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

January 2012

Added: Bluebird Pidion mobile computers

RuggedPCReview.com has added the complete lineup of Bluebird's Pidion rugged and semi-rugged mobile computers. These include the BIP-5000 and BIP-6000 enterprise handhelds, the flashlight-style BIP-7000 industrial handheld, and the BM-170 enterprise PDA/smartphone. All are based on the 806MHz Marvel PXA320 processor and run either versions of Windows CE or Windows Mobile, with the BIP-6000 and BM-170 also announced as capable of running Android.
-- Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2012

MODEX 2012, Atlanta
Where can you see rugged system vendors Advantech DLoG, DRS Technologies, DAP Technologies, Datalogic, Honeywell, Janam, Juniper Systems, MobileDemand, Panasonic, Pideon, Psion, and RAM Mounts all in one place? That'd be at MODEX 2012, the industry's newest expo for the manufacturing, distribution and supply chain industries. MODEX 2012 takes place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, February 6-9, 2012. [See MODEX 2012] -- Posted Monday, January 30, 2012

ADLINK releases 2nd gen Intel Core based rugged fanless MX5300 Series embedded computers
ADLINK Technology announced the release of the new Matrix MXE-5300 series of rugged, quad core, fanless computers, based on 2nd generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors and the QM67 chipset. Designed as an embedded computing solution for intelligent transportation, in-vehicle multimedia, and surveillance and factory automation applications, the MXE-5300 provides generous onboard I/O (including USB 3.0) and expansion (CFast, mini-PCIe, SATA-III), as well as DI/DO and legacy support. [See ADLINK press release] -- Posted Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Advantech UTC-515 ubiquitous touch terminal
Businesses the world over are seeking new and innovative ways to automate and improve service, and the application potential for smart touch terminals seems endless. RuggedPCReview.com took a detailed look at the Advantech UTC-515 15.6-inch Intel Atom-D510/525 based "ubiquitous touch computer" that runs Windows Embedded Standard. It's an elegant, very solid and very expandable design that is also small enough (also looks good enough) to fit anywhere. [See review of the Advantech UTC-515 touch terminal] -- Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012

Intermec announces distribution agreement with UK-based Midwich
Midwich, a UK distributor of technology solutions in printing, security, barcode, auto-ID, and digital imaging announced it has entered into a distribution agreement with Intermec for Intermec's supply chain solutions in the UK and Ireland. [See press release] -- Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Motion tablets help Nebraska utility save up to 75% in time
Motion Computing reports on how Norris Public Power District, a provider of wholesale and retail electric service to 44 communities in five counties across southeast Nebraska, relies on the Motion J3500 Tablet PCs to provide real-time access to schedules, service orders and business-critical information as well as the ability to process meter readings and update the database from the field. With the J3500 tablets, service orders that previously took three or four days can now be completed in a single day. According to an NPPD spokes person, "The tablets streamline our entire workflow, from the office to the field and back again, reducing errors, increasing productivity and saving time and costs." [See press release] -- Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2012

