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

November 2013

Advantech unveils SUSIAccess 3.0 remote device management
In embedded systems where complete reliability and 7/24/365 uptime are imperative, remote diagnostics and management play a major role that the OS alone can't fill. That's where systems like Advantech's SUSIAccess come in, a collection of APIs, utilities and diagnostics for remote access, protection and repair. Advantech has now unveiled the cloud and browser based SUSIAccess 3.0 that offers map views, building diagrams, and supports mobile devices. [See Advantech SUSIAccess page] -- Posted Saturday, November 30, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers and site visitors! Here at RuggedPCReview, we are thankful to have the support of some of the best and most advanced rugged computing systems manufacturers in the industry. -- Posted Thursday, November 28, 2013

Amplicon's birthday offering: customized WES7
Incentive by the folks at industrial computer maker Amplicon when purchasing systems that include their rugged fanless Intel Ivy Bridge powered Amplicon Impact-E 200 industrial embedded PC? A free custom-branded Windows Embedded Standard 7 OS that includes the customer's logo of choice in place of the Windows 7 splash screen. [See Amplicon offer] -- Posted Thursday, November 28, 2013

Datalogic technology sponsor of University of Oregon Ducks football team, bar code scanners keep track of equipment
Datalogic, technology sponsor and the official bar code scanner supplier of the University of Oregon athletics department, points out that the Oregon Ducks football team alone has over 4,000 possible uniform combinations. Datalogic bar code scanners help keeping track of it all. [See Datalogic/Oregon Ducks video] -- Posted Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Canalysis: tablets to make up 50% of PC market in 2014
Independent analyst firm Canalys predicts that in 2014 tablets will almost outship all other PC form factors (desktops, notebooks, and tablets) combined. The worldwide client PC market grew 18% in Q3 2013, despite desktop and notebook shipments continuing to decline. Tablet shipments accounted for 40% of PC shipments in Q3 2013, less than half a million units behind global notebook shipments. Tablet domination is set to continue, with Canalys forecasting 285 million units to ship in 2014, growing to 396 million in 2017. Apple and Samsung are expected to stay ahead, though competition in the tablet market continues to heat up. [See Canalysis report] -- Posted Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Advantech's 2013 World Partner Conference in Suzhou, China (and online access to proceedings)
Advantech's 2013 World Partner Conference took place November 21-23 at their newly opened Advantech+ Technology Campus and the Worldhotel Grand Dushulake convention center in Suzhou, China. Over 500 partners attended the event, which centered around the "Smart City" and IoT (Internet of Things) concepts, and outlined new opportunities to the traditional embedded market and how Advantech, now a US$1 billion company, will strive for the next phase of significant growth. Advantech provided excellent online coverage of the event with superbly done online booths and direct access to numerous presentations and webinars. [See Advantech 2013 World Partner Conference Online Booths & Seminars] -- Posted Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dell World 2013
Dell World 2013 will take place December 11-12, 2013 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Dell World's goal is to provide insights into key industry trends, engage with industry visionaries, exchange ideas, and learn how Dell is evolving to deliver the solutions of tomorrow. Dell World also includes rugged-specific activities highlighting Dell's rugged XFR and ATG notebooks and solutions for tough environments. Keynote speakers include CEO Michael Dell and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. [See Dell World registration and agenda] -- Posted Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Intermec printer trade-in program to run through 12/31/2013
Intermec reminded that their Printer Trade-In incentive program runs through 12/31/2013. Customers can save on purchases of qualifying Intermec printers by trading in a competitive or Intermec pre-owned thermal printer, earning up to US$525 in bonus rebates. [See Intermec Printer Trade-In program] -- Posted Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Juniper System blog on the importance of long-lasting batteries in rugged handhelds
Interesting article on Juniper Systems' Get Rugged blog. With some tablets and notebooks now able to go 10+ hours on a charge, one should expect at least as much from rugged handhelds, and Juniper says the "Overtime Technology" battery of its Archer 2 ultra-rugged handheld can double that, and then some. [See Juniper Systems blog on long-lasting batteries] -- Posted Monday, November 25, 2013

State of Outdoor-Viewable Displays Late 2013
One of the big differentiating factors in ruggedized mobile computers is how well the display is suited for work outdoors in bright daylight and in direct sunlight. This can make the difference between a device being useful and productivity-enhancing, or frustrating and nearly useless. Why is this such a big issue? Aren't today's displays so good that the only thing that matters is how large a display you want, and perhaps what resolution it should have? For indoor use that's true, but outdoors it's an entirely different story. RuggedPCReview editor Conrad Blickenstorfer examines the current situation in outdoor-viewable displays. [Read full article] -- Posted Thursday, November 21, 2013

