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Rugged PC News and Developments [ Submit news] [News archive]
Zebra unveils high-performance industrial printers that improve operational visibility and productivity
Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), the market leader in rugged mobile computers, barcode scanners and barcode printers enhanced with software and services to enable real-time enterprise visibility, introduced the new ZT600 and ZT510 industrial printers designed to withstand the harshest environments while delivering superior print quality and uptime. Zebra also announced Printer Profile Manager Enterprise, a browser-based remote printer management solution for Zebra® Link-OS® enabled printers that greatly reduces cost and management time. [See Zebra press release] -- Posted Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Switch to PCIe SSDs helps updated Xplore R12 rugged tablet shatter benchmark performance records
Xplore Technologies' rugged 12.5-inch XSLATE R12 tablet was already among the fastest devices RuggedPCReview has ever tested. Now Xplore raised the ante once again by switching to an even faster Kaby Lake processor and, most importantly, switch from SATA to PCIe solid state disks. The result is absolutely blazing PassMark benchmark performance. The updated XSLATE R12 is half again as fast as the predecessor model, and the overall fastest device we have tested in the RuggedPCReview lab. [See Xplore press release and Hot-rodding the rugged tablet — Xplore Technologies presents super-high performance version of its sleek, lightweight 12.5-inch R12 Kaby Lake Windows tablet] -- Posted Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Chicago Communications Community recognizes Zebra Technologies for intelligent enterprise campaign
Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), the market leader in rugged mobile computers, barcode scanners and barcode printers enhanced with software and services to enable real-time enterprise visibility, announced its "Intelligent Enterprise" campaign has earned two notable communications industry awards, the Golden Trumpet Award and Skyline Award in the B2B marketing category. [See Zebra press release] -- Posted Saturday, July 15, 2017

15 years ago, Microsoft was ready to change the world with the Pocket PC Phone
15 years ago, Microsoft invented the smartphone. They really did. It was called the T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone. In the September 2002 issue of Pen Computing Magazine, RuggedPCReview.com editor Conrad Blickenstorfer wrote: No one knows just yet if the world is ready for a convergence between cell phones and PDAs. And no one really knows if such a convergence makes sense in the first place. Be that as it may, in my book the T-Mobile/Pocket PC Phone Edition combo is far and away the best attempt at a completely integrated wireless voice and data communicator yet. Microsoft and its hardware partners really went all out on this one, and the result is magnificent. No product or service is for everyone and that applies for the T-Mobile as well. But if you've been waiting for a powerful wireless PDA that is also a cellphone, this is it. The wait is over. [Read the full article T-Mobile Pocket PC Phone (August 2002)] -- Posted Friday, July 14, 2017

Crystal Group announces next generation rugged rackmount computer line-up with new Intel Xeon processor family (Skylake) architecture
Crystal Group, a leading designer/manufacturer of rugged computer hardware, announced today the redesign and integration of its rugged rack mount computer series with the latest Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processor Family powered by Skylake. The next generation of Crystal Group's rugged rackmount products include a host of robust enhancements including a substantial jump in compute performance, greater scalability, increased security, and even more agility to adapt to changing technologies. The improved capabilities are critical in today's rapid technology transformations. [See Crystal Group press release] -- Posted Friday, July 14, 2017

Panasonic works with Volkswagen to deliver a next generation production line mobile testing solution for the automotive manufacturer
Volkswagen and Panasonic have collaborated to create a new rugged and versatile Automotive Mobile Test Solution (AMTS). Christoph Lach, Project Manager, at Volkswagen AG explained: "The AMTS is based on the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 tablet and it meets our production requirements. We use the hardware for commissioning the control units in the vehicle. We have the option of connecting to an external vehicle communication interface, which enables us to communicate with the vehicle, but we can also load the UPS-Client from the vehicle. The steering wheel holder meets all the requirements we had here in the group, which means it's compatible with every steering wheel." [See Panasonic press release] -- Posted Thursday, July 13, 2017

Xplore Technologies collaborates with Microsoft to accelerate Internet of Things solutions
Xplore Technologies Corp announced it has joined Microsoft Azure Certified for Internet of Things (IoT), ensuring customers get IoT solutions up and running quickly with hardware and software that has been pre-tested and verified to work with Microsoft Azure IoT services. Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT allows businesses to reach customers where they are, working with an ecosystem of devices and platforms, allowing for faster time to production. [See Xplore media release -- Posted Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Windows Phone 8.1 support ends, raising many questions
Windows Phone 8.1 support ended July 11, 2017, a bit more than three years after it was introduced. That comes after Windows Phone 7 users could not upgrade to Windows Phone 8, and Windows Mobile users were stranded when the original Windows Phone appeared. Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise is supposed to be the successor of Windows Embedded Handheld, but Windows 10 Mobile's marketshare is minuscule. It's hard to figure out where Microsoft is going in the mobile space, especially since developers don't seem thrilled with adapting Windows 10 "unified core" code to Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise. Most of today's handheld hardware is inherently powerful enough to fun full Windows, but that's often overkill for many mobile deployments. -- Posted Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Juniper’s “Mapping Blitz” helps Bear River Land Conservancy maintain important habitat
In its latest blog entry, Juniper Systems relates how Juniper staff worked with members of the Bear River Land Conservancy to aid in the conservation of important habitat along the Bear River. Using the Geode Sub-meter GPS Receiver, the Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet, and the Allegro 2, a handful of our rugged handheld enthusiasts mapped updates and information on important plants, large debris, fence lines, and more while getting additional hands-on experience using Juniper’s data collection solutions. [See Juniper’s “Mapping Blitz” Helps Bear River Land Conservancy Maintain Important Habitat] -- Posted Tuesday, July 11, 2017