GD Itronix signs reseller agreement with In Motion Technology
General Dynamics Itronix has signed a reseller agreement to supply Canadian In Motion Technology's rugged and integrated mobile communications solution for mobile workers in a vehicle environment. This way, the company states, rather than having separate systems or mobile devices operate using their own cellular data plans, organizations can connect mobile workers to and from the enterprise through a single, secure, shareable, in-vehicle broadband connection, enabling improved productivity for users and reducing wireless communications costs for organizations. [See press release] -- Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Motorola Solutions reports good Q4 and full-year 2010 financials
Motorola Solutions announced fourth-quarter and full-year 2011 results highlighted by Q4 sales of $2.3 billion, up 5% from Q4 2010, and full-year 2011 sales of US$8.2 billion, up 8% from 2010, both driven by solid demand in all regions across both its Government and Enterprise segments. Q4 earnings were US$276 million, slightly up from $272 million for the quarter a year ago. Full-year 2011 earnings were US$858 million, up from US$751 million in 2010. Total 2011 sales were roughly 1/3 from enterprise sales and 2/3 from government sales. Looking forward, Motorola Solutions expects 2011 sales to grow by about 5%. [See Motorola Solutions press release] -- Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Full review: Winmate G570Z 5.7-inch rugged handheld device
The Winmate G570Z may look like a large PDA, but it's actually a small Windows tablet. With a very bright 5.7-inch resistive touch screen and running embedded Windows XP on an Intel Atom Z510 processor, the 8 x 4.7 inch G570 weighs around two pounds, considerably less than larger rugged tablets. The device is highly configurable (1D/2D scanner, RFID, 3.5G WWAN), runs a full shift on dual batteries, and with a 4-foot drop spec and IP65 sealing can be deployed almost anywhere. [See review of the Winmate G570Z rugged tablet] -- Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Android-based General Dynamics Itronix GD300 wearable computer deployed in Afghanistan
General Dynamics reports that its JTRS HMS Rifleman Radio and the General Dynamics Itronix GD300 wearable computer deployed this month to Afghanistan with elements of the 75th Ranger Regiment. The Rangers are equipped with the Rifleman Radio for intra-squad communications and with the Android-based GD300 (see our PDF on the GD300), running the Tactical Ground Reporting (TIGR) tactical 'app,' to send text messages, situation reports and other information to individual solders. -- Posted Monday, January 23, 2012

Intermec: upgrade to new processors and Gobi 3000 for 70 Series rugged handhelds
Intermec announced two enhancements to its 70 Series of rugged handhelds. The first is a switch from the 600MHz TI OMAP 3530 processor, an older 65nm design, to a 1GHz TI Sitara 3715 chip, a newer 45nm design that is fully OMAP architecture compatible. While still using an ARM Cortex A8 core and a POWERVR SGX Graphics Accelerator, the 3715's faster clock speed, up to 2X graphics performance, and lower power consumption mean a considerable step up in performance. The second is that three of the four 70 Series models -- the CN70, CN70e, and CK70 -- can now be ordered with what Intermec calls its "Flexible Network radio" module based on Qualcomm's Gobi 3000 technology and usable on both CDMA and UMTS wireless networks, enabling automatic and seamless "in route" switching between different carrier networks. [See Intermec press release] -- Posted Monday, January 23, 2012

Rugged handhelds in commercials: Juniper Allegro MX
We always get a kick out of seeing a rugged device in a movie or commercial, and the Allegro MX ultra-rugged handheld from Juniper Systems certainly caught our eye in a commercial for the Waiariki Institute of Technology. [See commercial with the Juniper Allegro MX on YouTube] -- Posted Friday, January 20, 2012

RFI - COTS Ruggedized Computing Devices for Emergency Responders
The folks at the SAVER (System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders) program project staff at Eastern Kentucky University alerted to a newly released solicitation on the Federal Business Opportunities Website for information on commercial off-the-shelf Ruggedized Computers that support emergency responders. This solicitation seeks information from vendors regarding their ruggedized solutions, including usability characteristics, as well as company info to include in a national DHS publication that will be available on the SAVER section of the Responder Knowledge Base website (https://www.rkb.us). [See RFI - COTS Ruggedized Computing Devices for Emergency Responders] -- Posted Friday, January 20, 2012

Long-term review: Getac B300
Fully rugged notebooks bring enterprise-class computing power into the field, enabling advanced applications in places where consumer products cannot survive. RuggedPCReview.com conducted a long-term review of the latest and most advanced version of Getac's fully rugged B300 notebook computer. With a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7-2649M processor, 1333MHz DDR3 RAM, and superfast Intel SSD storage, the magnesium alloy, 8.75 pound Getac is 50% faster than its predecessor and one of the most powerful rugged computers we have tested. Add a super-bright 1,400 nit sunlight-readable touch display, a 5-year warranty, and exceptional battery life, and the big Getac should make the short list of anyone in the market for fully rugged machines. [See full review of the Getac B300] -- Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012

