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Janam XM66 and XM60+

A couple of versatile Windows CE/Mobile based rugged handhelds
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Janam is a New York-based rugged mobile computing vendor with worldwide distribution. The company was established in January of 2006 as a provider of purpose-built rugged handheld computing devices for mobile workers. The XM Series of Windows-based rugged PDA-style mobile computers was introduced in late 2009 to answer the need for compact, versatile, rugged, pocketable and reasonably priced industrial handhelds.

What's different about the two models? Well, the XM60+ is based on Windows CE 5.0 whereas the XM66 uses Windws Mobile 6.1. Other than that, the two models are pretty much identical (the different keypad configurations shown in the picture above are available for both models).

What is the difference between Windows CE 5.0 and Windows Mobile 6.1? For several years, Microsoft was differentiating between the basic and developer-oriented bare Windows CE, and the friendlier and more enduser-oriented Windows Mobile that essentially sits on top of Windows CE. Companies who plan on creating their own custom apps, or who will primarily use the devices to run a single software application, often prefer the lean and bare Windows CE platform. Those who use their devices for a variety of purposes, including browsing, email, office and PIM apps, etc., may prefer Windows Mobile.

Those familiar with Microsoft's mini OS may wonder why Janam isn't equipping the devices with the latest versions, those being Windows CE 6.0 and Windows Mobile 6.5, respectively (or Windows Embedded Compact 7 or Windows Embedded Handheld... it can get pretty confusing there). The answer likely is that successive versions of Windows CE ad Windows Mobile differ significantly and are often not upgradeable. As a result, some companies may continue to stay with an older version that suits their operations better than a more recent one that would require all new hardware and software.

In terms of hardware, the XM60+ and XM66 Series are traditional rugged handhelds with classic 3.5-inch 240 x 320 pixel QVGA stylus-operated displays. Each model can be ordered either with a classic backlit PDA keypad (just function keys, nav pad and scanner button) or with a backlit numeric keypad for more rapid data entry. Where the duo differs from most traditional PDA/Pocket PC products is in their choice of processor. Here, Janam chose the 533MHz Freescale i.MX31, an ARM-based chip used in millions of industrial and consumer embedded devices, and one that Janam feels outperforms competing designs.

In terms of size, the XM60+ and XM66 measure 3.1 x 5.75 x 1.3 inches and weigh about ten ounces, which is pretty much the size and weight conventional PDAs and Pocket PCs used to be. It's certainly pocketable, and considering the ruggedness of the platform and the fact that it also includes an industrial quality 1D/2D CMOS imager, that's a nice package.

As data capture devices, the aforementioned integrated Adaptus 752 x 480 pixel CMOS imager can read and decode a large variety of 1D and 2D codes and symbologies. There is also a user-accessible micro-SDHC card slot for extra storage. For wireless communication there is either 802.11b/g or dual-band 802.11a/b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 and also—rare these days—IrDA.

In the ruggedness and durability department, the XM60+ and XM66 can handle respectable four-foot drops onto concrete, carry IP54 sealing, and can handle a wide operating temperature range from 14 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. The 7.4 watt-hours Li-Ion battery has the same capacity as Janam's Palm OS-based models that also share most of the physical design and dimensions.

With the XM60+ and XM66, Janam offers a couple of no-nonsense and well executed conventional ruggedized PDAs for data capture and numerous other field operations where Windows CE and Windows Mobile so far have remained almost completely unaffected by the iOS and Android tide that has taken the consumer smartphone market by storm.

Last but not least, note that Janam offers special antimicrobial versions of the XM Series models for use in healthcare settings. The entire device of those special versions is protected by an antimicrobial coating that kills microorganisms and protects against the spread of potentially harmful bacteria and microbes (see Janam Antimicrobial Series).

Specifications Janam XM60+/XM66
Added/changed Added 12/2011, updated 12/2015
Form-factor Rugged Windows CE/Mobile handhelds
CPU Speed Freescale i.MX31/533 MHz
OS Microsoft Windows CE 5.0 or Windows Mobile 6.1
Card slots 1 user-accessible micro-SD card slot
Display type 262k color TFT
Display size/res 3.5" 240 x 320 pixel QVGA
Digitizer/pens Analog resistive touch
Keyboard/keys Backlit PDA keypad (with 4-way navigation) or backlit numeric keypad
Navigation touch, stylus, keypad
Housing Plastic
Operating Temp 14° to 122°F (-10° to 50°C)
Sealing IP54 Category II
Shock Multiple 4 foot drops to concrete
Size (WxHxD) 3.1 x 5.75 x 1.2 inches (80 x 146 x 30 mm)
Weight 9.9 oz. (280g) with battery
Power Swappable 3.7V/2,000 mAH Li-Ion and rechargeable Li-Ion backup battery
Interface USB 2.0
Wireless 802.11b/g or 802.11a/b/g (Cisco CCX v4 certified), IrDA v1.2
Scanner 1D/2D Adaptus 752 x 480 pixel CMOS area imager
Safety CSA C22.2 No. 60950-1-03, EN60950-1:2001+A11
EMI FCC Part 15 Subpart B, EN55022:1998+A1: 2000+A2:2003, EN55024:1998+A1: 2000+A2:2003, ICES-003 Issue 4, AS/NZS CISPR 22:2006
ESD +/-15kVDC air; +/-8kVDC contact
Price US$750 to US$1,000 range
Product brochure Janam XM60+ specs (PDF)
Web page Janam XM60+
Janam XM66
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