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

November 2010

Symbian Foundation web sites to shut down
The Symbian Foundation announced that its website will shut down on December 17, 2010, as a result of the foundation transitioning to being just a licensing body with an accompanying "reduction in the day-to-day operations of the Foundation." This follows Nokia's takeover of further Symbian development. As much of the existing code and content as possible will be archived to remain available to developers via request to the foundation. [See Symbian's announcement] -- Posted Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stealth Computer celebrates 20th anniversary
Industrial/rugged computer manufacturer and supplier Stealth Computer celebrates an important milestone, twenty years of continuous business success. Congrats, guys! -- Posted Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Clear Channel Europe deploys 800 Psion Ikôns
Psion announced that Clear Channel France has deployed more than 800 Psion Ikôn PDAs to help its technicians in the field with the daily real time management of its electronic billboards. Clear Channel technicians use the Ikôn along with software from Psion partner Rayonnance Technologies to receive orders and to report back on the display, cleaning and repair of its billboard panels up to 54,000 times each month.
-- Posted Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advantech passes Kontron to become world's #2 IPC maker
According to Taiwan Economic News, Advantech has passed arch rival Kontron to become the world's #2 industrial PC manufacturer, trailing only NCR. Growth was assisted by the acquisition of DLoG of Germany, British Innocore and ACA Corp. of Taiwan, and Taiwan Economic News exects Advantech to continue on a mergers & acquisitions course. [see article] -- Posted Monday, November 29, 2010

Getac E100 rugged tablets used in UK streetlighting contract
Getac UK announced that its E100A rugged computers are being used in a street lighting maintenance and replacement contract. SSE Contracting, part of Scottish and Southern Energy, won a contract for maintenance of some 250,000 streetlamps in Hampshire, West Sussex and Southampton. The Getac E100A rugged computers are used to dispatch job instructions, allow crews to report back and to enable data data transfer between offices and vehicles. -- Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dell to continue providing mission-critical IT field support services to U.S. Coast Guard
Perot Systems Government Services (PSGS), a unit of Dell Services and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dell, was selected by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to provide IT field support services for critical mission and rescue systems in a five-year, $92 million Standard Workstation and Communication Infrastructure Support Blanket Purchase Agreement contract. Most recently, the Dell Services team provided emergency field side support services of over 1,500 fully-imaged laptops and servers within days to help support the USCG's Deepwater Horizon clean-up efforts in the Gulf of Mexico. [See Dell press release] -- Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Toshiba introduces hard disks for rugged operating environments
Toshiba announced two new 2.5-inch HDD models designed for rugged 24-hour continuous operation in computing, industrial, and other extreme environments. The new 100GB SATA MK1060GSCX and 80GB PATA MK8050GACY models offer exceptional reliability and performance across wide temperature, altitude, and vibration ranges, making them excellent choices for use in industrial equipment and ruggedized PCs. [See Toshiba press release on rugged drives] -- Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Eurotech launches new family of rugged mobile computers
Eurotech, a supplier of embedded technologies, products and systems, has launched a new family of rugged handheld computers. The initial products are the small, ergonomically designed HRC-3100 and the larger HRC-4200 with a 6.2-inch HVGA display. Both units are based on field-proven mobile technology (Marvell PXA270 processors, WIndows CE 5.0), sealed to IP54 specs, able to handle 4-foot drops and operate in wide temperature ranges. [See full descriptions and specs for the Eurotech HRC-3100 and Eurotech HRC-4200] -- Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Moto and Kopin work on new Golden-i wearable computing device
Motorola Solutions has entered into an agreement with Kopin Corporation to develop a hands-free TI 3530 OMAP ARM Cortex 8-powered computer and communications headset with voice reco, mini-USB and micro SD card. The head-mounted display system has full voice, audio and PC capabilities with a virtual 15-inch SVGA display. The Golden-i is targeted at military, logistics and distribution, field mobility, and healthcare applications. [See Kopin Golden-i page, Golden-i demo video, and white paper] -- Posted Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Motion webinars on how to select the right tablet computer
Motion Computing offers two free webinars on how to select the right tablet computer that can withstand the rigors of the workplace and be durable and portable enough to perform reliably across a wide range of users, preferences and environments. Motion may be a bit biased, but these will certainly be interesting webinars, and attendees receive $500 off the purchase of a new Motion Tablet PC! Sign up for the free November 30 or December 16 webinars. -- Posted Monday, November 22, 2010