Axis introduces rugged HD video decoder
Network video specialist Axis Communications introduced the ruggedized AXIS Q7424-R Video Encoder that enables flexible migration of analog cameras to an IP-based video surveillance system in tough environments. Designed to comply with the American NEMA TS-2 standard for temperature, vibration and shock, the tough little encoder supports 30 fps multistream H.264 and Motion JPEG compression per channel, making it for ideal for demanding applications intraffic monitoring, city surveillance, airports, railway stations, etc. [See press release] -- Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012

NDP DisplaySearch: Wide viewing angle LCDs on the move
We've been preaching the virtues of wide viewing angle displays for many years and marveled at the fantastic viewing experiences on Hydis and other IPS (in-plane switching) and FFS (fringe-field switching) displays (HP used Hydis displays already in their 2003/2004 TC1100 Tablet PC). Well, according to NDP DisplaySearch, with the increasing use of tablet PCs and smart phones to view and share video, wide viewing angle performance is finally becoming a requirement in TFT LCDs. In our opinion, wide viewing angle displays are so much better as to make them virtually mandatory on most mobile computing devices. [See NDP DisplaySearch release on wide viewing angle LCD technologies] -- Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012

Intermec technology helps tracing food supply chain
In light of recent food safety news from around the globe, Intermec announced new food traceability initiatives designed to economically ensure accuracy and safety measures in the event of time-sensitive product recalls. A recent food traceability implementation at LoBue Citrus, a family-run grower and distributor of California oranges, improved accuracy to nearly 99%. To achieve that, LoBue automated their formerly manual tracking system with Intermec PM4i industrial printers, PB50 mobile label printers, SR30 handheld scanners and CN3 rugged mobile computers, coupled with FoodLogiQ PTI Traceability system and services. [See Intermec press release] -- Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012

Motion shows tekservePOS retail solutions on Motion Tablet PCs
At the National Retail Federation's (NRF) Annual Convention and EXPO, Motion Computing and tekservePOS announced they are providing retailers with a complete mobile POS solution that improves efficiency, increases profitability and provides a competitive advantage in the ever-changing retail marketplace. Motion products included the CL900 Tablet PC, F5v Tablet PC and the J3500 Tablet PC, as well as its integrated expansion solution for data acquisition and transaction processing, the CL900 SlateMate with magnetic stripe reader and barcode scanner. [See Motion press release] -- Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Motorola Solutions Venture Capital invests in Retailigenceís $2.6 million funding round
Motorola Solutions, through its strategic investment arm Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, has invested in Retailigence, a mobile marketing service for retailers focused on local product and brand availability. The funding will be used to advance the development of the service, accelerate integration into major retail systems, and dramatically expand retailer coverage. -- Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Trimble Yuma rugged tablet gets 80GB SSD
Trimble announced that its Intel Atom-powered and totally waterproof Yuma rugged tablet computer (see our full review of the Yuma) is now available with an 80 GB solid state drive. With more than double the storage, the larger SSD makes the Yuma an even better choice for software solutions developers, field researchers and mobile workers with substantial data and processing requirements in extreme environments. -- Posted Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MobileDemand announces partnership with Barcoding, Inc.
MobileDemand, a provider of rugged Tablet PC systems announced a reseller partnership agreement with Baltimore-based Barcoding, Inc., a mobility systems integrator focused on automated data capture and wireless technology. MobileDemand also announced software certification on one of Barcoding, Inc.ís partner offerings, Rutherford and Associates' eoStar route accounting software. [See press release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Modular Psion XT15: tougher, faster, more versatile
A while ago Psion began making its rugged handhelds modular so that users could configure them exactly as they liked. The company now introduced their new Omnii XT15 rugged handheld that's not only faster, tougher and more modern, but also offers more display, communication, scanning and general configuration modules and options than ever before. [See description and specs of the Psion Omnii XT15 -- Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fujitsu releases advanced POS touch terminal
While we haven't heard much from Fujitsu in terms of mobile tablets as of late, the company is very active in the point-of-sale area where its TeamPoS all-in-one touch terminals represent the state of the art. The latest addition is the TeamPoS 7000, which Brian Yates, Director of Retail Product Marketing at Fujitsu America, described as follows: "The TeamPoS 7000 AIO terminal is a key building block for creating the retailing environment of the future. This vision starts with multiple in-store touch-points sitting atop an open architecture with remote system management. We then integrate CRM, multimedia and social media, and leverage cloud integration and mobile commerce solutions to provide customers with a holistic and interactive retail experience that will increase loyalty and drive powerful new marketing programs." [See Fujitsu press release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wavelink announces terminal emulation for Moto E1 and other Android devices
Wavelink Corporation announced that its Wavelink Terminal Emulation (TE) will be the industry's first and only to run on Android-based devices, including the highly anticipated Motorola ET1 rugged enterprise tablet. This provides customers with additional options in mobile devices that can be used to connect to host systems in the warehouse and in the field. [See Wavelink press release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2012

