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

April 2014

Handheld Group adds staff around the world
The Handheld Group announced it has appointed Jeff Watkin, who has more than 20 years of industry experience, as new Vertical Sales Manager for its U.S. operations, Carl Sandén, recruited from PricewaterhouseCoopers, as new Financial Controller for the group, and Myra Long, with 14 years of industry experience, as program manager. -- Posted Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New: Datalogic Memor X3
Datalogic introduced the next generation of its handy, pocketable little Memor mobile data collection computer. The new Memor X3, weighing just over 8 ounces, has a larger screen, a more powerful battery, more storage, faster WiFi, and a faster processor. It also adds new scanning options and now runs Embedded CE 6.0. [See description, analysis and specs of the Datalogic Memor X3] -- Posted Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Winmate partner Braetec to display at CeBIT 2014 in Sydney
Winmate’s Australian partner Braetec is exhibiting May 5-7 at CeBIT 2014 at Syndney Olympic Park, Syndney, Australia, Booth D23. Braetec will showcase Winmate's marine and military solutions, the Stainless IP65 panel, industrial displays and various Panel PC solutions. -- Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014

VIA extends Internet-of-Things to harsh environments
The "Internet of things" generally refers to the idea that being able to electronically identify just about everything in the world would transform our daily lifes. VIA Technologies' compact embedded AMOS-3003, designed around the tiny VIA EPIA-P910 Pico-ITX board, extends the IoT concept to harsh environments in a ruggedized design. The VIA AMOS-3003 covers the latest digital media standards required in data collection terminals for in-vehicle control as well as machine to machine controllers in a host of industrial automation applications. [See VIA Amos-3003 product page] -- Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014

ADLINK announces partnership with VadaTech for AdvancedTCA-based embedded computing solutions
VadaTech, a manufacturer of products for the embedded computer market, and ADLINK Technology, a provider of embedded building blocks and intelligent platforms and a Premier member of the Intel Internet of Things Solutions Alliance, have announced a partnership to offer AdvancedTCA-based embedded computing solutions. -- Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014

TouchStar: Fleet management with telematics
The latest TouchStar InTouch newsletter discusses how to reduce fleet management costs with telematics, which includes much more than simple GPS tracking of vehicles. [See TouchStar newsletter on Fleet Management with Telematics] -- Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Amrel announces updated 17-inch RF10 rugged notebook
Most fully rugged notebooks have displays in the 13 to 15 inch range, and that's not always enough for customers needing something larger. For that there's the Amrel Rocky RF10, which the company calls the world's only 17.1" fully rugged laptop. Available with display resolutions up to 1920 x 1200 pixel, the Intel Sandy Bridge Core i7-powered RF10 is fully rugged and has extensive onboard connectivity, including legacy support. [See description, analysis and specs of the Amrel Rocky RF10] -- Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014

N-trig announces pen/touch solution optimized for tablets
N-trig, which makes the DuoSense integrated active pen and touch controllers, announced an optimized solution for the growing tablet segment. The new controllers, in conjunction with the company’s DuoSense Pen2, provide intuitive pen-on-paper handwriting and painting experience for tablets of all sizes. N-trig says that as consumers increasingly demand better functionality than just simple media consumption, the pen has become a common requirement in tablets. By delivering a precise pen with superior palm rejection, hover capabilities, programmable buttons and a variety of tip friction options, the DuoSense Pen technology offers clear advantages for tablet users. [See N-trig press release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Micronet's next gen rugged Android tablet supports telematics and automotive functionality
Micronet Ltd., a supplier of rugged in-cab mobile data terminals with an installed base of over 450,000 units, introduced the A317 Android 4.0-based 7-inch tablet for fleet management and mobile resource management. The A317, which can interface with third party telematics units, includes WWAN, GPS, Bluetooth, WiFi and a vehicle CAN-bus interface. [See Micronet A-317 product page] -- Posted Saturday, April 26, 2014

DT Research announces 13.3-inch rugged Windows tablet
For those who need more screen real estate than the standard 7 to 10 inch tablets, DT Research announced the DT313H, an Intel Haswell-powered tablet with a large 13.3-inch 1366 x 766 pixel capacitive touch screen. Weighing just two pounds and only 3/4-inch thick, the DT313H can be configured with standard or embedded versions of Windows 7 or 8, and is designed for seamless information capture and transmission in demanding indoor settings. A special healthcare version with anti-microbial housing is available also. [See description, analysis and specs of the DT Research DT313H] -- Posted Thursday, April 24, 2014

