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Zebra VH10

Compact, rugged wide-screen Windows CE 6.0-based forklift/vehicle-mount computer with integrated freeze protection
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Officially introduced May 14, 2013, the VH10 is a vehicle-mounted mobile computer intended for forklifts, straddle cranes and other vehicles used in warehouses, manufacturing plants and intermodal terminals to provide mobile workers with appropriate and instantly available computer power to make decisions and quickly respond to situations.

Those familiar with Psion's lineup of vehicle computers will quickly see in the new VH10 a larger, sturdier and more powerful version of the company's venerable 8515 (as well as generally the same concept as Motorola's VC6096).

The device is running Windows CE 6.0 on a 800MHz Texas Instruments OMAP3 processor. The device has 512MB of RAM and a gigabyte of Flash. There is an 8-inch touch screen with wide-format 800 x 480 pixel resolution. Viewability should be excellent between a very strong 640 nits LED backlight and (we assume) both anti-reflective and anti-glare coating. For comparison, the VH10's display is like having another quarter of width added to the older 8515's screen.

While the 8515 was made of high impact polycarbonate plastic, the new VH10 uses heftier cast aluminum construction around a modular design approach known from the Psion Omni models (such as the EP10, RT15 and XT15). With a thickness of about 3.5 inches and weighing over eight pounds, the VH10 is an altogether more substantial device.

What's the same between the 8515 and the VH10 is the by now fairly unique design approach with a landscape-oriented display flanked by columns of multi-fucntion buttons on each side, and a full 58-key QWERTY keyboard below the screen. The keyboard offers adustable LED backlighting.

In terms of connectivity, the VH10 has two USB host ports, a USB client port, two serial RS232 ports, and also supports a two-way speaker/microphone with VoIP Push-to-Talk capability. The device comes with dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth, both with high performance antennas. Optional external antennas can be mounted on the vehicle roof if needed.

As a vehicle-mounted device, the Psion VH uses 12-48 Volt DC. It comes standard with a capacitor backup good for five minutes, and customers can also get an otpional onboard 5,000mAH backup battery for operation during power loss or battery swaps.

As a Windows CE 6.0 device, the VH10 has access to a very large library of existing software, and there remain many software development tools for creating custom applications, including aspecial Psion SDK. Optionally available software includes terminal emulation (TekTerm, Wavelink, Stay-Linked, Naurtech), an HTML browser, PTX Connect as well as remote device and network managment.

The Psion VH10 is a very rugged machine with IP66 sealing (totally dustproof and can be hosed down with high-pressure water jets), and a wide -22 to 122 degree Fahrenheit operating temperature range. It has also been tested for shock and vibration, humidity, salt fog, UV, and so on.

Note that Psion (which is now part of Motorola Solutions) offers the VH10 in both a standard and a VH10f version. The "f" stands for freezer, and the VH10f is specially optimized for use in freezer environments where internal and external condensation can impact durability and operation as workers move back and forth between warm and cold environments. To address that, the VH10f has a heated touch screen that quickly evaporates external condensation, and internal heating and special thermal design that protects against internal condensation.

Below is a video highlighting the VH10 and its capabilities.

Specifications Zebra VH10/VH10F
Added/changed Added 05/2013, updated 12/2015
Form-factor Rugged forklift/vehicle mount computer
CPU Speed 800MHz TI OMAP3
OS Windows CE 6.0
RAM/ROM 512MB/1GB
Hard Drive NA
Card slots NA
Display type Color LCD TFT with 640 NITs LED backlight
Display size/res 8.0"/800 x 480 pixel WVGA
Digitizer/pens 5-wire resistive touch (VH10f model: heated touchscreen evaporates external condensation when moving out and in freezers)
Keyboard/keys Integrated alpha-numeric keyboard (58 keys) with 10 dedicated function key and adjustable LED backlight Integrated 67-key full alphanumeric keyboard (QWERTY or AZERTY); 12 direct function keys; LED backlight
Housing Cast aluminum, modular
Operating Temp -22° to 122°F (-30° to 50°C)
Sealing IP66
Shock & Vibration IEC 60721-3-5 - Class 5M3
Salt Fog 48 hours of 5% solution at 35°C
Chemical resistance Unknown
EMI/RFI North America: FCC Part 15, Class B
Size (WxHxD) 10.9 x 9.4 x 3.54 inches (276 x 238 x 90 mm)
Weight 8.1 lbs. (3.7kg) incl. integrated UPS battery
Power 12-48V power input range; optional internal 5,000mAH UPS
Interface 2 x USB host, 1 USB client, 2 x UART RS232, 3.5mm speaker/mic
Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth Class 2
List price inquire
Contact VH10/VH10F webpage
Brochure VH10/VH10F spec page