DT Research's 430 POS handheld updated
DT Research announced that their DT430 POS handheld was updated to improve overall performance with a new ARM 11 core processor running at 800MHz, more RAM (512MB instead of 128), and 4GB flash instead of the original 128MB. 802.11a/b/g/n support provides faster network connection as well as support for Cisco CCX 4.0 for enterprise applications. A more powerful barcode scanner has a faster scan rate, better motion tolerance, and higher optical resolution -- Posted Monday, January 16, 2012

Added: General Dynamics Itronix GD4000
There are times when an enterprise doesn't need a fully rugged computer, but would like something more durable than a consumer product, and perhaps something from a rugged systems vendor they already know and trust. The GD4000 from General Dynamics Itronix fills that spot. It's a semi-rugged, high-performance (yet reasonably priced) Intel Core i5/i7 powered notebook computer with a 14-inch daylight-readable display and enough options to customize it for any conceivable deployment. [See description and specs of the General Dynamics Itronix GD4000] -- Posted Monday, January 16, 2012

Handheld Group expands in the UK
The Handheld Group is continuing what seems a rapid expansion with a new office in the UK. The new subsidiary, Handheld UK & Ireland Ltd, will cover the key UK and Irish markets and will enable Handheld to support existing and new partners generate new business opportunities in the UK market. The UK office, run by rugged computing industry veteran Dave Cawsey, is Handheld's fourth new subsidiary in the last 12 months. See Handheld Group press release]
-- Posted Monday, January 16, 2012

DAP Technologies upgrades super-compact rugged M100 data capture handheld
One of the smallest rugged handheld computers available, the DAP Technologies M1000, is getting a performance boost from RAM thatís been doubled to 256 MB. DAPís IP65-sealed M1000 measures just 5.7 x 2.4 x 1 inches and weighs a minuscule 8.2 oz., making it a palm-sized and featherweight data capture solution for inventory control, picking and packing. -- Posted Monday, January 16, 2012

3M introduces 3M SmartPen
Capacitive touch screens have taken the world by storm, but unless they are combined with some sort of active pen technology, they rely on finger input, and that may not always be enough. You can buy pens, but none that we have tried work very well. Well, 3M Touch Systems has now introduced the 3M Smart Pen that's supposed to provide the accuracy other capacitive pens are lacking. [See 3M Smart Pen] -- Posted Friday, January 13, 2012

Intermec's first 2012 Realtime newsletter
Intermec's first Realtime newsletter of 2012 (see here) highlights a number of videos that showcase the use of Intermec rugged handhelds in various businesses to save time and money. There's also an interesting article by scanning expert Cedric Molton on the state of laser vs. 2D imaging (see Industry Insight: Imaging Goes Mainstream). -- Posted Friday, January 13, 2012