Corvallis PD to use rugged Getac F110 tablets for electronic citations
The Corvallis Gazette-Times reports that the Corvallis Police Department is closing in on the launch of its electronic citation program that will use rugged Getac F110 tablets. The system, which will likely go live early next year, will enable hardcopy of citations on mobile printers, and information sharing with other agencies without the need for hand copying of data. [See Gazette-Times article] -- Posted Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Xplore Technologies blog entries: rugged tablets used in Reebok Spartan Race and Law Enforcement
Xplore Technologies posted two interesting new blog entries at its site. "Rugged Tablets and the Spartan Race" explains how Xplore's RangerX rugged Android tablet is used at the Reebok Spartan Race (the RangerX is actually the official tablet at the Spartan endurance race). "Rugged Tablets Aid Law Enforcement" describes why rugged tablets such as Xplore's iX104C5 are increasingly used in the fast-paced world of law enforcement. -- Posted Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Digitimes predicts 300 to 400+ ppi handset resolution in 2014
According to Digitimes, in 2014 40% of all handset panels will have resolutions higher than 300ppi (pixels per inch), and many common smartphone display sizes will have above 400ppi. That's a significantly higher pixel density than even the "retina" display of the iPad (264pp), and will undoubtedly put pressure on tablets and notebooks to increase resolution as well. -- Posted Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Advantech buys intelligent display maker GPEG
Advantech is acquiring 100% of UK-based intelligent display provider GPEG International. GPEG makes a large variety of advanced display products for signage, gaming, consumer, and vertical market products. GPEG also offers the taptile waterproof capacitive touch technology that works in water, and a variety of other touchscreen technologies (see GPEG pdf catalog). -- Posted Monday, November 18, 2013

Rugged Tablet PC Total Cost of Ownership calculator
With the price of consumer media tablets going down, does it make sense to get consumer technology for certain applications, with the full expectation that such tablets may break and frequently be replaced? MobileDemand claims that "consumer tablets, if they were free, you would still pay more" and offers a Total Cost of Ownership calculator to prove the point (see calculator here). MobileDemand also offers a personalized, detailed total cost analysis and report (request here). -- Posted Monday, November 18, 2013

Xplore Technologies appoints rugged industry veterans to lead sales and operations
Xplore Technologies announced it has appointed Michael Zimmerman as VP of global operations and Randy Denny as VP of sales for North America. Mr. Zimmerman held positions with Getac, Gateway, Best Buy, HP and Motorola. Mr. Denny also has considerable experience in the rugged computing field with positions at General Dynamics Itronix and Getac. -- Posted Friday, November 15, 2013

RuggedPCReview.com traffic up
RuggedPCReview.com traffic has been steadily going up in 2013. According to our ISP, for October 2013, RuggedPCReview served 1.29 million hits, 153,400 pages, 58,200 visits, and 31,900 unique visitors. -- Posted Friday, November 15, 2013

Xplore Technologies reports quarterly financials
Xplore Technologies reported Q2 financials for its fiscal year 2014. Revenue was US$7,403,000 compared to US$7,473,000 for Q2 the prior year, a small decrease of approximately 1%. Xplore reported a net loss of US$894,000 compared to net income of US$277,000 for the three months ended September 30, 2012. Xplore chairman and CEO Philip Sassower said "Looking forward, we believe that Xplore is favorably positioned with the recent launch of our new rugged Android tablet, the RangerX, the development of additional new products, and our investment in sales and marketing activities aimed at creating broader awareness of our offerings and a deeper market penetration." [See Xplore Q2/2014 financials and RuggedPCReview assessment of the Xplore RangerX Android tablet] -- Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Motion Computing J-Series tablet camera training
Modern tablets have a wealth of powerful features that can greatly enhance productivity, but are not always obvious or easy to use/figure out. Manuals help, but a good instruction video is almost always better. Tablet pioneer Motion Computing knows that and just released the latest in their series of Motion product training videos. This one shows how to best use the camera in Motion J-Series ruggedized tablets, and how to use the many graphics tools available. [See Motion's J-Series Camera Usage instruction video] -- Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013

