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

March 2007

Socket Communications SoMo 650 Mobile Computer
As announced in January of 2007, Socket Communications is now shipping its first handheld computer. The SoMo 650 Mobile Computer is a handy Windows Mobile 5.0-based device that's more rugged than standard consumer PDAs, yet less costly and more compact than dedicated rugged handhelds. The SoMo 650 impresses with a 624MHz version of the PXA270 chip, 128MB of RAM and 256MB of flash, both SDIO and CF Card, and both Bluetooth 2.0 and 802.11b/g. It measures just 5 x 2.95 x 0.81 inches and weighs just over six ounces. Socket, having its roots in handheld peripherals, offers a large variety of add-on cards for scanning, bar code reading, RFID and other. [read description and specs of the Socket SoMo 650] -- Posted Friday, March 30, 2007

DAP Technologies and JLT Mobile merge into Roper Mobile Technology
Rugged, wireless mobile computer maker JLT Mobile Computers and DAP Technologies, LTD, manufacturer of MICROFLEX rugged mobile computing solutions and services, announced that they have merged to form Roper Mobile Technology. Both companies are subsidiaries of Roper Industries, Inc. -- Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Symbol/Motorola releases handy MC35 EDA
Symbol, now Motorola's "enterprise mobility business," introduced the MC35 Enterprise Digital Assistant (EDA), an all-in-one voice/data communication device in the form of a durable, compact handheld. The MC35, powered by a Marvell (remember, Intel sold the XScale) 416MHz XScale PXA270 processor and WinMobile 5.0, joins the MC50 and rugged MC70 as the third device in Symbol/Motorola's family of EDAs and combines cellular technology (quad-band GSM with EDGE), including GPS, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, with office functionality, 2-megapixel camera, and a bar code reader. You can do Voice-over-IP calls, but have to get third party software for that. The MC35 lists from $640 to $750, depending on configuration. Unlike most ruggedized handhelds, the MC35 is tiny at 5.0 x 2.6 x 0.80 inches, weighs little, and has a thumb-type keyboard. -- Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Motion introduces LE1700 Tablet PC
Motion Computing introduced the LE1700, its new flagship slate. The new model comes in a standard and a "WriteTouch" version which offers an innovative digitizer that easily switches between writing and touch. The LE1700 has a 11.65 x 9.65 footprint, is just 0.74 inches thick, and weighs only 3.3 pounds. It is powered by a 1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and can accommodate up to 4GB of RAM. The fingerprint reader now doubles as a navigation device and a second snap-on battery can provide full-shift operation. The 12.1-inch display has very high 1400 x 1050 pixel resolution and the polycarbonate/magnesium machine can be ordered with a variety of wireless radio options, and even has a SIM slot. [Read our full preview of the Motion LE1700] -- Posted Monday, March 26, 2007

Intermec CEO Larry Brady to retire
According to Intermec, its longtime CEO Larry D. Brady will retire from the position he has held since 2000. Brady may remain as chairman of Intermec, though that has not been decided yet. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Brady at Intermec's 2003 iComm conference where he presented a keynote and welcome address. My impression at the time was, All in all this was one of the best presentations on economic theory and its practical applications I have ever seen. Brady is a dynamic presenter with an unbelievable command of financial terminology and a man who clearly came across as a true captain of industry. -- Posted Thursday, March 22, 2007

HHP's Dolphin 7900 added to Microsoft's MTCs
Hand Held Products, a leader in image-based data collection systems for mobile applications, proudly announced that its Dolphin 7900 Mobile Computer, based on the Windows Mobile 5 platform, has been selected to be featured at Microsoft Technology Centers worldwide. The industrial-grade Dolphin 7900 is optimized for robust mobile data collection applications requiring real-time voice and data communications. Powered by Adaptus Imaging 5.0, the 7900 features multi-functional data capture capabilities including linear and 2D barcode reading and digital image capture. -- Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Motorola releases two new rugged machines.
Motorola announced the new ML910 Rugged Notebook and MW810 Mobile Workstation, fully-rugged, wireless mobile computers designed to give government, public safety and enterprise mobile workers quick and secure access to vital information. The ML910 features the first 13.3" widescreen display providing higher resolution and more space to view multiple applications than other rugged notebooks in its class. It also continues the Motorola heritage of offering fingerprint authentication as a standard feature. The fully-rugged MW810 Mobile Workstation is a vehicle-mounted computer offering Intel Core2 Duo processor options, a sunlight-readable display and programmable buttons. The ML910 is tested to MIL-STD-810F standards, has a 1.66GHz Core Duo and a ATI Radeon X1400 discrete graphics controller from AMD, with 128MB dedicated video memory and a video capture card. There is a standard feature hard drive heater for startup and operation in freezing temperatures and also has diagnostic software that monitors internal conditions and prevents outages due to extreme heat and cold. Wireless options include WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and WAN radios. The MW810 supports multiple internal radios for seamless multi-network roaming, providing reliable connectivity-even at highway speeds. The MW810 Mobile Workstation internal GPS and Dead Reckoning GPS module options ensure reliable and accurate vehicle location verification. We'll report on tne new machines in detail. -- Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Samsung reveals second-gen UMPC
According to a Reuters report, Samsung showed a second generation of its Ultra Mobile PC, the Q1 Ultra, at CeBIT. Samsung had expected to sell about 100,000 units of the first-gen Q1, but did not reach that goal. The Q1 Ultra has an improved keyboard, longer battery life, better wireless, is more handy, has a better display, navigation and mobile TV, and two cameras. Samsung expects to sell 200-300k units in the coming year, at a price of almost US$1,600. Our take: It's a reach. No matter how many features a UMPC has, it's a tough sell when you can buy a full function notebook for a few hundred bucks. Maybe the UMPC should concentrate on a) ultra-low cost, and b) rugged/vertical models. -- Posted Friday, March 16, 2007

