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Rugged PC Review Monthly News Archive [ Back to news index]

January 2007

Mitac to focus on ruggedized notebooks?
According to Digitimes, Mitac denied that its is suspending its OEM notebook business in favor of switching its focus on the company's ruggedized notebook operation. Mitac is making ruggedized notebooks and slates for affiliated Getac, a joint venture between Mitac and GE Aerospace. -- Posted Monday, January 22, 2007

Wyse introduces multi-platform, high-res "thin computers"
Wyse Technology, a leader in Thin Computing, today announced the availability of the new Wyse V-Class Dual-Video family of thin computers with advanced display capabilities. The V-Class Dual-Video family addresses the requirements of customers asking for higher display resolutions (up to WUXGA 1920 x 1080 pixels), superior image quality, and support for analog and digital displays through a DVI-I interface. It is based on the VIA Eden C7 processor, uses only 12 watts of power, yet is four times faster than the models it replaces, at the same or lower prices. The line includes models based on Windows CE 5.0, Linux, and Windows XP embedded. Models are available starting at $399. Dual video capability requires optional DVI-I to dual display cable. -- Posted Tuesday, January 16, 2007

O'Neil announces the Compact 2 printer family
O'Neil Product Development announced the availability of the O'Neil Compact 2 portable thermal printer. The OC2 is the first available member of the OC family; a light weight, streamlined and ergonomic family of portable label and receipt printers designed for extreme portability. The OC2 prints direct thermal receipts and invoices on 2.25 inch media and is ideal for applications where customer facing, point-of-sale and on-demand transaction processing is required. The OC2 offers optional 802.11b/g WLAN or Bluetooth and has high print quality at 203 dpi, Flash memory for fast adaptability to changing business requirements, and intelligent power management to increase user productivity and efficiency. -- Posted Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Toughbooks now with anti-theft technology in firmware
Panasonic and Absolute Software Corporation have extended Absolute's BIOS-based security to the Panasonic Toughbook notebook line. Effective immediately, Panasonic has embedded BIOS support for Absolute's Computrace-enabled security solutions with the CF-19 and CF-30 rugged notebooks and the CF-T5 business-rugged tablet alternative. The ultraportable CF-W5 and thin-and-light CF-Y5 business-rugged models, as well as the CF-74 semi-rugged notebook, are scheduled to begin shipping with Computrace embedded in early-2007. Additional models will follow later in 2007. In addition to supporting Absolute applications at the BIOS level, Panasonic will also resell Absolute Computrace Computer Theft Recovery, Data Protection and Secure Asset Tracking software. [Read anti-theft success stories] -- Posted Thursday, January 11, 2007

Motorola licenses RFID patents from Intermec
Intermec said Motorola Inc. has agreed to license Intermec's patents relating to radio frequency identification technology. Motorola, which recently agreed to buy Intermec rival Symbol Technologies Inc., joins 23 other companies that have agreed to license those patents from the Everett, Washington company. Financial terms of the agreement between Motorola and Intermec were not released. Intermec claims to hold more than 150 patents covering RFID technology. -- Posted Thursday, January 11, 2007

First ever Mac Tablet solution
Other World Computing and Axiotron unveiled the ModBook, the first ever Mac OS X tablet computer solution. The Axiotron ModBook is an after-market hardware modification solution of the Apple MacBook, adding WACOM pen input, a new 13.3" wide screen LCD and an optional GPS in a satin-finish, chrome-plated magnesium top shell, while keeping all the powerful features of the MacBook base system and that includes Inkwell handwriting and gesture recognition which is built into OS X and works in all applications. The ModBook can be preordered in three versions, ranging from US$2,199 to US$2,699, or roughly double that of the corresponding MacBooks, though the prices are not directly comparable due to different equipment levels. [see ModBook lineup] -- Posted Thursday, January 11, 2007

InPlay offers digital pen technology for UMPCs
InPlay Technologies announced that its digital pen technology now offers OEMs pen-input capability for ultra-mobile PCs. The InPlay MagicPoint for UMPCs consists of a digitizer behind a 7-inch LCD and an active RF digital writing pen. The system is customizable from a low-cost corded pen with basic handwriting input capability to a feature-rich cordless digital pen. The active RF pen adds greater accuracy and enhanced functionality such as hover, tilt and pressure sensitivity versus a passive stylus. "InPlay's MagicPoint technology can also be leveraged beyond the tablet PC, our primary market today. Our goal is to enable active RF pen-input as a standard user interface across all mobile PC devices," said Bob Brilon, CEO, InPlay Technologies. InPlay's MagicPoint technology is the only pen input solution with digital stream communication available today. -- Posted Tuesday, January 9, 2007

