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Motion R12 rugged tablet computer

Motion does it again: sleek, lightweight Haswell-powered 12.5-inch full 1080p tablet with dual-mode input and a wealth of accessories
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

On March 25, 2014, tablet computing pioneer Motion announced the latest offering in their mobile technology portfolio, the rugged Motion R12 tablet computer. What Motion created here is a tablet for mobile professionals who need more screen real estate, more durability, more versatility, and more performance than is available in common consumer media tablets.

Specifically, the new Motion R12 has a large (for a tablet) 12.5-inch display with full 1920 x 1080 1080p resolution, measures 12.9 x 8.1 inches, is 0.65 inches thick, and weighs just under three pounds. While consumer media tablets weigh next to nothing these days, not too long ago three pounds was considered "ultra light," and also roughly what those little netbooks weighed. A 12.5-inch screen is considerably larger than that of the standard 10-inch "large" consumer media tablets, and also larger than that of Microsoft's Surface Pro 2, which is 10.6 inches. That means there's ample room to work on this tablet.

Unlike some of the newcomers to the tablet market, Motion has well over a decade's worth of experience in tablets. The company burst onto the scene back in 2001/2002 when Microsoft launched its Tablet PC initiative. By concentrating on tablets and tablets only, Motion managed to succeed where many other early tablet makers failed. And by concentrating on business and enterprise, Motion learned to meet the needs of those customers with specialized accessories, extensions, and solutions. The R12 keyboard shown above is an example. Not only is it cleverly designed to stow away against the tablet, Motion's wireless EasyPair technology means no cable, no finicky clip-on, and no frustrating Bluetooth pairing.

Something else that has always set Motion apart is the company's ability to always offer their customers the latest technologies, which is not a given in vertical/industrial market designs. That's again evident in the R12, which is based on Intel's 4th generation of Core processors, and more specifically on two available ultra low voltage versions. The two chips are part of Intel's offerings for ultrabooks and tablets, and perfectly suited for products like the Motion R12. We have not benchmarked the R12 yet, but expect excellent performance (including very good graphics) and superior power conservation, resulting in possible battery life close to ten hours from a hot-swappable battery with no more capacity than that of a third and fourth gen iPad.

The following two processor options are available for the Motion R12, both based on 22nm "Haswell" technology (see full comparison here):

Motion R12: Intel processor options
PROCESSOR COMPARISON Intel Core i7 Intel Core i5
Model 4610Y (Haswell) 4210Y (Haswell)
Cores/Threads 2/4 2/4
Base Clock Speed 1.70 GHz 1.50 GHz
Turbo Speed 2.90 GHz 1.90 GHz
Thermal Design Power (TDP) 11.5 watts 11.5 watts
Smart Cache 4MB 3MB
Integrated graphics HD Graphics 4200 HD Graphics 4200
Graphics base speed 200 MHz 200 MHz
Graphics max speed 850 MHz 850 MHz
Intel vPro Yes No
Intel Trusted Execution Yes No

Continuing with specs, Motion offers 4 or 8GB of power-efficient DDR3L SDRAM and solid state disks with capacities of 64, 128 and 256GB. Wired communication includes a USB 3.0 port, HDMI, a 3mm audio jack, docking, and there's also an SD card slot. As a modern device, the R12 has a 9-axis MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Sensors) array that includes an accelerometer, eCompass and gyroscope, and there's also an ambient light sensor. Motion has always been big on audio, and so the R12 includes a multi-directional array microphone system as well as two speakers.

For wireless, there's a Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 WiFi module that also includes Bluetooth 4.0. Optionally available is either 4G LTE mobile broadband with GNSS (a combo that can use our GPS and the Russian GLONASS GPS) or a dedicated GPS module based on u-blox 7 technology. And there are two cameras with 2mp (front) and 8mp (rear) resolution.

Motion knows security as well. The R12 has an integrated fingerprint reader, a TPM 1.2 module, optional Computrace, and WinMagic SecureDoc ( see here).

