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

April 2009

Windows 7 on Fujitsu T5010 tablet
Channel Insider installed Winodws 7 on a Fujitsu T5010 Tablet PC to see how the new OS would handle the tablet hardware. They found that Windows 7 properly identified and installed all major component, including Wacom drivers, Intel Turbo Memory, wireless, web cam and the biometric fingerprint sensor. They also found a marked improvement in boot, shutdown, and operation speed compared to Vista Business. [See Channel Insider report] -- Posted Thursday, April 30, 2009

Full review: Advantech L61T compact panel PC
The Advantech PPC-L61T is a very compact ruggedized industrial panel-mount computer measuring just 8 x 5.75 x 1.9 inches and weighing less than three pounds. It's a fanless, meticulously engineered touchscreen device meant to serve in applications such as machine automation, process monitoring, etc., in tight industrial and manufacturing settings. Able to run both standard and embedded operating systems, the L61T offers targeted performance and great connectivity (including legacy) in a super-compact and cost-efficient package. [Read full review of the Advantech PPC-L61T industrial panel PC] -- Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Added: Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR858
We've added a description and full specifications of the RUGGEDBOOK SR858 by Samwell. It's a fully rugged convertible notebook that can be used either as a clamshell notebook or as a tablet. The SR858 differentiates itself by having a 13.3-inch 1280 x 800 pixel wide-format touchscreen instead of a conventional 4:3 aspect ratio display. It also offers a very rational balance between performance, battery life, advanced features and legacy support. [See description and specs of the Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR858] -- Posted Sunday, April 26, 2009

Arbor expands the MCA field with large-screen M1256
With the lucrative electronic patient records project gathering steam, we're seeing more and more MCAs (Mobile Clinical Assistants) being released. Arbor Technology's Atom N270-powered M1256, available in Q2 of 2009, differentiates itself with a larger 12.1-inch wide-format 1280 x 800 pixel touchscreen display. [Read description and specs of the Arbor M1256 MCA] -- Posted Friday, April 24, 2009

Motorola announces RS507 rugged hands-free imager
At LogiPharma Europe 2009, Motorola announced the RS507 hands-free Imager, a hands-free imager that interoperates with Motorola’s WT4000 wearable mobile computer. Built on the Symbol SE4500 imaging engine, the RS507 has its own 624 MHz microprocessor that reads any bar codes in a matter of milliseconds, regardless of lighting. Its omni-directional scanning eliminates the need to align bar code and scanner, and ensures first-time, every-time fast and accurate capture of virtually any bar code. -- Posted Friday, April 24, 2009

Socket Mobile has shipped 15,000 SoMo 650 handheld computers
In its most recent financials, Socket Mobile says it has shipped over 15,000 SoMo 650 handheld computers into the business mobility market. Socket conceived the Windows Mobile-based SoMo 650 as a compatible platform to work in conjunction with its broad line of peripherals and add-on cards. The SoMo line has recently been expanded with the 650rx, a special antimicrobial version for healthcare markets. -- Posted Thursday, April 23, 2009

Rugged case for transporting hard drives
The new CaseCruzer Universal Hard Drive Case is designed for digital media and IT professionals that travel with delicate hard drives. Dangers of travel are minimized by combining a hard outer shell with custom anti-static foam that protects against hard knocks and potentially damaging electrostatic discharge that can destroy hard drives, motherboards and other internal computer devices. There are models that can transport 4 to 24 disks. -- Posted Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Navman Wireless identifies underused vehicles in fleets
Navman Wireless North America announced that its OnlineAVL2 vehicle tracking and logistics system now has the ability to pinpoint vehicles that are being underused, based on travel distance and ignition time thresholds set by the fleet manager. The info can be used to make policy changes that improve vehicle productivity or reduce costs by decommissioning underperforming trucks or vans. -- Posted Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Atom platform expands, but does it have a clear direction?
In the days of the 386, 486 and even early Pentium processors, it used to be fairly easy to follow Intel's chips as they mainly differed in clock speed. These days, staying on top of Intel's various offerings has become an almost full time job. That even goes for Intel's low-end Atom chips that, together with resurrecting some older Intel technologies such as hyperthreading, seemed to simplify the matter of processor selection. Read Atom platform expands, but does it have a clear direction?
-- Posted Monday, April 20, 2009

