Introduced in October of 2007 by LXE, the now Honeywell MX8 was designed as a wireless handheld data collection computer for supply chain execution applications. Those familiar with the LXE lineup of rugged handhelds will notice that the new MX8 looks very similar to the company's handheld flagship, the MX7. And the MX8 is indeed kind of a 7/8th scale version of the MX7. Being a newer design, it also uses the latest technology.
The MX8 measures just 2.8 x 7.6 x 1.8 inches and weighs about a pound without the optional pistol grip. That is remarkably small and makes the device perfect for scan-intensive applications and even retail storefront activities where small size matters. The very bright 2.8-inch 240 x 320 pixel touch display is smaller than that of the MX7, but still large enough. Data entry can be via onscreen forms or keyboards or the backlit 32-key numeric-alpha keypad.
The MX8 runs Windows CE 5.0 Professional (and as of May 2009 also Windows Mobile 6.1) on the 520MHz version of the Marvell PXA270 processor. The device comes with 128MB of RAM and 128MB of ROM, and there is a miniSD card slot for additional memory expansion. For barcode scanning, customers may opt for a standard range laser or a 1D or 2D imager. The MX8 also has a USB client interface and RS232. The battery is quite powerful and can run the MX8 for a full shift and beyond (up to ten hours).
Like its other handhelds, LXE designed the MX8 to be a rugged device. The ruggedness specs are slightly lower than those of the MX7, but still substantial. It survives 4-foot drops to concrete, operates between 14 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit, and carries an IP54 ingress protection rating. That means it is protected against dust and also against water spray from all directions.
Wireless connectivity is via onboard 802.11b/g as well as Bluetooth 2.0 EDR. LXE also equipped the MX8 with its "ToughTalk" technology, a system that uses advanced audio and noise cancellation techniques for industrial-grade voice logistics applications.
As of May 2009, LXE also offers Windows Mobile 6.1, which LXE states "is the most current version of the Windows Mobile operating systems for handheld computing devices for data collection. This operating system complements the existing version of the MX8 handheld computer with Windows CE 5.0. Both versions of the operating systems will be available for partners and customers to develop and run their applications."