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

January 2016

Datalogic preliminary 2015 sales up 15.2%
Datalogic reports preliminary Q4 2015 revenues of €143.8 million, up 15.5% from Q4 2014. Datalogic's Automatic Data Capture division (which includes the former Datalogic Mobile) saw its revenues grow by 15.7% to €96.2 million compared to Q4 2014. For all of fiscal 2015, preliminary sales revenues reflect the gradual improvement achieved by all divisions, and came in at €535.1 million, with a growth of 15.2% compared to the full fiscal 2014. [See Datalogic financials press release] -- Posted Friday, January 29, 2016

DigiTimes 2016 global tablet shipment forecast
Here's what the always well-informed folks at DigiTimes see for the 2016 tablet market in their crystal ball: "In 2016, global tablet shipments will drop 4.8%, compared to a decline of 17.9% in 2015. With the exception of Microsoft and Huawei, most brands will see flat growth or a small decline in shipments. Some other key trends that Digitimes Research expects to see in 2016 include a continued drop in demand for 7-inch consumer price-friendly Wi-Fi tablets or tablets with phone features; increased popularity of Microsoft's Surface series and Windows 10; and slight on-year growth for Apple." Full details are via subscription here. -- Posted Thursday, January 28, 2016

VDC Research: Medical device and health care industry among fastest growing markets
According to VDC Research, the medical device and health care industry will be one of the fastest growing markets for embedded security solutions through the next 5 years, prompted by the evolving threat landscape and the lagging capabilities of OEMs, systems integrators, and end users. Security issues facing the medical sector span several dimensions: threat and vulnerability awareness, motivation and funding for investment, embedded technology availability and adoption, and social responsibility. [Read VDC Executive Brief] -- Posted Thursday, January 28, 2016

UK utility deploys 500 Panasonic Toughpad tablets for field workforce
Northumbrian Water, which operates in the north-east of England, has rolled out 500 Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 tablets to its field workers. The rugged devices are the single mobile tool used by NWL’s field force to provide real-time access to all its major systems. They are used to receive work schedules, locate sites through GIS applications, carryout risk assessments and report activity. Photos of sites or incidents can be taken using the tablet's camera and attached and sent directly to the system. Users can also access their office email and the internet, ensuring they have access to all the important systems when out working. [See NWL deploys 500 Toughpad tablets] -- Posted Thursday, January 28, 2016

Navy NAVFAC public works selects DT Research's DT311H rugged tablet
DT Research, which specializes in the development of information appliances for vertical markets, announced the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) has selected the Intel Broadwell-powered 11.6-inch and IP65-sealed DT311H rugged tablet to support and streamline their operations and provide a reliable computing tool for staff located in ship yards, warehouses, and other locations. -- Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2016

UK utility deploys 500 Panasonic Toughpad tablets for field workforce
Northumbrian Water, which operates in the north-east of England, has rolled out 500 Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 tablets to its field workers. The rugged devices are the single mobile tool used by NWL’s field force to provide real-time access to all its major systems. They are used to receive work schedules, locate sites through GIS applications, carryout risk assessments and report activity. Photos of sites or incidents can be taken using the tablet's camera and attached and sent directly to the system. Users can also access their office email and the internet, ensuring they have access to all the important systems when out working. [See NWL deploys 500 Toughpad tablets] -- Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Avalue unveils reasonably priced 10.1-inch semi-rugged tablet
Avalue Technology — which is a global embedded solution provider and an associate member of the Intel Internet of Things Solutions Alliance — introduced their new 10.1-inch semi-rugged Intel Bay Trail-powered RiTab-10T1 for warehousing, retail, hospitality and mPOS applications. Avalue says the tablet can run either Windows or Android, is "reasonably priced," and comes standard with USB 2.0, micro SD card, micro HDMI, micro SIM card, WLAN, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC and a 5MP rear camera. [See Avalue news release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Stealth.com releases two new procap panelmount monitors
Stealth.com, which provides industrial computers and peripherals market, has released two new projected capacitive multi-touch Panelmount LCD Monitors in 17.3" and 21.5" sizes with 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080) in widescreen 16:9 format. They are shock and vibration tested and well equipped with VGA/HD15, DVI-D, Composite and S-Video video input connectors, and will easily integrate into an enclosure, cabinet, console, wall, kiosks or other applications. [See Stealth media release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Did Apple get the Pencil right?
Having professionally worked with, examined, and reviewed pens, pen-based, and touch-based mobile computing systems since 1993, we here at RuggedPCReview have an opinion or two on the matter. So did Apple get their highly promoted Pencil right? Umm... no. Why? Read our Follow-up on iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. -- Posted Monday, January 25, 2016