Advances in heat sinks and heat pipes
Removing the heat generated by today's microscopic but ever more powerful electronic circuitry is a major challenge to designers of rugged mobile computing equipment where fans are viewed as a necessary evil and last resort. It's therefore no surprise that companies specializing in cooling technology—such as Japan's Furukawa Electric and Fujikura, and Taiwan's Chaun-Choung Technology and Taisol Electronics—are advancing the state of the art very quickly. Heat piping is now in the sub-mm range, according to DigiTimes, and 0.6mm is becoming common. -- Posted Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Full review: Xplore's 6th generation of the ultra-rugged iX104 tablet brings state-of-the-art technology and blistering performance into the field
Xplore Technologies announced the release of the XC6 series, the 6th generation of its iX104 ultra-rugged tablet computer platform. The new series has been upgraded from an original Intel Core processor all the way to a choice of 4th generation "Haswell" Core CPUs, plus all the related ancillary tech improvements. This results in a massive performance increase. Display brightness is up to 1,300 nits, there's multi-touch that works with gloves, and we saw battery life of 10+ hours in our full review. [Read comprehensive review of the Xplore iX104 XC6 ultra-rugged tablet computer] -- Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Full review: Juniper Systems Archer 2
Juniper Systems of Logan, Utah, introduced the Archer 2 rugged handheld computer late 2013 as a follow-up and replacement of the company's versatile and virtually indestructible Archer Field PC. The Archer 2, the company says, incorporates all the best things about the original Archer and adds to them. So what were all these good things, and what have they done now? [Read our full review of the Juniper Systems Archer 2]. -- Posted Monday, April 21, 2014

Avalue introduces Intel Atom E3800 "Bay Trail" embedded boards
Avalue Technology unveiled a series of new Intel Atom "Bay Trail" E3800-based embedded boards, including the ECM-BYT 3.5-inch single board computer, the EBM-BYT 5.25-inch single board computer, and the EQM-BYT Qseven module. Based on the 22nm Silvermont microarchitecture, these new E3800 processors are designed for intelligent systems and applications with low power consumption and high performance requirements. -- Posted Sunday, April 20, 2014

Success story: rugged handhelds in sales force automation
It's always good to hear rugged device implementation success stories. One of them is Winmate Communications' cooperative effort with Coca Cola Beverages Sri Lanka to replaces their error-prone traditional method of store-to-store sales management with rugged Android-based Winmate E430M2 handhelds. [Read how Coca Cola is using rugged Winmate handhelds] -- Posted Friday, April 18, 2014

Motion Computing secures order for 5,000 rugged tablets from a US medical device company
Motion Computing reached a major company milestone,announcing one of their largest rugged tablet orders to date. Motion will supply 5,000 CL-series rugged tablets to a US medical device company. The order comes a year after an initial deployment of 3,000 CL-series tablets. [See Motion press release and RuggedPCReview analysis of the Motion CL910 tablet] -- Posted Friday, April 18, 2014

Super high-res displays appearing in notebooks
After many years of being more or less the standard, the 1024 x 768 XGA display resolution's reign appears to come to a close. Already replaced in most consumer laptops by the wider 1366 x 768 WXGA and 1080p resolutions, and surpassed by most tablets and even smartphones, customer demands for much higher resolutions is now leading to super-high resolutions such as the 13.3-inch 3200 x 1800 QHD+ screen in Eurocom's M4 notebook. We expect higher resolutions to become the norm in rugged tablets and notebooks as well. [See Eurocom's 3200 x 1800 QHD+ M4] -- Posted Friday, April 18, 2014

