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Atom N450-powered industrial tablet computer
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

NEXCOM, a Taiwanese technology company founded in 1992, specializes in industrial and embedded computing, blade servers, digital signage, and network security appliances. In April of 2008, the company expanded into the mobile computer market with three small tablet computers. The latest addition is the MRC 2300, a version based on Intel's second gen "Pineview" Atom N450 processor.

Taking advantage of Intel's latest low-power Atom processor, NECOM added the MRC 2300 to its line of rugged tablet computers for industrial, field service, medical and point-of-sale markets. NEXCOM's entire line shares a compact, well protected housing, an 8.4-inch sunlight readable touchscreen display with LED backlight, fanless design, affordable pricing and impressive ruggedness specs.

The MRC 2300 tablet measures 11.4 x 8.4 x 1.8 inches with its protective rubber cladding and weighs about 3.7 pounds. Operation is via stylus, touch, or a PDA-style 5-way navigation ring. There are also four programmable function buttons that can be used to perform tasks or bring up applications.

The device can be equipped with up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM, and there's a choice of solid state storage (8-64GB) or a 120GB 1.8-inch SATA hard disk. On the wireless side, there is integrated Bluetooth version 2.1 with anhanced data rate, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and GPS. Optionally avaiable are mobile broadband support (GSM/GPRS/HSDPA/WCDMA), RFID, and 1D/2D barcode scanning. The modestly sized 29 watt-hour battery is said to last 4-6 hours between charges.

The MRC 2300 offers a good amount of protection against the impact of harsh environments. There's IP54 sealing, a four foot drop spec, a wide -4 to 122 degree Fahrenheit operating temperature range, and NEXCOM also provides test data on other ruggedness criteria.

As of March 2010, Group Mobile, a prominent Phoenix, Ariz.-based reseller of rugged computers, has added the NEXCOM MRC 2300 to its lineup.

Added/changed Added 03/2010
Form-factor Rugged mobile tablet
OS Windows XP
Processor Intel Atom N450
CPU Speed 1.6GHz
Chipset Intel System Controller Hub ICH8M
Standard/Max RAM 1GB/2GB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz in one 200-pin socket
Disk/drive 8-64GB SATA SSD or 1.8-inch 120GB SATA hard disk
Card slots unknown
Display type Sunlight readable TFT
Display size/res 8.4-inch/800 x 600
Digitizer/pens 4-wire resistive touch/1
Keyboard/scale Onscreen and optional mini-USB keyboard
Sealing IP54
Drop 4-feet
Operating temp. -4 to 122 F
Vibration MIL-STD-810F method 514.5C-3 (Highway truck): 5G PTP at 5-500Hz
Housing Unknown material with protective rubber bumpers
Size (WxHxD) 11.4 x 8.4 x 1.8 (including rubber cladding)
Weight 3.65 lbs. (including rubber cladding)
Power 11.1V 2,600mAH Li-Ion
Interface 2 USB 2.0, 1 mini-USB, audio in/out, dock, SiRF III GPS, 2.0MP camera; optional RFID, laser barcode scanner, fingerprint reader
Wireless 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR; optional 3.5G Mobile broadband Module (GSM/GPRS/HSDPA/WCDMA)
List price US$1,729 (at GroupMobile.com)
Contact www.nexcom.com or Group Mobile
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