Aceeca shipping RFID handheld evaluation units
In Aceeca's latest newsletter, the New Zealand-based company says that RFID continues to gain momentum as RFID improves and prices decrease, with some tags now available for less than 10 cents. As a result, Aceeca is now shipping evaluation units of their first IP67-sealed Windows CE OR Palm OS Garnet based handheld. -- Posted Friday, January 13, 2012

Five ways to lower inventory costs with rugged Tablet PCs
MobileDemand's latest blog is entitled "Five Ways to Lower Inventory Costs with Rugged Tablet PCs" and summarizes proven methods for lowering inventory costs, and how businesses can use rugged tablets to help them with those methods. -- Posted Thursday, January 12, 2012

Motorola Solutions demonstrates why 'The Experience is Everything' for shoppers at NRF's Big Show
Motorola Solutions will showcase its latest retail solutions and innovations at the National Retail Federation's NRF 101st Annual Convention & EXPO Jan. 15-18, 2012 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. Under the theme "The Experience is Everything," Motorola, along with 25 partners, will demonstrate solutions that help retailers anticipate shopper needs, close sales, and inspire shopper loyalty and advocacy. [See Motorola Solutions' exhibits] -- Posted Thursday, January 12, 2012

Datalogic realigns, combines divisions
Datalogic announced it will realign Datalogic Scanning, Datalogic Mobile, Enterprise Business Solutions and Evolution Robotics Retail to form the new Datalogic ADC (Automatic Data Capture) division. Datalogic Group CEO, Mauro Sacchetto said: "This decision plays a major role in the Datalogic Group's growth strategy. The new Datalogic ADC division maximizes our focus on Automatic Data Capture, allowing the customers to have one reference point for the most complete range of solutions in the market." [See the new combined website of Datalogic Automated Data Capture] -- Posted Thursday, January 12, 2012

Xplore launches Xplorer Partner Program
Xplore Technologies, maker of the iX104C5 line of rugged tablet PCs, announced the launch of its Channel Partner Program. "Xplore seeks to solidify our channel network by augmenting online resources, offering sales and technical training as well as providing leads from our active marketing campaigns to our partners as we continue to successfully roll out the new iX104C5 line of tablet PCs," said Mark Holleran, President and Chief Operating Officer of Xplore. -- Posted Thursday, January 12, 2012

Trend seen at 2012 CES: Gigabit WiFi
Every CES has its number of major trends, and his year one of them is gigabit WiFi. Over the years we've seen a progression from 802.11b to 802.11g to 802.11n, with most organizations and individuals now using a mix of those standards, with the slowest link often determining overall network speed. That wasn't a major problem in the past, but by now even 802.11n is not really equipped to handle the emerging infrastructure of streaming video and connectivity. The answer is the 802.11ac standard that promises real world gigabit WiFi. At CES, companies such as Trendnet (see release), Buffalo (see release), Broadcom (see release), NetGear (see tech primer), D-Link (see release), etc., are all showing 802.11ac products. -- Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bracing For Healthcare's Mobile Explosion
Ken Congdon, editor in chief at Healthcare Technology Online suggests bracing for a mobile explosion in the healthcare market. 80% of all doctors in the US already use smartphones and medical apps in their daily practice, nearly a third of healthcare providers use mobile devices to access EMR/EHR systems, and about 30% of all practicing physicians have already bought an iPad. Congdom, though, cautions about potential risks to protected health information and recommends plans and policies to handle such exposure. [See Bracing For Healthcare's Mobile Explosion] -- Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Synaptics announces single ASIC large touchscreen ClearPad solution for tablets
Synaptics announced the latest addition to its single ASIC ClearPad Series 7 touchscreen family, the single ASIC ClearPad 7300 solution. Supporting up to 12-inch touchscreens with tracking of 10 or more fingers, the ClearPad 7300 is designed for the tablet market. [See ClearPad Series 7 Product Brief (PDF)] -- Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getac beta testing Android on PS236 rugged handheld
Getac Germany and Germany UK have issued press releases seeking beta testers for Android versions of the Getac PS236 rugged handheld computer in order to "capitalise on the possibilities that the Android platform offers for enterprise applications." Getac US is not participating in the beta test program for now. [See Getac UK release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Atmel announces next-gen maXTouch S Series
Touch technology specialist Atmel Corporation announced the availability of its new maXTouch S Series family of touchscreen controllers, the next gen of their unlimited touch plus stylus technology with systems supporting touch screens from 3.5 inches all the way to 17 inches. The S Series facilitates thinner and lighter devices without sacrificing responsiveness, touch fidelity or battery life. [See maXTouch S Series YouTube video and white paper] -- Posted Monday, January 9, 2012