Getac launches rugged T800 8.1-inch Bay Trail Windows tablet
Getac announced a new rugged and very compact 8.1-inch tablet. Running Windows and powered by a "Bay Trail" 2.16GHz quad-core Intel N3530 processor, the Getac T800 has a sunlight-readable "LumiBond" projected capacitive touch screen with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, weighs 2.1 pounds, has dual cameras (5mp and HD), 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, dedicated GPS and 4G LTE. "SnapBack" add-ons can provide a Smart Card reader plus either 13.56MHz RFID or a magstripe reader. The Getac T800 has IP65 sealing and can handle 6-foot drops. [See description, analysis and specs of the Getac T800 rugged tablet] -- Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Zebra Technologies to acquire Motorola Solutions' enterprise business for US$3.45 billion
In an announcement certain to raise some eyebrows, Zebra Technologies Corporation and Motorola Solutions announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement in which Zebra will acquire Motorola's Enterprise business, minus its iDEN (Integrated Digital Enhanced Networks) lineup, for US$3.45 billion in an all-cash transaction. What that basically means is that the former Symbol Technologies and Psion will become part of Zebra Technologies, which is primarily known for its mobile printing solutions. About 4,500 employees will join Zebra, and the combined company will be named Zebra. [See press releases of Motorola Solutions and Zebra] -- Posted Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Winmate releases rugged Bay Trail-based 10.1" Windows tablet with 1920 x 1200 pixel procap display
Winmate has announced their new rugged 10.1-inch M101B Windows Tablet PC. The fanless M101B is based on a "Bay Trail" 1.86GHz quad-core Intel N2920 processor, features a superb 10.1-inch 700-nits IPS projected capacitive touch screen with 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution, has dual cameras (5mp and 2mp), 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, a full complement of sensors, and optional 1D/2D barcode reader, HF-RFID and 4G LTE. The M101B weighs 2.4 pounds, has IP65 sealing and can handle 4-foot drops. [See description, analysis and specs of the Winmate M101B rugged tablet] -- Posted Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Wearables market finally taking off, but not as envisioned by pioneers
Wearable computing is finally taking off, but it's not the way pioneers envisioned it. Instead of miniature PCs, the emerging wave of wearables are, according to IDC, "stylish lifestyle accessories that are making their way onto the pages of GQ and Shape as well as Computerworld and Wired." IDC projects that shipments will exceed 19 million units in 2014, more than tripling last year's sales, with sales well over 100 million by 2018. The wearable market currently splits into accessories to smartphones and tablets, and autonomous wearabels such as Google Glass. [See IDC press release] -- Posted Friday, April 11, 2014

Motorola Solutions' Android-based TC55 touch handheld wins Red Dot Product Design Award 2014
Motorola Solutions announced that the company has been honored with the Red Dot Product Design Award 2014 for the TC55 touch computer. International experts evaluated 4,815 entries from 53 countries and selected the top designs that represent quality and innovative strength. The TC55 will be presented at the Red Dot Design Museum in Essen, Germany, in a special exhibition from July 8 – Aug. 3, 2014. [See Motorola press release and RuggedPCReview's analysis of the TC55] -- Posted Thursday, April 10, 2014

Group Mobile offers Trimble's Rugged Handheld Computer Trade-in Program
Group Mobile, one of the major US distributors of rugged laptops, tablets, and handheld computers announced it is now offering Trimble's Rugged Handheld Computer Trade-in Program. Until June 27, Group Mobile customers can trade-in old and outdated rugged handheld computers and receive up to an additional $250 off a new Trimble Juno T41 (see RuggedPCReview's analysis of the T41). The Trimble Juno T41 offers enhanced GPS with 1-2 meter accuracy, IP68 rating, a fast 1D/2D barcode imager, UHF RFID and superior connection under heavy canopy, all in a slim, ergonomic design. [See Group Mobile Trimble trade-in offer] -- Posted Tuesday, April 8, 2014

AIS on the use of Bay Trail in embedded systems
American Industrial Systems (AIS) issued an interesting press release highlighting the advantages of Intel "Bay Trail" for use in Operator Interface Panels and intelligent HMI (Human Machine Interface) Systems. Bay Trail is really the first true architectural update to Intel's Atom processor platform since its introduction in 2008, and the AIS release nicely points out all Bay Trail advantages and capabilities. [See AIS release on Bay Trail in embedded systems] -- Posted Monday, April 7, 2014

GammaTech adds fully rugged DURABOOK R8300
Gammatech added to its lineup the fully rugged DURABOOK R8300, a time-tested workhorse for any number of deployments that rely on tough, rugged computers that will not break or fail. Based on power-efficint Intel Ivy Bridge technology, the R8300 has a 13.3-inch resistive touch screen with XGA resolution, offers excellent onboard wired and wireless connectivity, and it also has a media bay for an optical drive or second battery. [See description, analysis and specs of the DURABOOK R8300] -- Posted Monday, April 7, 2014

