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

February 2012

DAP Technologies adds second US office in Atlanta
DAP Technologiesannounced it is expanding operations into the Southeast with a new office in Atlanta. This will be the second U.S. location for the manufacturer of rugged tablet, vehicle-mount and handheld computers. Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., DAP Technologies also offers worldwide support and service through its additional locations and service centers in Canada, the U.K. and the Czech Republic. DAP's Quebec City location will also be getting an upgrade with a new facility for research and development, service, and support functions. -- Posted Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Motion Computing appoints UK Country Manager
Motion Computing announced the appointment of Ian Davies, who previously served as country manager for ruggedized computer manufacturer LXE, as country manager for the United Kingdom. Davies will be responsible for the development of the UK market as Motion continues to expand its presence throughout key verticals such as healthcare, retail, field service and construction.
-- Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012

F4Devices announces Flint GNSS rugged handheld for GIS field applications
Tallahassee, Florida, based F4Devices introduced a follow-up on the BAP Precision S Series rugged data collection handheld that we reviewed in detail last Fall (see review here). The new "Flint" model features a full 480 x 640 pixel VGA display, a higher resolution 5mp camera, USB OTG, increased ruggedness, and comes in three versions, the basic S812H (WinMo 6.5 Classic, no voice/data), the S852H (WinMo 6.5 Classic, 3G data), and the S862H (WinMo 6.5 Pro, voice/3G data). All units have a 2-year warranty and pricing starts at US$1,299. [See Flint website and spec sheet] -- Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012

TI shows off OMAP 5 platform in Barcelona
Texas Instruments is displaying its new OMAP 5 application processor platform at the Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona. For a detailed overview of the multi-core OMAP 5 platform, check TI's OMAP 5 page. -- Posted Monday, February 27, 2012

Discrete graphics cards see another decline, but hang in there
As readers of our detailed benchmark testing know, for certain types of graphics operations (especially 3G and OpenGL), discrete graphics subsystems provide superior performance. The overall trend, however, is towards integrated graphics, and Jon Peddie Research's latest report confirms a continuing shrinking marketshare of discrete graphics boards. Discrete graphics, however, won't go away anytime soon, and the field is owned by Nvidia and AMD, with Nvidia's share now up to 63.4% versus AMD's 36.3%. -- Posted Monday, February 27, 2012

u-blox launches universal UMTS/HSPA+ wireless module
u-blox introduced what the company calls the world's first multi-standard "one size fits all" UMTS module. The ultra compact LISA-U2 SMT modem series supports all global UMTS standards, enabling high-speed voice and Internet access for wireless terminals designed for use anywhere in the world. See the very informative Combining the best of UMTS with GPS white paper. -- Posted Monday, February 27, 2012

Rugged tablets in the food manufacturing industry
The Samwell Group, which offers the RUGGEDBOOK line of rugged tablets and convertible notebooks, presents a case for rugged tablets in the food processing industry where portability, easy cleaning, the ability to operate in very wide temperature ranges, and sealing against dust and water matter, as well as the ability to equip devices with barcode and RFID readers. [See Rugged tablets in the food manufacturing industry]. -- Posted Sunday, February 26, 2012

Harris introduces rugged 7-inch Android-based tablet for mission-critical defense and public safety deployments
Harris Corporation introduced the Harris RF-3590 Ruggedized Tablet, an Android-based 2-pound tablet with a 7-inch 1024 x 600 pixel sunlight-readable multi-touch display. According to Harris, the tablet was designed to provide a "smartphone-like experience to military personnel and first responders who require secure real-time information at their fingertips to execute their missions." Designed with numerous sensors, extensive wired and wireless communications technologies (including BT 4.0, GPS and 4G LTE), the RF-3590 certainly looks like a very interesting attempt to meet mission-critical information needs out there in the field. [See description and specs of the Harris RF-3590 rugged tablet] -- Posted Saturday, February 25, 2012

