Honeywell Thor CV31|
Now part of Honeywell, Intermec's next-gen small, rugged fixed mount computer is a major technology step forward
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
Those familiar with the Intermec CVxx line of rugged fixed mount computers, may wonder why the CV31, introduced November 2014, is now listed as the Thor CV31 on the Honeywell AIDC website, especially since the Intermec site continues to show the CV30, CV41 and CV61 as Intermec products, though Intermec is now part of Honeywell. The "Thor" brand, of course, came from LXE, which Honeywell bought out in 2011, and even LXE probably got the "Thor" brand from Swedish Akerstroms Trux, a company that was acquired by LXE in early 2008. It gets confusing.
As is, while the CV31, introduced late 2014, resembles the CV30 in size and design, it is an entirely more modern and much more powerful product in most respects. It remains a small, rugged, and very compact fixed mount computer that can be used in vehicles or stationary applications. With a footprint of 7.50 x 6.95 inches, a thickness of 2.15 inches, and a weight of just over three pounds, it fits almost anywhere. I said in "most" respects because its 6.4-inch VGA display remains at the old 640 x 480 pixel VGA resolution and touch is still of the resistive variety, but the LED backlight is now a much brighter 600 nits (vs. 350 nits in the CV30). A screen defroster remains optionally available.
Just as in the past, this next generation vehicle-mount CV3x product does not run full Windows. Instead, it uses Windows Embedded Compact 7. It is powered by a dual-core 1.5GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor, a far more powerful chip than was used in the Intermec CV30, and one that is used in several state-of-the-art (as of 2014) rugged tablets. There is a full gig of RAM and 16GB of flash memory, both far more than was available in the CV30. Additional memory expansion is via a microSD Card that can handle up to 32GB. What continues from the CV30 is the CV31's wealth of onboard interfaces: there are two USB 2.0 host ports with DB15 locking connectors, a standard RJ45 LAN port, as well as two DB9 legacy serial ports.
For wireless communication, the CV31 has integrated 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth V4.0 BLE Class 1.5. Data collection scanner support is either via tethered serial connection to a bar code scanner or RFID scanner, or via Bluetooth to selected peripherals. There's a backup battery should the vehicle-supplied DC power fail or get disconnected.
Despite its small size, the CV31 is a very rugged device. It is sealed to IP66 specifications, which means it is dustproof and, short of total immersion, totally waterproof, even against high pressure water jets. Operating temperature spans a very wide range from -22 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit, and the CV31 can handle the shocks and vibrations likely to be encountered in a vehicle.
It's unfortunate that part of Intermec's and LXE's product lines now appear to be caught up in Honeywell's corporate naming confusion, but the product itself, the CV31, is definitely a major step forward and an attractive solution for anyone seeking a small and handy, yet very powerful and versatile, hardware component of a supply chain project.