Microsoft's Windows Phone App Studio Beta relaunched to include Metro apps
Microsoft announced it has relaunched the Windows Phone App Studio Beta, which was initially launched summer 2013, as Windows App Studio Beta. With this release, developers build a universal Windows app project that results in an app for Windows Phone and Windows in a single session. [See Microsoft announcement] -- Posted Friday, April 4, 2014

Dell launches Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme convertible notebook
Dell also introduced the Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme, a fully rugged convertible notebook computer with a 11.6-inch resistive multi-touch display, IP65 sealing and full MIL-STD-810G testing. The new rugged Dell convertible is also powered by Intel "Haswell" 4th generation i3, i5, and i7 Core processors, uses solid state disks, as well as 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 4G LTE, and is even dock-compatible with the larger Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme. Replacing the former Latitude XT2 XFR, the Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme takes on the Getac V110 and the Panasonic CF19. [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Dell Latitude Rugged Extreme 12] -- Posted Thursday, April 3, 2014

Dell introduces Haswell-powered Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme
Dell introduced the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme made of impact-resistant ultra-polymers and magnesium alloy, a fully rugged notebook computer with a wide-format 14-inch display, IP65 sealing and a full complement of MIL-STD-810G testing. The new rugged Dell replaces the outgoing Latitude E6420 XFR as the flagship in what Dell VP Kirk Schell said was "the beginning of a renewed and expanded commitment by Dell to the rugged space." Powered by Intel "Haswell" 4th generation i3, i5, and i7 Core processors, and using solid state disks, as well as 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 4G LTE, this is Dell's new and state-of-the-art entry into the fully rugged full-size notebook market. [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Dell Latitude Rugged Extreme 14] -- Posted Thursday, April 3, 2014

Small PC Rugged iBrick now available with Haswell processors
Small PC Computers of Clearwater, Florida, has released its latest iBrick rugged computer model SC215ML. The iBrick is a fanless all-weather computer measuring just 8 x 5 x 3 inches and weighing under 3lbs. Standard configurations include a 4th generation Intel Mobile Core i3 processor and HD 4400 Graphics engine. [See Small PC press release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Dell revolutionizes BYOD mobile worker productivity and security with per-app VPN access controls for any mobile app
Dell released an updated Secure Mobile Access solution that provides mobile employees with per-app VPN access to enterprise data and resources, while protecting the corporate network from security threats. By enabling IT to restrict VPN access only to a set of trusted mobile applications, Dell Secure Mobile Access solution allows managing and securing access to business applications and data, while coexisting with personal applications and respecting personal data privacy. [See Dell Secure Mobile Access solution] -- Posted Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Juniper Systems explains resistive vs. capacitive touch screens
Capacitive touch was popularized by the iPhone and is now on the vast majority of consumer smartphones and tablets. Resistive touch, however, is still prevalent in industrial handhelds. Juniper Systems, which went with capacitive touch for its new Archer 2 mobile computer, explains the differences and pros/cons of the two touch technologies in detail. [See Juniper Systems Resistive vs. Capacitive Touchscreens] -- Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Xplore Technologies secures rugged tablet order from a leading natural gas provider
Xplore Technologies reports that it has secured a purchase order for approximately $1.4 million of its iX104 series ultra-rugged tablets from a leading natural gas provider to the southeastern United States. The order is expected to ship during the second quarter of 2014. The ultra-rugged tablets will be distributed to their field service technicians and site supervisors, and used for pipeline measurement, at construction sites, and during pipeline inspections. [>a href="http://www.xploretech.com/company-news/">See Xplore press release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Almost all London police PCs still running XP
CBR (Computer Business Review) reports that 99% of the London (UK) metropolitan police force's 35,000 PCs is still using Windows XP. With Microsoft cutting off support of XP on April 8, this could be a serious issue, and likely one encountered by numerous other enterprises and organizations across the globe. [See CBR article] -- Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Olympus launches its latest shockproof, waterproof, freezeproof and crushproof outdoor camera
Need a camera for the job with IP68 sealing and a 7-foot drop spec that's also crushproof and freeze proof? Olympus, the company that pioneered outdoor cameras, is expanding outdoor shooting and sharing capabilities in even the most challenging of conditions with a new flagship. Their Stylus Tough TG-3 has a high-speed f2.0 lens, great macro capabilities, GPS, and Wi-Fi, and full 1080p video. And it costs all of US$349. Certainly a great addition to the toolbox of field workers who need to record and document things out there. [See description, analysis and specs of the Olympus TG-3] -- Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2014

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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.

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