Motorola Solutions launches a remarkable Mission Critical Handheld for first responders
Motorola Solutions introduced the LEX 700 Mission Critical Handheld that's hardly bigger than a consumer smartphone but is an entirely different class of device that connects to public safety LTE broadband, is tough as nails, and was designed from the ground up to give public safety personnel a tool for the job. The dual core OMAP 4470-powered device has a 4-inch capacitive display with 800 x 480 resolution, extensive voice and data connectivity, currently runs Windows Embedded Handheld, but will likely be upgradeable to Android Open Source 4.0. [See description and specs of the Motorola LEX 700] -- Posted Friday, February 24, 2012

e-con Systems licenses Windows CE camera driver source to MilDef CReTE
e-con Systems Inc., which specializes in developing advanced customized camera solutions and related services, has licensed its Windows CE camera driver source code to MilDef CReTE of Taiwan, a manufacturer of rugged handheld computing devices (and also the supplier of AMREL Rocky rugged computers) that contain e-conís camera modules and drivers with Omni Vision image sensors. e-con Systems says it's been working with Omni Vision on specialty sensors (High Dynamic Range, 720p/1080p HD, etc.) for applications in security and surveillance and low-light conditions. [See e-con camera modules and camera boards] -- Posted Friday, February 24, 2012

Juniper Systems introduces Mesa for Hazardous Locations
Juniper Systems introduced a new version of its unique Mesa Rugged Notepad, the Mesa for Hazardous Locations. It's designed specifically for the intrinsically safe market and allows users to safely collect data where potentially explosive gases, liquids, or vapors may be present. Approved under standard UL 1604 CSA 213 in the U.S. and Canada, the new Mesa version carries Class I, Division 2 non-incendive certification. The intrincically safe version is available for all three models (Standard, Geo, and Geo 3G) of the Mesa Rugged Notepad. [See Juniper Mesa for Hazardous Locations (pdf)] -- Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012

Avalue introduces a variety of multi-touch capacitive Panel PCs
Avalue Technology unveiled the APC, MPC and LPC series of industrial-grade yet attractively styled Panel PCs in various sizes, all with capacitive multi-touch capacitive displays. The touch screens have anti-scratch glass and a 88% light transmission which makes the display very vivid. The panels support Windows Embedded Standard 7 Pro and use the new Intel D525 and D2700 as well as the AMD eOntario T40e processors. [See Avalue multi touch panels product page] -- Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012

Getac UK gets BS1789 certification for the V100 rugged convertible notebook computer
Getac UK announced it has secured BS1789 certification for the V100 rugged laptop and V-series docking station giving the unit full approval for use in all UK emergency services vehicles. The BS1789 standard (see Wiki entry) is designed to ensure that equipment cannot harm crew and passengers in the event of a crash and specifies the requirements for the design, test methods, performance and equipping of road ambulances for the transport of sick or injured persons. [See Getac UK release] -- Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012

Intermec adds versatile 2-inch printer for healthcare settings
Intermec announced the 2-inch, 2.3 pound PC23d desktop printer designed specifically for healthcare environments as an affordable choice for wristband (see brief) and labeling applications including patient tracking, sample (see brief) and bedside labeling as well as pharmacy (see brief) and medical records. The PC23d can connect via USB, USB-to-serial adapter, or or LAN and dual-radio (WiFi, BT) modules. [See Intermec PC23d printer product page] -- Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012

Socket Mobile 2011 financials
Socket Mobile reported 2011 full-year revenue of US$17.5 million, up 30% from 2010 full-rear revenue of US$13.5 million for 2010. Net loss for 2011 was US$2.4 million compared to a net loss of US$4.0 million for 2010. Revenue from Socket Mobile's cordless scanners grew from US$1.8 million to US$5.2 million. Socket also reported that they have now shipped over 50,000 SoMo Model 650 handheld computers in the past four years, mostly for use in health care and hospitality applications. Additionally, Socket mentioned its new SoMo 655 handheld as an ideal replacement for the HP iPAQ 200 Series that HP discontinued last year. [See Socket Mobile financials release] -- Posted Thursday, February 23, 2012