BeerCampus.com aims to boost profits at beer distributors
ej4, a provider of short-form, rapid-deployment training and communication solutions for the beverage industry, has launched BeerCampus.com. The new e-learning training program addresses the core business needs of beer distributors by improving retail execution of a beer distributor's workforce. BeerCampus.com consists of over 100 custom courses that train distributors to drive profitability through improved retail execution. Training modules cover sales skills, negotiation techniques, supervising and management, administration, OSHA and DOT regulations compliance, and expense reduction (including energy costs). -- Posted Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Zebra printers first to support Symbol's Mobility Services Platform
Zebra Technologies Corporation announced the expansion of its portfolio of mobile network management tools by integrating support for Symbol's Mobility Services Platform (MSP) on its QL Plus and RW series mobile printers. Zebra says it is the first to offer support for this network management tool on mobile printers, giving users of Symbol's MSP the ability to centrally monitor, update and troubleshoot their entire enterprise mobility network, including rugged Zebra printers, for a lower total cost of ownership. -- Posted Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Edgy new Toshiba R400 Tablet PC
Toshiba maintained its position as perhaps the premier provider of Tablet PC convertibles with the introduction of the Portege R400, a somewhat edgy design clearly meant to ring in the Vista era. The machine runs a 1.2 GHz Intel Core Duo U2500, uses the currently popular 1280 x 800 "wide" format in a wide-viewing-angle 12.1-inch LCD, has 2-4GB of PC4200 RAM, an 80GB hard disk, a DVD writer, integrated EV-DO/Bluetooth/802.11a/b/g, measures 12 x 9.5 x 1.2 inches and weighs just under four pounds. The black and white color schem departs from recent Toshiba designs, as does a secondary display for the display of mail and calendar data along the front of the device. There is also a wireless replicator and Toshiba claims the R400 is the first notebook compatible with Microsoft Active Notification that synchronizes email with the calendar on its own. -- Posted Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Bye PC Card, hello ExpressCard
If you bought a notebook recently and found a PC Card slot in it but your PC Cards didn't fit, it's because it's an ExpressCard slot. At CES in Las Vegas, PCMCIA, the leading technology trade association for PC Card technology, announced that the newest wave of ExpressCard notebook computers, modules and components are now available. The latest products dramatically increase the number and variety of applications available to consumers today, and range from wireless WAN to TV tuners, gigabit Ethernet, high-capacity data storage, a wireless mouse and expansion solutions. Check out the ExpressCard site] -- Posted Monday, January 8, 2007

PSC upgrades Falcon 4400 Series
PSC announced the expansion of the Falcon 4400 line to include Bluetooth, 128MB RAM/128MB Flash memory, full alpha-numeric numbers-up keypad, and a high-density 2D scan-engine. A new 52-key numbers-up keypad designed for single-handed operation complements the keypad suite of 26-key, 48-key, and 52-key keyboards for application customization. Customers can also choose between Windows Mobile 5.0 or Windows CE 5.0 operating systems. [See capsule review and specs of PSC Falson 4400] -- Posted Monday, January 8, 2007

HP introduces tx1000 Vista-optimized Tablet PC
At CES, HP announced the Pavilion tx1000 entertainment notebook PC, the first consumer Tablet PC optimized for Microsoft Windows Vista. The tx1000 features a swivel digitizer display, built-in remote control, HP QuickPlay instant movie viewing, and, um... karaoke. The tx1000 runs on an 1.8 GHz AMD Turion X2 dual core mobile processor, has up to 2GB DDR2 RAM, measures 8.8 x 12.1 x 1.25 inches and weighs 4.25 pounds. There is a 160GB 5400rpm hard disk, 802.11b/g WiFi, an 8X double-layer DVD burner, and prices start at a low US$1,099. -- Posted Monday, January 8, 2007

Trimble introduces outdoor navigation solution for GPS phones
Trimble today introduced its GuideWorx GPS application, further extending its Trimble Outdoors suite of GPS-on-cellular applications and demonstrating the company's leading position in the location-based applications space. GuideWorx GPS transforms a mobile phone into a powerful handheld GPS device specifically designed for both on- and off-road navigation. [see full release] -- Posted Monday, January 8, 2007

Samsung shows double-sided LCD
Samsung is showing a 2-1/4-inch double-sided LCD at CES 2007. It is the first product to display two different images back to back in an ultra-thin package, opening the possibility for truly innovative and different multimedia handset designs. Other commercially available double-sided LCDs consist of two panels placed one on top of the other, and those only display the reverse image of identical screen content. We can imagine that this technology has applications in rugged designs as well. -- Posted Monday, January 8, 2007

Intermec EX25 Imager engine
At the i-comm Intermec's annual customer conference held this year in Toronto, Canada, Intermec introduced the revolutionary area imaging bar code scan engine that breaks through previous bar code scanning limitations. The new Intermec Intellibeam EX25 scan engine reads and decodes 1D and 2D bar codes in any orientation from 15cm to 15 meters, as well as composite and postal codes. The Intermec EX25's capabilities extend even beyond bar code scanning. Intermec EX25 also can photograph proof-of-delivery documents and evidence of damaged, expired or unsealed goods. -- Posted Monday, January 8, 2007

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