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Honeywell Thor VX8

Robust Windows-based vehicle mount computer
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

LXE introduced the VX8 vehicle-mount computer in January 2009. The machine is based on the Triton Tx800 vehicle mount computer made by Swedish Akerstroms Trux, a company that was acquired by LXE in February of 2008. The new VX8 is manufactured by LXE, a division of wireless connectivity solutions provider EMS Technologies, Inc., which was acquired by Honeywell in 2011. The image below shows the VX8 from the front and from the side with one of the multiple RAM Mount mounting options.

The VX8 is a compact, rugged vehicle-mount computer with a tough, shock-resistant magnesium housing and impressive IP65 sealing. The computer measures 11 x 9 inches and is three inches thick. It weighs under eight pounds and can be installed in vehicles with a shock-absorbing mounting bracket system. The VX8 has a 10.4-inch SVGA (800 x 600 pixel) display with a powerful 400 nit backlight (standard notebooks usually have around 200 nits). A brighter (800 nits) outdoor display is optionally available, as is a panel defroster.

The VX8 is powered either by a (non-specified) 1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or a (also non-specified) 1.6GHz Intel Atom processor. It is a full Windows machine that can either be run with Windows 7 or XP Professional or Windows Embedded Standard 2009 (not sure what OS an Atom-based version would run). 1GB or 2GB of RAM are complemented by either a 16GB SSD or up to four GB of Flash, depending on the OS used. Also available is also an 80GB automotive-grade hard disk. No cooling fan is required. The VX8 runs on DC vehicle power, but also has an internal Li-Polymer backup battery.

As shown below, the VX8 excels in connectivity and configurability.

There are two PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse, two serial ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a multipurpose connector, video out, RJ45 10/100 Ethernet, as well as audio in/out and an external antenna socket. Inside the computer are two mini-PCI slots, another USB 2.0 port and an optional PC Card slot.

For connectivity, the VX8 offers internal 802.11a/b/g WiFi, Bluetooth as well as GSM/GPRS/EDGE, HSDPA/UMTS/WCDMA WWAN options.

At the panel's initial January 2009 introduction, Richard Adams, LXE's vice president of marketing, said "In this difficult economic climate, our customers require more options that allow for cost-sharing across their organizations. With these new Windows XP vehicle-mounted computers, LXE offers a broad product line to meet customers' specific rugged computing requirements. The VX8 and VX9 enable organizations to run more advanced applications, but still leverage existing computer support resources. That, combined with LXE's industry-leading customer service and support network, can equate to greater cost savings, flexibility and reliability."

By January 2010, the name had changed to LXE VX8 Kärf (a historic agile Viking vessel), high performance Intel Core 2 Duo and low power Intel Atom processor options were added, there was more storage, and units equipped with the two new processors could be ordered with a LED backlight that offered significantly better contrast.

After the takeover of LXE by Honeywell in 2011, the device was renamed to Honeywell Thor VX8.

Specifications Honeywell Thor VX8
Intel GMA 950
Status Added 01/2009, updated 01/2010, 09/2013
Form-factor Rugged vehicle mount computer
CPU 1.5GGHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1.6GHz Intel Atom
OS Windows 7 Pro, XP Pro or WES 2009
RAM min/max 1GB/2GB
Hard Drive 80GB 2.5" automotive-grade hard disk, 16GB SSD, 2/4/8GB Compact Flash
Card slots 2 Mini-PCI, 1 PC Card
Display type TFT, 400 nit, automatic brightness adjustment; optional 800-nit outdoor viewable version
Display size/res 10.4"/800 x 600 pixel
Digitizer/pens resistive touch/NA (hardened panel and defroster panel optional)
Keyboard/keys Onscreen, optional external keyboard
Housing Magnesium
Operating Temp -22° to 122°F (-30° to 50°C)
Sealing IP65
Shock According to IEC 60068-2-29, Test Eb
Size (WxHxD) 11.0 x 9.0 x 3.0 inches (279 x 229 x 77 mm)
Weight 7.7 lbs. (2.9kg)
Power External 10-150V DC, integrated Li-Polymer maintenance UPS
Interface 2 x PS/2, 2 x RS232, 2 x USB 2.0, audio in/out, RJ45 10/100 LAN, multi-purpose, antenna; options: PC Card
Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, GSM/GPRS/EDGE, HSDPA/UMTS/WCDMA
List price inquire
Web page Thor VX8 product page
Datasheet Thor VX8 contact and datasheet
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