Inertial sensors to become important device differentiators
A new report by Juniper Research suggests that inertial sensor adoption, including accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers, is expected to become an important differentiator for mobile device manufacturers towards enabling different capabilities and functionalities, including location based and navigation services. -- Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Habey USA releases next gen Intel Atom N2800/D2700 w/ 3G Mini-ITX board
Habey USA announced the Extended Life Cycle Solution MITX-6930 mini-ITX embedded board based on the Intel NM10 Chipset and next gen dual core Intel Atom N2800 or D2700 processor. The MITX-6930, which has a 7-year extended processor lifecycle support and a wide -4 to 158F operating temperature range, is targeted at digital signage, POS, kiosks, enterprise security, digital surveillance, medicine, and factory automation. [See Habey MITX-6930 product page] -- Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Tablet PCs ideal for shopper engagement
An article posted on MobileDemand's blog explains how retailers have the potential to get back in the game by arming their sales associates with a weapon that could level the playing field with shoppers doing price checks and research on their smartphones. [read more] -- Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Delta Global Services picks Intermec CS40 at Memphis International Airport
Intermec announced that Delta Global Services (DGS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delta Airlines, has selected the Intermec CS40 handheld mobile computer for its daily operations at the Memphis International Airport (MEM). The Intermec CS40, with high performance 2D barcode scanning, offers DGS rugged mobile performance with the size and styling of a smart phone. -- Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Neonode announces new "multi-sensing" touch technology
Neonode announced a new "Multi-Sensing" technology that the company claims offers a more profound user experience than traditional multi touch. The technology, which is built on Neonode's optical zForce touch solution, identifies any object and determines its size, the pressure, any depth, the speed and the proximity of an object to a surface. It uses light with zero latency that can sense and determine objects like a pen, brush, bare/gloved finger or larger objects like a hand, at very high speed. -- Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Synaptics to show its latest capacitive touch technologies in Barcelone
Synaptics announced it will show its latest capacitive touch solutions at the 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. This include these ClearPad Series 2, ClearPad Series 3 sensor-on-lens, in-cell and on-cell solutions, as well as the ClearPad Series 4 integrated Touch and Display Driver IC solution. In addition, the Design Studio 4 ClearPad development tool will be on display along with the ClearPad 7300, the industry's first high-performance, single-ASIC solution for the tablet market. -- Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012

InkSure releases next gen barcode reader
INKSURE Technologies announced the release of ScanSure, a new forensic-level reader using the next generation of barcode technology that provides authentication and track and trace benefits by incorperating taggant technology. The latest edition to InkSure's anti-counterfeiting product line, ScanSure, guards against common supply chain vulnerabilities. In one click ScanSure will determine if a product is counterfeit, diverted, illegitimate or part of an unauthorized production. [See ScanSure product page] -- Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Motion Computing announcements
Motion Computing announced that a) East Jefferson General Hospital is utilizing Motion C5v Tablet PCs to help eradicate hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (see full case study), b) Motion and PatientWorks are fully automating the check-in process, helping increase efficiency, accuracy of information and overall patient satisfaction, and c) that Graphium Health selected Motion tablets for the development of AnesthesiaEMR.com, a web-based application that digitizes the existing intraoperative anesthesia form, allowing users to document via a tablet PC, effectively connecting the anesthesiologist to the cloud.
-- Posted Monday, February 20, 2012

Psion launches Neo with UHF RFID capabilities
Psion announced a new version of its Neo light and rugged handheld computer that integrates Ultra High Frequency (UHF) with its RFID technology. The UHF model is easily mounted to the back of the Neo allowing for faster reading of ID tags and enabling use in dense tag environments. The new RFID capabilities of Psion Neo were developed in collaboration with CAEN RFID, a pioneer in these types of readers. -- Posted Monday, February 20, 2012

Advantech receives Taiwan Excellence 2012 award for its ITM-5115 industrial touch monitor
Advantech announced that its 15-inch IP54-sealed ITM-5115 Industrial Touch Monitor received the Taiwan Excellence 2012 Award. While most industrial displays still use CCFL backlights, the ITM-5115 backlight panel takes advantage of the reduced power consumption and increased display brightness offered by LEDs. -- Posted Monday, February 20, 2012

