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

April 2013

Getac announces X500 rugged mobile server notebook
There are times when a powerful server is needed in the field, but rackmounts or desktops are not an option. Enter the new Getac X500 rugged mobile server. It is based on Getac's ultra-rugged X500 notebook, uses a quad core Intel i7-820QM processor and 16GB of RAM, adds a RAID expansion chassis, complete with RAID level 0 (splits data evenly across two or more disks), 1 (exact copy of data on two disks) and 5 (data distributed across all disks.) controller board and up to five shock-protected storage drives that can be easily accessed or swapped through one of two quick access doors. The X500 Server also has NVIDIA GeForce GT330M discrete graphics to benefit its large 15.6 inch 800 NITs QuadraClear sunlight-readable display. [View Getac press release, X500 Server product page, and X500 server brochure] -- Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2013

InTouch newsletter #118
The latest InTouch newsletter by the TouchStar Group arrived and it's as informative as ever. This time readers learn, among other news, how TouchStar fleet automation software and their innovative TruckPC SLED portable mounting system with a tablet and printer helped Great Northern Midstream with their work in the North Dakota oilfields. [See InTouch newsletter #118] -- Posted Monday, April 29, 2013

F4Tech announces Platinum Sponsorship at May Esri Forestry GIS Conference
F4Tech announced it has been selected as a platinum sponsor for the Esri Forestry GIS Conference to be held May 14-16 in Redlands, CA. The conference, hosted by the Esri Forestry Group, attracts professionals from all over the world. The annual event is designed to teach forest managers and decision makers, as well as GIS users and specialists how to improve forestry operations and business practices. -- Posted Monday, April 29, 2013

iSiS introduces rugged Zone 2 client
Hazardous area computing specialist iSiS-Ex introduced the Class I Div.2/Class 1 Zone 2-certified iSiS1302 Zone 2 thin client with a super high-bright 19, 1,000 NIT multi-touch glove-friendly touchscreen. The Intel Atom-powered iSiS1302 is fully operational within a -40 to +140F temperature range, is IP66-sealed, and meets a variety of shock and vibration specifications. Class I Div.2/Class 1 Zone 2 means operation in areas where ignitable concentrations of flammable gases, vapors, or liquids are present within the atmosphere under abnormal operating conditions. [See iSiS1302 page and YouTube video] -- Posted Monday, April 29, 2013

MobileDemand xTablet T7200 rugged Tablet PC certified with A-B Mobility software
MobileDemand announced that their xTablet T7200 rugged tablet PC is now certified to be used with the A-B Mobility full-screen (legacy) Presell and Driver Sell software. The xTablet T7200 (see our full review) is the fifth generation of MobileDemand's durable tablets to be approved to assist Anheuser-Busch sales representatives throughout the United States. "MobileDemand was founded back in 2003 with the very first customer being Anheuser-Busch," says MobileDemand VP of Sales and Marketing, Bob Zink. "We're thrilled that xTablet T7200 is now certified to run its AB Mobility software." [See MobileDemand press release] -- Posted Monday, April 29, 2013

Toshiba introduces 1/4-inch 8mp/1080p autofocus CMOS image sensor with HDR functionality
As rugged device customers are asking for improved imaging capabilities in their devices, Toshiba announced their latest 8-megapixel 1/4-inch CMOS image sensor for mobile devices. The back-illuminated T4K05 sensor has an HDR (high dynamic range) function, an autofocus driver, an operating temperature range of -4 to 140F, and on top of 8mp stills, it also supports 1080p/30 HD video. [See specs] -- Posted Friday, April 26, 2013

Socket Mobile reports profitable 1Q2013
Socket Mobile, a longtime provider of mobile productivity solutions, announced 1Q2013 revenues of US$4.3 million, up 8% from 1Q2012. 1Q2013 net income was US75k, versus a net loss of US$872k 1Q2012. CEO Kevin Mills said that their SoMo 655 family of handheld computers and accessories grew 28% sequentially over the 4Q2012, and that the SoMo 655 (see our analysis of the SoMo 655) extends the availability of their classic PDA for at least five years (Microsoft announced continued support until 2020 for the Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 OS running on the SoMo 655). [See Socket Mobile press release] -- Posted Friday, April 26, 2013

