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

December 2013

Does your Pentium have an Atom engine?
There was a time in the very distant computing past where, when buying a computer, the sole decision you needed to make was whether to use the Intel 386/33 or save a few bucks and get the slightly slower 386/25. Today, if you use Intel's handy ARK app that lists every product available from Intel, there's a staggering 1,874 different processors listed... [Read more] -- Posted Saturday, December 28, 2013

Forbes: China chipping away at Taiwan's tablet industry
An article at Forbes.com states that China is chipping away at Taiwan's tablet PC industry, initially just at the low-end, but increasingly in the premium segment. While Taiwan is still getting large orders, China is less expensive and "more flexible." Forbes quotes a source at Marketing Intelligence & Consulting as saying, "prove itself against China now by reminding tablet developers of its legacy of patents, better client service or more advanced technology." [See Forbes article] -- Posted Thursday, December 26, 2013

Added: Ubiqconn's two new versatile, rugged Intel Atom N2600-powered Windows tablets
Ubiqconn of Taiwan, a spin-off from well-known First International Computer, has introduced two fully rugged Intel Atom N2600-powered tablet computers, the T70C (7-inch 1280 x 800 pixel) and the T10C (10.4-inch 1024 x 768 pixel). Both carry IP65 sealing, have very wide operating temperature ranges, have been MIL-STD-810G tested, have extensive wired and wireless connectivity, hot-swappable dual batteries, and can be equipped with various snap-on modules. [See description, analysis and specs of the Ubiqconn T70C and Ubiqconn T10C rugged tablets] -- Posted Monday, December 23, 2013

Handheld's Nautiz X1 ultra-rugged smartphone now shipping
Handheld Group announced that their highly anticipated Nautiz X1 rugged enterprise smartphone is shipping now. Part of Handheld's Nautiz product family of rugged and ultra-rugged PDAs and smartphones, the fully dust- and waterproof Nautiz X1 has a 4-inch 800 x 480 pixel Gorilla Glass-protected procap display, u-bloc GPS, 5mp camera, -4 to 140F temperature range, can be ordered with either Android 4.x or Windows Embedded Handheld, and runs on both GSM and CDMA networks. "This is the toughest smartphone ever built," says Jerker Hellström, CEO of Handheld Group. "We see a huge demand for truly rugged smartphones among field professionals and outdoor enthusiasts who want to be constantly connected." [See Handheld press release] -- Posted Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rapid change in wearable computing
For years, wearable computing was the next big thing. Now it may finally be here, but not in the way most expected. Digitimes expects smart wearable shipments to grow dramatically in 2014, driven by products like Samsung's Galaxy Gear and other smart bands that communicate with smartphones. And, disconcertingly for the pioneers of rugged wearables, Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine's respected editor-in-chief John Keller writes that the military wearable computing landscape has flipped 180 degrees, with current military requirements calling for COTS smartphones, tablets and hybrids from commercial providers such as Samsung. Keller quotes an Elbit Systems representative as saying, "It looks like the military wearable computer is definitely commercial, so there is no place for us." [See Rapid pace of commercial technology complicates Army plans for wearable computing] -- Posted Wednesday, December 18, 2013

MobileDemand blog: Rugged Tablets Can Help Save Money in Supply Chain: Part II
MobileDemand published the second part of its recommendations on how to save money in supply chain operations by using rugged tablets. [See Rugged Tablets Can Help Save Money in Supply Chain: Part II] -- Posted Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Motion Computing webinar: Utilities and Mobile GIS
Motion Computing made available on YouTube a webinar on how to go mobile the right way, and how to realize the power of GIS. Geared towards utilities, the webinar is hosted by Motion, Intel and TC Technology. [View Motion webinar] -- Posted Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Juniper Systems' Complete Care plans take the worry out of mobile data collection
Juniper Systems introduced its new Complete Care service plans, providing substantial benefits above and beyond its Standard Manufacturer’s Warranty. The company points to customer requests as the prime driver in offering this new service option for their rugged handhelds. [See Juniper Complete Care options page] -- Posted Monday, December 16, 2013

