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

January 2008

Psion Teklogix introduces I-Serv Global Service Program
Psion Teklogix has announced its new I-Serv global service program that promises to lower the TCO of their rugged mobile computer equipment and service costs by as much as 50%. The company is factoring the cost of field and warehouse equipment out of commission, time delays and long-repairs cycles as contributing to hidden TCO. I-Serv combines real-time online global device tracking, a guaranteed service level agreement response time, a 24/7 help desk, global support in seven languages and an “abuse” repair program. [Learn about Psion Teklogix I-Serv] -- Posted Thursday, January 31, 2008

HTC Shift: does this "hybrid" solution show the future?
Albeit not a rugged device, HTC's finally released ultra-mobile PC offers a fascinating look at hybrid technology that combines full Windows Vista with a Windows Mobile variant that offers instant-on and access to push email and PIM data. Vista is powerful but has short battery life; the "SnapVUE" Windows Mobile mode offers only essentials but can run as long as ten days. There are two processors and separate memory, a 1280 x 800 pixel 7-inch touchscreen, and an innovative slide-and-tilt QWERTY keyboard lets you use the Shift like a little notebook. [Read full description and specs of the HTC Shift "hybrid" ultra-mobile PC] -- Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Intermec adds auto-focus area imaging to rugged CK61 mobile computer
Intermec introduced a new version of its ultra-rugged CK61. The CK61EX integrates Intermec's auto-focus area imaging technology that enables quick scanning of 1D and 2D barcodes in any orientation, from six inches to 50 feet away. In addition, users can capture images, signatures and documents and scan damaged, poorly printed or partially obscured codes in variable lighting conditions. The CK61ex is also RFID-ready for connection to the Intermec IP30 RFID Reader Handle. [see description and specs of the Intermec CK61EX] -- Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wyse introduces multimedia-capable, large-screen thin clients
At the Citrix Solutions Summit in Orlando, Wyse announced it has complemented its existing X90/X90e thin client notebook with the new X90L and X90Le models. The X90L is based on the 1.2GHz VIA C7-M Ultra Low Voltage processor. Since the X90L are meant to be desktop replacements and capable of display-oriented applications, they have 15.4-inch WXGA (1280 x 800 pixel) LCDs and run Windows XP Embedded. Compared to the standard X90 line that has 12.1-inch displays, the new models also have gigabit Ethernet, an SD Card slot in addition to the Smart Card reader, Bluetooth 2.0, multimedia support, and both VGA and DVI video output. [Read description ad specs of the Wyse X90L/X90Le think client. -- Posted Monday, January 28, 2008

Case study: GD-Itronix XR-1 notebooks at Aquila
Kansas City, MO, based electric and natural gas distribution company Aquila achieved increased efficiency, faster communication, and enhanced screen viewability since equipping its Customer Operations department with General Dynamics Itronix XR-1 notebooks. Read new GD-Itronix case study. -- Posted Friday, January 25, 2008

Shockproof IP67-rated camera that's also a barcode scanner and GPS-ready
Ricoh introduced a rugged camera that not only takes pictures, but can scan barcodes, communicate with a GPS receiver, and attach both barcode and GPS data to an image file. The files can then be wirelessly sent to a PC or server where they can be used for barcode-based workflows that require high-quality images or advanced geo-coding/mapping applications. The 8-megapixel camera carries an IP67 rating, has onboard WiFi and Bluetooth, and represents a novel, innovative solution with substantial application potential. [Read description and specs of the Ricoh 500SE] -- Posted Friday, January 25, 2008

Fujitsu updates tiny Lifebook
Fujitsu released a technologically updated version of its tiny touchscreen notebook, the LifeBook P1620. The 9.15 x 6.6 x 1.36 inch notebook convertible weighs just 2.2 pounds, has a 8.9-inch wide screen with 1280 x 768 pixel resolution, and is now motivated by a 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U7600 chip. Ancillary circuitry has been updated as well, and the P1620, which comes with Vista Business, is now available with an optional Solid State Drive. [Read description and full specs of the Fujitsu LifeBook P1620] -- Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2008