Escort Radar announces SmartOffice rugged tablet
None other than Escort, the radar detector folks, have announced the ESCORT SmartOffice rugged mobile PC that is said to consolidate office functionality into a single Windows 7 Tablet PC that offers navigation, POS credit card processing, fleet management, remote inventory/CRM management, barcode/RFID reader, reverse camera option and fleet transportation/logistics monitoring. The tablet looks familiar but we haven't quite been able to place it. One glitch that perhaps shows Escort's newness to the rugged field: the PR shot of the tablet shows the late and not-so-great Windows Vista. -- Posted Monday, January 9, 2012

Intermec Vocollect AccuNurse deployed at Texas nursing center
Intermec reports that its Vocollect business unit has implemented its interactive Vocollect AccuNurse voice technology at Pine Grove Nursing Center to deliver quality care to patients and residents while preparing for 2014 healthcare reform requirements. [See press release] -- Posted Monday, January 9, 2012

Xplore launches new range of rugged docking systems
Xplore Technologies is launching a new line of rugged docking systems at CES in Las Vegas, January 10-13, 2012. The new line includes the xDOC PRO built to withstand the shocks and vibrations found on forklifts or rugged all-terrain vehicles. The lightweight dock has a glass-filled industrial polymer body, a twist-release mechanism for easy docking and undocking, and a self-alignment tamper-proof key lock for security. The all-metal xDOC II for vehicle applications is designed for maximum strength, offers an easy pull-up docking/undocking mechanism and is compatible with the also new lightweight but very rugged plastic xDIM I/O expansion module. In addition, Xplore also launches the "smart" xDIM Pro dock with GPIO connectivity to interact with sensors and switches. This model will also be available in a wireless version. -- Posted Monday, January 9, 2012

Juniper System's Mesa fully secure via Apriva Authentication Suite
Juniper Systems announced that its Mesa Rugged Notepad has completed extensive testing and validation procedures to achieve full integration with the Apriva Authentication Suite that combines ISO 7816 based ID card reading via Bluetooth, lock-down without positive read, and AES 256 encryption of data transmitted outside the Mesa to deliver a secure access environment. [Read press release] -- Posted Monday, January 9, 2012

Getac hires industry expert as Director of Channels
Getac announced the addition of Scott Shainman as the Director of Channels for North America as the company further expands its national reseller channel. He comes to Getac from General Dynamics Itronix, where he served as the Director of Worldwide Channels and Strategic Alliances and he was named a 2011 Channel Chief by CRN magazine. -- Posted Friday, January 6, 2012

DTResearch DT410/415: no-nonsense POS handhelds
We have added product pages on the DT410 and DT415 handhelds by DTResearch. DTResearch designed them as point-of-sale/point-of-service handheld terminals weighing about ten ounces. Both models run either Windows CE or Windows Mobile on a 533MHz Samsung processor and 3.5-inch resistive touch screen. Both are rugged enough for POS jobs and both have an integrated magnetic stripe reader. The DT415 adds a 1D/2D imager. [Read description and specs of the DTResearch DT410 and DT415] -- Posted Friday, January 6, 2012

