itron which sells data collection handhelds and related products to about 3,000 utilities. With 85% of about 2.5 billion meters worldwide still being old electromagnetical devices that need replacement, Itron's modern smart metering systems and handhelds may be the replacement choice of numerous utilities.