ADLINK brings Intel Braswell to SMARC and Qseven modules
ADLINK announced availability of a variety of SMARC and Qseven Computer-on-Module products based on the Intel "Braswell" Pentium and Celeron Processor N3000 Series. ADLINK’s LEC-BW is a SMARC Short Size Module, and their Q7-BW is based on the Qseven v2.0 hardware spec. Both modules come with LVDS, HDMI and DP graphics interfaces supporting multiple independent screens and offer rich I/O options. All versions come with ADLINK's SEMA (Smart Embedded Management Agent), enabling remote management and control of distributed devices. [See ADLINK media release] -- Posted Monday, January 25, 2016

It's Smart-Ex now.
Sometimes you have a great brand that you worked hard on, and then something happens and the name isn't so great anymore. That's what happened to iSiS-Ex, the company that's been oil and gas industry HMI specialists, building intrinsically safe computing gear for over 20 years. So they changed their name to Smart-Ex. [See Smart-Ex media release] -- Posted Monday, January 25, 2016

Review: ultra-rugged Broadwell-powered RuggON Rextorm PX-501 with dual-mode input and excellent hi-res display
RuggON is a relatively new Taiwanese manufacturer of rugged tablets and vehicle-mounts with a growing lineup of impressive hardened mobile computing products. RuggedPCReview has had a chance to examine the company's flagship tablet, the Intel Broadwell-powered Rextorm PX-501, in detail and found a compelling modern tablet solution with dual-mode input and a terrific, super-bright 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 display. [See full review of the RuggON Rextorm PX-501] -- Posted Thursday, January 21, 2016

Xplore Technologies takes top spot in America’s rugged tablet market share for second quarter in a row
Xplore Technologies announced it has secured the number one market share in rugged tablets in the Americas for the second quarter in a row, according to VDC Research. Reported in the 'Enterprise & Government Mobility Hardware Report on Rugged Mobile Quarterly Shipments', Xplore recorded significant Q3 2015 market leadership growth, growing from 28.3 percent to 37.1 percent market share. In addition to strong growth in the Americas, Xplore also grew its markets share in APAC to almost 11 percent. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Panasonic Toughbook continues sponsorship with NASCAR's Hendrick Motorsports, now with Kasey Kahne's #5
Panasonic announced that Panasonic Toughbook will become a primary sponsor of the No. 5 Chevrolet SS team of driver Kasey Kahne in 2016, continuing its nearly decade-long relationship with 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports. [See Panasonic press release] -- Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2016

AMREL releases ROCKY DB7 — smallest fully rugged handheld with Windows 7
AMREL announced the release of the ROCKY DB7 — an upgrade of the smallest, lightest, fully rugged handheld that can support standard Windows 7 and Linux. The military/industrial DB7 has a resistive 480 x 800 pixel 5-inch display. The tough handheld is now powered by a dual-core Intel Atom E3825 "Bay Trail" CPU, a much more powerful chip than the Atom Z530 used in the older ROCKY DB6. [See description, analysis and specs of the AMREL ROCKY DB7] -- Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Winmate FM10 vehicle-mount exceeds expectations
Technology advances very quickly these days, so replacing aging gear actually saves time and money. And sometimes an older product wasn't quite right for the job in the first place. Winmate's latest newsletter describes a situation where Winmate’s new FM10 Vehicle-Mount computers were retrofitted to customer forklifts for a head-to-head test of new versus existing. The result was a slam dunk, for the new Winmate FM10. [See FM10 series Vehicle-Mount Computer Exceeds Expectations] -- Posted Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Trimble Kenai — positioning experts deliver a sensible, state-of-the art 10-inch class tablet suitable for almost any job
While Trimble is best known for its GPS products and expertise, the company integrates all sorts of positioning technologies (GPS, laser, optical and inertial) with application software, wireless communications, and services to provide complete commercial solutions. With the Intel Bay Trail-powered Kenai, Trimble adds a rugged, versatile 10-inch class Windows 10 tablet with full 1920 x 1200 resolution and finger, stylus and glove capable capacitive touch. [See description, analysis and specs of the Trimble Kenai] -- Posted Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Juniper releases fully rugged IP68-rated 7" Windows 10 tablet
Juniper Systems introduced the Mesa 2, the company's first ever handheld device to run full Windows. The Intel Bay Trail-powered Mesa 2 has a 1280 x 800 pixel 7-inch glove- and wet-capable capacitive multi-touch display with Dragontrail protective glass, runs Windows 10, and weighs just 1.5 pounds. Available with battery life up to 15 hours, the Mesa 2 is the only rugged Windows tablet with an IP68 rating, meaning it's totally waterproof. Juniper offers special GEO, barcode and RFID reader versions. [See media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Juniper Mesa 2] -- Posted Monday, January 18, 2016

