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RuggON PM-522

Rugged Intel Bay Trail-powered 10.4-inch Windows procap tablet for data capture and point-of-sale applications
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Taiwan-based RuggON Corporation was established in 2014 as a provider of ruggedized computing products. RuggON's stated mission is to raise the productivity of rugged computing solutions through creative, pioneering technology. Their lineup consists of RuggTAB tablets and RuggVMC vehicle mounts. On this page we're describing the PM-522 10.4-inch rugged tablet.

Weighing under three pounds, RuggON's PM-522 offers enough screen real estate and computing power for virtually any Windows application, 10-point capacitive multi-touch for a contemporary user interface experience, enough ruggedness for outdoor deployment, and an impressive roster of accessories and add-on modules.

The RuggON PM-522 has a large 10.4-inch display with conventional XGA 1024 x 768 pixel resolution, making for the 4:3 aspect ratio that was the standard on almost all computer displays until wide formats became prevalent (though the Apple iPad continues to use 4:3). There's projected capacitive multi-touch with a maximum of ten discrete simultaneous inputs, allowing for all the tapping, panning, pinching and zooming all those hundreds of millions of smartphone and media tablet users the world over now except. The screen size and aspect ratio make the PM-522 well suitable for use with vitually all Windows-based legacy vertical and industrial market apps.

The RuggON PM-522 is powered by a dual-core 1.75GHz Intel Atom E3827 processor. Note that this is not one of the older, performance-challenged Atom chips. Instead, the E3827 is part of Intel's "Bay Trail" lineup of vastly improved CPUs that are powerful enough to not only be sold under the Atom brand, but also the Celeron and Pentium brands. "Bay Trail" is based on the "Silvermont" processor architecture, which is really the first true architectural update to Atom since its introduction in 2008. Bay Trail processors use up to four Silvermont cores, and for the first time in an ultra mobile Intel SoC pairs them with Intel's own graphics IP. In fact, Bay Trail leverages the same GPU architecture as in the Ivy Bridge Core processors, just with fewer EUs (execution units).

In terms of connectivity, the PM-522 doesn't have legacy RS232 or VGA ports, but makes up for that with a high-speed USB 3.0 port and an an additional USB 2.0 port. There's audio in/out, and Ethernet connectivity is available via a USB adapter. For documentation and video communication, the PM-522 has two cameras, a rear-facing 5-megapixel autofocus unit with LED illuminator for documentation, and a front-facing 2-megapixel webcam.

Integrating optional components is not as easy with thin and light designs such as the PM-522, and so RuggON offers a variety of bolt-on modules instead. The picture below shows, from left to right, a Smart Card reader and GPS combo module, a mag stripe reader module, and a 1D/2D barcode reader module.

For wireless communication, the PM-522 includes Bluetooth 4.0 Class II, fast 802.11ac WiFi, and NFC (Near Field Communication). Optionally available is 3.5G or 4G LTE mobile broadband capability. The unit's gyroscope, G-sensor, E-compass and ambient light sensor can be used for innovative functionality in system software and apps.

Even though the PM-522 looks substantial with its contoured design and edge and corner protective bumpers, it is actually fairly light and slender for a device that is much tougher than any consumer media tablet. There is an impressive 6-feet drop spec, the tablet offers equally impressive IP65 sealing (total protection against dust, protection against low pressure water jets from all directions), a wide operating temperature range of -4 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit (-20 to +50 Celsius), and a variety of other MIL-STD-810G testing.

For battery power, there's 28 watt-hour smart Li-Polymer battery life. That's not much for this class of tablet, and so RuggON also offers a flat external battery that snaps onto the back of the device and extends battery life to about nine hours.

The RuggON PM-522 is a new product (albeit from a very experienced vendor) and we have not yet had hands-on with it yet. Judging by its looks and specs, it's an attractive, modern and impressively rugged solution for all sorts of field data capture and communications deployments via a roster of add-on and snap-on modules.

Specifications RuggON PM-522
Added Added 08/2014, updated 09/2015
Type Rugged Windows Tablet PC
Processor Dual-core Intel "Bay Trail" Atom E3827
CPU Speed 1.75GHz
Burst Speed NA
CPU Thermal Design Power 8 watts
Standard/Max RAM 4GB DDR3L SO-DIMM
OS Windows 7 Pro/WES7P, Windows 8.1 Industry Pro, WES8
Graphics Intel HD Graphics
Disk/drive 64GB mSATA SSD (optional 128GB/240GB)
Expansion bay No
Expansion slots Unknown
Card slots 1 x micro SIM card
Display type TFT with 700 nits LED backlight
Display size/res 10.4-inch/XGA (1024 x 768 pixel)
Digitizer/pens 10-point projected capacitive multi-touch
Keyboard/scale Optional external
Housing Unknown
Operating Temp -4° to 122°F (-20° to 50°C)
Sealing IP65
Drop MIL-STD-810G, 514.6, 26 x 6 feet drop
Shock Est: MIL-STD-810G, Method 516.6, Procedure I, 40g, 11ms operation
Humidity 5 to 95% non-condensing
Thermal shock Est: MIL-STD-810G, Method 503.5, Procedure I
Vibration Est: MIL-STD-810G, Method 514.6, Procedures I & II
Altitude Est: MIL-STD-810G, Method 500.5, Procedures I & II
Certifications CE, FCC, CB
Size (WxHxD) 10.8" x 8.0" x 1.1" (275mm x 204mm x 110mm) w/o bumpers
Weight 1.3kg (2.87 pounds)
Power 3,800mAH, 7.4V, 28.1whr smart Li-Polymer, optional external 4,200mAH, 7.4V, 31.1whr
Interface 1 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0, Ethernet via adapter, audio in/out
Camera Rear: 5-megapixel AF with LED flash, front: 2-megapixel webcam
Sensors Gyroscope, G-sensor, E-compass, ambient light
Wireless 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth v4.0, NFC RFID, GNSS (GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou by request); optional: 3.5G or 4G LTEm snap-on mag stripe reader, snap-on 1D/2D barcode scanner, snap-on CAC reader + GNSS module
List price inquire
Web page RuggON PM-522 product page
Brochure RuggON PM-522 brochure (PDF)
RuggON PM-522 Docks/Accessories

RuggON Corporation
3F., No.10, Ln. 181, Sec. 2, Jiuzong Rd., Neihu Dist.
Taipei City 114, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Fax: 886-2-8797-1881
Web: www.ruggon.com