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: July 2012
In July 2012, we published a case study on using the Mobile Demand xTablet T7000 rugged Tablet PC in diving and marine exploration. YRCW Worldwide deployed Intermec CN70e rugged handhelds to 10,000 drivers. Motorola Solutions reported very good Q1 2012 with 7% sales increase over Q1 2011, and Xplore reported its third consecutive quarter of profitability. Motion released their CL910 tablet, Getac the Atom N2800-powered 10.1-inch E110 tablet, and Australian Tough Corp called it quits. RuggedPCReview tested an Xplore iX104C5 tablet over a full 160 degree temperature range. Parvus received a US$4.9 million order for DuraCOR rugged mission computers deployed in mine detection, and a Dell Latitude E6420 XFR rugged notebook arrived at our test lab. [See July 2012 archives] -- Posted Monday, July 10, 2017

IOGEAR KeySlate Ultra-Slim Bluetooth 4.0 Keyboard
Tablets have changed the world, and 2-in-1 designs are broadening their appeal even more. But often the usefulness of both tablets and 2-in-1s comes down to having a good keyboard. That's what (among lots of other cool stuff) the folks at IOGEAR provide, great keyboards for tablets. We tested their iOS version and loved it (they offer versions for Android and Windows as well) . [See review of the IOGEAR KeySlate Ultra-Slim Bluetooth 4.0 Keyboard, with some contemplations about keyboards in general] -- Posted Saturday, July 8, 2017

Updated: Dell Latitude 14 Rugged
Dell is known for quickly and nimbly making available the very latest technology to its customers around the globe. Dell Rugged, however, knows that consistency, continuity and compatibility is what matters most to their markets. So instead of frequently replacing their rugged and semi-rugged laptops and tablets with new ones, Dell Rugged quietly keeps their true and tested lineup up-to-date. No wonder their market share in the rugged space has been growing. [See updated description, analysis and specs of Dell's full-size Latitude 14 Rugged] -- Posted Saturday, July 8, 2017

Getac sees June revenue increase
According to DigiTimes, Getac Technology reported revenues of US$59.5 million for June 2017, up 11.27% on year. Year-to-date revenues totaled US$336 billion, up 13.26% on year. Since demand for double biometric security functions such as face and iris identification, has been increasing, Getac Technology chairman Ming-han Huang expects the company's ruggedized product sales to benefit from the trend. Huang expects the company's revenues in the second half to grow between 5-15% from the second half of 2016 -- Posted Friday, July 7, 2017

Habey's fully adaptable touch screen controls
Habey USA is promoting what the company calls "fully adaptable touch screen devices". These look like standard consumer tablets from the front, have 7 to 12.1-inch screens, come with ARM and Intel chips, resistive or capacitive touch, and use a variety of operating systems. From the back, they look more like small Panel PCs, offering plenty of configurable, customizable connectivity. As such, these devices can serve as friendly user interfaces for any number of embedded systems and devices. [See Habey media release] -- Posted Thursday, July 6, 2017

Connecting remote teams virtually to support Rolls-Royce "On Time, Every Time" vision
Librestream announced that it is now a Rolls-Royce approved supplier of the Onsight Collaborative Mobile Platform. This includes Onsight Connect collaboration software for use on the mobile devices and computers of service teams, Onsight Rugged Smart Cameras, and Onsight Collaboration Hubs. The cameras and hubs also enable the sharing of live visuals from remote visual inspection (RVI) and non-destructive testing (NDT) instruments. With this solution, Rolls-Royce field technicians can virtually bring remote experts into the field to facilitate faster and more cost-effective engine inspection and maintenance. [See Librestream press release and Rugged Smart Camera overview] -- Posted Thursday, July 6, 2017

AMobile forms partnership with Konka to tap China market
DigiTimes reports that AMobile Intelligent has formed a strategic partnership with Konka Group for tapping the China market of IoT-based smart city solutions. AMobile is a joint-venture established by IC design house MediaTek and industrial PC maker Arbor Technology for making IoT-based mobile devices for industrial use. The China-based Konka sells LCD TVs, smartphones and home-use electric appliances. -- Posted Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Tech Primer: Electronics potting
Electronics potting — where electronic components are "potted" in suitable enclosures and with suitable compounds that not only protect against shock and vibration, but also against formation of moisture and exposure to corrosive agents — is a simple, cost-effective way to increase the reliability and longevity of electronics components and systems. [Read Electronics potting — A simple, cost-effective way to increase the reliability and longevity of electronics components and systems.] -- Posted Friday, June 30, 2017