No discussion of a Motion product would be complete without commenting on its display. That's because they always seem to be ahead of the curve. Not only does the R12 offer the same full 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution that's providing high definition video on huge flatscreen TVs, but its IPS technology has the perfect viewing angles from all sides that we expect from Motion, and there's Gorilla Glass 3 that's provides even more protection than the first two generations. There's also 10-point capacitive multi-touch AND the precision of an active Wacom pen.

Motion's been eager to spread the word on the inherent toughness of its tablet lineup, and that's no different with the R12. Not all ruggedness specs are available yet, but the R12 can handle 4-foot drops, has undergone numerous MIL-STD-810G tests, and has IP54 sealing, which means protection against dust and also against water spray from all directions. That's not the total immunity to the elements that IP67 provides, but definitely good enough for virtually all of the R12's intended deployments. As usual, Motion also provides a long lists of safety and regulatory requirements that the R12 meets, and additional ruggedness criteria are probably covered in there.

The sidebar on the right shows some of the extras and accessories that extend the R12's features and abilities. The optional SlateMate bolt-on module can include up to three separate I/O devices, including scanners, RFID, and even a legacy serial port, should it be required.

Where does the Motion R12 fit in, and what are its intended target deployments? For one thing, the R12 is the venerable Motion J3600's sleeker, lighter, and faster successor. It seems a supremely well-conceived tablet that offers enterprise and business customers what Motion found they want and need in real life and on the job.

Below is Motion's explanatory video of the Motion R12 tablet.

Specifications Motion R12
Status Added 03/2014
Form-factor Rugged Windows tablet
OS Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit, Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Processor Intel Core i7-4610Y, or
Intel Core i5-4210Y
CPU Speed i7-4610Y: 1.7/2.9 GHz, 4M cache
i5-4210Y: 1.5/1.9 GHz, 3M cache
Chipset Intel QM87
Graphics Intel HD Graphics 4200
Standard/Max RAM 4GB or 8GB 1,600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
Disk/drive 64GB, 128GB or 128GB Solid State Drive
Card slots 1 SD Card, 1 SIM card
Display type Wide Viewing Angle IPS TFT LCD with LED backlight and scratch- and damage-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Display size/res 12.5-inch/1920 x 1080 pixel Full-HD
Digitizer/pens Dual-mode capacitive 10-point touch and Wacom active pen
Keyboard/scale Wireless hardware keyboard using EasyPair technology
Sealing IP54
Shock 4-foot drops per MIL-STD-810G
Operating temperature (14° to 131°C) (-10° to 55°C)
Housing Rubbrized enclosure over magnesium-alloy internal frame
Size (WxHxD) 12.9 x 8.1 x 0.65 inches (328 x 206 x 17 mm)
Weight 2.95 pounds (1.34 kg.) incl. battery pack
Power 43 WHr Lithium-Ion ("over 9 hours")
Interface 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x HDMI, 1 x 3mm audio, power, dock
Cameras Front-facing 2.0-megapixel camera, rear-facing 8.0-megapixel camera
Sensors 9-axis MEMS (accelerometer, eCompass, gyroscope), ambient light
Communications Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 plus Bluetooth 4.0, dual array front mics, rear mic; optional 4G LTE mobile broadband with GNSS (GPS + GLONASS) OR Navisys Technology GE-730 (u-blox 7) GPS module with SBAS
List price Starting at US$2,295
Web Motion R12 web page
Brochure Motion R12 brochure (PDF)
Motion R12 accessories

Above: some of the many accessories available for the Motion R12:

Top: the R12 Series dock transforms the R12 into a full desktop computer. It has an integrated battery charger.

Middle top: the lockable R12 Series Secure Mobile Vehicle Dock can accommodate the tablet even with the SlateMate or carrying case.

Middle bottom: the R12 Series wireless keyboard stand automatically pairs with any R12 tablet. When not in use, it can be magnetically attached to the back of the tablet.

Bottom: the R12 Series SlateMate data acquisition module can be configured with up to three I/O devices (serial port, 1D/2D bar code reader, HF RFID).

Motion Contact
Motion Computing