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

April 2010

LaCie 500GB drive sports 7-foot drop spec, USB 3.0
LaCie announced the latest addition to its Rugged family of mobile hard drives, the LaCie Rugged USB 3.0, combining the much faster speed of USB 3.0 and LaCie's Rugged design with rubber bumpers, internal rubber suspension and a protective aluminum shell that can handle 7-foot drops. The LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 provides speeds up to 110 MB/s, three times the speed of USB 2.0, and will be available in 500GB capacity for US$149.99. -- Posted Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ADLINK Atom N450-based Extreme Rugged PC/104-Plus SBC
ADLINK Technology announced the release of its newest small form factor rugged single board computer (SBC), the Ampro by ADLINK CoreModule 740, a PC/104-Plus SBC based on the 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 with its two-chip solution architecture with integrated memory and graphics controllers. ADLINK's Extreme Rugged design methodology enables operation at temperatures from -40 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, vibration up to 11.95Grms, and shock up to 50Grms, satisfying military and aerospace requirements for missions in the most extreme environments. -- Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Summit helps five Unitech rugged PDAs earn CCX
Unitech announced that five of its rugged mobile computers have been certified as compliant with Cisco Compatible Extensions, or CCX. All five devices use CCX-certified Wi-Fi solutions from Summit Data Communications. The newly certified devices are the PA968 rugged industrial PDA, RH767 rugged UHF industrial PDA, HT680 rugged handheld terminal, PA800 ultra-rugged industrial PDA, and PA600 standard industrial PDA. -- Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lake Oswego Fire Dept. chooses Motion F5 rugged Tablet PCs
Motion Computing announced that the Lake Oswego, Oregon Fire Department has selected, via Allegiance Tablet PC Experts, a Motion reseller and expert in Tablet PC deployments, the Motion F5 Rugged Tablet PC to improve fire code inspection processes and aid in incident documentation with FIREHOUSE Software Mobile Inspection Software.
-- Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Getac's rugged B300 notebook and rugged V100 convertible now Verizon Wireless ready
Getac announced that its best selling B300 rugged notebook computer and V100 rugged convertible are now Verizon Wireless Network Ready and will incorporate the company's 3G wireless network for expanded wireless coverage. The certification is especially beneficial to Getac customers in the public safety, utilities, construction, and military professions who often work in remote areas where coverage is weak. -- Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2010

RMT upgrades Duros 1214 rugged fixed-mount panel computer
RMT, Inc. announced that its Duros 1214 fixed-mount rugged panel computer will now be available with a 1.6GHz Atom processor (likely the Z530P; up from 1.1GHz Atom Z510 or Celeron M), 2GB of RAM (up from 1GB), a multi-use serial port (new), and also the ability to run Windows CE (in addition to XP Pro, XPE, Vista, Linux). RuggedPCReview.com had performed a full review of the JLT-engineered Duros 1214 in 2009 and found it well suited for "simple, reliable operation in vehicle and other fixed-mount applications." -- Posted Monday, April 26, 2010

Mobile Epiphany begins certification process for Getac rugged computers
Mobile Epiphany is currently working with Getac to certify them as an Authorized Hardware Supplier for Mobile Epiphany’s Touch Inspect software. The testing is being conducted by a team of engineers at iBeta, a Colorado-based quality assurance company. The Getac computers will undergo rigorous testing to ensure that the features on the hardware such as the camera, barcode scanner, touch screen, and GPS are fully compatible with Touch Inspect’s geospatial, multi-media, and data-collection technology (see press release). -- Posted Monday, April 26, 2010

Intel unveils new rugged convertible Classmate PC
Building on their prior clamshell and convertible classmate PC designs, Intel unveiled their latest convertible Classmate PC reference design. Featuring the 1.66GHz Intel Atom N450 and a 10.1-inch LCD touch monitor with palm rejection, the latest version has more memory and storage, up to 8.5 hours battery life, a user interface optimized for eReading applications, water-resistant keyboard, touchpad, improved ruggedness with drop test from desk height, bump and scratch resistance, and an optional anti-microbial keyboard. For wireless, there are 3G, GPS and WiMAX options. According to Intel, more than 300 vendors are developing applications, peripherals and services optimized for Intel-powered classmate PCs as a part of the Intel Learning Series. See Classmate PC products from Equus Computer Systems, M&A Technology, MDG, and CTL.
-- Posted Monday, April 26, 2010