Case study: noax industrial PCs survive corrosive seafood processing environment
For over 30 years, Royal Hawaiian Seafood has been a preferred purveyor of seafood to fine dining establishments in the greater San Francisco area. This means managing weighing areas, salt water tanks, advanced refrigeration systems to ensure top quality seafood, processing, packaging and much more. Several years ago, Royal Hawaiian Seafood realized that standard PC technology simply wasn't up to the task. So they tried stainless steel, IP69K rated industrial PCs from noax, and never looked back. [See IPCs Withstand Corrosive Seafood Processing Environments] -- Posted Thursday, June 29, 2017

Janam Recognized with 2017 Manufacturer of the Year Award
Janam Technologies LLC, a leading provider of rugged mobile computers that scan barcodes and communicate wirelessly, announced today that it has been named 2017 Manufacturer of the Year by Varlink. The prestigious award recognizes the strength of the relationship that Janam shares with Varlink. [See Janam press release] -- Posted Thursday, June 29, 2017

Getac introduces powerful, fully rugged, highly configurable Windows tablet with a big, bright 14-inch screen
Sometimes one just needs a big screen on the job, and that's why Getac introduced the A140 14-inch tablet. The super-bright display offers capacitive multi-touch and a hard tip capacitive stylus. Customers have an option of four Intel Skylake Core processors. There's plentiful onboard I/O and the A140 can be configured with integrated scanning, RFID, various security options, as well as custom interfaces. [See Getac media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Getac A140] -- Posted Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Panasonic Europe introduces 12-inch "business-rugged" Kaby Lake-powered 2-in-1 hybrid Toughbook XZ6
On and off, Panasonic brings some of its Japanese domestic market Let's Note notebooks to other parts of the world under the Toughbook brand. That's the case with the Toughbook XZ6, an impressive state-of-the-art 12-inch 2-in-1 hybrid. There's 2160 x 1440 resolution, an Intel "Kaby Lake" Core i5-7300U chip, optional active pen, full-scale mechanical keyboard, and exemplary connectivity. The XZ6 doesn't rival a real Toughbook in ruggedness, but it's a lot less expensive than a Toughbook 33 with which it shares many specs. [See RuggedPCReview description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook XZ6 -- Posted Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Understanding the future of Juniper-offered operating systems
Gradual shifts in the mobile OS landscape over the past several years has been a growing concern, leaving many enterprise and vertical-market professionals wondering which avenue to take. Identifying the best OS for individual or corporate needs, while looking at its roadmap and plans for the future can be a difficult task. Understanding this issue, Juniper Systems collected information to help customers understand the roadmap of each OS used at company and what they need to know to make the most informed decision. [See Understanding the future of Juniper-offered operating systems] -- Posted Monday, June 26, 2017

MOBIL-INN picks ARBOR IoT-800 to equip Brittany waste management vehicles with iSmartCollect solution
Beautiful French Brittany works hard to preserve its beauty. That includes equipping a growing number of recycling and waste collection vehicles with Mobil-Inn's iSmartCollect solution that simplifies collection management, including seasonal variations, smart control, and circuit modifications, reducing operating costs via real-time maps sharing, human and material resource management, and route modification. On the hardware side, Mobil-Inn chose ARBOR Technology's IoT-800 Android terminal. [See ARBOR media release and RuggedPCReview's report on the ARBOR IoT-800] -- Posted Monday, June 26, 2017

9 Ways to Create and Maintain a Successful Business Partnership
Juniper Systems has one of the best and most active blogs in the rugged mobile computing market. In a new article, Juniper's marketing writer Sarah Keyes describes how building and maintaining business partnerships takes time, patience, and understanding. When maintained correctly, partnerships can act as one of the driving factors of success and revenue. The key is understanding how to keep the relationship healthy and flourishing, while implementing these understandings into day-to-day interactions. [See Juniper Systems' 9 Ways to Create and Maintain a Successful Business Partnership] -- Posted Friday, June 23, 2017

New screen coating makes reading in sunlight a lot easier
Screens on even the newest phones and tablets can be hard to read outside in bright sunlight. Inspired by the nanostructures found on moth eyes, researchers have developed a new antireflection film that could keep people from having to run to the shade to look at their mobile devices. The antireflection film exhibits a surface reflection of just .23 percent, much lower than the iPhone's surface reflection of 4.4 percent, for example. Reflection is the major reason it's difficult to read a phone screen in bright sunlight, as the strong light reflecting off the screen's surface washes out the display. [See press release and full article: "New Screen Coating Makes Reading in Sunlight a Lot Easier. The Secret? Moth Eyes -- Posted Friday, June 23, 2017

