Amrel ROCKY Apex|
Compact, rugged tablet
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
AMREL designed the ROCKY Apex mobile computer for those who need a compact, lightweight and yet fully rugged tablet. It has a touchscreen and uses Windows XP, albeit not the Tablet Edition that requires an active digitizer. The Apex measures just 9.8 x 7.4 inches and is 1.65 inches thick. It weighs a bit over four pound, making it a handy companion. The housing is made of magnesium and the whole design is sealed to IP54 specifications. The unit is also built to MIL-STD 810F specifications for resistance to rain, shock, humidity, vibration, salt fog, altitude and extreme temperatures.
For such a compact device, the Apex offers surprising expansion flexibility. There are two PC Card Type II slots as well as an internal mini PCI slot, with an option to add two more mini PCI slots inside. Onboard connectivity is limited to a USB port, a serial port ad LAN, but that can be greatly expaanded with the optional "Docklight" stand/cradle that adds 4 USB ports, audio, and two serial ports (including RS-422 and RS0485 options) and lots more. The display is an 8.4-inch SVGA LCD with AMREL's Alpha-Star sunlight readable anti-reflective technology. A powerful second battery snaps onto the back of the device.
Overall, due to its ruggedness and small size, the Apex is a compelling option for demanding industrial and public safety applications as well as many field service jobs.