Handheld acquires TimbaTec to strengthen Central European presence
The Handheld Group, a manufacturer of rugged PDAs and mobile devices, reports that it is strengthening its presence in the important German, Austrian and Swiss markets with the acquisition of the hardware division of its distribution partner Latschbacher. -- Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Neonode announces single chip optical touch controller
Neonode is the company that offered touch and swipe-controlled smartphones years before Apple, but simply was ahead of its time (see our review of the Neonode N2) and the phones are long gone. Neonode, however, marched on as a provider and licensor of its innovative optical touch technology that uses an infrared grid to detect the position of the finger or pen. Now they announced what they claim is the world's first ultra-low power single-chip optical touch controller, developed in conjunction with Texas Instruments. Suitable for handheld and small to midsize devices, Neonode's touch technology combines elements of resistive and capacitive digitizers, and the new single chip solution makes for a lower chip count and lower cost. The technology has some issues, but is attractive and usable enough to score a number of high-profile licensees. -- Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Full review: the tough little US$299 GoPro Hero2 HD camera you can use anywhere
No sooner did we publish a big feature on the tiny high definition GoPro Hero camera that's taken the world by storm than GoPro released the Hero2 that's supposed to be twice as fast and twice as sharp. And since the GoPro comes with a nearly indestructible housing and can be used in a thousand ways out there in the field with all of its mounting options, we did a full review of the latest version of this amazingly affordable tough little camera. [See The GoPro phenomenon: how much better is the new GoPro Hero2?] -- Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Rugged tablets used by motorcycle riders in Taiwan
There are a lot of motor scooters in Taiwan. In fact, every second citizen has one. However, due to the nature of Taiwanese traffic laws, there are hardly any larger bikes. Well, the laws have changed now and big bikes are suddenly quite popular. Given Taiwan's expertise in mobile electronics, it's not surprising to see rugged mobile computers integrated into big bikes, where they serve as big-screen GPS, information centers, and for weather forecasts, traffic reports, and more. The image shows a Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR820 tabled mounted on a Honda. The Intel Atom-powered, 2.9 pound SR820 with its magnesium alloy chassis and housing and a 8.9-inch WSVGA touch display (see our review) seems well suited for the task. [See Rugged tablets used by motorcycle riders in Taiwan] -- Posted Monday, January 2, 2012

Advantech launches embedded lineup based on new Intel Atom N2000 and D2000 Series
Advantech announces a new range (Computer On Modules, Single Board Computers, industrial motherboards and embedded Box PCs) of embedded platforms based on the latest generation of Intel Atom processors, the N2000 and D2000 Series (see Intel N2000/D2000 page here). These low-power platforms serve a wide range of applications targeted at handheld devices, POS, kiosks, digital signage, medicine, and factory automation. Examples are the tiny 84 x 55 mm N2600-based COM-Express Mini SOM-7565, the COM-Express Compact SOM-6765 (N2600/2700), the single board computer MIO-5250 MI/O-Compact (N2600/2800, D2700, also see our review of the MIO-5270 platform/standard), the AIMB-214 industrial motherboard (N2600/2800, D2700), and the ARK-2120 box PC (N2600/D2700). -- Posted Monday, January 2, 2012

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    The editor and co-founder of Pen Computing Magazine launched RuggedPCReview.com 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.

    "Over the many years that we have been testing and reviewing rugged mobile computers, and in our professional careers prior, we have noticed that there is very little standardization and that potential clients are often confused where and what to buy," said Dr. Conrad H. Blickenstorfer, Editor-in-Chief of RuggedPCReview.com and former CIO of the New York State Dormitory Authority. "We hope that our new service will answer many questions and provide all the answers a client needs to make an informed decision."