MyScript Launches Next-Generation MyScript Developer
MyScript, a pioneering market leader in accurate, high-performance handwriting recognition and digital ink management technology, announces the enhanced MyScript Developer portal. The completely redesigned platform better enables developers to build next-generation applications that leverage digital writing across all popular OS platforms. The enhanced developer program eliminates the cost of entry for developers and reduces application time-to-market. Developers experience no cost to gain access to MyScript’s digital writing technology and to test the applications prior to release. [See MyScript press release] -- Posted Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Xplore to lead $16M+ workforce mobilization project with major telecommunications provider
Xplore Technologies announced that it has received the first orders under a mobile workforce technology refresh agreement that is expected to exceed $16M over the next two years. The Construction & Engineering Group at the long-time Xplore customer, one of the largest telecommunications service providers in the United States, is standardizing on XSLATE B10 Fully Rugged Tablet PCs and accessories as the primary mobile computing platform for thousands of field-based professionals across the U.S. [See Xplore press release] -- Posted Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Apple Watch Series 2 after three weeks
It's been three weeks since I finally gave in and bought a Series 2 Apple Watch. While the Apple Watch isn't a rugged device and thus not something we'd normally report on, it is a wearable device and wearable computing power is playing an increasingly prominent role. That's because unlike even handhelds, a wrist-mount is always there, always handy and it doesn't need to be stowed away. So what's been my experience over the first three weeks with the watch? [Read Apple Watch Series 2 after three weeks] -- Posted Friday, June 16, 2017

Putting Wolverine into Smartphones
Do you buy the ecological hybrid car or the ground crunching Ute? The answer is, says Mary Brittain-White, CEO of Retriever Communications, simply fit for purpose. However, consumer trends and fashion often get in the way and markets are led astray. So was the case with the mass abandonment of ruggedized mobile devices for field workers and the rise of iPhones and iPads for industrial workers. [Read "Putting Wolverine into Smartphones"] -- Posted Thursday, June 15, 2017

Full review: MobileDemand xTablet T1550 rugged Tablet PC
Ruggedness in mobile computers comes at a price, and that can keep customers away. That's why for some time now, MobileDemand has been offering a variety of economically priced rugged tablets. An example is the Intel Cherry Trail-powered 10.1-inch Windows 10-based xTablet T1550. RuggedPCReview examined the T1550, which starts at US$999, in detail and found much to like. Such as solid construction, good connectivity, useful productivity options (including industrial-grade scanning), a good display, and impressive ruggedness. [See full review of the MobileDemand xTablet T1550] -- Posted Thursday, June 15, 2017

Added: Honeywell CN75 rugged handheld computer
There are still many jobs where a conventional legacy rugged handheld works best. And that's one reason why Honeywell gave the venerable Intermec (now part of Honeywell) CN70 handheld an upgrade. It's now the CN75 with more memory, a faster processor, an upgraded scanner and more. The other reason is the availability of Android 6 "Marshmallow" in addition to the legacy Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5. The display remains small but very sharp, and the device can still be ordered with different keypads, including larger versions in the CN70E versions that are about an inch longer. [See description, analysis and specs of the Honeywell CN75] -- Posted Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Fire and EMS departments meet critical mobility needs with DURABOOK R11 rugged tablet
GammaTech Computer Corporation, the North American branch of Twinhead International Corporation, today highlighted recent sales to Fire and EMS departments across the United States. These public safety agencies are turning to the DURABOOK R11 rugged tablet as a cost-effective solution that addresses critical needs for performance, functionality, and reliability. Fire and EMS departments in North Carolina, Oregon, Minnesota, Colorado, Washington, Louisiana, South Carolina, and California recently purchased the DURABOOK rugged tablet. [See GammaTech press release] -- Posted Friday, June 9, 2017

Mitac-Synnex to purchase Westcon-Comstor's Americas business
The Mitac-Synnex Group, of which Getac is a part, announced it will purchase the Americas part of Westcon-Comstor for US$800 million. Westcon-Comstor is a value-added technology distributor of solutions in security, collaboration, networking and data center. The acquisition will bolster Mitac-Synnex's role in the IT security and related markets. [See Westcon-Comstor media release] -- Posted Thursday, June 8, 2017

JLT Mobile computers strengthens organization for future growth
JLT Mobile Computers, a leading developer and manufacturer of reliable computers for demanding environments, continues to strengthen its sales organization with the appointment of Danny Dierckx responsible for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the U.K. and Benelux; and Anette Malmström as Sales Manager for Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. Christian Funk, previously responsible for the Nordic countries, as well as Germany and the U.K., is from now on focusing on global strategic business development, still maintaining responsibility for strategic customers. Additionally, the development department is expanded to speed up product development and continue to build core expertise. [See JLT Mobile press release] -- Posted Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Getac sees revenue growth
DigiTimes reports that Getac's May 2017 revenues of US$55.4 million were up 6.8% from May 2016. For the first five months of 2017, Getac's revenues were US$284 million, up 13.7% for the same period last year. DigiTimes says rugged systems contribute 45% of all of Getac's revenue, and that Getac has a 18-20% share of the rugged IPC market, about the same as Dell. DigiTimes says Getac's future goal is to expand its market share via software-hardware-integrated solutions. -- Posted Wednesday, June 7, 2017