GETAC introduces Intel A110-based lightweight rugged Tablet PC
At DistribuTECH 2008 in Tampa, Florida, GETAC introduced a compact, lightweight rugged Tablet PC slate based on Intel's ultra low-power A110 processor. The E100 measures 11.1 x 7.2 x 1.26 inches and weighs just over three pounds. The 8.4-inch touchscreen display is available with a 800 nit daylight-viewable option. Using a magnesium housing, rubber bumpers, shock-mounted hardware and extensive sealing, the E100 is ruggedness-tested to MIL-STD-810F standards. Geared towards field and customer service applications, the system is available with "mission boxes" for customized market applications that use RFID, barcode and magnetic strip readers or digital cameras. [Read description and specs of the GETAC E100 ruggedTablet PC slate] -- Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Intermec introduces 4-inch mobile label printer
Intermec introduces the PB50, the company's first wireless mobile label printer and the perfect complement to Intermec mobile computers and scanners such as the CN3 series, 700 series, CK61 series of mobile computers, SR61 and SF51 Bluetooth scanners. As an integral part of the Intermec wireless mobile hardware solution for warehouse operations, the 4-inch PB50 allows users to print labels, tags and receipts wherever and whenever needed through Bluetooth and WLAN connectivity. With a 64MB on-board flash memory, the PB50 can store frequently used label formats and graphics on the printer, eliminating the need to access files from the host system. [See Intermec PB50 product page] -- Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Review: Panasonic Toughbook CF-30
The original Panasonic Toughbook almost singlehandedly created the market for semi-rugged and rugged notebooks. There is plenty of competition now and so we did a long-term test of the latest version of the original Toughbook, the CF-30. The classy industrial design with its signature magnesium housing remains impressive, the electronics have been upgraded, and the outdoor-viewable display works amazingly well. [Read full review of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-30] -- Posted Monday, January 21, 2008

Added new rugged devices from Metrologic and Data Ltd
We added detailed descriptions and specs for two interesting new Windows CE devices. The Metrologic SP5700 OptimusPDA is a compact rugged handheld running Windows CE 5.0 on a 520MHz PXA270. It has an integrated scanner or imager. The Data Ltd DLI 8300 is a tablet that can run any number of operating systems, including Windows CE 6.0. It is powered by a 500MHz AMD LX800 Geode and can have screen resolutions up to 1024 x 768. Both devices are IP54 rated and can take a beating. -- Posted Thursday, January 17, 2008

Psion Teklogix introduces new line of rugged mobile printers
Psion Teklogix announced its PTX Print Mobile printer line, allowing the company to offer its customers end-to-end mobile computing and wireless data collection solutions. The new printers, PTX Print PRINTABOUT, PTX Print MLP3030 and PTX Print MLP 3040, combine small size, lightweight and ruggedness with a rich set of features for virtually any mobile printing application. The PRINTABOUT is a compact, lightweight, thermal printer for mobile sales, field service and public safety applications. It is available in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cabled versions, smaller and lighter than most competition, and has a IP54 and 4-foot drop rating. The wireless MLP 3030 3 and 4-inch printers, also IP54 rated, are designed for quick production of even complex labels and receipts. They use flexible vehicle mounting or can be carried on a belt or shoulder.
-- Posted Thursday, January 17, 2008

MobileDemand introduces sunlight viewable rugged Tablet PC
MobileDemand introduced the xTablet T8700, a compact, rugged Tablet PC slate based on a reliable platform that has seen duty in various vertical markets for years. There are significant technology enhancements in the new model that make the versatile tablet more practical than ever. The latest version of the xTablet is faster, especially with the optional Solid State Drive, and even handles Windows Vista efficiently with its Intel Core Duo processor and generous 2GB base RAM. The machine has an integrated numeric keypad, and is available with a mag stripe reader and scanner/imager. And the sunlight viewable dual-digitizer display is a big productivity enhancement for those who use the machine outdoors. [See our detailed review of the MobileDemand xTablet T8700]
-- Posted Monday, January 14, 2008

