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Winmate Technologies Electronics potting
Winmate 9.7-inch Compact Rugged Tablet PC

Next-gen Intel Atom powered ruggedized media tablet anticipates Windows 8
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Winmate is a Taiwanese company founded in 1994. Specializing in industrial display technologies and solutions, Winmate also branched out into Tablet PCs, digital signage, marine grade displays and computers and, most recently, panels, embedded automation controllers, and rugged Mobile PCs such as the 9.7-inch Compact Rugged Tablet PC shown here.

With this 9.7-inch Rugged Tablet PC (official model number R09ID9M-RTL1), Winmate launched an elegant semi-rugged Windows 7-based tablet geared towards users attracted to the tablet experience, but who want or need to stay within the Microsoft software platform.

In terms of execution, the Winmate tablet looks a bit like a fortified iPad, with the same 9.7-inch display size, the same XGA 1024 x 768 resolution, and the same 4:3 aspect ratio as the iPad, and with very similar dimensions as well. The Winmate tablet is about 3/4s of an inch longer and wider and also somewhat thicker and heavier than Apple's megahit, but that's to be expected given the extra protection. Still, just like Panasonic with its Toughpad A1, Winmate created a ruggedized device reminiscent much more of a modern-era media tablet than an older-style Tablet PC.

The new-style thinking also extends to operations as the Winmate tablet has a a projected capacitive touch screen. The world, of course, has fallen in love with this technology that ushered in an era of effortless tapping, panning, pinching and zooming, but given that Winmate's tech specs for this tablet do not list an additional pen-based digitizer, we're not sure how capacitive touch alone goes with Windows 7.

Processing power comes from Intel's next-gen Atom "Cedar Trail" platform that employs 32nm technology and is essentially an evolved successor of the N270/N280 and N455/N475 chips that powered all those tens of millions of netbooks. The 1.6GHz Atom N2600 in Winmate's tablet works in conjunction with the Intel NM10 chipset, a known quantity already used with current generation Atom chips. The base version of the tablet comes with a 16GB solid state disk.

On the connectivity side, there's a docking connector, USB, and a combination LAN/HDMI port. For wireless there's 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, and optional 3.5G. There's also a single 2mp camera. The battery specs only list 5,300mAH and about four hours of operation, and there does not seem to be GPS.

While Winmate describes the upcoming tablet as "compact rugged" and the tablet looks the part with its corner protection, the environmental specs are modest. 32 to 122 degree Fahrenheit operating temperature, twoo foot drop, no sealing rating or vibration protection data. Given Winmate's experience in rugged mobile computing, we assume those are just partial or preliminary specs.

As is, Winmate's upcoming 9.7-inch compct rugged tablet offers an enticing glimpse at a potentially very attractive tablet product that with its capacitive touch display seems more Windows 8 than Windows 7-oriented (though WES 7-based custom applications optimized for touch offer interesting potential). At this point, the details are still somewhat sketchy and we'll report in more detail once we get actual hands-on experience.

Contact Winmate:

Web: www.winmate.com.tw
Email: sales1 @ winmate.com.tw
OEM/ODM Contact: ODM@winmate.com.tw
Status Added 12/2011, full review 05/2012, updated 05/2013
Form-factor Compact Rugged Tablet PC
OS Windows Embedded Standard 7
Processor Dual-core Intel Atom N2600
CPU Speed 1.6GHz
Chipset Intel NM10
Standard/Max RAM 2GB SODIMM DDR3-800
Disk/drive 32GB SATA solid state disk
Card slots none
Display type LCD with LED backlight (420 nits)
Display size/res 9.7-inch, 1024 x 768 XGA
Digitizer/pens Projected capacitive touch
Keyboard/scale NA
Navigation Touch
Operating temperature 32° to 122°F (0° to 50°C)
Sealing IP54
Vibration NA
Shock 2 feet
Humidity 30% to 90% (non condensing)
Certifications FCC, CE, EN60601-1-1 , EN60601-1-2
Housing Plastic with rubber bumper corner protection
Size (WxHxD) 10.5 x 8.25 x 0.87 inches (267 x 210 x 22mm)
Weight 2.2 pounds
Power 5,300mAH ("5 hours")
Interface 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x LAN/HDMI, 1 x audio in/out, 2mp camera
Wireless 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth, optional 3.5G WWAN
List price Inquire
Contact winmate.com.tw
Brochure Winmate M970D
Web RuggedPC Review