ADLINK launches Ivy Bridge Extreme Rugged SWaP optimized COTS system for military applications
ADLINK Technology announced the new Extreme Rugged HPERC-IBR system, a 3rd-gen Intel Core i7-powered high performance rugged computer system to meet the challenging SWaP (Size, Weight and Power) requirements for modern ground and aerial vehicle applications. HPERC offers one of the first product implementations of the VITA 75 small form factor standard to address commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) requirements for Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) applications. [See ADLINK HPERC spec sheet] -- Posted Tuesday, November 12, 2013

VDC sees position sensor market growth in supply chain applications
New findings from VDC Research indicate growth opportunities for rotary, linear displacement and proximity/photoelectric position sensors in supply chain applications such as logistics, warehousing, and shipping and receiving. Price pressures will remain acute in the low end of the market, where commoditization is forcing vendors to compete on other traditional dimensions such as channel strategy, availability, and service. However, product innovation related to smart sensors at the high end of the market is finally bearing fruit with these technologies increasingly being adopted based upon total cost of ownership and other benefits. [To read more early findings from VDCís position sensor research, download the Executive Brief.] -- Posted Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Advantech: Example of a superior online store
Online shopping is becoming ever more important. Some online stores are terrific and, against all odds, have changed the way even high-profile goods are sold (remember when no one thought Dell and Apple would succeed with their pioneering online stores?). But some truly stand out, and one is in a field where you wouldn't expect a beautifully designed and hyper-informative online store. That'd be embedded system vendor Advantech. Their new campaign that says "Your sourcing just got simplified -- dedicated online store for your digital signage platform" leads to a shopping experience one simply would not expect. See for yourself. -- Posted Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Trimble announces special Yuma 2 rugged tablet deal
Trimble Mobile Computing Solutions announced a special deal where customers get a complimentary extended battery pack (a US$279 value) when they order a Trimble Yuma 2 rugged tablet computer before the end of the year. The Yuma 2, a fully-rugged tablet truly designed for outdoor work, boasts IP65 and MIL-STD-810G certifications and a display that uses unique transflective technology to be easily readable in direct sunlight. It is ready for all-day use with a dual-battery set that can be changed out with the external battery pack accessory, giving workers un-interrupted productivity and power. [See Trimble Yuma 2] -- Posted Monday, November 11, 2013

Android-based rugged scanner/RFID reader
Even in specialized mobile computing areas such as industrial scanning we're now starting to see a demand for smartphone-influenced, Android-based solutions. The Atid AT911, offered in the US by SDG Systems, is an early example of an Android 4.0-powered device with a fairly large and high-res display that can be configured for various special applications, including scanning and RFID with ergonomically desirable pistol grip. [See description, specs and analysis of the Atid AT911] -- Posted Saturday, November 9, 2013

DT Research spruces up their LinkedIn presence
For years, LinkedIn has been useful to quickly check the background and credentials of business contacts. But now you can add LinkedIn to the growing number of business/social media sites where one can learn a lot about products as well. Check, for example, DT Research's nicely done product lineup on LinkedIn. [See DT Research product lineup on LinkedIn] -- Posted Friday, November 8, 2013

Advantech to concentrate on Solution Ready Platforms
Digitimes reports that Advantech, in response of fast growing demand for devices and services related to the Internet of Things and smart cities, will adjust its intelligent service business model from Application Ready Platforms (ARP) to Solution Ready Platforms/Packages (SRP) in fields including intelligent medicare, intelligent retail, intelligent logistics and intelligent buildings. -- Posted Friday, November 8, 2013

Datalogic announces ISV partnership with Savant Software
Datalogic, a manufacturer of rugged mobile computers, announced a new ISV alliance with Savant Software, a supplier of Automated Data Collection and advanced Warehouse Management System (WMS) software. Glen Feeley, Datalogic VP of ADC North America Sales said, "The addition of Savant as an ISV partner aligns perfectly with Datalogic's commitment to support value-added solutions which enhance our value to our channel partners." -- Posted Thursday, November 7, 2013

Juniper Systems ultra-rugged new Archer 2 already shipping
Juniper Systems reports that its ultra-rugged Archer 2 handheld is already shipping, less than a month after the impressive new handheld with its 4.3-inch 800 x 480 pixel optically bonded procap display and 20+ hour battery was first announced. [see Juniper press release] -- Posted Thursday, November 7, 2013

iPad Air teardown -- the cost of thinness
The crafty folks at ifixit.com (whose terrific tools we use at the RuggedPCReview.com's lab) tore down a brand-new iPad Air to see what's inside and how easy it is to repair. As far as the latter goes, not very. They found impressive feats of miniaturization, but at the cost of a "repairability score" of just 2 out of 10. And a diminished battery. Such is the cost of excessive thinness. [See ifixit.com's iPad Air Teardown] -- Posted Thursday, November 7, 2013