Electrovaya releases Scribbler SC 4000 Tablet PC
Electrovaya announced the launch of the Scribbler SC4000 series. The sleek new Tablet PC slate combines an Electrovaya 70Wh Lithium Ion SuperPolymer battery, a 1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U7500 ULV CPU, fingerprint security, a 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, 802.11a/b/g WiFi, gigabit Ethernet, a 60 GB SATA 5400 rpm hard drive (upgradeable up to 160 GB) and 1GB RAM (upgradeable to 4 GB). It includes a TPM security module and there is a sunlight-readable screen option for the wide viewing angle 12.1-inch display. The Scribbler SC4000 weighs 3.3 pounds and is less than an inch thick. The Scribbler SC4000 comes with Windows Vista or Windows XP Tablet 2005. [See Electrovaya SC4000 spec sheet] -- Posted Thursday, January 10, 2008

McKesson releases Motion C5-based medical applications
Building upon two decades of experience in mobile point-of-care solutions, McKesson is the first healthcare IT company to announce general availability for the Motion C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant Tablet PC. McKesson has certified its major Horizon Clinicals applications on the C5. An estimated two million clinicians – including more than 400,000 registered nurses – rely upon these applications to deliver safe, efficient care. [Read full release] -- Posted Thursday, January 10, 2008

Zebra unveils UHF RFID card printer/encoder
Zebra Technologies, a global leader in specialty printing and automatic identification solutions, announced the launch of its Zebra R3i and R4i UHF RFID card printer/encoders, a new RFID product series designed to save time and costs, while heightening security in a host of auto-identification, access control and asset tracking applications. The company is also offering genuine Zebra-designed supplies -- rugged, flexible UHF RFID-enabled plastic cards for single-sided or dual-sided card printing. The RFID card printers are now available in North America, with global release scheduled for early 2008 -- Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2008

OQO adds 64GB SSD and sunlight-optimized display
OQO expanded its UMPC line with the addition of a 64GB solid state drive option and the introduction of a new display technology offering dramatic improvement in direct sunlight readability with greater than 50% reduction in unwanted reflections. This expansion addresses several growth segments of the UMPC market. Field service professionals, for example, require outdoor-useable UMPCs in tough environments. The OQO model 02 with 64GB SSD uses high performance NAND Flash. The Sunlight Optimized display uses proprietary anti-reflective films in order to reduce specular reflections between the internal layers of the display itself, resulting in reduced reflections in direct sunlight and improved contrast when used in outdoor viewing scenarios. [View OQO Model 02 description] -- Posted Monday, January 7, 2008

US Air Force buys GD-Itronix rugged notebooks via Telos
According to Business Wire, Telos Corporation announced that the Air Force Reserve Command and the Air Force Special Operations Command have each placed task orders totaling US$4.3 million for ruggedized notebook computers to support aircraft maintenance operations on the flight line. Under the orders, Telos is reselling 585 GD-Itronix ruggedized notebooks to be used at 18 AFRC sites across the US and 289 laptops for four AFSOC sites -- Hurlburt Field, Fla., Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Kadena Air Base, Japan and RAF Mildenhall, England. The computers will be used on the flight line and in hangars by aircraft maintenance technicians and will communicate with the base network over a secure wireless LAN previously designed and implemented by Telos. -- Posted Friday, January 4, 2008

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    The editor and co-founder of Pen Computing Magazine launched late 2005 as a website dedicated to providing news and information about rugged mobile computer technology and its applications. The site aims to be an industry clearinghouse for rugged computing equipment hardware reviews as well as an information source on rugged computing terminology, definitions, testing, and enabling technologies.

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