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: June 2012
In June 2012, Motorola Solutions announced the SB1 Smart Badge and the Android-based MC40. We called it "an indication of things to come." Qualcomm announced a Windows Metro app development contest. Black Diamond's Modular Tactical System was selected by the US Air Force. Advantech made its 18.5-inch infotainment terminal available with Android. Microsoft named Motion Country Partner of the Year. Xplore reported record 2012 revenues of US$27.5 million. Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8 which was incompatible with the prior Windows 7 Phone. Microsoft also unveiled the first Surface tablets. Motorola Solutions bought Psion for about US$200 million. Intermec restructured, eliminating 7% of its workforce. Rand McNally introduced ruggedized WiFi GPS for truck navigation. -- Posted Wednesday, June 7, 2017

ARBOR releases Apollo Lake-based COM Express Mini module
It's hard to keep track with Intel. Not long ago "Bay Trail" turbo-boosted the formerly anemic Atom processor family into respectability. 22nm Bay Trail was quickly followed by a shrunken 14nm version called "Braswell" with much improved graphics. And that was equally quickly followed by "Apollo Lake" with a new CPU architecture and gen9 graphics (the same architecture as in Skylake). ARBOR Technology is now offering Apollo Lake Celeron and Pentium processors in their new EmNANO-i2402 COM Express Mini Type 10 module that can support up to three HD displays or two 4k displays. [See ARBOR media release]
-- Posted Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Juniper Systems Founder Ron Campbell retires after 24 years of hard work and dedication
Following a long and successful career, Juniper Systems Founder and Chairman Ron Campbell retired from the company on May 31, 2017. With a retirement open house held on May 25 to celebrate his impactful career, his family, friends, coworkers, and colleagues gathered to wish him well and reminisce on the many memory-filled years together. All of us here at RuggedPCReview.com wish Mr. Campbell many fulfilled, happy years of retirement, and thank you, sir, for your great work in creating and deploying rugged computing technology in the field. [See Juniper Systems Founder Ron Campbell Retires After 24 Years of Hard Work and Dedication] -- Posted Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ironclad teams with Sonim to offer ultra-secure, ultra-rugged mobile handset for consumers, enterprise and government
Ironclad Encryption Corporation announced it has engaged with Sonim Technologies to use their ultra-rugged LTE XP7 smartphone as the platform for integrating Ironclad Encryption's ultra-secure algorithms. These efforts will result in the development of ultra-secure, ultra-rugged mobile phones where security, privacy, safety and ruggedness are paramount concerns for users dealing with sensitive, confidential information and who must work under arduous situations and extreme environmental conditions. [See press release] -- Posted Tuesday, June 6, 2017

DT Research unique 2-in-1 Medical Tablet Cart System delivers unmatched flexibility for Mobile Point-of-Care
DT Research, a leading designer and manufacturer of purpose-built computing solutions for vertical markets, announced the DT313-MD, a 13.3" medical tablet system mounted on a slim-line, lightweight cart. The purpose-built system offers maximum computing mobility in a variety of medical environments. Healthcare professionals can efficiently monitor, record and retrieve patient information with the anti-microbial DT313-MD tablet, which includes DT Research's signature hot-swappable battery pack to avoid downtime in time-critical situations. [See DT Research press release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Medical Tablet Cart System] -- Posted Monday, June 5, 2017

Power and resources of the RS50 Series with a familiar touch of Android operations to help enterprise customers maximize their mobility ROI
CipherLab, a leading innovator in Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC), proudly presents the RS50 Rugged Android Touch Computer to provide productivity that meets high-end market standards with a smartphone user-friendliness. Operating with Android 6.0 certified with GMS, the RS50 series offers advantages in operation speed, power efficiency and data security. Integrating GMS (Google Mobile Service), users can also access applications such as Gmail and Google Map in the field for maximum output. [See Cipherlab press release] -- Posted Thursday, June 1, 2017

