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

March 2013

Latest Handheld Group newsletter
The Handheld Group's latest newsletter reports that their Algiz 7 tablet PC helped the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (see here) and Peikko Finland improve operations (see here), provided a handy link to their latest product lineup brochure (see here), and one to a preview of the upcoming British action film "All Things to All Men" where Handheld Group computers make appearances (see here). See the newsletter here. -- Posted Sunday, March 31, 2013

Xplore adds Common Access Card reader-equipped rugged tablet for military and government
Xplore Technologies introduced a new version of their ultra-rugged tablet computer, the iX104C5-M2. In essence, this is a specialized model for military and government personnel that require additional hardware security on top of the various security hardware, software and firmware measures already inherent in modern computing technology. What the new M2 model adds is an integrated common access card (CAC) reader. With the reader, in order to get access to critical data, a U.S. government issued ISO 7816 smart card must be inserted. [read more]
-- Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Panasonic expands national cooperative purchasing agreement to include Toughpad tablets
Panasonic announced an amendment to the contract available through the National Intergovernmental Purchasing Alliance Company (National IPA) to include the Toughpad family of rugged, reliable enterprise-grade tablets. With this addition, public and nonprofit agencies across the country have a new, efficient method to purchase Panasonic's family of tablet computers built for jobs that demand reliable and secure technology able to withstand challenging conditions, including law enforcement and first responders, field inspectors and medical professionals. Panasonic's Toughpad family of rugged tablets includes the Windows 8-based 10-inch Toughpad FZ-G1, the Android-powered 7-inch ToughpadJT-B1, and the Toughpad FZ-A1, a 10-inch FIPS 140-2-compliant rugged Android-powered tablet -- Posted Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Xplore to provide rugged tablets to medical device engineering company
Xplore Technologies announced it will provide its iX104C5 Dual-Mode Lite rugged tablets to a leading medical equipment manufacturer to be utilized as a control unit for a medical device that temporarily takes over the function of a vital organ, helping to save lives. The order, valued at more than $2.5 million, is the continuation of a relationship that began in 2012. [See Xplore news release] -- Posted Monday, March 25, 2013

Duke University to measure altitude sickness on Mount Everest using MobileDemand T7200 rugged Tablet PC
MobileDemand announced a unique and demanding application for their xTablet T7200 rugged Tablet PC (see our review) as Duke University researchers begin a trek up Mount Everest where they will study whether the amount of oxygen in blood is related to altitude sickness. Even Everest base camps are at altitudes of about 17,000 feet where there's only 54% of the oxygen available at sea level., i.e. significantly below the oxygen level generally considered necessary for human survival. [See MobileDemand press release and Duke University coverage of the Everest trek] -- Posted Monday, March 25, 2013

Fuji FinePix XP200: for when you need a tough camera on the job
Almost any job in the field benefits from image and video documentation, but integrated cameras aren't always up to the job, and smartphones are too fragile for the field. Enter the US$299 Fuji FinePix XP200, a 16mp camera with a 5X optical zoom and WiFi that can also shoot 1080p HD video at 60 frames per second. Best: it's IP68 rated, totally water- and dust-proof, freeze-proof, and can handle drops from almost seven feet. [See description, analysis and specs of the Fuji FinePix XP200] -- Posted Saturday, March 23, 2013

Microsoft releases embedded versions of Windows 8
Microsoft announced the general availability of embedded versions of Windows 8. These include Windows 8 Embedded Pro (full capability of Win 8; see here), Windows 8 Embedded Standard (componentized version of Windows 8; see here), and Windows Embedded 9 Industry (fixed platform for retail, finance and hospitality applications; see here). More info is available from Microsoft's Windows Embedded 8 site. -- Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2013