Syware mobile tools now fully Vista-compatible
Syware announced that their mobile development tools are now fully compatible with the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system. Syware's powerful mobility development tools make it easy to build applications for all types of Windows Mobile devices: Pocket PC, Pocket PC Phone Edition and Smartphone. SYWARE, Inc.'s products continue to support all previous 32-bit Windows operating systems and are fully backward compatible. -- Posted Thursday, March 15, 2007

Psion introduces 8515 touchscreen vehicle-mount
Psion Teklogix introduced a compact, lightweight vehicle-mount computer in the XScale-powered 8515. It's a modern, full-function tablet with integrated QWERTY keyboard and ten function keys for easy operation. The 6.4-inch VGA touchscreen has special anti-reflective and anti-glare treatment. The 8515 offers excellent connectivity both wireless (802.11b/g and Bluetooth) and wired (3 USB and UART DE9). It's also a tough unit with a high-impact polycarbonate shell, IP65 sealing and all the requisite environmental testing. [read our description and specs] -- Posted Thursday, March 15, 2007

F-Origin announces HaptiTouch 2.0 for next-gen touch navigation
F-Origin, providers of touchscreen, motion control and UI technologies announced HaptiTouch 2.0. This new product release enables OEMs and ODMs to quickly and efficiently integrate intelligent and easy-to-use touchscreens into mobile phones, portable computing devices, interactive kiosks and terminal devices. HaptiTouch now supports devices of all types along with displays ranging from small mobile phones to screens as large as 15 inches. HaptiTouch's highly customizable API can be implemented with multiple operating systems. -- Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Intermec's 2007 Webinars: Insight into latest supply chain trends and technologies
Intermec has released the schedule for its 2007 Webinar Series, with information designed to improve efficiency and establish best practices with the latest technologies. The 60-minute live webcasts cover a range of topics, including RFID compliance and asset tracking, the proposed Electronic On Board Recorder (EOBR) rule, working in hazardous environments and the surge in 2D bar code use. [see Intermec 2007 webinar schedule] -- Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Seagate ships high capacity 7200- RPM HD with Free-Fall protection
Seagate announced the world's first 7200-RPM notebook hard drive to combine capacity-boosting perpendicular recording technology with free-fall protection. The Momentus 7200.2 has up to 160GB capacity and combines a Serial ATA 3.0 Gbit/second interface with 7200-RPM spin speed to enable the highest-performance laptops ever. Of particular interest to rugged markets is an optional free-fall sensor to help prevent drive damage and data loss upon impact if a device is dropped. The sensor detects any changes in acceleration equal to the force of gravity, then parks the head off the disk to prevent contact with the platter in a free fall of as little as 8 inches. The drives can withstand up to 900 Gs of non-operating shock and 350 Gs of operating shock to protect data, making them ideal for systems that are subject to rough handling or high levels of vibration. -- Posted Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Samsung ships hybrid hard drives
Samsung announced availability of its hybrid hard drive in 80GB, 120GB and 160GB capacities. Optimized to work with Vista notebooks, the Samsung MH80 is a 2.5-inch hybrid hard drive with 128 or 256 MB of flash. It combines a hard disk drive with a OneNAND Flash cache and Microsoft's ReadyDrive software, offering faster boot and resume times (up to 50%), increased battery life and greater reliability because the hard disk doesn't have to constantly spin when the computer is on battery power. As a result, the drive is less susceptible to shock damage, data loss and repairs. The drive can also operate at a lower temperature than a regular hard drive. -- Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Useful free White Papers
Tech Republic, a free service that makes available white papers on a variety of technical subjects, has added a paper on HP Compaq Thin Clients. While there, poke around for other white papers of interests. -- Posted Monday, March 5, 2007

IP68-rated imaging device
It's not a mobile computer, but every time we come across a device that is the equivalent of IP68 rated, can handle temperatures down to 14 degrees and still work, and surives 5-foot drops, we listen. What we're talking about is the Stylus 770 SW digital camera from Olympus. They call it waterproof, shockproof, temperatureproof and crushproof. And it is. We took pictures with it at a depth of 67 feet and had it underwater for hours at a time. [Read review of the waterproof Olympus 770] -- Posted Friday, March 2, 2007

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