Added: Cipherlab RS50 rugged Android touch computer
Lots of businesses are finding out that while having modern smartphone technology on the job is a good thing, using regular consumer phones isn't, even if they're in a case. That's what truly rugged devices like the Cipherlab RS50 Series are for. 4.7-inch glove/wet multi-touch, Android 6.0, octa-core CPU, 6-foot drop spec, industrial-grade scanning. [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Cipherlab RS50 Series] -- Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Janam teams with Technology Recovery Group to help enterprise customers maximize their mobility ROI
Janam Technologies LLC, a leading provider of rugged mobile computers that scan barcodes and communicate wirelessly, announced today that it has partnered with Technology Recovery Group (TRG), a leading hardware solutions provider in the mobile computing and barcoding industry, to provide customers with the greatest return on their hardware investment. Together, Janam and TRG deliver highest quality rugged mobile computers, service and support to enable companies of all sizes to save money, reduce downtime and ultimately improve efficiency across their organization. [See Janam press release] -- Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Xplore reports fiscal 2017 financials
Xplore Technologies reported financials for all of their fiscal 2017 that ended ended March 31, 2016. For the entire fiscal year 2016, Xplore reported record revenues of US$77.9 million, down from US$100.5 million for fiscal 2016. There was net loss of US$2.6 million for the full year, compared with a net loss of US$0.36 million in 2016. Xplore reported revenue of $16.9 million for fiscal Q4, 2017, compared to $20.6 million in the year-ago fourth quarter. CEO Mark Holleran stated: “Fiscal 2017 was a transformative year for Xplore, characterized by fully integrating and refining the acquired Motion product lines, working through industry-wide disruptions that affected our first and fourth fiscal quarters, rebuilding of our sales team and a 21% reduction in full-year operating expenses. [See Xplore financials release] -- Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Winmate 2017 focus and 2016 financials
DigiTimes reports that In the second half of 2017, WinMate — a maker of ruggedized tablets, industrial panel PCs — will focus on car inspection solutions, logistics solutions and Industry 4.0-based automation. DigiTimes also reported that WinMate posted consolidated revenues of NT$1.347 billion (US$43.5 million) and net profit of NT$184.3 million (US$5.95 million) for 2016. -- Posted Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Initial impressions of an Apple Watch holdout
So I finally got an Apple Watch. Series 2, the one that's waterproof and has onboard GPS. I chose the larger one with the 42mm screen. When you need reading glasses every millimeter counts. That meant a $400 investment for a bottom-of-the-line watch with the aluminum case (as compared to the much more expensive stainless steel and ceramic ones). I picked space-gray with a black Nike sport band. And here's how it's been going so far. [Read Initial impressions of an Apple Watch holdout] -- Posted Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Credit card-sized Intel Compute Card modular platform
Much of embedded computing is based on modular CPU boards that plug into carrier boards. This approach allows easy scaling and future-proofing of systems as only the CPU module needs to be replaced for more performance or new technology. Intel is now taking the approach a step farther, with their new Intel Compute Card that has roughly the footprint of a credit card. Coming with a variety of Intel 7th gen Core processors, the Compute Card still plug into a carrier dock, but that's tiny, too, at just 5.8 x 2.4 x 0.8 inches. These might well be suitable for all sorts of interesting mobile applications. [See Intel Compute Card press kit] -- Posted Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Intel announces Core i9 processor family
It's been Core i3/i5/i7 — good/better/best — for quite a few years now with Intel's Core processor families. But now Intel has announced a new high-end, the Core i9 Extreme Edition processor family. We're talking up to 18 cores and 36 threads, with a price to match, US$1,999 for the top-of-the-line Core i9-7980XE chip alone. These, of course, are strictly desktop processors; even the low end of the announced i9 chips has a thermal design power of 140 watts. [See Intel news fact sheet] -- Posted Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Walk down Memory Lane: Panasonic Factory Visit, 2002
Back in 2002, RuggedPCReview.com was still Pen Computing Magazine. Then as now, Panasonic was the marketshare leader in rugged notebooks, and we had reviewed every one of their legendary early Toughbooks. A decade earlier Panasonic had realized that selling commodity PCs was a thankless business and so they decided to identify niche markets and eventually specialized on corporate and ruggedized notebook sales to government, corporate and vertical markets. The result was the Toughbook, one of mobile computing's great success stories. We were invited to Japan in 2002 for an exclusive factory tour, and the result was a feature in the October 2002 issue of Pen Computing Magazine, entitled "Tough as Nails: Panasonic Toughbook — A high tech success story" -- Posted Monday, May 29, 2017

Full review: Handheld Algiz 8X ultra-rugged Windows tablet
RuggedPCReview.com has completed a full review of the Handheld Group's Algiz X8 rugged Windows 10 tablet, designed for modern field workers who require a compact, powerful tablet computer for mobile tasks. Powered by a Intel "Braswell" N3710 quad-core processor, the fanless Algiz 8X has a bright (600+ nits) 1280 x 800 pixel 8-inch procap wet/glove-capable multi-touch display with optional active pen support, can handle extreme environmental conditions, and provides extensive onboard connectivity and a "backpack" system for custom features. [See full review of the Handheld Group's Algiz 8X] -- Posted Friday, May 26, 2017

Continuity of “Care”: What Field Service is Missing without Mobility
No one wants to be “that guy”. The field service professional that can’t answer a simple customer inquiry until they get “back to the office” and are sitting in front of a computer. Or, worse, the contractor that delays a customer quote – or even the service itself – another week because they don’t have the right tools or information access to follow through right then and there. Yet, this is a regular occurrence. [See Xplore Technology blog ] -- Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2017