e-con Systems launches 1080p camera board for TI OMAP 4 systems
e-con Systems, which specializes in the development of embedded camera solutions, announced a full-HD camera board solution for devices based on TI OMAP 4 processors. The e-CAM51_44x can stream and record full 1080p/30 or 720p/60 video. At a time where customers expect full HD video in their handhelds and tablets, this is an interesting add-on solutions for designers and manufacturers of rugged mobile technology. [See e-con OMAP4 camera video and product page] -- Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Added: Logic Instrument Fieldbook B1 rugged and highly configurable 10.4-inch Windows 7 tablet
Logic Instrument introduced the Fieldbook B1, a 10.4-inch class rugged Windows 7 tablet powered by an Intel Atom N2600 processor. The Fieldbook B1, which uses a resistive digitizer, can handle 6-foot drops, extreme temperatures, is IP65 sealed, yet weighs only 3.5 pounds. The B1 can be equipped with RFID, 3.5G WWAN or 4G LTE, 1D/2D scanner, and it offers RS232 legacy support. [See description, analysis and specs of the Logic Instrument Fieldbook B1] -- Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Motorola Solutions homored with five Red Dot Product Design 2013 Awards
Motorola Solutions announced that it has been honored with five red dot product design 2013 awards, including the HC1 headset computer (see here) and the Android-based MC40 mobile computer (see here), for their excellence in design quality. They were selected by a 37-member jury of international experts out of more than 4,600 entries in 19 categories. [See Motorola Solutions press release] -- Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Intermec stockholders approve adoption of merger with Honeywell
Intermec announced that its stockholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the adoption of the previously announced merger between Intermec and Honeywell. Approximately 99% of Intermec's shares voted at the special meeting of Intermec's stockholders, or approximately 79% of Intermec's outstanding shares of common stock as of the close of business on January 25, 2013, were voted in favor of the adoption of the Merger Agreement. [See Intermec press release] -- Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rugged Parvus DuraCOR 830 passes extreme testing
Eurotech subsidiary Parvus announced that the DuraCOR 830, a rugged tactical mission processor subsystem based on an ultra-low power Intel Atom CPU with integrated MIL-STD-1553 databus interfaces has successfully completed military standard qualification testing to extreme MIL-STD-810G environmental conditions, MIL-STD-461F electromagnetic interference/compatibility (EMI/EMC), and MIL-STD-1275/704 power requirements. [See Parvus DuraCOR product page] -- Posted Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Added: CipherLab CP50 rugged Windows Embedded Handheld industrial handheld
The CipherLab CP50 industrial mobile computer combines PDA, phone, data communication, GPS, and scanning functionality into a single and compact Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 device. Offering impressive ruggedness specs (5-foot drop, 14 to 131 degree operating temperature range, 1,000 0.5-meter tumbles, etc.), this is a data capture solution for use in the field, on the road, in warehousing, and just generally for deployment in harsh environments. [See description, analysis and specs of the CipherLab CP50] -- Posted Monday, March 18, 2013

Case study: Panasonic Toughbooks and Arbitrator 360 cameras improve Brewer PD evidence capture
Panasonic published a new case study highlighting the Brewer, ME Police Department's successful deployment of the Toughbook Arbitrator 360-degree in-car digital video system. The complete, mobile in-car video surveillance system has provided the department with a streamlined, reliable solution for evidence capture and management. [See Panasonic evidence capture case study] -- Posted Friday, March 15, 2013

Advantech upgrades 15 and 17-inch rugged Panel PCs
Advantech announced that two of their rugged panel PCs, the 15-inch PPC-6150 and the 17-inch PPC-6170, now come with Intel 3rd generation Core processors, RAID control and multiple expansion slots for increased functionality. The chips (2.4GHz Core i3-3120ME and 2.7GHz Core i5-3610ME) offer about a 20% speed increase and better support 3D visual computing. [See Advantech press release]
-- Posted Friday, March 15, 2013

Full review: Winmate C350T
Even in an era of ultra-slender smartphones with retina-class multi-touch displays, there's still room for a simple, traditional Pocket PC-style PDA like the Winmate C350T, especially when it comes with modern technology, features and options. And even more so if it's rugged, economical, and available with your choice of industrial-grade data capture capabilities and a variety of operating system. [See full review of the Winmate C350T compact industrial PDA] -- Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2013

CipherLab CP60: ultra-rugged Windows CE/Mobile industrial handheld that even supports 4G LTE
The CipherLab CP60 industrial mobile computer combines PDA, phone, data communication, GPS, and scanning functionality into a single and compact (albeit rather large) Windows CE/Mobile (either is available) handheld. Offering superior ruggedness specs (6-foot drop, -4 to 122 degree operating temperature range, 2,000 1-meter tumbles, etc.), this is a unit for the toughest jobs out there. [See description, analysis and specs of the CipherLab CP60] -- Posted Sunday, March 10, 2013

Avalue Technology launches rugged small-footprint Intel 3rd-gen Core-powered Box PC
Avalue Technology unveiled the EPS-QM77E, a rugged small-footprint Box PC able to handle operating temperatures between -14 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit as well as shock and strong vibration. The system provides superior performance via 3rd-gen Intel Core i5/i7 processors and also offers extensive onboard connectivity. [See Avalue EPS-QM77 product sheet] -- Posted Friday, March 8, 2013

Advantech releases semi-rugged 10.4-inch Windows 7 tablet
Advantech released the PWS-770 semi-rugged Tablet PC that runs either Windows 7 or Windows Embedded Standard 7 on a dual-core Intel Atom N2600 processor. The tablet has a 10.4-inch XGA outdoor-viewable resistive touchscreen, very good onboard connectivity, and offers a variety of optional data capture modules (barcode scanner, MSR, RFID). [See description, analysis and specs of the Advantech PWS-770] -- Posted Thursday, March 7, 2013

Added: AMREL DT6 rugged tablet with integrated keyboard
AMREL recently released the ROCKY DT6, an Intel Atom Z530-powered rugged Windows 7 (or Linux) tablet with an 8.9-inch 1024 x 600 pixel resistive touch screen. The 4.4 pound DT6 differentiates itself with an integrated keyboard and extensive I/O, wireless and expansion options. [See description, analysis and specs of the AMREL DT6 rugged tablet] -- Posted Thursday, March 7, 2013