Avalue launches a variety of rugged and embedded systems
Avalue Technology announced a variety of embedded and rugged products, including the ECM-CDV (3.5-inch), EBM-CDV (5.25-inch) and EQM-CDV (Q7 standard) embedded boards powered by the next-gen Intel Atom N2600, N2800 and D2700 processors and Intel NM10 Express chipset; the EPS-QM57 Rugged Embedded System, an Intel Core i7 powered rugged industrial PC; and the APC-18W5, an Intel Atom D525-powered industrial grade flat screen multi-touch capacitive Panel PC. -- Posted Monday, February 20, 2012

Crystal Group introduces 3.8 pound rugged Core i3-based embedded industrial computer
Crystal Group, a Hiawatha, Iowa based designer and manufacturer of rugged, commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) custom-developed computers announced the RE0412 Rugged Embedded computer. The RE0412 uses a first-of-its-kind carbon fiber chassis, measures 3.1 x 10.8 x 8.1 inches and weighs just mere 3.8 pounds fully loaded. The RE0412 runs on a Intel Core i3 powered mini-ITX board with conformal coating options for humidity protection. A full complement of I/O makes the platform ideal for general airborne and ground-mobile purpose processing in the field. [See product page of the Crystal RE0412 rugged computer] -- Posted Monday, February 20, 2012

AMREL receives quality award
Rugged computer maker AMREL reports that it recently received a certificate from Chemring Detection Systems for their "Outstanding Quality & Delivery Performance." AMREL points out that while quality is important for all businesses, it is especially critical for companies that do a lot of customization. -- Posted Monday, February 20, 2012

Benefits of cloud computing and Tablet PCs in food logistics
The ever-proactive folks at MobileDemand posted a new blog article entitled "Benefits of cloud computing and Tablet PCs in food logistics." [Read more] -- Posted Friday, February 17, 2012

iKey releases ultra-thin rugged keyboard
iKey, which specializes in rugged computer peripherals, introduces its latest addition to their "SkinnyBoard" line of keyboards, the SB-101. At less than half an inch in depth, the SB-101's thin design makes it ideal for use in small spaces, vehicles, forklifts, and rackdrawers. With a fully-sealed polycarbonate case and rubber keypad, the SB-101 is rated NEMA 4X, making it impervious to water, dirt, and corrosive cleaning products. [See SB-101 product pge] -- Posted Friday, February 17, 2012

New video: Motion tablets in utilities : Horizon Utilities
Motion Computing released a new video on YouTube documenting Horizon Utilities' (one of the largest municipally-owned electricity distribution companies in Ontario) implementation of Motion Computing tablets to reduce service order processing time, eliminate paper footprint and expedite information exchange - saving time and money. [See YouTube video]
-- Posted Friday, February 17, 2012

Winmate announces Android-based 4.3-inch IP67-sealed rugged PDA and 3.5 WWAN
In its February Newsletter, Winmate announces its Android-based ruggedized general purpose E430M handheld computer with projected capacitive multi-touch screen, dual cameras, IP67 sealing, and optional 3.5G WWAN/GPS. [See Winmate newsletter with the E430M and Winmate rugged Android PDA specsheet] -- Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2012

OCZ launches Z-Drive R4 16TB Solid State Storage system
The first USB drive I got at a tech conference in the late 1990s had a capacity of 8MB and represented a technological breakthrough. The SanDisk ones we currently use at RuggedPCReview have 32GB of storage, or 4,000 times as much. The Western Digital hard drives in our production machines can store 2TB of data, or 200,000 times as much as the first hard drive in an IBM PC. And today OCZ Technology Group announced their latest Z-Drive R4 PCIe flash storage solution with up to 16TB of storage. Where will it stop, if ever? -- Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Intermec releases superfast SG20 series scanners
Intermec announced the SG20 family of handheld scanners featuring superfast 1D and 1D/2D imaging technology for highly responsive omnidirectional scanning. Designed to speed up the bar code scanning process tethered or via Bluetooth in retail, healthcare and general countertop scanning applications, Intermec says the SG20 scanner minimizes the time and effort required to read a bar code by providing more than 50 times the motion tolerance of competitive scanners. [See Intermec SG20 series PDF] -- Posted Monday, February 13, 2012