1Q13: 1st time majority of all mobile phones sold were smartphones
According to IDC, the worldwide mobile phone market grew 4% year over year in Q1 of 2013. Vendors shipped 418.6 million mobile phones in 1Q13 compared to 402.4 million units in 1Q12 and 483.2 million in 4Q12. In the worldwide smartphone market, vendors shipped 216.2 million units in 1Q13, which marked the first time more than half (51.6%) the total phone shipments in a quarter were smartphones. The smartphone market grew 41.6% compared to the 152.7 million units shipped in 1Q12, but 5.1% lower than the 227.8 million units shipped in 4Q12. Samsung held the smartphone top spot with 32.7%, before Apple with 17.3%, with Samsung greatly extending its smartphone lead. -- Posted Friday, April 26, 2013

Intermec announced partner award winners
Intermec announced the partner award winners from its North American Intermec Partner Summit event in Dallas, recognizing leading enterprises for their success in helping customers deliver results using Intermec's diverse portfolio of solutions. [See Intermec press release with winners] -- Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Itronix RIP
Last week, as I came to a stop at a red light, a police car stopped in the lane next to me. What immediately caught my eye was an expertly mounted rugged notebook computer, angled towards the driver. It was a GD-Itronix rugged notebook, probably a GD6000 or GD8200, with an elegant matte-silver powder-coated insert on top of the magnesium alloy computer case that prominently featured the "General Dynamics" brand name. The officer perused the screen, then looked up, and briefly our eyes met. He had no idea how well I knew that computer in his car, and the one that came before it, and the one before that. [read more...] -- Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Motorola Solutions reports flat Q1 2013 sales with 7% earnings decrease over Q1 2012
Motorola Solutions announced first-quarter 2013 results. Q1 sales were $1.973 billion, up 1% from Q1 2012 sales of US$1.956 billion, mostly thanks to strong Government segment sales. Q1 earnings were US$216 million, down 7% from $216 million for the quarter a year ago. Q1 2013 sales were a bit under 1/3 from enterprise sales and a bit over 2/3 from government sales. Motorola Solutions also reported it repurchased another $357 million of its shares in the quarter (versus US$1.4 billion repurchase in Q1 2012). [See Motorola Solutions press release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2013

GammaTech Durabook SA14: affordable semi-rugged high-performance laptop with numerous customization options
Where do you go if you want a notebook with the performance and technology of the latest consumer laptops, but one that's also tough and rugged while still being affordable? The new Durabook SA14 from Gammatech is such a machine. There are compromises in ruggedness (it's only semi-rugged), but you do get your choice of Intel 3rd-gen Core processors, lots of connectivity, a wide-format 14-inch 1366 x 768 pixel display with high-bright and touch options, and even an optional Blu-ray optical drive. [See description, analysis and specs of the Durabook SA14] -- Posted Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Smith Micro now providing wireless connection management software for Getac rugged tablets and laptops
Smith Micro Software announced that Getac is now offering the QuickLink Mobility connection management solution to enable simple, secure, and reliable wireless network access on select Getac devices, including the B300, S400, V100, V200 and Z710 models. QuickLink Mobility provides a) carrier-agnostic secure connection management, b) seamless, persistent connections across networks, including 3G, 4G and WiFi, c) single-sign-on (SSO) and connect-before-login (CBL) to simplify access and reduce risk, and d) connection policy control for standards compliance.
-- Posted Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Added: QSI QTERM-G58 rugged HMI terminal
Also added: the QTERM-G58 human-machine interface terminal from QSI, which is the Salt Lake City-based US subsidiary of Swedish Beijer Electronics. The G58 is an ultra-rugged, highly customizable handheld terminal with such rare features as a sealed 12-pin multi-potocol connector to support EIA232/422/485 and USB, DC or battery operation, and either Windows Embedded CE 6.0 or QSI's own Qlarity object-based graphic programming language and environment. [See description, specs and analysis of the QSI QTERM-G58] -- Posted Monday, April 22, 2013