SSDs becoming ever more price competitive
Solid state disks have a number of advantages over rotating media, among them speed and ruggedness. Unfortunately, SSD prices have been too high to make them viable options in most vertical market mobile computing systems. That is now changing as evidenced by Intel's US$249 retail price point for its latest 2.5-inch X25-M 120GB SSD. That's still a lot compared to the ever decreasing price of hard disk storage, but it is no longer a deal breaker. [See Intel X25-M SSD product page] -- Posted Monday, November 22, 2010

Datalogic tapped for Wireless Supply Chain Solutions project
Datalogic will coordinate a research project funded by the European Commission entitled SELECT (Smart and Efficient Location, Identification and Cooperation Techniques). The project focuses on designing an automatic wireless system for identifying and detecting objects in real time within the supply chain. [See press re;ease] -- Posted Monday, November 22, 2010

Carlson introduces new Carlson Supervisor
At their user conference in Louisville, Kentucky, Carlson Software introduced the Carlson Supervisor that will be bundled with in Carlson Grade Supervisor software for site/grade/surface management and volume calculations for landfills, mining and construction. It will also be bundled with Carlson SurvPC, a full-screen version of Carlson’s data collection software, SurvCE, for land survey and GIS. The Carlson Supervisor is supplied by HHCS Handheld USA, which introduced the device earlier this year as the Handheld Algiz 7. [See Carlson press release] -- Posted Monday, November 22, 2010

Blazepoint signs strategic partnership with Handheld Group
UK-based Blazepoint, specializing rugged technology and engineering, announced a strategic partnership with the Handheld Group, suppliers of rugged off-the-shelf handheld mobile computers. The alliance allows Blazepoint to deliver a wider range of state-of-the-art rugged smartphones, PDAs, tablet PCs and laptops to markets in the UK and Ireland, while Handheld will benefit from having a UK partner with bespoke customization capabilities.
-- Posted Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jordache improves inventory control with Psion handhelds
Psion Teklogix and its VAR Millennium Technologies announced that Jordache Enterprises has successfully deployed Psion's 7535 rugged handheld computers, improving the quality and efficiency within its largest warehouse distribution center. With guidance from Millennium Technologies, Jordache has deployed Psion’s mobile devices to pick, pack and receive inventory. [See Psion press release] -- Posted Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Motion F5 selected by Swiss Air Rescue Service
Motion Computing announced that Rega, a Swiss air rescue service, is managing electronic documentation for the company's maintenance center and air support with Motion F5 Tablet PCs. The F5s were selected because of the rugged, yet lightweight design, ease-of-use and highly visible outdoor display. -- Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Full review: 10th generation DRS ARMOR X10gx
Now in its tenth generation, the DRS ARMOR X10gx is a no-nonsense ultra-rugged tablet computer for deployment in just about any situation, no matter how harsh. This latest iteration of the compact X10 has a greatly enhanced display that offers superb viewability under all lighting conditions. There's now also autosense dual-input, increased sealing (up to IP67), improved functionality via more hardware controls and extra connectivity, Gobi 2000, as well as significantly enhanced performance (more than double that of the last X10 we tested). [See full review of the DRS ARMOR X10gx] -- Posted Monday, November 15, 2010

Samwell updates Intel Atom-powered RUGGEDBOOK MCA9
With the market for rugged lightweight tablets for the healthcare/clinical environment market becoming ever more competitive, Samwell has upgraded its rugged Intel Atom-powered Tablet PC-MCA9. The handy, fanless tablet, sporting an easy-to-clean medical-white magnesium-aluminum alloy housing and a 8.9-inch display, as well as RFID, barcode scanning, and camera for flexible data capture, now offers IP65 sealing and a solid state disk. Weighing just 2.4 pounds, the MCA9 is geared towards increasing productivity and reducing errors in the clinical workflow. Samwell RUGGEDBOOK MCA9 Medical Clinical Assistant] -- Posted Monday, November 15, 2010