Datalogic Mobile schedules partner meetings
Datalogic Mobile is scheduling partner meetings or ISV's, resellers and integrators in Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and California. Purpose of the meetings is to convey the latest information about mobile computer products and technology, including the new Elf, the professional PDA from Datalogic. Meeting locations are: California: Sunnyvale May 18, Irvine May 19, San Diego May 20, Los Angeles May 21,; in the Midwest: Kansas City May 18, Oklahoma City May 19, Little Rock May 20. Interested ISV's, Resellers, Integrators, and Datalogic Mobile Business Partners can can get more info and register to attend here.
-- Posted Friday, April 23, 2010

DuPont Display Enhancements licenses Vertak direct bonding technology to GM Nameplate
DuPont Display Enhancements has licensed its DuPont Vertak direct bonding technology to GM Nameplate. Vertak optical bonding technology significantly increases LCD readability in bright sunlight while also providing dramatically improved scratch resistance; impact resistance and overall durability. DuPont licenses Vertak bonding technology to LCD and touch panel manufacturers who are looking to launch new bonding operations. -- Posted Thursday, April 22, 2010

Socket 2D BT scanner to work with Apple iPad
Socket Mobile announced Apple iPad compatibility for the Socket Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner (CHS) 7X and its antimicrobial equivalent, the CHS 7XRx. Both can combine with the iPad into lightweight, portable, state-of-the-art 2D barcode scanning solutions that fit a diverse set of application requirements in a range of industries including healthcare, hospitality and retail. See the Socket scanners and a demonstration video with the iPad. -- Posted Thursday, April 22, 2010

Spyrus USB personal encryption device passes NSA review
Spyrus, Inc. announced that their new smaller form factor Hydra Privacy Card has successfully completed a detailed review by the National Security Agency (NSA) against strict security requirements for protecting data at rest in a personal encrypting USB flash drive, making it a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) encryption device approved to protect tactical data in accordance with CNSS Instruction 4009 at the SECRET level and below, when used with the approved operational security doctrine and it also exceeds the new security requirements recently issued by the US Department of Defense (DoD) for encrypted flash drives approved for use on DoD networks. [See Spyrus press release] -- Posted Thursday, April 22, 2010

Advantech launches 22-inch wide-format Point-of-Care terminal
Healthcare applications that need a larger display than MCAs can provide may benefit from Advantech's new POC-227 Point-of-Care terminal with its 22-inch wide-format WSXGA L, a surface acoustic wave (SAW) touchscreen, and full 180-degree viewing angle. The Intel Core 2 Duo-powered POC-227 has four PCIe slots, a built-in Smart Card reader, superb 3D graphics performance, and excellent EMI and static electricity control. [See Advantech release on the POC-227] -- Posted Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A peek at the newly made-over UK office of Psion Teklogix
Thanks to Psion Teklogix's new "Ingenuity Working" community site, we now know things like what the UK office of Psion Teklogix looks like, after a makeover. Those things aren't essential when making technology buying decisions, but it's still good to know all those little operational details. [See Psion Teklogix UK undergoes a 60-minute makeover] -- Posted Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Full review: Tadpole Topaz by General Dynamics Itronix
The Tadpole Topaz by General Dynamics Itronix is a rugged 12-pound notebook computer designed to provide functionality and performance that exceeds what is commonly available in the mobile computing space. Featuring a high-res 15.1-inch touch display, it is overall the fastest rugged machine we have ever tested, and its 3D/OGL performance is phenomenal. And since the Topaz is based entirely on COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) technology, the Topaz is a veritable bargain. [See full review of the Tadpole Topaz by GD-Itronix] -- Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010