ESRI’s ArcNews: Taking GIS to the Field and Back
Juniper Systems reports that ESRI, a leader in mapping and spatial analytics software, has recently provided an article covering old vs. new methods of mapping on their ArcNews page. This article works to explain how ESRI’s software comes together to create a seamless mapping workflow from field to office. [See Juniper Systems blog entry and the article] -- Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2017

History repeats itself: it's now the Surface Laptop
So the long awaited Microsoft Surface Pro 5 has finally been unveiled as the "new Surface Pro." In its media release, Microsoft calls it "the next generation of the iconic product line and the most versatile laptop on the planet. The new Surface Pro delivers the most performance and battery life in a laptop that is this thin, light and quiet." [...read more] -- Posted Tuesday, May 23, 2017

ARBOR releases new industrial Panel PCs with Intel 6th Gen Skylake Platform
ARBOR Technology, a leading provider of embedded computing solutions, is pleased to announce the newly launched ARBOR ASLAN-W9xxC Series, an expansion to its acclaimed ASLAN series industrial Panel PC. The ASLAN-W9xxC Series is powered by a 2.4GHz Intel® Core i5-6300U™ processor, and supports 4GB DDR4 SO-DIMM system memory. Based on Intel’s 6th Gen Skylake Core processor platform, the series provides low power consumption and plenty of performance for demanding applications and multitasking. [See ARBOR media release] -- Posted Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Panasonic recalls 280,000 tablet PC battery packs due to fire risk
The Japan Times reports that Panasonic is recalling nearly 280,000 battery packs used in its tablet PCs after multiple reports that they have burst into flames. The electronics maker said it received 16 reports of the battery pack used in rugged-use FZ-G1 tablets having combusted between March 2015 and this April, including 12 in North America and one in Japan. It received no reports of injuries. [See Japan Times article and Panasonic FZ-G1 Mk1-2-3 Product Issue page] -- Posted Monday, May 22, 2017

Panasonic announces Toughbook 33 in the US
Panasonic US announced the Toughbook 33, a 2-in-1 device that the company calls a fully rugged detachable laptop. The Intel Kaby Lake-powered (Skylake for those who want to run Windows 7) 12-inch CF-33 will be the replacement of the venerable Panasonic Toughbook CF-31 that, against rising competition, had ruled the rugged laptop roost for a good many years. Pricing starts at US$3,649. [See Panasonic press release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook 33] -- Posted Friday, May 19, 2017

Added: Honeywell CK75 ultra-rugged, dual OS-capable data collection handheld
Earlier this year, Honeywell AIDC introduced the CK75 ultra-rugged data collection handheld geared towards increasing efficiency and productivity across supply chains. The CK75 is a flashlight-style data collection handheld available with either Windows Embedded Handheld or Android. The CK75 is a new version of the Intermec CK71 (Intermec became part of Honeywell in 2012). The new version comes with tech updates and the capability to run either legacy Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 or Android 6.x.x "marshmallow." [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Honeywell CK75] -- Posted Thursday, May 18, 2017

Janam appoints new sales leader for Latin America
Janam Technologies LLC, a leading provider of rugged mobile computers that scan barcodes and communicate wirelessly, announced today that Jorge Guerra has joined the company to lead its Latin America sales operations. This new appointment underscores Janam's continued commitment to the Latin America region and the company's focus on driving innovation in high growth markets. [See Janam press release] -- Posted Thursday, May 18, 2017

Association lays groundwork for a Universal Digital Ink Framework
To accelerate the growth of the digital stationery ecosystem, the Digital Stationery Consortium, Inc. (DSC), today announced that industry PC leader Fujitsu Client Computing Limited has joined the DSC at the Contributor level, the first tier of membership in the organization. The DSC also announced the formation of three new working groups to ensure a coordinated, industry-led effort to advance and promote digital stationery experiences more broadly. DSC Contributor members — Fujitsu Client Computing Limited, Montblanc, Samsung, and Wacom — will leverage these working groups in their efforts to establish digital ink as universal, open and smart content format based on the Wacom Ink Layer Language (WILL) [See DSC press release] -- Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dominium dramatically improves operational efficiency with Zebra mobile computing solution
Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), a global leader in providing solutions and services that give enterprises real-time visibility into their operations, and Emkat Solutions, Inc., a Zebra PartnerConnect partner, today announced that Dominium, one of the nation's largest affordable housing development and management companies, selected Zebra's Android-based TC55 touch mobile computers to replace its manual task operations The innovative solution helped Dominium cut administrative work order time in half; while also streamlining communications between staff and reducing work order processing and apartment inspection times - generating more than $525,000 in annual efficiency gains. Ultimately, the solution enabled Dominium to better serve residents. [See Zebra press release and RuggedPCReview's coverage of the Zebra TC5X Series] -- Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Apple second quarter 2017 financials
Apple reported that it sold 50.8 million iPhones, 8.9 million iPads, and 4.2 million Macs in its fiscal 2017 second quarter that ended April 1, 2017. Total revenue for the quarter was US$52.9 billion, up 4.6% from a year ago. Net profit for the quarter was US$11 billion, slightly up from US$10.5 billion same quarter last year. [See Apple financials Q2/2017] -- Posted Thursday, May 11, 2017

