On September 25, 2012, GammaTech Corporation, which is the North American/Latin American sales and marketing arm of Taiwanese Twinhead, unveiled its latest medical slate roughly based on a mobile clinical assistant reference architecture that Intel announced well before the iPad even existed.
For a bit of background and discussion: Intel's original proof of concept platform for a tablet specifically designed with clinical environments in mind included an integrated multi-purpose handle for easy carrying and use during work shifts. The handle was also used to accommodate a scanner, and the design incorporated RFID, WiFi, Smart Card, documentation camera, and whatever else might come in handy in a clinical setting.
GammaTech's original medical slate entry goes back to the spring of 2009 with the debut of the Durabook MT10, an Intel Core 2 Solo powered MCA (mobile clinical assistant) that was also available as the RT10 for outdoor markets, similar to what Motion did with its C5 and F5 tablets. at the time we criticized Gammatech for giving the tablets fairly anemic Intel Core Solo chips and resistive digitizers at a rather high price.
So what has changed in GammaTech's follow-up tablet, the new T10L2? For starters, while the design retains the MCA-typical integrated handle, the new tablet is more angular and has its hardware control buttons right next to the handle where they can be reached much more easily. The new arrangement seems to make one-handed operation possible.
In terms of size and weight, things haven't changed much. The new T10L2 measures 10.6 x 10.4 inches, roughly the same. It's a bit thinner (1.14 inches vs. 1.4 inches), but actually weighs more (3.85 vs. 3.3 pounds). The display still measures 10.4 inches diagonally and offers 1024 x 768 pixel resolution with the traditional 4:3 aspect ratio. However, the resistive digitizer has given way to multi-touch with an optional digitizer with 256-pressure levels.
Like everyone else, GammaTech has probably found it hard to keep up with Intel's many flavors of ever-changing Atom processors, and settled on the 1.8GHz D525, a dual-core processor with decent integrated graphics and support for the newer and more power-efficient DDR3 memory. Originally designed for low-end desktops and notebooks, the D525 has a relatively high TDP of 13 watts, and we wonder why Gammatech didn't select the speedier Atom N2600/N2800 with a much lower TDP. The machine comes with 2GB of 1,333MHz DDR3 SDRAM, a shock-mounted SATA hard disk (or an optional SSD).
What hasn't changed is the inclusion of a wealth of data capture technologies. Since MCAs are meant to improve workflow, ease workloads, and reduce errors, the GammaTech machine comes with an integrated 1D/2D barcode scanner, a 13.56MHz RFID reader option with ISO 14443A/B and ISO 15693 support, a biometric fingerprint scanner, and also a 3-megapixel web-enabled camera with an LED illuminator that can also capture video.
On the wireless communications side, there's dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Class 2 Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, and WCDMA/HSUPA WWAN. For wired connectivity, there is a USB port, audio, and an RJ45 LAN port.
Though designed for clinical environments, GammaTech confidently describes the T10L2 as "fully rugged" and says the tablet "meets Military Standard 810G for durability and has a fully sealed design that protects internal components, making them resistant to drop, spill, shock, dust, water, as well as alcohol and disinfectant-wipes to help protect against cross contamination."
Some of the specs are a bit ambivalent. For example, the device carries IP64 sealing, but only for the front panel, so it cannot possibly be fully sealed. While MIL-STD-810G is mentioned, the specs do not list hard date such as drop height. No battery life is given, and it's not clear what type of multi-touch and digitizer Gammatech is using.
As far as pricing goes, the Durabook T10L2 has a MSRP of US$2,599. That seems quite high considering that Motion's recently announced F5t with a full third gen Intel Core i5 processor starts at only US$300 more, but in this field true comparisons require careful analysis of all standard equipment and options.