AIS introduces Atom-powered industrial Panel PC
American Industrial Systems released a line of rugged Panel PCs with touch screen displays ranging from 8.4 inches all the way to 19 inches. The panels are designed to provide HMI capabilities to all-in-one PLC terminals. Powered by the frugal Intel Atom N270 processor and butilt for reliability and low maintenance requirements, the systems offer excellent connectivity and can be run with a variety of embedded and standard operating systems, including Windows 7. [See description and specs of the AIS Industrial Operator Panel PC] -- Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What if....
What if we came into the possession of a piece of technology that we were quite obviously not supposed to have? Would we take advantage of the situation and report on it? No, we would not. This is not what journalists are supposed to do. It breaks an unwritten code of ethics and a covenant of trust we have with the industry. -- Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Synaptics Gesture Suite now on Linux
Synaptics announced the extension of its Synaptics Gesture Suite to Linux. This release extends the Synaptics Gesture Suite, which includes multi-finger gestures, OEMs that offer Linux-based solutions. Supported Linux distros include Fedora, Millos Linpus, Red Flag, SuSE, Ubuntu, and Xandros. Supported gestures include two-finger scrolling, PinchZoom, TwistRotate, PivotRotate, three-finger flick and press, Momentum, and ChiralScrolling. Bundled with Synaptics' enhanced driver interface, SGS-L is provided free of charge to Synaptics OEM/ODM partners when ordered with Synaptics TouchPad and ClickPad products. [See Synaptics Gesture Suite Linux for TouchPads] -- Posted Monday, April 19, 2010

Pocket PC turns 10 - coulda/shoulda been a contender
It was ten years ago today that Microsoft introduced the Pocket PC to great fanfare at New York's Grand Central Station. The announcement rang in the first serious implementations of Windows CE-based PDAs, with much stricter hardware requirements than the prior multi-architecture "Palm-Size PC," mostly thanks to the landmark Compaq iPAQ, courtesy of, yes, HTC. See Pen Computing's April 19, 2000 reporting on the new Pocket PC] -- Posted Monday, April 19, 2010

Otterbox honored for their business ethics
At a time where trust has become a precious and often abused commodity, it's good to hear that OtterBox, the folks who make those great protective cases for handheld technology, was honored by the Northern Colorado and Greater Wyoming Better Business Bureau with the Torch Award for Business Ethics that recognizes businesses for their outstanding commitment to practices that benefit their customers, suppliers, shareholders, employees and the surrounding community. Way to go, Otterbox!! -- Posted Saturday, April 17, 2010

Toshiba increases storage in vehicle-grade HDs
The Toshiba Storage Device Division, the world's leading manufacturer of automotive-grade hard disks, introduced the 2.5-inch 200GB 4,200 RPM SATA MK2060GSC that is the highest-capacity automotive-grade HDD currently available. It provides the capacity needed for today's vehicle telematics, navigation and other information systems. The disk can handle altitude variations between -1,000 and 19,000 feet, temperatures between -22 to 185F and also delivers high levels of operating shock resistance and enhanced vibration resistance. [See Toshiba vehicle-grade disk spec sheet] -- Posted Saturday, April 17, 2010

Moto adds extended range scanning to MC9090-G RFID
Motorola announced an update/addition to its line of MC9090 handhelds with the MC9090-G RFID ER that introduces extended-range scanning technology to Motorola's line of MC9090-G RFID handheld readers for improved performance in environments that require long-range scanning capabilities. The MC9090-G RFID ER can capture 1D bar codes from as close as four inches to as far as 40 feet, eliminating the need and associated costs of using multiple devices for disparate and specific work tasks. -- Posted Friday, April 16, 2010

TI adds new DaVinci ARM-based HD video processor
With more and more demand for devices incorporating full HD 1080p H.264 video playback and decoding capabilities, Texas Instruments added to its range of DM36x DaVinci portable encoding solutions with the new TMS320DM368 video processor. The DM368 is well suited for many video-based applications, including HD video cameras, real-timeDVRs, HD video communications systems, digital signage and presumably adding HD video to mobile devices. [see DM368 resource page] -- Posted Friday, April 16, 2010

Waterproofing rugged computing equipment
During the course of testing in the RuggedPCReview.com lab, we examine ruggedness specs and claims. For the most part, while we report and comment on those specs, we do not put them to the test because ruggedness testing is pretty involved business. There are, however, exceptions. If a manufacturer claims their product can be dropped from four feet without damage, we may try that. And if a product is advertised as being waterproof, we may check that claim out as well. And this is where it gets interesting. [...more] -- Posted Tuesday, April 13, 2010