Xplore financials Q3, 2010
Market research numbers are very helpful in assessing the situation and planning for the future, but it's also good to keep track of current results, and so always reports whatever rugged computing industry financials we can find. Here's the latest: Xplore reported revenue of US$4.3 and US$9.4 million for the three and six months ended September 30, 2010, respectively, compared to US$5.25 and US$10.25 million for the same periods last year. Xplore attributes the revenue decrease to a decrease in average sales price along with a 4% decline in unit sales. Net loss for the three months was $2.2 million as compared to a net loss of US$1.8 million for the same period 2009, a situation Xplore hopes to address with a significantly improved upcoming next generation of their iX104 Tablet PC family of products. [See press release] -- Posted Friday, November 12, 2010

Tucson PD equips motorcycle officers with Panasonic U1 UMPCs
The Tucson Police Department has equipped their motorcycle officers with fully-rugged Panasonic Toughbook U1 ultra-mobile PCs (UMPCs) in order to enhance law enforcement safety and efficiency. The department selected the MIL-STD-810G certified and IP65-rated Toughbook U1 ultra-mobile PC, with a 5.6-inch sunlight-viewable touchscreen to help them more effectively issue e-tickets and perform other tasks in all types of weather conditions. -- Posted Thursday, November 11, 2010

Solzon adds Xplore tables to its lineup
Solzon Corporation, a provider of data mobility solutions and services, announced a Platinum reseller agreement with Xplore Technologies of Austin, TX. Solzon will add the Xplore line of rugged tablet computers built for mobile computing in the harshest environments to its diverse product offering. -- Posted Thursday, November 11, 2010

Trimble announces new products
Trimble introduced a number of new solutions, among them the Trimble Municipal Reporter system (for reporting things like potholes, broken streetlights, graffiti, pest infestation and illegal dumping); Trimble Tunnel Construction (improve the efficiency and safety of production blasting while providing progress monitoring and reporting); the "BIM to Field" Initiative; Trimble Design Link for mechanical contractors providing HVAC and sheet metal services; as well as HCE Powered by Trimble ver. 2.2 office software used by contractors for data management and preparation, and material quantities takeoff. -- Posted Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Trimble introduces updated Nomad handheld
Trimble announced the Nomad 900 rugged handheld computer, which replaces the Nomad 800. The Nomad 900 uses Windows Mobile 6.1 instead of 6.0, supports high storage capacity SDHC cards instead of just SD cards (that max out at 2GB), has a higher resolution 5-megapixel camera, offers improved postprocessing GPS accuracy of 1-3 meters as opposed to 2-5 meters, and generally enhanced GPS, and has CISCO-certified WiFi. Some options have changed, but other than that, the Nomad is unchanged. -- Posted Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Toshiba introduces blade-style SSDs up to 256GB
Toshiba America Electronic Components announced the Blade X-gale SSD series, a new form factor in high capacity, high performance solid-state storage. Available now, the new drives are offered in capacities of 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. Aimed at space-sensitive products like tablets, laptops, mini-mobile and netbook PCs, these new Toshiba SSDs use a SATA 2.6 micro connector and are less than a tenth of an inch thick. [See press release] -- Posted Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Datalogic launches Datalogic Mobile Blog
Datalogic Mobile has launched a blog-style site with the intent to increase communication with the web community and to provide a digital area for anyone interested in rugged mobile computers, supply chain management, PDA, warehousing, distribution, etc. Initial impression is that it's a good-looking, informative site with potential, though for now it looks more like a rather comprehensive news dissemination site than a discussion blog/community. [See the new Datalogic Mobile Blog] -- Posted Tuesday, November 9, 2010

LXE has another strong quarter
EMS Technologies reported that their LXE rugged mobile computers unit generated higher revenues (year-over-year for comparable quarters) for the third consecutive quarter, mainly on the strength of recovering North American markets. For Q3 2010, LXE had US$35.6 million sales versus US$ 23 million Q3 2009. For the first 9 months 2010, LXE had sales of US$102.5 million versus just US$80 million in the same period 2009. -- Posted Friday, November 5, 2010