IrDA announces superfast Giga-IR
IrDA announced they officially adopted the new Giga-IR standard specification that allows transmission speeds of 1 gigabit per second. IrDA's IrSimple communications protocol had already significantly increased transmission speed compared to conventional IrDA. Now, Giga-IR is approximately 250 times faster than IrSimple's 4Mbps speed. And unlike with most RF technology, no complex pairing is required. Though we're seeing fewer devices with IR ports, IR isn't dead just yet. -- Posted Thursday, April 16, 2009

Psion Teklogix offers upgrade program
Psion Teklogix is offering an upgrade program that enables companies to trade in their old hardware for brand-new equipment at about the same cost of their current service contract. The program is designed to leverage resources and the ability to lease new equipment to upgrade systems at very little additional cost and no capital outlay. -- Posted Thursday, April 16, 2009

Parvus named Small Business of the Year by Lockheed Martin
Parvus has been named by Lockheed Martin as a Small Business of the Year for 2008. The recognition comes as a result of Parvus meeting or exceeding all quality objectives, delivery schedules, and project deliverables related to pre-production Communication, Navigation, and Identification battery subsystems for the F-22 Raptor. -- Posted Thursday, April 16, 2009

Extech releases rugged Apex 2 thermal printer
Extech Instruments released the lightweight, rugged Apex 2 direct thermal printer with Bluetooth and a WiFi option as a solution for a variety of mobile computing applications including route accounting and ticketing. The Apex 2 can print up to 1,300 feet per charge, handle 5-foot drops, and is also IP54 rated. -- Posted Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Samwell joins RuggedPCReview.com as premier sponsor
Samwell Group has joined the ranks of RuggedPCReview premier sponsors, thus helping to make possible rugged computing news, information and detailed product reviews. Samwell specializes in product and system integration services, OEM/ODM electronics manufacturing services, as well as components manufacturing and supply. The company markets a complete line of semi-rugged and fully rugged mobile computing products that include convertible notebooks, Tablet PCs and ultra-mobile PCs under its RUGGEDBOOK brand. Check Samwell's RUGGEDBOOK homepage on RuggedPCReview and see a full description of the Atom-powered RUGGEDBOOK SR820. -- Posted Monday, April 13, 2009

Wyse announces "Triple Play" thin computing bundle
Wyse Technology, a global leader in thin computing and client virtualization, announced new Wyse "Triple Play" voice, data, and video thin computing bundle that integrates voice for unified communications, video for HD video playback, great Adobe Flash performance and support for high res imaging up to 2560 x 1600 pixels. {see Wyse Triple Play press release] -- Posted Monday, April 13, 2009

Socket adds broadband access for its 650-Series handheld
Socket Mobile announced availability of its SoMo 650 Back Pack Broadband ExpressCard Adapter. The Back Pack snaps onto the back of a SoMo 650 and interfaces with a broadband network ExpressCard supporting broadband networks by Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and all GSM-based network operators worldwide using Novatel Wireless ExpressCards. -- Posted Thursday, April 9, 2009

Intel announces new Atom chips
Celebrating the 1-year anniversary of the introduction of the Atom processor, Intel announced two new chips. The Z550 extends the performance of the MID product line to 2GHz in an under-3-watt power envelope. The Z515 incorporates the new Intel Burst Performance Technology that lets the chip to run at 1.2GHz when performance is needed. Intel also demonstrated a next-gen Atom MID platform that's even more power efficient. It is codenamed "Moorestown" and consists of a System on Chip codenamed "Lincroft" and a companion I/O hub codenamed "Langwell." -- Posted Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Motorola MC17 keeps winning design awards
Continuing to demonstrate Motorola’s long history of innovation and the renowned expertise of its multiple design and engineering teams, Motorola’s MC17 Retail Mobile Computer has been recognized with awards from several leading design organizations. These prestigious awards include the International Design Excellence award, iF Product Design award and Good Design award.
-- Posted Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How attractive are GETAC rugged computers?
Attractive enough for 400 rugged GETAC notebook computers to be stolen in Lake Forest, Calif. Fortunately, the criminals weren't too bright and tried to sell the GETACs on Craigslist. Undercover agents sprang into action, nabbed the bad guys, and found most of the stolen computers intact. -- Posted Monday, April 6, 2009

Socket announces antimicrobial product line
Socket Mobile announced availability of its first antimicrobial suite of healthcare products for medical mobility, including their Socket SoMo 650Rx handheld computer and line of barcode scanners. The new Socket antimicrobial products are encased in plastics made with antimicrobial materials, which provide an extra layer of protection gainst potentially harmful bacteria and microbes. [See press release] -- Posted Monday, April 6, 2009