Motion posts new F5t tablet video
Motion posted a new 3-minute video highlighting its rugged F5t tablet and all of the product's features. [See new Motion F5t video] -- Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Enterprise Mobile reaches 250,000 managed devices
Enterprise Mobile, a business unit of Intermec that provides comprehensive mobility managed services, announced that it has reached a major operational milestone by now having more than 250,000 devices under contract for managed services. Enterprise Mobile provides initial device setup and deployment, 24x7x365 customer-branded helpdesk and device depot services, including overnight device replacement, warranty management, and recycling. -- Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013

ConnectedHealth introduces Nursing Manager app on Android tablet
ConnectedHealth announced the availability of the ConnectedHealth Nursing Manager Application (NMA) and ConnectedHealth Secure Medical Tablet. Working together, the new system automates the collection of medical information for patients in a clinical setting. Pricing for the Secure Medical Tablet with NMA begins at US$500, with a monthly software subscription fee. [See press release] -- Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Full review: Getac Z710 7-inch rugged Android tablet
The Getac Z710 rugged tablet can do everything Android-based consumer media tablets can do and it can also be used as a phone, but this nicely designed and very solid tablet also offers industrial-grade scanning, RFID and contactless smart card reading. And its internal cameras are good enough not only for video conferencing, but also for documentation quality still images and HD video. Overall, the Getac Z710 is an attractive, well conceived and executed product that should be on the short list of anyone seeking an enterprise-grade Android tablet device. [See full review of the Getac Z710] -- Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fujitsu deploys PalmEntry access control system
Fujitsu Frontech North America announced that it has installed the PalmEntry Physical Access Control system at BlueVault in San Diego, CA. The PalmEntry system is a secure, contactless, biometric access control solution that positively authenticates the identity of an individual via fast, non-intrusive, spoof-proof technology that uses a vein sensors with near-infrared light to capture a userís palm vein pattern, generating a unique biometric template that is matched against the palm vein patterns of pre-registered users. -- Posted Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Toshiba announces intelligent wearable vital signs sensor module
Toshiba announced that it has developed an intelligent vital signs sensor module that simultaneously senses information on key vital signs such as electro cardiogram, pulse, body temperature and movements, and that can deliver the data to smartphones and tablet PCs via wireless. Numerous healthcare applications come to mind. [See Toshiba press release] -- Posted Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Motion honors Barnabas Health
Motion, honored Barnabas Health with the 4th Annual Excellence in Mobile Point of Care Award -- North America at the 2013 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Annual Conference and Exhibition. Barnabas Health is enabling the highest quality of patient care and health education by delivering dependable network connectivity through Motion wireless network design solutions. -- Posted Monday, March 4, 2013

Xplore secures additional seven-figure military contract for its rugged tablets
Xplore Technologies, announced a significant purchase of its iX104C5 DMSR-M rugged tablet from the U.S. military. The order of more than 200 rugged tablets will be delivered during the next two months. -- Posted Monday, March 4, 2013

Handheld Group upgrades Nautiz X1 rugged smartphone and Algiz 10X rugged tablet
The Handheld Group has upgraded its interesting new Nautiz X1 ultra-rugged Android smartphone to 1 GB of RAM and 4 GB of Flash, and the optional extended Li-Ion battery now packs 3060 mAh Li-Ion (twice that of the standard battery). The rugged Algiz 10X tablet also receives an upgrade: it now comes standard with a 128 SSD. -- Posted Saturday, March 2, 2013

Windows 8 adoption very slow
According to Net Applications, four months after its release, the worldwide percentage of PCs running Windows 8 is at just 2.7%, which is far behind the 9.1% share Windows 7 had reached after four months, and even behind that of the much maligned Vista (4% after 4 months). It sees that Microsoft will have to do something to address the situation. -- Posted Saturday, March 2, 2013

Latest TouchStar newsletter
We received issue #117 of the TouchStar newsletter, which is always full of interesting and entertaining stuff. In this one there's a case study of AFD Petroleum's use of TouchStar's FuelWare solution, running on its 7-inch FLEX rugged tablet. [See TouchStar newletter] -- Posted Friday, March 1, 2013

Toshiba launches new line of image recognition processors
Of note: Toshiba introduced a new line of their Visconti image recognition processors that use Toshiba and ARM Cortex A9 cores on the hardware side and image recognition algorithms on the software side to analyze large volumes of image data from video sources, frame-by-frame, in real time. For now, the processors can recognize traffic lanes, vehicles, pedestrians, traffic signs and more, but Toshiba thinks the new Visconti 3 Series will extend the range of use beyond automotive systems to industrial applications. [See Toshiba Visconti page and press release] -- Posted Friday, March 1, 2013

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