Handheld Group looking for a Sales Manager
Handheld US is looking for a Sales Manager. If interested, check the job offering at LinkedIn. -- Posted Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sabtech Data Display Computer -- rugged harsh environment computing in the heavyweight class
Not all rugged computers for harsh environments are small and portable. The newly introduced Sabtech Data Display Computer, for example, weighs almost 90 pounds. The SDDC has passed rigorous military and industrial test requirements for environmental conditions (including DOD-STD-1399, Section 301A for ship motion), design and safety, including EMI, has a 19-inch screen, and can be ordered with Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processors. Though a general purpose computer, the SDDC is more likely to run military software, such as ORTSNET which provides status, maintenance direction, fault reporting, indication and display, and readiness assessment of the Aegis Weapon System. [See Sabtech press release] -- Posted Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Havis introduces versatile dock for Getac F110 rugged tablet
Havis has introduced its new Docking Station for the Getac F110 Rugged Tablet. The rugged yet lightweight DS-GTC-200 Series Docking Station improves mobile worker productivity by providing a secure location for tablet charging and connection to essential peripherals, such as printers, keyboards and barcode scanners. [See Havis docking station for the Getac F110 rugged tablet] -- Posted Wednesday, November 6, 2013

What happend in rugged computing 5 years ago: November 2008
In November 2008, Fujitsu unveiled its elegant Esprimo Mobile Clinical Assistant tablet, while Panasonic announced their own Mobile Clinical Assistant, the Toughbook H1. Fujitsu also updated two of their convertible notebooks, the P-Series and the U810 Lifebooks. Intermec had very strong sales and earnings, outpacing analyst expectations (why is that so important, and now they're part of Honeywell anyway). Motorola demonstrated its super-fast 4G LTE network, while Fortune Magazine declared WiMax one of the year's top flops). RuggedPCReview examined the totally unique Xilinx Virtex 5 FPGA-based Black Diamond SwitchBack rugged UMPC, the interesting DAP CE8640B UMPC, and also the ultra-rugged DRS ARMOR X10 tablet. [See what happened in rugged computing five years ago in November 2008] -- Posted Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The technology behind the Juniper Archer 2's IllumiView display
In the field, display brightness and view ability is everything. In an extensive, illustrated blog post, Juniper Systems explains the technology used in the 4.3-inch 800 x 480 pixel projected capacitive touch display of their recently introduced Archer 2 ultra-rugged handheld. [See Juniper press release and IllumiView Display blog post] -- Posted Tuesday, November 5, 2013

RuggedPCReview.com welcomes Dell as an industry sponsor
RuggedPCReview.com is pleased to welcome Dell as our newest sponsor. Dell's Rugged Mobility business is providing both high-performance computing and enough toughness to operate in the harshest environments through its ruggedized Latitude ATG and XFR notebooks as well as Dell's rugged servers. We appreciate Dell's support in making RuggedPCReview.com possible. -- Posted Monday, November 4, 2013

Recommended reading: two white papers by AIS
American Industrial Systems Inc. (AIS), a designer and manufacturer of various rugged and embedded systems, has issued a very informative and nicely formatted white paper entitled "Addressing hazardous areas safety requirements with properly designed intrinsically safe and Ex approved HMIs and Panel PC solutions for the Oil & Gas industry" (see white paper here). Also recommended reading: AIS white paper on "What's new in multi-touch technology?" (see white paper here). -- Posted Monday, November 4, 2013

ARM boosts graphics processing power with new additions to its Mali GPU family
ARM announced their new Mali-T700 Series GPUs to address graphics performance demands in what ARM calls "the increasingly constrained thermal envelopes associated with high-end tablets and smartphones," thus acknowledging the challenges ever thinner and lighter devices present to chipmakers. At a time where Intel increasingly integrates graphics power that approaches dedicated graphics card performance into their chips, it's important for ARM to match Intel. For now, Mali GPUs are in over half of all Android tablets, and over 20% of all Android smartphones. [See ARM press release] -- Posted Monday, November 4, 2013

Hilarious video on how tough Dell's fully rugged notebooks are
Dell just published a hilarious YouTube video on just how rugged their fully rugged notebook is, with a reluctant attorney finding out he's the one doing the demonstrations, and getting the worst of it. [See Dell's new humorous rugged notebook video] -- Posted Friday, November 1, 2013

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    About RuggedPCReview
    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."