Handheld announces Algiz 10x/survey software combo for locating woodland cemetery burial sites
Handheld announced the availability of the rugged Algiz 10x tablet computer with Geolantis surveying software and a GNSS/GPS Rover as a solution to precisely locating burial sites in for woodland cemeteries who specialize in tree burials. In these cemeteries, people purchase a small plot to bury ashes in an urn near the base of existing trees. Each tree has a small plaque with the names of those whose ashes are buried there. The concept treats the forest with care and enables people to buy a tree location in advance for their funeral. -- Posted Thursday, January 14, 2016

Janam receives endorsement from leading enterprise software application provider
Anytime a software company of the size and reputation of SAP uses a piece of rugged mobile hardware in its promo videos, that's worth mentioning. So kudos to Janam, a leading provider of rugged mobile computers that scan barcodes and communicate wirelessly, for having its 5.9-inch Android-based XT1 rugged mini-tablet recognized for its ability to optimize manufacturing operations. [See Janam media release] -- Posted Thursday, January 14, 2016

Unitech launches ultra-rugged keypad PDA
Unitech introduced the PA820, a Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5-based keypad PDA designed specifically for work in the most challenging environments imaginable. The PA820 can handle 6-foot drops, has a very wide -4 to 140 degree Fahrenheit operating range, and IP66 sealing. It includes a full-VGA capacitive touch display, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth and 3.75G WWAN, as well as GPS and camera and laser scanner. [See description, analysis and specs of the Unitech PA820] -- Posted Thursday, January 14, 2016

Xplore secures $1 million order from leading Canadian retailer
Xplore announced it has received a $1 million order for its fully rugged Bobcat Windows series tablets and docks from one of Canada’s leading retailers. The customer is mounting the fully rugged Bobcat tablets on forklift trucks, shunt trucks and order pickers. -- Posted Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Zebra deploys player tracking solution for college football championship
Zebra Technologies, a global leader in solutions and services that provide real-time visibility into organizations’ assets, people and transactions, announced that its Zebra Sports Solution, which operates inside every NFL stadium, will be used for the College Football Playoffs (CFP) National Championship Game in Phoenix, Jan. 11, 2016. The Zebra Sports Solution allows to collect player stats in real time via sensors worn by each player. The data is then also used to create graphics for display on digital media channels and devices from jumbotrons to smart phones and tablets in real-time. -- Posted Monday, January 11, 2016

AMREL releases rugged, sunlight-readable keyboard tablet
AMREL introduced the Rocky DT10 fully rugged tablet with built-in keyboard. The DT10 seems to be a substantially more powerful version of the company's existing Intel Atom-based Rocky DT6. In addition to Intel Core i7 processing power, the new Rocky DT10 also benefits from a brighter, optically-bonded display with higher resolution, as well as beefed-up tech specs in other areas. [See description, analysis and specs of the AMREL Rocky DT10] -- Posted Saturday, January 9, 2016

AMREL rugged tablet computer in "The Martian"
If you have seen the movie "The Martian," you may have noticed the appearance of some interesting mobile computing gear. Among other, there is an AMREL ROCKY DK10 rugged tablet that stranded astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) uses for emergency hex code modifications to re-establish contact with earth. AMREL modestly points out that the ROCKY DK10 is not actually rated for extraterrestrial use, but they also mention that the choice of the DK10 is not surprising. The Hurt Locker, The Losers, Zero Dark Thirty, and other movies have all featured AMREL solutions. -- Posted Friday, January 8, 2016

Juniper Systems on customer satisfaction
Keeping customers happy and knowing what customers want is at the core of every business. In its latest blog, Juniper Systems explains what their quarterly customer satisfaction surveys mean to them, and how customer feedback is driving product features and improvements. [See Customer Satisfaction Surveys and What They Mean to Us] -- Posted Friday, January 8, 2016

VDC Research: global rugged hardware market over US$1 billion Q3/2015 thanks to strong rugged handheld sales
VDC Research reports that in Q3 2015, the total rugged mobile hardware market grossed just over US$1 billion in revenue shipments. Global year-to-date (YTD) revenue shipments totaled $3.2 billion and YTD unit shipments totaled over $3.1 million units across the globe. Q3 also showed a market with weakened global demand for rugged notebooks, but strong revenue shipments for handheld devices. Overall, the rugged hardware market continued to maintain a strong global presence, even in spite of some areas of weakness and additional competition from consumer-grade technologies. VDC Research addresses these issues and more in Rugged Mobile Quarterly Shipments Q3 2015. -- Posted Friday, January 8, 2016