Hoover picks Panasonic Toughpad tablets to support its service and repair engineers
To deliver on its vision of world class customer service with industry leading service and repairs, Hoover is upgrading its field service application and replacing the mobile devices its engineers use with Panasonic Toughpad tablets. Hoover decided to upgrade its existing FieldAssist service management application to the latest Windows 10 version and develop its own bespoke modifications to meet its needs. The upgrade also provided Hoover with the opportunity to re-examine its choice of mobile device for the engineers. [See Panasonic press release] -- Posted Thursday, May 11, 2017

Zebra Technologies announces first-quarter results
Zebra Technologies announced results for the first quarter ended April 1, 2017. GAAP net sales were US$865 million in the first quarter of 2017 compared to US$849 million in the first quarter of 2016. Net income for the first quarter of 2017 was US$8 million, compared to a net loss of $26 million for the first quarter of 2016. “During the quarter, our team extended Zebra’s leadership through superior execution of our strategy. As a result, we drove better-than-expected first quarter sales performance in our Enterprise segment and achieved earnings per share near the top end of our guidance range. We also retired another $80 million of debt, keeping us on track for at least $300 million of pay down for the full-year,” said Anders Gustafsson, chief executive officer of Zebra Technologies. [See Zebra press release] -- Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Complete Tablet Solutions awarded sixth Texas DIR Contract
Complete Tablet Solutions (CTS) is an Austin, TX-based company focused on delivering productivity-enabling technologies as an approved vendor on Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) Cooperative Contracts Programs since 2013, holding six contracts and listed on two additional OEM DIR contracts. CTS is authorized to sell various rugged computer hardware, tablet computers, situational awareness software peripherals, accessories and deployment services, to DIR customers, delivered as a comprehensive solution. [See CTS press release] -- Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Full review: ARBOR ASLAN W900C Series of capacitive multi-touch high-performance industrial Panel PCs
Industrial panel PCs used to be found mostly on shop floors and similar utilitarian applications. But now we're seeing a new generation of panel computers with the same effortless capacitive multi-touch as smartphones and tablets, the same power as high-end laptops and tablets, and attractive, contemporary design. RuggedPCReview examined a 10-inch and a 21.5-inch version of ARBOR Technology's line of Intel "Skylake"-powered wide-screen panel PCs and we came away impressed. [See review of the ARBOR ASLAN W900C Series of modern industrial panel PCs] -- Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Juniper Systems: Which RFID reader option is best for you?
In their latest blog Juniper Systems says a common question they get is "Which RFID frequency should I use?" The answer, they say, is usually "it depends" as everyone's needs are different. So Juniper lists eight questions they'd ask any prospective customer. The answers help providing the tools a customer needs, without overpaying for features that would't be useful for them. [See Which RFID reader option is best for you?] -- Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Zebra Technologies Named to CRN's Mobility 100 List
Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), a global leader in providing solutions and services that give enterprises real-time visibility into their operations, today announced that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Zebra to its 2017 Mobility 100 list as one of the "Coolest Mobile Hardware Vendors." This list recognizes the influential contributions of vendors bringing to market innovative mobile products and services. [See Zebra press release] -- Posted Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Getac ZX70 fully rugged tablet simplifies one-handed operation for mobile field professionals
Engineered to meet the growing needs of mobile transportation and field service professionals, the new Getac ZX70 is a 7" fully rugged Android tablet designed for comfortable one-handed use in remote and challenging environments. Rugged to the core, its IP67 and MIL-STD 810G certification with best-in-class battery life allow it to go wherever you need it to. The ZX70 is also protected by Getac's industry-leading three-year, bumper-to-bumper warranty. [See Getac press release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Getac ZX70] -- Posted Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Intelligent communications as a service to help Caribbean first responders with their mission
Motorola Solutions introduces at the 32nd Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP), Intelligent Communications as a Service. This service model gives public safety and emergency response agencies access to public safety mobile applications as a recurrent subscription for easy deployment so they can respond more efficiently to the needs of the community. [See Motorola Solutions media release] -- Posted Friday, May 5, 2017

Crystal Group showcases rugged computer for IoT and autonomous driving systems at AUVSI XPONENTIAL
Crystal Group, a leading designer/manufacturer of rugged computer hardware, will highlight its rugged computer for autonomous driving systems and IoT applications at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International's XPONENTIAL, May 9-11, 2017, in booth #1516 at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. [See Crystal Group media release] -- Posted Friday, May 5, 2017

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