Full review: Juniper Systems Allegro MX
When you work out there in the field, your gear must be absolutely 100% reliable and able to handle whatever comes its way. Even bears. Juniper Systems' Windows Mobile 6.1-based ultra-rugged Allegro MX Field PC is a tough tool for the job. Based on proven platforms, it's large enough to be operated with gloves, has excellent connectivity and expansion potential, both keyboard and keypad, and it's waterproof (we checked). [See full review of the Juniper Systems Allegro MX] -- Posted Sunday, April 5, 2009

Juniper Systems LandMark Mobile GPS Utility
Recognizing the need for real-time GPS data to be incorporated into custom and third party application software, Juniper Systems developed LandMark Mobile™ to manage the GPS receiver connectivity functions and provide services such as navigation, route tracking and recording of positions. Point averaging and offset capabilities are included. LandMark Mobile™ runs on the Juniper Systems Archer Field PC and Allegro MX. [View LandMark Mobile™ datasheet] -- Posted Friday, April 3, 2009

RMT updates website to better highlight product lines
RMT, Inc., has updated and restructured its website to highlight the strengths of its three distinctly different product lines. Under the tag line "innovations for a rugged world," the RMT website now features separate sites for the Duros line of rugged tablets and vehicle mounts, DAP rugged handhelds and Windows CE-based tablets, and the SwitchBack ultra-rugged UMPC. -- Posted Friday, April 3, 2009

Trimble’s Yuma rugged tablet wins Best of FOSE
Trimble announced it received a Government Computer News (GCN) Best of FOSE (Federal Office Systems Exposition) award for the new Yuma™ rugged tablet computer. The Yuma brings full office capabilities to the field in a mobile package with its Microsoft Windows operating system and wireless connectivity. -- Posted Friday, April 3, 2009

Motion J3400 review available as PDF
RuggedPCReview.com's full review of the Motion Computing J3400 Tablet PC is now available as a print-style PDF. -- Posted Thursday, April 2, 2009

Motion Computing updates and improves C5 MCA and ruggedized F5 Mobile Field Tool
At CTIA Wireless 2009, Motion Computing announced that the F5 rugged tablet PC and the C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA) are now available for use on the Verizon Wireless mobile broadband network. Additionally, Motion announced upgrades to the devices including enhanced performance and efficiency through an upgrade from Core 2 Solo to Core 2 Duo processor technology, the latest WiFi technology and a new 64GB solid state drive (SSD) option. The upgrade to the C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant puts the C5 ahead of the MCA competition in terms of performance. -- Posted Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Trimble introduces tiny GPS receiver for timing and synchronization
Trimble introduced a tiny embedded GPS receiver for timing applications--the Trimble Resolution-SMT GPS receiver that enables system integrators to add precise GPS to provide location, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and synchronization to many products or systems where cost or size had previously been a limitation. The Resolution-SMT measures just 19mm x 19mm x 2.5mm. -- Posted Wednesday, April 1, 2009

ADLINK revives legacy EBX market with Atom-based LittleBoard 735 SBC
Embedded systems giant ADLINK Technology announced the Atom N270-powered LittleBoard 735 EBX SBC that combines the low-power "Navy Pier" platform (Atom N270 with 945GSE chipset) with its Extreme Rugged design methodology to create an upgrade path for previous end-of-life products in the legacy EBX form factor market. The LittleBoard 735 supports legacy features including a PCI-to-ISA bridge, four serial ports, IDE, CF socket, and embedded BIOS extensions. The LittleBoard 735 uses a thick PCB and is designed for to tolerate shock, vibration, humidity, and temperature extremes. -- Posted Wednesday, April 1, 2009

National Instruments introduces rugged fanless controllers
National Instruments announced the rugged NI 31xx series of fanless industrial controllers for long-term deployments. Based on low-power Intel Core Duo or Celeron processor, the Windows XP-based controllers offer a wide range of connectivity to external devices through USB, cabled MXI Express, Ethernet and PCI or PCI Express. -- Posted Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bay Area Freeway Service Patrol implements Mentor Streets
The Oakland, CA, Bay Area Freeway Service Patrol implemented Mentor Engineering’s Mentor Streets® Enterprise mobile fleet management solution in their 90-vehicle fleet. The Streets solution includes comprehensive software applications for Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) with event management and reporting capabilities, as well as the fixed-mount Windows CE-based Mentor Ranger® rugged, in-vehicle computers. -- Posted Wednesday, April 1, 2009

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    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."