Trimble acquires C3 Consulting
Trimble announced that it has acquired the assets of privately-held C3 of Madison, Wis. The acquisition will enable Trimble to provide unique soil information as well as decision recommendations to farmers' trusted advisors—such as agronomists, Trimble resellers or Ag retail suppliers. Farmers will be able to view the C3 data and recommendations from their trusted advisor on the Connected Farm dashboard, a Web portal that provides one centralized location for farmers to view key information impacting their operations. [See press release] -- Posted Monday, December 16, 2013

Getac begins shipping new F110 rugged tablet
Getac announced it has begun shipping its new F110 rugged tablet, which Getac says is the thinnest and lightest large-screen rugged tablet ever built. The company says that pre-orders of the new rugged tablet is the most of any product Getac has ever introduced and production has been ramped-up to meet the high demand. [See RuggedPCReview's assessment of the new Getac F110] -- Posted Saturday, December 14, 2013

Michael Dell's keynote at Dell World 2013: reaching for the cloud
One big problem with being a public company is that every three months it's imperative not to disappoint analysts and investors. Dell won't have to worry about that anymore because it returned to being a private company. That means Dell can now take the longer look, pursue the bigger picture, and no longer suffer from the infliction of short term thinking, as Michael Dell so eloquently put it in his keynote address at the 2013 Dell World conference in Austin, Texas. [read more...] -- Posted Friday, December 13, 2013

Group Mobile special deal on Getac B300
Group Mobile announced that until December, 31 2013 it is offering limited-time special $1,000 off MSRP pricing on Getac B300 models in stock and ready to ship. The Getac B300 rugged notebbooks offered in this promotion includes an Intel Core i7-3520M processor, 1400 nits sunlight-readable display with touchscreen, SuperMulti drive, integrated GPS, 500GB hard disk, BT, Wi-Fi, and a backlit keyboard for working in dark environments. -- Posted Thursday, December 12, 2013

Xplore secures multi-million dollar RangerX order
Xplore Technologies announced it has received its first major purchase order for its RangerX rugged Android tablet (see RuggedPCReview report on RangerX). The order of approximately US$4 million from a major U.S. telecommunications provider includes tablets and accessories and is expected to ship this month. "This multi-million dollar order is a great testament to how the RangerX caters to the telecommunications industry unlike any other rugged device on the market," Mark Holleran, president and chief operating officer for Xplore Technologies, said. [See Xplore press release] -- Posted Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Peak-Ryzex to offer MobileDemand rugged tablet PCs to supply chain enterprises
MobileDemand announced that mobile solutions provider Peak-Ryzex is adding the MobileDemand line of rugged tablet PCs to their portfolio of hardware options sold and integrated across the world. "MobileDemand xTablets are built to outlast demanding work environments such as that of AIDC and warehouse management applications," said MobileDemand president Matt Miller. "Peak-Ryzex has proven time and time again that their mobile solutions and integration knowledge and experience is one that is top-notch and we are thrilled to be adding our xTablet line of rugged tablets to their portfolio of options." [See MobileDemand press release] -- Posted Wednesday, December 11, 2013

General Services Administration awards GSA Schedule Contract to American Industrial Systems
American Industrial Systems, Inc. (AIS) reports that the U.S. General Services Administration has awarded to them a GSA schedule contract for their pre-designed, Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) displays and systems. AIS was awarded contract # GS-35F-041BA, under the IT Schedule 70 designation for general purpose IT equipment, products, software and services, (categories 132 8 for purchase of new equipment and 132 12 for maintenance of equipment, repair services and/or repairs/spare parts). -- Posted Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Panasonic goes Haswell with its Toughbook C2 convertible tablet PC, now with up to 14 hours battery life
Panasonic announced it has updated its semi-rugged Toughbook CF-C2 convertible tablet PC in several key areas. The C2 is now powered by a "Haswell" Intel 4th generation Core i5-4300 processor and Intel HD Graphics 4400, resulting both in higher performance and an increase in battery life from 11 to 14 hours. Both front and rear cameras now have higher resolution, and the versatile Toughbook also offers seamless connectivity via 4G LTE multi-carrier embedded wireless broadband. [See Panasonic Toughbook C2] -- Posted Monday, December 9, 2013