Added: Catchwell CW31 industrial PDA
Catchwell is a Korean manufacturer of rugged handheld computers and a top supplier of the Korean postal service. They make a number of very compact Windows CE/Windows Mobile devices such as the CW31 in the popular class of 3.5-inch keyboard PDAs. Powered by the 806MHz Marvell PXA320, the CW31 is available with your choice of 38- or 53-key keypad, 1D laser or 2D imager, and QVGA or full VGA display. It carries IP65 sealing and can handle 6-foot drops, yet weighs just 12.8 ounces. [See description, specs and analysis of the Catchwell CW31] -- Posted Monday, April 22, 2013

Added: Unitech PA968II
The rugged multi-function PA968II is also a follow-up to a successful product, this one to Unitech's old PA968. The second gen model runs Windows Mobile 6.5.3 on the powerful 806MHz Marvell PXA320 processor. Unitech claims the aluminum-magnesium alloy of the PA968II is all new, though it looks very much like the predecessor. Most importantly, perhaps, is the switch from QVGA to full 480 x 640 pixel VGA resolution. The IP65-sealed device can be ordered with a either a 1D laser scanner or a 1D/2D imager. There is a 2MP color camera, SiRFstar GPS, Bluetooth V2.1, Cisco-certified 801.11b/g WiFi, and 5-band 3.5G mobile broadband, all depending on customer and application requirements. [See description, analysis and specs of the Unitech PA968II] -- Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013

Added: Datalogic Skorpio X3
The Skorpio X3 is Datalogic's follow-up to its original Skorpio handheld. Like its predecessor, the X3 model is a compact, handheld computer designed to make data collection and assisted sale procedures in retail in-store environments as easy and comfortable as possible. There's now a faster processor, a slightly larger screen, and you get to choose from three different keypads. [See description, analysis and specs of the Datalogic Skorpio X3] -- Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013

Federal Government organization achieves cleaner and faster clinical study data using Tablet PCs from TabletKiosk
Infectious Disease Clinical Research Program (IDCRP), a worldwide network of Department of Defense (DoD) clinical and research centers that have collaborated to investigate infectious diseases challenges facing the military, revealed that it is using Sahara Slate PC i500 Tablet PCs (see our review) from TabletKiosk to conduct a completely paperless clinical study resulting in 50% time savings and 100x fewer queries. [Request IDCRP case study]
-- Posted Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Added: Honeywell Dolphin 70e Black
With hundreds of millions of sleek, elegant, high-tech smartphones out there, Honeywell saw great potential for a more durable more rugged version of those devices, one that in Honeywell's words "marries the size, style and usability of a consumer device with the reliability and longevity of a traditional rugged handheld." The result is the Dolphin 70e Black, a stylish 7-ounce multi-talented ruggedized enterprise digital assistant that runs Android or Windows Mobile. [See description, specs and analysis of the Honeywell Dolphin 70e] -- Posted Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Added: Janam XT85
Janam's XT85 is a compact, rugged keyboard PDA that merges legacy (design, display, IR, OS) and state-of-the-art (dual-band WiFi, 3G/4G WWAN, microSD, scanners) technology to appeal to enterprise deployments with higher operational and performance demands than older industrial handhelds can deliver, and where ruggedness requirements rule out consumer smartphones. [See description, specs and analysis of the Janam XT85] -- Posted Tuesday, April 16, 2013