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: January 2011
January 2011 saw a flurry of rugged device introductions. AMREL introduced the DB6 rugged Atom-based Windows handheld, Trimble the Ranger 3, DAP Technologies the M8930 and M8940 full and half-screen rugged tablets, ARBOR the M1040 medical clinical assistant, DRS Tactical the ARMOR X7 rugged tablet, DT Research the WebDT 372 rugged tablet with encrypted PIN pad, Motion the CL900 Windows tablet, and Datalogic the Falcon X3. Intermec bought Vocollect and released the 70 Series of ultra-rugged handhelds. Psion removed "Teklogix" from its name, and we wondered if the Marvell PXA processors, for many years the mainstay of handheld device processors, were on their way out. Microsoft introduced Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, Intel the "Sandy Bridge" 2nd gen Core processors, and Juniper began shipping its Mesa Geo 3G Rugged Notepad. [Seefull January 2011 archive] -- Posted Friday, January 8, 2016

Intel saw weak mobile solution shipments in 2015
According to DigiTimes, despite an aggressive subsidy strategy, Intel saw weak mobile solution shipments in 2015. Apparently, an attempt to phase out Bay Trail and move to its more expensive Cherry Trail successor that had some startup issues didn't help matters. For 2016, DigiTimes reports, Intel will continue to push its entry-level Cherry Trail SoFIA SoC as its main product for the smartphone and tablet markets. -- Posted Friday, January 8, 2016

Getac sees revenue growth in December, full year 2015
According to DigiTimes, Getac Technology announced revenues of US$54 million for December 2015, up 11.5% compared to December 2014, rounding out 2015 with US$553 million in annual revenue, up 12.8% from 2014. About 45% of Getac's revenue is from rugged product lines, 55% from plastic and lightweight metal components. -- Posted Thursday, January 7, 2016

Zebra introduces innovative TC8000 mobile computer
Zebra Technologies introduced the enterprise-class Android-based TC8000 mobile computer whose novel, innovative design the company says can save an hour per worker per shift. Completely re-architected compared to standard pistol-grip handhelds, the 17-ounce, IP65-sealed TC8000 has a 4-inch 800 x 480 pixel multi-touch display, comes with either a Zebra SE965 laser or SE4750 imager, as well as All-touch TE software that transforms legacy "green screen" applications into all touch HTML 5-based apps without coding. [See Zebra press release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Zebra TC8000] -- Posted Thursday, January 7, 2016

Handheld Group's January 2016 newsletter
Handheld Group's latest newsletter highlights the Algiz 10X. The rugged tablet that saved countless worker hours for coal miners (see case study) and provided powerful all-day data collection for storm researchers (see case study) is now available with even better specs — and a lower price. Handheld also reports on Swiss motorcyclist Mike Biedermann who's traveling the world with his bike and an Algiz 7 rugged tablet. Biedermann is using the Algiz 7 for daily navigation tasks and to post trip updates on his blog (see here). [See Handheld Group January newsletter] -- Posted Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Panasonic launches affordable, semi-rugged 12.5-inch Toughpad FZ-Q1 Windows tablet
Panasonic introduced the 12.5-inch Toughpad FZ-Q1 as the newest member of its Toughpad family of enterprise-grade rugged tablet computers. The FZ-Q1 addresses the emerging demand for larger-screen tablets, and it does so in a cleanly designed, versatile package that's reasonably priced. We also like the availability of two distinctly different performance levels, and the thought Panasonic put into creating a product that's tough enough for use away from the office, but not weighed down by the price and weight of a fully rugged design. [See description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q1] -- Posted Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Added: Zebra VC80 ultra-rugged vehicle computer
The VC80 was introduced by Zebra Technologies late 2015 as an ultra-rugged vehicle-mounted mobile computer intended to bring full Windows and significant computing power to to material-handling vehicle operators who require mobile access to productivity-improving desktop applications. The 10.4-inch (400 or 1000 nits versions available) VC80is powered by an Intel Bay Trail E3825 or E3845 chip, runs Win 7 Pro, WES 7 or Windows 10, carries IP66 sealing, and can handle extreme temperatures. [See description, analysis and specs of the Zebra VC80 vehicle-mount computer] -- Posted Friday, January 1, 2016

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