Rugged enterprise digital assistant
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
Following up on the quite successful MC70 Series that was introduced in January of 2006 by Symbol Technologies, Motorola launched the MC75 Series of "Enterprise Digital Assistants," or EDAs, in June of 2008. The
very compact handhelds (6 x 3.3 x 1.7 inches and weighing under a pound)
combine PDA functionality with mobile phone, wireless communicator, scanner and imager into a
single device designed to withstand significant environmental punishment.
Sealing is up to IP54 standards, the devices can withstand five
foot drops to concrete, and operate within a range of 14 to 122 degrees
Motorola stayed with the 624MHz Marvell PXA270
processor which still provides good computing power and boosted storage
to 128MB of RAM and 256MB of ROM. The MC75 runs Microsoft Windows Mobile
6.0 Professional. The display is
a 3.5-inch diagonal transflective TFT with a glass analog resistive touch
screen. Resolution is up from 240 x 320 QVGA to full 480 x 640 VGA, a huge improvement. Battery power has also been boosted substantially, from 1,900 to 3,600 mAH, and an optional even more powerful smart battery in an extended battery cap is available.
Expandability is via a user accessible SDIO slot. Onboard connectivity
includes USB 1.1, RS-232, speaker, microphone, headset jack. Ethernet is available via cradle.
On the wireless voice and data communications side, the MC75 supports 3G HSDPA and CDMA-EVDO as well as tri-mode 802.11a/b/g WiFi. The MC75 is fully
Voice-over-IP ready. It also comes with Bluetooth Class II. For data capture, the
MC70 offers either a 1D linear pr a 2D imager. The Linear 1D scanner uses the SE800HP
engine whereas the 2D Imager is based on the SE 4400 engine that has a 640 x
480 optical resolution. A 2 megapixel camera with flash can take images as well as decode 1D and 2D bar codes.
For operation, the MC75 offers multiple QWERTY and
numeric keypad options. Like its Symbol-branded predecessors, the now Motorola-branded MC75 can be ordered with a wealth of peripherals,
including trigger handle, vehicle and single slot cradles, belt clips,
magnetic stripe reader attachment, numerous cables, and also multiple unit
cradles and charger.
Motorola designed the MC75 to provide mobile workers with
everything they need to increase productivity and efficiency indoors and
outdoors, from field workers reading meters and repairing
equipment to drivers delivering packages, hospital workers checking lab
results and medication orders, and more. According to Motorola, the predecessor MC70 sold almost half a million units.
Like most recent vertical market handhelds, the MC75 comes with integrated GPS. This allows organisations with field-based employees, such as postal companies, to track and manage dynamic, real-time tasking, as well as verify specific locations of activities and provide mobile workers with pinpoint navigation support to improve location-based productivity.