MobileDemand announces partnership with Elecdata
MobileDemand announced a reseller partnership agreement with Electronic Data Solutions, a provider of ruggedized equipment used in field data collection. The main use of the MobileDemand xTablet rugged tablet PC by Elecdata will be for recording and managing data critical for controlling mosquitoes, and Elecdata will also utilize MobileDemand xTablets for forestry, water resources and GPS functions. [See full press release] -- Posted Monday, February 13, 2012

Of lesser known rugged manufacturers
DigiTimes reports that lesser known Taiwanese-based rugged PC manufacturer Crete Systems had revenues of about US$5,9 million in January of 2012. Many US customers will know Crete Systems rugged tablets, notebooks and handhelds through California-based AMREL. -- Posted Monday, February 13, 2012

Xplore turns profitable
When the folks at Xplore Technologies excitedly discussed their plans of creating the ultimate rugged tablet computer with us back in 1996, good thing they didn't know they'd have to wait a full 15 years for their first profitable quarter. But it's finally happened: Xplore announced record revenues of US$8.9 million for Q4 of 2011 (up from US$4.3 million for Q4 of 2010) based on the momentum of their iX104 C5 family of rugged tablets (see our full review), and income of US$284,000. [See press release] -- Posted Monday, February 13, 2012

New rugged Trimble Juno GIS handhelds
GPS/GIS specialist Trimble introduced a new generation of its Juno line of handhelds that combine Windows Mobile computing power with exceptional GPS/GIS performance in a rugged 11 ounce package. The new Juno 3B and 3D (the latter with 3.75 WWAN) run Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 on an 800MHz Samsung processor, have 3.5-inch QVGA touch screens, and GPS receivers specifically designed to maximize position yields in challenging GPS environments, such as under forest canopies and near buildings in urban areas. [See description and specs of the Trimble Juno 3B and 3D] -- Posted Monday, February 13, 2012

DAP previews innovative V1010 vehicle mount computer
DAP Technologies announced it had previewed their new V1010 vehicle-mount rugged computer at the Modex manufacturing, distribution and supply chain industries show in Atlanta, GA. The V1010 has an 10.4-inch XGA touch display, runs either Windows 7 Embedded or Windows C E 6.0 on a 1.3GHz Atom E660T processor, offers exceptional connectivity via wireless USB, ZigBee and Gobi 3000, and can be used in conjunction with DAP's new quick-connect/disconnect modular intelligent docking system. [Read description and partial specs of the DAP V1010] -- Posted Sunday, February 12, 2012

Navistar equips service bay technicians with rugged Toughbook computers
Panasonic published a new case study highlighting Navistar's successful EZ-Tech program, which has deployed more than 3,500 Toughbook mobile computers to streamline vehicle diagnostics and repair. Navistar International Corporation builds integrated transportation solutions including International brand commercial and military trucks. Navistar's equipment and services are sold through a network of over 1,000 dealers in the U.S. and abroad. [See Navistar case study] -- Posted Sunday, February 12, 2012

Intermec CTO critical of Windows 8 embedded release
According to computing.co.uk, Intermec CTO Arvin Danielson criticized Microsoft for dragging with the introduction of Windows 8 at Intermec's 2012 EMEA Summit in Athens, Greece. "Microsoft has announced Windows 8, but has left people unaware about when they will actually be able to get it. They have implied 2014, but that is too late. This has left this huge gap between the announcement and the release, which may mean enterprises turn to Android," he added. [See computing.co.uk article] -- Posted Thursday, February 9, 2012

