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

January 2017

Handheld Group upgrades ultra-rugged ALGIZ RT7 tablet
The Handheld Group announced it has upgraded its popular 7-inch Algiz RT7 rugged Android tablet to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and doubled RAM to 2 GB. These upgrades will also apply to the Algiz RT7 eTicket used in public transportation fare collection and ticket validation. Jerker Hellström, Handheld Group CEO, said that “Android 6.0 is a vast improvement over 5.1 for our enterprise customers, increasing data security and adding features designed specifically for mobile workforces employing Android. And the performance-enhancing RAM increase ensures our customers have the power they need for complex field tasks.” [See Handheld Group media release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Juniper launches economically priced dual-SIM, IP68 rugged 4.7-inch Android handheld
Juniper Systems has launched the Cedar CT5 rugged smartphone as a more powerful and technologically more advanced successor to its earlier CT4. The 4.7-inch Gorilla Glass 3-protected 8-ounce handheld runs Android 6.0 "Marshmallow" on a 2GHz Octa-core ARM Cortex A54 processor, has dual cameras (5 and 13mp), FCC-approved 2G/3G/4G LTE, 32GB Flash, microSD, PTT button, dedicated GPS, IP68 ingress protection, and a powerful 16 whr battery. [See description, analysis and specs of the Juniper Systems Cedar CT5 rugged handheld.] -- Posted Monday, January 30, 2017

Getac reports strong December sales
According to Digitimes, ruggedized computing device maker Getac Technology reported consolidated revenues of US$64.9 million for December 2016,up 1.62% on month and 16.2% on year. Revenues for Q4/2016 increased 12.8% sequentially and 18.2% on year to US$188.4 million, the company's highest quarterly figures in eight years. For all of 2016, revenues amounted to US$637.6 million, up 11.1% from the prior year. -- Posted Monday, January 30, 2017

Case Study: Handheld Group Algiz 10X emergency response system improves efficiency for ambulance workers
Sweden is improving its emergency healthcare efforts with Paratus, a modular solution built on Handheld's Algiz 10X rugged tablet. Swedish emergency responders are using the Algiz 10X emergency response tablet to send critical status updates to hospital workers as they happen, increasing emergency healthcare efficiency and improving patient outcomes. [Read Algiz 10X emergency response system improves efficiency for ambulance workers] -- Posted Thursday, January 26, 2017

Commercial mobile tech jumps to military deployment with rugged tablets
DT Research points out that commercial-grade level tech has proved to be a boon across a wide range of civilian industries. It provides low-cost production of mobile devices, and has made mobile technology more affordable than ever. However most commercially produced mobile devices cannot withstand the physical demands of military deployment. To meet this need, a new breed of tablet has emerged; it combines the best features of commercial-grade tablets with a new form of ruggedization that meets exacting military standards. [Read more Rugged Tech Talk with DT Research] -- Posted Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rugged computing experts offer economically priced, full-featured, field-ready IP68-sealed 7-inch Android tablet
Juniper Systems has released the Cedar CT7G rugged 7-inch Android 6.0 tablet to meet customer demand for a lower cost, ruggedized Android line that would serve as a more suitable alternative to fragile consumer devices for outdoor applications. Powered by the "world mode" quad-core MTK6735 platform, the IP68-sealed tablet targets geomatics industry and geospatial technology customers, and should be interesting to anyone seeking an economy-priced rugged Android tablet. [See description, analysis and specs of the Juniper Systems Cedar CT7G] -- Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Xplore Technologies expands worldwide service organization
Xplore Technologies announced that it has completed a significant expansion of its global support and service organization in line with its growing global customer base. Over the last 12 months, the company has added four new Service Depots, three new Authorized Service Providers, and more than 10 toll-free numbers to connect rugged tablet customers in every region with the Customer Care Center for technical support and warranty processing. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New VIA platform accelerates Smart Signage innovation
VIA Technologies unveiled their new VIA VAB-630 HMI system platform, create to accelerating the deployment of smart signage installations in retail, office, and factory environments. Combining a 3.5” SBC motherboard with an optional 10.1” touch panel screen, the VIA VAB-630 provides advanced compute, graphics and video features for interactive multimedia applications in kiosks, signage displays, and factory automation. Functionality can be further enhanced with the integration of optional wireless communication modules, including a combination USB Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module or miniPCIe 3G module. [See VIA media release and VAB-640 product page] -- Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Winmate releases "slim" Series of G-WIN rugged Panel PCs
Winmate's G-WIN rugged panel computers have been available and deployed around the globe for years. Now the company has added the S65 line of "slim" G-WIN panel PCs. Sealed to IP65 standard and using waterproof M12 connectors for all wired I/O, the S65 "slim" models are available in four display sizes (7, 10.1, 12.1 and 15 inch). All but the 7-inch model are available either in Wintel configurations (Intel N2930 Bay Trail + various versions of Windows Embedded) OR ARM configurations (Freescale i.MX6 + Android or various Linux distros). [See RuggedPCReview's analysis, description and specs of the Winmate G-WIN S65 "slim" Series] -- Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Full review: DT Research DT301S 2-in-1 enabled rugged tablet
2-in-1 enabled rugged Windows tablets are coming on strong, combining powerful, productivity-oriented tablet hardware with matching detachable keyboards designed for real work. RuggedPCReview performed an in-depth analysis and review of the DT Research DT301S, an IP65-sealed, Intel Skylake-powered 10.1-inch tablet that can instantly provide full laptop functionality without the extra bulk and weight of a permanently attached keyboard. [See full review of the DT Research DT301S] -- Posted Thursday, January 19, 2017