JLT adds rugged mobile broadband modem
JLT Mobile Computers has come up with an interesting product: their rugged jLink mobile broadband modem offers reliable 3G (UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA) and GPS connectivity in tough environments (outdoor logistics, harbors, forklifts, transportation) for dockable computers. This means that the computer can be removed from the vehicle or dock without affecting the dock's permanent jLink mobile broadband connection with its external antennas. [See JLT jLink spec sheet] -- Posted Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Advantech launches TREK-668 integrated fleet management and in-vehicle surveiilance Box PC
Advantech introduced the TREK-668, its latest integrated fleet management and in-vehicle surveillance system. The Intel Atom N2600-based TREK-668 Box PC supports GPS tracking and positioning, as well as dead-reckoning, which allows a truck to be traced even if the driver is in a tunnel. All common in-vehicle computer interfaces are available including CAN bus, RS232, RS485, J1708 and the new J1939 protocol which allows TREK-668 to interface easily with a vehicle's systems for real-time diagnostics and operational information. Designed to handle an automotive grade working temperature range (-22F to 140F), the TREK-668 records video and tracking data, and offers integrated WLAN and WWAN CDMA/GPRS/HSPA+ for control center communication. [See Advantech TREK-668] -- Posted Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Getac Z710 rugged tablet now with Android 4.1
Getac announced its Z710 Android-powered rugged tablet will now incorporate the Android 4.1 operating system. Specifically designed to work with dual-core processors such as the Z710's TI OMAP 4430, the rugged Getac tablet will now provide improved speed and responsiveness for field personnel. "The response to our Z710 rugged tablet has been amazing," says Jim Rimay, president of Getac. "Adding Android 4.1 OS allows us to unlock the second processor core -- improving the performance in addition to enhancing security and the user interface, and adding access to Google Play for our mobile customers." [See Getac press release, our full review of the Z710, and Getac's Z710 page] -- Posted Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Added: Rugged Handheld Comparison Tool
RuggedPCReview.com has added a comprehensive rugged handheld computer comparison tool. The new utility allows site visitor to select via pull-down menus from about 100 leading rugged handhelds and compare complete technical specs of up to three devices side-by-side. Each tech spec includes an image of the device and a link to RuggedPCReview's description and analysis, as well as links to vendor pages. We're busy adding more rugged handhelds to the new comparison tool, and will also launch comparison tools for rugged tables, panels, and notebooks. [See the RuggedPCReview.com Handheld Comparison Tool] -- Posted Monday, April 15, 2013

Xplore and Novatek partner to provide rugged tablet solution for the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry
Xplore Technologies and Novatek International announced the Novatek EM-Mobile that combines a rugged tablet equipped with software designed specifically to provide real-time electronic data to increase efficiency in the environmental monitoring and manufacturing processes for the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry. Running on an Xplore iX104C5 DMCR (Dual-Mode Clean Room) rugged tablet, the Novatek EM-Mobile solution can be utilized in the sensitive environment of clean rooms without impact, while providing the real-time information needed to manage the pharmaceutical manufacturing process. [see Xplore news]
-- Posted Monday, April 15, 2013

Crucial releases affordable 2.5-inch M500 SSD with up to 960GB capacity
In RuggedPCReview benchmark testing, we've seen again and again that replacing rotating media with solid state disks can improve overall performance by a significant margin. And since SSDs are more robust, there's increased resistance to drop and vibration damage to boot. So Crucial's announcement of their new M500 SSD is timely. The 2.5-inch form factor M500 comes in capacities from 120GB (US$129.99) to 960GB (US$599.99). [See Crucial press release and Crucial M500 SSD page] -- Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Juniper Systems rugged handhelds now with RFID options
Juniper Systems announced that it will now be offering RFID options for its existing rugged handheld computers, thanks to its recent business partnership with IDBLUE. This partnership will allow Juniper Systems to provide the IDBLUE RFID reader -- available in both HF and UHF versions and has a pending Class I, Division 2 certification for hazardous locations -- as part of a bundled package, or as a separate product which can be used with any Bluetooth-equipped Juniper Systems rugged handheld computer. [See Juniper press release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The latest DAP Talk newsletter
DAP Technologies issued its April 2013 newsletter, introduced by DAP General Manager David Molesworth. The newsletter includes a product spotlight on DAP's new 7-inch M7000 rugged tablet (see our analysis of the M7000) as well as an introduction to their M4305 rugged 4.3-inch Android handheld. It also covers DAP's exhibit at the January ProMat show in Chicago and includes partner testimonials. [See DAP newsletter] -- Posted Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Juniper Systems new channel program aims to give business partners an edge
Juniper Systems announced a new Channel Program, available to new and existing business partners, designed to strengthen its business relationships and help its partners realize greater success. The Channel Program, which will offer Gold and Silver status, is aimed at benefiting partners by increasing communication and transparency, improving understanding of opportunities, and generating more business via benefits such as deal registration, greater engagement with Juniper Systems' sales and marketing teams, access to business development resources, special pricing on demo products, and lead sharing. [See press release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 9, 2013