Parvuz announces rugged MIL-STD-810G qualified LAN subsystems
"Prime defense contractors and government agencies prefer specifying rugged COTS subsystems that are pre-qualified to military standards to reduce their program risk, cost, and time to deployment," said Les Goodman, president of Parvus as his company announced the DuraNET 1268 rugged Gigabit Ethernet switch subsystem and COM-1268 PC104+ switch card that have successfully completed harsh MIL-STD qualification testing and are ready for deployment in rugged environment systems. -- Posted Friday, November 5, 2010

New Datamax-O'Neil rugged mobile printer can handle 6-foot drop
Datamax-O'Neil announced a new and "ground breaking" 4-inch label printer, the RL4, which is designed for rugged environments and can be worn on belts or installed on forklifts or carts to bring label printing to its needed destinations. According to Datamax-O'Neil, the RL4 is the only portable label printer that has passed the 6-foot MIL-STD-810F drop test (25 drops). [See RL4 press release] -- Posted Friday, November 5, 2010

Wyse to showcase PocketCloud
Wyse Technology announced today it will showcase Wyse PocketCloud for Android and Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod touch at VMware vForum 2010 Tokyo. PocketCloud allows IT administrators and end users to securely access their PC and virtual desktops remotely through their iOS or Android device. -- Posted Friday, November 5, 2010

Patient monitoring solution now on Android
AirStrip Technologies announced that their mobile patient monitoring solution AirStrip OB is now available for medical professionals to download from the Android Market. -- Posted Friday, November 5, 2010

Tablet PC sales and support in Brazil?
We've been approached by a large Brazilian company seeking tablet suppliers and support in Brazil. Interested manufacturers please contact us vial email so we may pass it on. -- Posted Friday, November 5, 2010

Gartner: strong endorsement of tablets
Gartner has issued an unusually strong endorsement of the iPad and "recommends that CEOs ask their marketing and product development teams to present a creative briefing as soon as possible, detailing how iPads could be used by the company and its competitors, because the iPad has the potential to be hugely disruptive to the business models and markets of many enterprises." Our take: This clearly is applicable to upcoming iPad alternates as well, and may finally put vertical market tablets, which have been available for almost 20 years, on the map and, with thier much greater ruggedness, open new opportunity. [See Gartner press release ] -- Posted Friday, November 5, 2010

Microvision buys Symbol/Motorola patents
Microvision, a company with promising pico laser projection technology that could play a big role in mobile systems, has bought a "significant" patent portfolio from Symbol Technology. According to Microvision, the portfolio is the largest, broadest and earliest filed laser pico projection and display portfolio outside of Microvision's own and includes applications such as automotive head up display, 3D projection, range finding, portable media devices, image capture and laptop applications. Given that Microvision is tiny and struggling, the background of this is interesting. -- Posted Friday, November 5, 2010

Two Technologies unveils all-in-one HANDGEAR
Two Technologies unveiled the HANDGEAR, another innovative mobile computer in the company's roster of unique, colorful and eye-catching solutions. Generally thinking outside the box, this time the Horsham, Pennsylvania, based company thought inside the box by coming up with an ultra-rugged mobile computer that's a veritable toolbox of stuff a mobile workforce may need. [Read more...] -- Posted Thursday, November 4, 2010

Free Motion Webinar on data security
Motion Computing invites anyone who recently purchased a Motion J3500, C5v or F5v or is considering a purchase of a Motion tablet PC to join a free webinar to learn about the broad array of security capabilities on Motion tablets to keep mobile devices and data secure and mobile users productive. The webinar will take place November 11, 2010 at 1:30 pm CST. [Register here] -- Posted Thursday, November 4, 2010

Interactive portable video whiteboard
Luidia announced that the interactive technology of the eBeam Edge will now be a part of the Visual Display System (VDS) from HDT Engineered Technologies (HDT), a provider of mobile military and emergency response solutions. With eBeam-HDT technology the HDT Visual Display System now has an interactive workspace on which to collaborate and communicate anywhere, anytime in any extreme field condition in the world. [See YouTube demo] -- Posted Thursday, November 4, 2010

JLT Mobile reports strong orders
Swedish rugged mobile computer maker JLT Mobile has issued an interim report on their results January to September 2010. Orders increased to US$14.6 million, up from US$7.6 million for the same period 2009; net sales were US$9.7 million, roughly unchanged and, according to JLT, affected by the strong Swedish currency and component shortages. [See release] -- Posted Thursday, November 4, 2010