TouchStar announces new cost-saving fleet automation system for Murphy Energy Corporation
TouchStar Group, LLC, which develops mobile computing and automated field force solutions for a broad range of industries, announced a new crude oil fleet automation system for Murphy Energy Corporation, parent company to Connect Transport LLC. "We were looking for a crude oil fleet hauling automation system that was fast, efficient and centralized," said Matt Murphy, President and CEO of Murphy Energy Corporation. "TouchStar provided the Mobility, Middleware and Enterprise Software, along with the related mobile computing solutions we needed to help improve our efficiency, productivity and profitability within our Connect Transport crude oil fleet," concluded Murphy. -- Posted Sunday, December 8, 2013

Digitimes: Notebooks continue to decline, but remain a significant category
Digitimes published a special research report on global notebook shipment forecasts for 2014. The prediction is for a third consecutive annual decline, but with unit sales of over 150 million, notebooks will remain a major category. The report also discusses the probable impact of touchscreen and 2-in-1 notebook versions. [Full report available from Digitimes] -- Posted Saturday, December 7, 2013

RuggedPCReview blog: Thoughts about display resolutions
The resolution of computer displays is an interesting thing. There are now handhelds with the same number of pixels as large flatscreen TVs, Apple claims its "retina" displays are so sharp that the human eye can no longer see individual pixels, and the very term "high definition" is in the process of being redefined. Let's see what happened with display resolution and where things are headed, both in handhelds and in larger systems, and what 4k2k is all about. [Read more] -- Posted Friday, December 6, 2013

DAP Technologies launches ultra-rugged M9020 QWERTY tablet
DAP Technologies launched the DAP M9020 ultra-rugged tablet. The M9020 combines a 7-inch WSVGA sunlight-viewable touch screen with an integrated QWERTY keyboard for customers who prefer the presence of a physical keyboard. The M9020runs Windows 7 or Embedded Standard 7 on a dual-core Intel Atom N2600, features Gobi 4G LTE, dual-band WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth v4.0, as well as dual cameras, dual batteries, IP67 sealing, 6-foot drop spec, barcode scanner and extensive connectivity and expansion. [See description, analysis and specs of the DAP M9020] -- Posted Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Applebee's to install 100,000 rugged tablets in 2014
E la Carte, a company founded in 2009 by a group of MIT engineers and employing just over 35, announced that restaurant chain Applebee's will deploy 100,000 ruggedized E la Carte Presto tablets with integrated credit card readers in 2014, allowing customers to "order, pay, play." E la Carte provides no specs other than claiming a 20+ hour battery life and a whimsical "2X faster & 2X more memory", says there are $0 upfront costs and then a monthly fee, and has received lots of publicity from major mainstream media. [See Businessweek coverage] -- Posted Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Case study: Field invoicing on semi-rugged Samwell RUGGEDBOOK tablets increases productivity and profitability
At profitability experts Marco in the UK, Samwell RUGGEDBOOK semi-rugged tablet computers play an increasingly important role in mobile applications where their combination of toughness, light weight, compact size, superior connectivity, and ability to provide on-the-spot documentation and invoicing increase productivity and profitability. [See Field invoicing on semi-rugged tablets] -- Posted Monday, December 2, 2013

ZAP chooses GammaTech Durabook U12Ci rugged convertible notebooks to outfit ambulance fleet
GammaTech announced it has been chosen by ZAP Emergency Medical Services, a Texas-based ambulance services company, to supply their crews with rugged notebooks. By the end of 2013, the entire ZAP ambulance fleet will be equipped with GammaTech Durabook U12Ci rugged convertible notebooks to assist in patient data entry. Ricardo Gomez, EMS Manager of ZAP Emergency Medical Services, said that "in addition to improvements in weight, ruggedness and speed, the U12Ci is the best value when comparing features to price." -- Posted Monday, December 2, 2013

What happend in rugged computing 5 years ago: December 2008
In December 2008, we reported that Trimble had added the powerful Juno SB and SC handhelds with integrated GPS, Two Technologies had introduced the Safari handheld, Sonim partnered with Land Rover to make rugged phones, and DRS had received a $531 million Army contract extension for rugged systems. We reviewed the Handheld M3 Mobile, took a GD-Itronix MR1 rugged UMPC on a maritime dive expedition in Honduras, ran case studies on rugged mobile printers in mining operations and the use of rugged digital video systems on police motorcycles, announced that Toshiba was first in offering 512GB SSDs, and discussed the importance of being able to lock USB ports on compromised computers. [See what happened in rugged computing five years ago in October 2008] -- Posted Monday, December 2, 2013

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