ADLINK Technology acquires German LiPPERT Embedded Computers
Taiwanese embedded computing products specialist ADLINK Technology has acquired German LiPPERT Embedded Computers, which was founded in 1987, has about 40 employees, and specializes in designing and building embedded X86 single board computers (CoreExpress, COM Express, PCI/104/Plus/Express, EPIC and Mini-ITX). ADLINK feels that LiPPERT's powerful technical team and familiarity with European markets combined with ADLINK's manufacturing and production expertise will generate good synergy. -- Posted Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Intermec 2011 financials: now a US$850 million company
Intermec reported Q4 2011 net revenues of US$236.8 million, with a net loss on a GAAP basis of US$21.6 million, compared to Q4 2010 revenues of $200.0 million and GAAP net earnings of $7.9 million. Full year 2011 revenue was US$848.2 million, an increase of 25% compared to full-year 2010. For 2012, Intermec expects total revenue growth of 8-10% (which would make it US$915 to 933 million), and the company expects Q1 2012 sales of US$200 to $210 million compared to the prior year of $179 million. [See Intermec financials]
-- Posted Thursday, February 2, 2012

New: Intermec CV41 rugged Windows CE-based forklift vehicle-mount computer
Intermec introduced the CV41 vehicle-mount computer designed primarily for fork lifts and similar warehouse operations vehicles. The handy Intel Atom-powered 3-pound device runs Windows CE, has an 8-inch WVGA touch screen with 900-nit option, a very complete 64-key keyboard, comprehensive wired and wireless connectivity, IP66 sealing, and it's also Vocollect voice-ready. [See description and specs of the Intermec CV41] -- Posted Thursday, February 2, 2012

Are keyboards dead?
With all the emphasis on tablets, are keyboards dead? The folks at rugged computer maker AMREL just posted a very interesting essay entitled "The Death of Keyboards & the Japanese Experience" -- Posted Thursday, February 2, 2012

For when you need a rugged Access Point: Meru Networks 1.3Gbps OAP433e
Meru Networks announced the availability of a new, rugged outdoor WiFi access point designed to deliver uncompromising wireless in tough outdoor environments. The Meru OAP433e brings state-of-the-art, virtualized WiFi to devices used across education and corporate campuses, hotels, shopping malls and stadiums. The three-radio, three-stream device is the first three-radio, three-stream 802.11n outdoor access point in the industry with 1.35 Gbps of datarate capacity. -- Posted Thursday, February 2, 2012

Xplore scores US$2.8 million Oil&Gas PO
Xplore Technologies announced it has received a purchase order from one of the largest conventional oil and natural gas producers in North America for the purchase of over US$2.8 million worth of the company's iX104C5 (see RPCR's review) rugged tablet computers. -- Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Intermec CV61: rugged vehicle mount computer gets major technology and functionality upgrade
Intermec's CV60 vehicle mount computer has been a fixture on fork lifts and such for several years. Now the company released an upgraded and updated version in the new Intel Atom D425-powered CV61. The new model is faster, brighter, tougher, can run Windows 7 (no more CE .NET), and benefits from a slew of tech advances, including dual band WiFi and the more secure Bluetooth v2.1. Best of all, the new model is completely compatible with CV60 mounting, cabling, keyboards, trays, scanners and printers. [See description and specs of the Intermec CV61 rugged vehicle mount computer] -- Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2012

United States Air Force selects Getac B300 for QEB fully rugged laptop category
Getac and NCS Technologies, a manufacturer of mission-specific computers and a few Getac products under license agreement, announced that the United States Air Force has selected the Intel Core i5 powered Getac B300 fully rugged notebook computer (see RPCR's full review of the B300) as part of its Quantum Enterprise Buy (QEB) program. The QEB configuration is loaded with the industry's-brightest 1400 NITs QuadraClear display, 100 mW high-power Wi-Fi, a 120 GB solid state drive with 128-bit encryption, and a dual-battery configuration that delivers up to 30 hours of battery life. [See the Getac B300 QEB configuration] -- Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Psion joins Sprint's Open Device Initiative
Psion announced it has joined Sprint's Open Device Initiative to provide its customers with access to the strength of Sprint's 3G network in the U.S. This agreement helps to meet the need for rugged mobile devices and Psion is already shipping Sprint-certified versions of its EP10 rugged handheld to customers. Sprint says its Open Device Initiative is the product of more than a decade of experience certifying non-Sprint-branded devices on its networks. The Open Device Initiative accelerates the process of identifying, testing and deploying devices. -- Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2012

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