Honeywell (LXE) MX9|
Ultra-rugged, high-performance mobile computer
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
Introduced by LXE in August of 2009, the now Honeywell MX9 is a family of ultra-rugged handhelds designed for use in a variety of heavy industrial and outdoor data collection environments. At first look, the new MX9 appears to be similar to the company's MX8 handheld, but the MX9 is a larger, heavier and tougher device, more like the LXE MX5. And as is usually the case with new LXE devices, it is based on state-of-the-art technology.
The MX9 measures just 3.9 x 9.9 x 2.7 inches and weighs just over two pounds in a typical configuration. This is a tough tool for the job, as also evidenced by the large, outdoor-readable 3.7-inch touchscreen display. Resolution appears to remain at 240 x 320 pixel. There are two keyboard options, a 38-key numeric alpha or a 62-key alpha-numeric layout, both backlit, with 10 dedicated function keys and user-defined keys. A TN5200 emulation overlay is available for the 62-key model.
The MX9 runs Windows CE 5.0 Professional on the 800MHz version of the speedy, powerful Marvell PXA320 processor. The device comes with 128MB of RAM and 128MB of ROM, and there is a SD card slot for additional memory expansion up to 4GB. For barcode scanning, customers may opt for a standard range laser, an all-range laser good for scanning between four inches and 40 feet, or a 2D imager. The MX9 has a USB host and client interfaces as well as powered RS232 and Ethernet. With typical usage, the battery is good for a full shift.
While all LXE computers are rugged, the MX9 is probably the most rugged LXE machine yet. It survives 6-foot drops to concrete, operates between -4 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit, and carries an impenetrable IP67 ingress protection rating. That means it is fully dust and waterproof. LXE also subjected the MX9 to a tumble test (2,000 tumbles from 3.3 feet).
Wireless connectivity is via onboard 802.11b/g (or, optionally, 802.11a/b/g) as well as Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR. GPS is standard, and LXE also equipped the MX9 with its "ToughTalk" technology, a system that uses advanced audio and noise cancellation techniques for industrial-grade voice logistics applications.
There are currently three members in the MX9 family. There's the basic MX9 described here, the MX9CS that's built for freezer and cold storage applications, and the MX9HL which is compliant with
Class 1 Div. 2 Hazardous Location environments.