Panasonic announced Android-based Toughpad FZ-A2
Over five years ago, Panasonic introduced their original Toughpad, the Android-based FZ-A1. The world wasn't quite ready for an iPad-sized rugged Android tablet at the time, but now it is. The new 10.1-inch full-HD, Intel Atom x5-Z8550-powered Toughpad FZ-A2 shares much with the tablet part of Panasonic's Windows-based 2-in-1 Toughbook CF-20, but in a lower-end configuration and running Android 6 Marshmallow. [See description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-A2] -- Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Full review: Juniper Systems Mesa 2 ultra-rugged Windows tablet
RuggedPCReview performed a detailed examination of Juniper Systems' Mesa 2, the company's first "full" Windows device, and found it to be a supremely competent, very configurable, Intel Bay Trail-powered 7-inch capacitive multi-touch tablet with a sharp, bright display, excellent battery life, and the kind of trust-inspiring ruggedness and sealing that means field workers won't have to baby their gear. The Mesa 2 is available in several versions, including barcode, RFID, GEO, and HazLoc. [See full review of the Juniper Systems Mesa 2] -- Posted Monday, January 16, 2017

Panasonic releases 2-in-1 12.5-inch Toughpad FZ-Q2
Panasonic introduced the Windows-based 12.5-inch Toughpad FZ-Q2 as both an upgrade and enhancement to its prior Toughpad FZ-Q1, as well as a re-positioning of the platform to a 2-in-1 convertible/hybrid. As a member of Panasonic's family of enterprise-grade rugged tablet computers, the upgraded Toughpad Q2 thus further bolsters its position as a "pro" tablet with a larger display, extra features, and now 2-in-1 convertible functionality. [See description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2] -- Posted Sunday, January 15, 2017

Taking the gloves off: drop testing Surface Pro 4 cases
A lot of folks are starting to claim they're "meeting MIL-STD-810G." Problem is, that statement alone means very little as the MIL-STD-810G simply issues testing guidelines. The rugged tablet folks at MobileDemand, who do know a thing or 50 about ruggedness testing, decided to do some of their own comparison testing. Ouch. [See MobileDemand Surface Pro 4 rugged case drop test blog and video] -- Posted Friday, January 13, 2017

Xplore Technologies and CLS America partner to launch the Thorium X SatCom rugged Android tablet
Xplore Technologies has partnered with CLS America to launch the Thorium X satcom rugged tablet system. The Thorium X is built on Xplore's XSLATE D10 Android rugged tablet PC. Xplore received an initial order from CLS for 1,000 XSLATE D10 units, plus follow-on orders as needed. The giant advantage of the Thorium X is that it can communicate where there is no WiFi or cell coverage. According to Michael Kelly, VP of CLS America. “Thorium X allows people to stay connected via satellite 100% of the time, and at a fraction of the cost of satellite phones.” [See Xplore/CLS America media release and Thorium X web page] -- Posted Friday, January 13, 2017