CipherLab CP60 rugged handheld now IP67 sealed
CipherLab, a Taiwanese manufacturer of automatic ID and data capture/collection products and systems with a US facility in Plano, Texas, announced that environmental sealing of its CP60 rugged mobile computer (see our analysis of the CP60) has been increased from IP65 to IP67, meaning the device is now waterproof to immersions up to one meter (3.3 feet). [See press release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Datalogic Lynx video
Datalogic published another one of their videos highlighting their rugged handhelds. This latest one shows the small and light Lynx data capture and communications PDA (see our analysis of the Lynx) [See Datalogic Lynx video on YouTube] -- Posted Monday, April 8, 2013

Parvuz white paper on engineering military electronics for size, weight and power demands
Eurotech subsidiary Parvus announced a new white paper entitled "Engineering Today's Military Electronics to Meet Size, Weight and Power Demands." The white paper outlines how Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) constraints are shaping the design of both wearable computers and mission computer subsystems to help the military improve operational efficiency and logistics, increase mission life, and reduce the total cost of system ownership. This free white paper can be downloaded from the Parvus Literature page here. -- Posted Friday, April 5, 2013

Mushkin shipping new 1.8-inch high-capacity SATA III Chronos GO SSDs
Mushkin announced the availability of its new line of 1.8-inch Chronos GO SATA III (6Gbps) solid-state drives (SSDs), now shipping in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities. The new 1.8-inch Chronos SSDs feature a smaller, lighter footprint than the previous generation, and offer performance and reliability improvements as well. Originally designed as enterprise-class drives, the new Chronos SSDs now deliver the highest possible storage capacity in a drive that is optimized for use in even in the most demanding 24x7 environments. -- Posted Thursday, April 4, 2013

Microsoft makes available Windows Embedded 8 Industry
Microsoft announced the availability of Windows Embedded 8 Industry. In contrast to "componentized" versions of embedded operating systems, this one is a fixed-image OS that Microsoft says is especially suited for industrial devices, control panels, kiosks, and POS terminals. The primary advantages of a fixed image are security, simplicity, and application compatibility across devices. The disadvantage is that a fixed image isn't customizable, and so there are actually three versions of WE8 Industry: Pro (ATMs and devices for the healthcare and manufacturing), Pro Retail (POS terminals, kiosks, scanners, etc.), and Enterprise (designed to integrate seamlessly with Windows 8 Enterprise). [See Windows Embedded 8 Industry: A Modern OS for Industry Devices] -- Posted Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Germane Systems now offers conformal coating
Germane Systems, a woman-owned small business designer and manufacturer of rugged computer systems and servers, has integrated conformal coating into the services provided by its in-house facilities in Chantilly, Virginia. Conformal coatings increases the reliability of electronic systems, insulating circuit boards and protecting components from damage. Germane Systems' products include the Germane XtremeBox and ToughBox families of powerful rugged computers designed for homeland security, commercial security, maritime and military and applications. -- Posted Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review: Logic Instrument Fieldbook A2
We reviewed Logic Instrument's second generation Fieldbook, a smaller and lighter version of a standard industrial tablet computer. Measuring a compact 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.8 inches and weighing a bit over three pounds, the tough and rugged Fieldbook has a 7-inch 1024 x 600 pixel display, and all I/O is via standard ports. The highly configurable device is now powered by an economical Intel Atom N2600 CPU, can provide full-shift operation on a charge of its two batteries, and offers a wealth of optional integrated data collection and wireless functionality such as scanning, RFID, GPS and 4G/LTE radio. [See review of the Logic Instrument Fieldbook A2] -- Posted Tuesday, April 2, 2013

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