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Janam XG3

Rugged gun-style Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 mobile computer offers scanning options, compact size, and low weight
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Janam is a New York-based rugged mobile computing vendor with worldwide distribution. The company was established in 2006 as a provider of purpose-built rugged handheld computing devices for mobile workers. In May 2015, the company introduced the Janam XG3, a gun-style rugged mobile computer designed to provide effortless scan-intensive operation in a compact device that doesn't weigh its users down.

The new XG3 is the latest in Janam's XG Series that was initially launched with the Windows CE-based XG100 in January of 2009 and then complemented with a Windows Mobile version in October of the same year. From the start, the XG Series brought innovation to the market. An example was placing the battery into the handle, thus lowering the center of gravity for a light and well-balanced feel. In January of 2012, Janam added the XG105 with laser-based barcode scanning instead of a CMOS imager and a number of other improvements, most notably a higher resolution 480 x 640 pixel full VGA display.

The gun-style form factor remains optimal for a large number of scanning applications, but technology moves on, and that's the primary reason for the new Janam XG3. There is no need for contemporary smartphone glitz in these scanner handhelds; it's ruggedness, maturity and compatibility with existing enterprise systems and applications that matters. That, and the smallest possible size and weight, and Janam claims that the XG3 is the lightest industrial-grade device in its class.

From a technical perspective, the Janam XG3 remains built on field-proven vertical market mobile computing hardware and software. For processing power, the device uses a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 chip. There's 512MB of RAM and 1GB of storage, plus extra storage via user-accessible micro-SDHC card. On the software side, the XG3 comes with the still widely used Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 that continues to have ample and wide-ranging support.

The very bright portrait-oriented analog touchscreen display measures 3.5 inches diagonally, a bit smaller than the 3.7-inch display of the XG105, and uses 480 x 640 pixel VGA resolution that provides excellent sharpness. Operation is primarily via passive stylus, and there are also function keys and a navigation diamond.

For size, the XG3 measures 3.1 x 8.3 inches, with the gun-style handle making the device about 7.4 inches tall. The system, including handle, weighs about 1.35 pounds. Note that customers have the choice between a 34-key numeric and a 57-key alphanumeric keypad.

Unlike the Janam XG100 that came with an imager and the XG105 which came with a laser for scanning, one of the attractions of the new Janam GX3 is that it offers the choice of two industrial grade scanners, a laser from Motorola (Zebra now) and an imager from Honeywell.

The Motorola SE965 is a laser scanner for heavy-duty 1D scanning. The powerful little engine has an exceptional range from near contact all the way to 15 feet. It does that with adaptive image scanning technology that automatically toggles between a wide and narrow scan angle until a barcode is detected. It's fast, too, with a theoretical top speed of over 100 scans per second. For a detailed description of the SE965, see here.

The Honeywell N5600 is a miniature 1D/2D area imager using the time-proven Adaptus 6.0 Imaging Technology. It reads both bar codes and OCR fonts, uses a green aiming LED, and with Standard Range optics has a read range between an inch and about a foot and a half, depending on the symbology. For a detailed description of the N5600, see here.

Wireless communication in the XG3 is quicker than in the older units, with dual-band 801.11a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. And the XG3 supports Voice over IP.

In the ruggedness and durability department, the XG3 can handle multiple six-foot drops onto concrete like the other XG Series models, but it carries higher IP65 sealing and has a wider operating temperature range from -4 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot-swappable Li-Ion battery is good enough for full-shift operation.

Janam optimized the XG3 for operations across manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, plant floors, loading docks and other harsh environments where rugged mobile computers with gun-shape handles are the preferred solution. The device is clearly designed as a workhorse based on tried-and-true, mature technology and capable of handling abuse on the job.

Update September 10, 2015: Janam announced an additional version of the XG3. The XG3-ER version includes the Intermec EX25 near/far imager with auto-focus that offers a 6-inches to more than 50 feet barcode reading range that is 30% greater than competitive scanners. The XG3-ER provides accurate, motion-tolerant scanning when lighting conditions are dim or the barcodes are damaged, obscured or placed on high shelving.

Specifications Janam XG3
Added/changed Added 05/2015, updated 12/2015
Form-factor Gun-style rugged mobile computer
CPU Speed ARM Cortex-A8/1 GHz
OS Microsoft Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5
Card slots 1 user-accessible micro-SDHC
Display type Sunlight-readable TFT (600 nits)
Display size/res 3.5"/480 x 640 pixels
Digitizer/pens Analog resistive touch
Keyboard/keys 34-key numeric and 57-key alpha-numeric keypad options
Navigation touch, stylus, keypad
Housing Plastic/rubber
Operating Temp -4° to 140°F (-20° to 60°C)
Sealing IP65
Shock Multiple 6 foot drops to concrete
Size (WxHxD) 3.1 x 7.4 x 8.3 inches (188 x 79 x 211 mm)
Weight 21.7 oz. (644g) with battery and gun handle
Power Hot-swappable 5,200 mAH Li-Ion
Interface USB 2.0, 3.5mm audio in, speaker
Wireless Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Scanner Motorola SE965 laser OR Honeywell N5600 1D/2D Adaptus; 09/2015: XG3-ER model offers Intermec EX25 near/far imager
Safety CSA C22.2 No.60950-1-03; UL60950; EN60950-1; EN60825
EMI FCC Part 15B
RF FCC Part 15B and 15C, RSS-210, ICES-003
ESD +/-15kVDC air; +/-8kVDC contact
Price TBA
Product brochure Janam XG3 specs (PDF)
Web page Janam XG3 web
Contact Janam Technologies LLC
100 Crossways Park West, Ste 105
Woodbury, NY 11797
Phone: 1-877-526-2699
Fax: 1-516-320-8031
Web: www.janam.com