Panasonic Europe numbers
A Panasonic UK release yields this information: For 2015, Panasonic claims a 66% share of rugged notebook and convertible revenue in Europe, as well as a 59% rugged tablet revenue share. Panasonic also claims 1,000 partners across Europe and 30 registered ISVs, and states that 77% of its European Toughbook and Toughpad revenue came through the channel. [See Panasonic media release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Oregon Department of Transportation deploys DT Research purpose-built GNSS rugged tablets for construction projects
DT Research announced the successful deployment of DT391GS rugged GNSS tablets for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). The DT391GS tablets with Intel Bay Trail dual-core processors are used as inspector positioning tablets with the critical hardware and software needed for line and grade determination on stakeless highway construction projects. “ODOT selected the DT Research tablet as it was the only device on the market that provided dual frequency GNSS in a rugged Windows based device,” Chris Pucci, Construction Automation Surveyor at the Oregon Department of Transportation. “The tablets have been very well received by our construction inspection personnel.” [See DT Research media release] -- Posted Monday, January 9, 2017

Winmate announces M800 Windows Tablet PC for public safety, security, point-of-sale and vehicular applications
Winmate announced the M800BW, a compact, rugged, lightweight 8-inch Windows Tablet PC for public safety, security, point-of-sale and vehicular applications. Powered by a quad-core Intel "Braswell" Pentium N3710 chip, the M800 weighs just 2.4 pounds, offers capacitive multi-touch (including glove/rain.stylus modes), and can be mounted almost anywhere. Also available is a special expansion box that provides vehicle power, a DB9 serial port and CAN bus support. [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Winmate M800] -- Posted Thursday, January 5, 2017

FLIR announces rugged pocket-portable thermal camera
FLIR announced the FLIR C3 rugged thermal camera designed to be the go-to tool for building inspections, facilities maintenance, HVAC, or electrical repair. The slim touchscreen camera fits easily into pockets and is tough enough to go anywhere. Capable of quickly finding hidden problems, documenting repairs, and sharing images over Wi-Fi, the US$699 can do streaming video and includes FLIR Tools professional reporting software for Mac or PC. [See FLIR media release] -- Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Advantech to acquire majority stake in Kostec
Advantech, which is now about a US$1.3 billion company and is said to command almost 30% of the global industrial computer market, announced it plans to acquire a 60% stake in Korean medical display supplier Kostec in a move to expand its presence in the medical care market. -- Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: January 2012
In January 2012, we added Korean company Bluebird's entire line of Pidion rugged handhelds. Motorola Solutions reported full-year 2011 sales of US$8.2 billion and profits US$858 million. GD Itronix said its rugged Android-based GD300 handheld had been deployed to Afghanistan with elements of the 75th Ranger Regiment. GD Itronix also released the GD4000 semi-rugged notebook. NDP DisplaySearch said that wide viewing angle LCDs were on the move. Fujitsu released the TeamPoS 7000 POS advanced touch terminal. 3M introduced the 3M SmartPen, Datalogic created the Datalogic ADC (Automatic Data Capture) division, and Escort Radar announced the SmartOffice rugged tablet. We reviewed the Winmate G570Z Windows mini-tablet and the Getac B300 with its new 2nd gen Core processor. Psion upgraded its XT15 rugged handheld, DT Research its DT430 POS handheld, DAP its M100 handheld, and Getac beta-tested Android on its rugged PS236 handheld. [See full January 2012 archive] -- Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Wacom's new Bamboo stylus with Active ES and Microsoft Pen support getting closer
There was a long period of time when the ubiquitous Wacom pen worked on every device with a Wacom digitizer in it, without a battery at all. But that was before the emergence of capacitive multi-touch drove even Wacom to come up with an active electrostatic pen, and before Microsoft bought the other major active pen technology, n-trig, and compatibility pretty much disappeared. However, Wacom now announced it is putting the final touches on a new stylus, developed under a licensing agreement with Microsoft, that will support both their own Active ES Pen protocol and the Microsoft Pen Protocols. Now add to that the Universal Stylus Initiative (see our report) and we're at a point where, overall, things are a bit confusing and perhaps less compatible than they ought to be. [See Wacom media release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 3, 2017

U.S. Army orders thousands of Getac S410 semi-rugged notebooks for medical tracking system
The Army Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care (MC4) product management team has placed an order for 3,750 Getac S410 semi-rugged notebooks. The notebooks will be used to help digitally capture medical treatment data in operational environments, enhance continuity of care, and enable a comprehensive lifelong electronic health record for Service members. MC4 selected the S410 semi-rugged notebooks as an integral part of its overall MC4 System for two reasons; its high performance and configurable feature set; and the long-standing relationship Getac has established as a trusted advisor to the organization. [See media release and RuggedPCReview's report on the Getac S410] -- Posted Tuesday, January 3, 2017

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