AMREL adds Flexpedient capabilities to its ROCKY rugged computers
American Reliance Inc. (AMREL) has added Flexpedient capabilities to its ROCKY line of rugged computers. The patent-pending Flexpedient technology enables application modules to be hot-swapped by deployed personnel without any special tools. AMREL, however, considers Flexpedient's real value as a channel in the quick adoption of new technologies, a hot topic for today's military. -- Posted Friday, April 9, 2010

Avalue releases rugged IP65-sealed touch panel
Avalue Technology, a Taiwanese industrial computer manufacturer, released the LPC-1203 Touch Panel PC aimed at marine and harsh environment applications. It is a an elegant, compact rugged and fanless all-in-one touch panel computer measuring 11.1 x 8.8 x 1.8 inches. It has an outdoor-viewable XGA 12.1-inch XGA display with a 5-wire resistive touchscreen and is powered by the 1.6GHz low voltage Intel Atom N270 processor. [See description and specs of the Avalue LPC-1203] -- Posted Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Microsoft moves Windows Mobile into the Windows Embedded business
Microsoft announced, mostly via a blog entry, a reorganization that makes handheld terminals and ruggedized devices part of the Windows Embedded Business. The company claimed the move will provide them with closer connection between the Windows Embedded CE and Windows Mobile product line that had been under Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business. Basically, this separates Windows Mobile, mostly a nice user interface sitting on top of Windows CE, from the consumer side of things that now concentrates on the upcoming Windows Phone 7. As David Wurster, senior product manager at Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Business, outlines, "with the transition of support to WEB, Microsoft gives the handheld terminal and ruggedized device products a holistic roadmap across both platforms and into the future." [See Microsoft blog entry] -- Posted Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Full review: Juniper Systems TK6000
The TK6000, introduced by Juniper Systems in the fall of 2009, represents another ultra-rugged, no-nonsense handheld computer from the Logan, Utah based company that specializes in field computing solutions for rugged applications such as land survey, natural resources, industrial, agriculture and the like. Initially designed for a Juniper Systems business partner (Carlson Surveyor), the ultra-rugged TK6000 is a product as much as a mobile platform for OEM solution providers. We had a TK6000 in the RuggedPCReview lab for a couple of months and here's our full report and review. [See full review of the Juniper Systems TK6000] -- Posted Monday, April 5, 2010

Advantech ARK-DS303: Rugged Intel Atom-based digital signage player
Digital signage players are specialized computers that display customized information in a variety of settings and locations. They must be small, tough, rugged and virtually maintenance-free. We reviewed the Advantech ARK-DS303, an Atom N270-based very compact (7.25 x 4.6 x 1.8 inches) rugged box designed specifically for digital signage applications. And also found how a small add-on card from Broadcom can make a huge difference in HD decoding on Atom devices. [See review of the Advantech ARK-DS303] -- Posted Monday, April 5, 2010

Full review: Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR820
If a full-size tablet computer is too big and heavy, the Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR820 rugged Tablet PC presents an alternative and very interesting choice that essentially provides Netbook functionality in a tablet form factor. Little clamshell netbooks are selling by the millions, so why not offer the same size and technology in a ruggedized touch screen device without the extra bulk and weight of a physical keyboard? [full review of the Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR820] -- Posted Monday, April 5, 2010

Finally: decent HD video on Atom boxes thanks to Broadcom card
The dirty little secret of millions of Atom N270-based netbooks (and pretty much all other Atom-based systems) is that they really cannot run HD video. If you try it, you get choppy video that creeps along at frame rates of no more than 10 frames per second max even with just 720p video, let alone 1080p. It's a huge disappointment for anyone who thought a "netbook" would surely be able to handle today's high definition media formats, and certainly an annoyance for many customers of vertical market Atom boxes as well. Well, third party to the rescue. [...more] -- Posted Sunday, April 4, 2010

Gunze USA features multi-touch at 2010 SID
Everyone wants multi-touch, but not everyone is enamored with expensive projected capacitive touch screens that you can't operate with a stylus or with gloves. That's why Gunze USA partnered with Stantum to offer unlimited multi-touch on its resistive touch panels. The panels are immune to EMI, allow stylus input (needed for handwriting recognition), and work flawlessly with gloves. Solutions will be shown at 2010 SID Display Wee, May 25-27, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. -- Posted Thursday, April 1, 2010

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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."