Xplore signs financing and recapitalization agreements
Xplore Technologies announced it has entered into agreements with Phoenix Venture Fund LLC, its principal stockholder, and others to provide up to $2 million in working capital and to eliminate all of the existing subordinated indebtedness by exchanging it for preferred stock. As a result, Xplore will not have any indebtedness other than under its working capital facility. Between the "upcoming launch in 2011 of a new and improved family of devices" and the increasing tablet awareness from the iPad, Xplore sees an accelerating market for rugged tablet computers. [See release] -- Posted Thursday, November 4, 2010

DLI reports certification, expansion
DLI reported that their DLI 8400 Ultra-Mobile Rugged Tablet has received Verizon 3G Network certification under Verizon Wireless' Open Development program. This upgrade adds the reliability and speed of the Verizon 3G mobile network to the already speedy and rugged DLI 8400 (see our full review). DLI also announced two major initiatives designed to serve the company’s expanding global sales efforts: One is a new and expanded branch office in the city of Zhonghe in Taipei, Taiwan. The other an expansion of their partner support program to include resellers from across the globe. -- Posted Thursday, November 4, 2010

Advantech acquires embedded gaming company Innocore
UK-based gaming platform company Innocore Gaming Ltd. has been acquired by Advantech and will become the Advantech -Innocore business unit of Advantech. K.C. Liu, Founder and CEO of Advantech, said, "Advantech has been looking for the right opportunity to enter the vertical market of Gaming. Innocore has an unrivalled brand name and with an impressive track record of growth, product development and dedicated experience providing the ideal opportunity for Advantech." [See press release] -- Posted Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Full review: Winmate G-WIN IP67 Panel PC
With connected computers used in more and more settings and applications, there's a need for more and more ruggedized Panel PCs. took a detailed look at the Winmate G-WIN IP67, a super-rugged 15-inch panel computer that's just 2.3 inches deep. Thanks to an Intel Atom processor it's a fanless unit that is, as the name implies, sealed to IP67 specification, meaning it's dust and waterproof. The G-WIN IP67 has a very bright and responsive 5-wire touch display, special waterproof screw-on I/O connectors, and is almost infinitely configurable. [Read full review of the Winmate G-WIN IP67] -- Posted Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Welch Allyn chooses GD-Itronix Tadpole Topaz for Mobile Acuity medical monitoring system
Welch Allyn, a global provider of frontline medical products and solutions, announced an exclusive partnership with General Dynamics Itronix that provides a Tadpole TOPAZ rugged notebook with the Mobile Acuity LT Central Station, a laptop-based central monitoring station that offers a unique ability to establish treatment areas in military and civilian emergency response environments. [Read press release] -- Posted Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Intermec releases new industrial scanners
Intermec announced the expansion of its SR61T industrial scanning portfolio, including the SR61THP high performance scanner, the SR61TXR extra range scanner and the SR61T2D industrial range imager. Using laser aimers and 2D near/far long-range optics, the new solutions are ideal for customers in warehouse and manufacturing operations needing improved operator productivity and overall scanner reliability. [See Intermec SR61TXR product page] -- Posted Tuesday, November 2, 2010

X-ES ships rugged, secure SSD with 256-bit encryption
Drives in rugged computing devices must meet different requirements, including the ability to handle more abuse and to provide extra security. For that, Extreme Engineering Solution is now shipping the XPort6192, a ruggedized, removable SATA solid-state disk (SSD) supporting 256-bit AES encryption and declassification capabilities, making it ideal for military and other applications requiring secure, high-capacity (256GB), and high-performance removable storage media. [See XPort6192 product page] -- Posted Monday, November 1, 2010

Juniper Research: Tablet sales over 80 million by 2015
Juniper Research released a new report entitled "Tablets & Connected Devices: Opportunities, Strategies & Forecast Scenarios 2010-2015". In it, Juniper predicts that the number of annual shipments for tablet devices will reach 81 million by 2015 as an increasing number of consumer electronics players and handset manufacturers enter the market. Apple will maintain its lead in the medium term, and Android will likely be the OS of choice for new players. [See video white paper on tablets and connected devices] -- Posted Monday, November 1, 2010

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

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