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

April 2017

Full review: Handheld Group Algiz 10X 10.1-inch rugged Windows tablet with tech update and fresh new look
The third generation Handheld Algiz 10X addresses the needs of anyone who's been looking for a tough, rugged Windows 10 tablet for demanding work even under extreme environmental conditions, and one with a bright, sharp display large enough to comfortably work on. RuggedPCReview examined this latest version of the Algiz 10X that now comes with full-HD resolution, glove and rain-capable capacitive multi-touch, concurrent GNSS, an optional active stylus, the LTSB version of Windows 10, and a fresh and modern new look. [See full review of the Handheld Algiz 10X] -- Posted Thursday, April 27, 2017

Law enforcement agencies adopting DURABOOK rugged laptops and tablets
GammaTech announced it ended 2016 with broad sales to Law Enforcement customers across the country. The DURABOOK R11 tablet, SA14 semi-rugged laptop, and R8300 fully rugged laptop were purchased by Police and Sheriff departments in Missouri, Connecticut, Georgia, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Arizona, and Washington. Customers include the Denver PD, DeKalb Country Marshall's Office, Sweetwater PD, South San Francisco PD, Branson PD, Clallam County Sheriff, Chino Valley Police, Falls Township PD, Liberty County Sheriff and Pecos County Sheriff. [See GammaTech media release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Xplore expands price and performance range of the XSLATE R12 rugged tablet series
Xplore Technologies announced that it has added two additional CPU options to its XSLATE R12 rugged 12.5-inch Windows tablet. In addition to the Intel Core i7-7500U and Core i5-6200U processors initially available, Xplore has now added the Core i7-7600U at the high end and the Celeron 3865U at the low end. This gives the R12 series a wider performance range as well as a wider price range. The Celeron-powered tablet starts at US$2299 while the Intel Core i7 vPro version starts at $3299. When RuggedPCReview tested a Core i7-7500U version of the R12, it clocked the overall fastest PassMark benchmark numbers we had ever seen on a rugged mobile device. The i7-7600U powered new version should be faster yet. [See Xplore media release and RuggedPCReview report on the Xplore XSLATE R12] -- Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Handheld Group upgrades RAM and scanner in rugged Nautiz X2 Android hendheld
Handheld Group announced that their Nautiz X2 enterprise handheld now comes standard with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage. The 2D Imager model is also upgraded to the latest Honeywell N6603 high performance imager. Handheld originally offered the Honeywell N3680 as an optional 2D scan engine for the Nautiz X2. The N6603 offers a higher resolution sensor (844 x 640 vs 640 x 480), twice the scan rate, a wider field of view, wider scan range, and lower current draw. [See Handheld media release]
-- Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Janam partners with TouchStar to improve fleet management operations
Janam Technologies, a provider of rugged mobile computers that scan barcodes and communicate wirelessly, and TouchStar, a multinational provider of logistics and mobility software solutions, announced today that Janam’s XT2 is the preferred rugged mobile computer for TouchStar’s TransPac application. TransPac is a cloud-based application that integrates seamlessly with an organization’s fleet tracking and planning software. It enables users to view customer details, fulfill orders and print invoices while on-site with the customer. It also integrates directly with fleet management and accounting software to help improve driver efficiency and create an effective scheduling and delivery process. Janam and TouchStar will co-exhibit at NAFA’s Institute & Expo taking place in Tampa, Florida on April 26-27, 2017. [See Janam media release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017

JLT Mobile Computers selected by large international automaker for U.S. warehouse logistics use
JLT Mobile Computers announced it has won a contract with a large global automaker for the JLT VERSO+ 10 rugged computer. The units will be used in the U.S. warehouse, one of the customer’s multiple production and distribution sites around the globe. The order positions JLT well for further expansion at the customer, as it is part of a greater roll-out of future installations. “The compact VERSO+ 10 mobile computer represents a new class of rugged vehicle terminals, delivering the highest standard in terms of usability and reliability in the face of some of the industry’s harshest applications,” said Eric Miller, CEO of JLT Mobile Computers. [See JLT Mobile media release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017

VDC: Demand for legacy WIndows platforms rapidly waning in rugged handhelds while Android gains traction
VDC Research issued a new report that analyses the approximately US$5 billion global rugged handheld and rugged smartphone market. VDC states that although a majority of available rugged handheld devices are still Windows-based, demand is rapidly waning for legacy Windows platforms such as Windows Mobile/Embedded Handheld 6.5 and Windows CE. Google’s Android continues to gain traction among enterprise users looking to leverage Android’s active app development ecosystem. Rugged OEMs are responding to the need to bridge the performance and functionality gaps with consumer mobile technology. Many are taking this OS shift as an opportunity to upgrade their aging portfolios. [See Taking Stock of the Rugged Handheld and Rugged Smartphone Product Portfolio] -- Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2017

RuggON announces versatile Intel Skylake-powered 12.1-inch rugged in-vehicle terminal
RuggON announced that it is expanding its ruggVMC line of vehicle-mount computers with the new VX-601. Built around a superbright 12.1-inch with either resistive or capacitive touch, the Intel Core i5-6300U powered vehicle-mount runs wither Windows 7 Embedded or Windows 10 Iot and offers an unusually broad array of wired and wireless connectivity. A very wide input power range, ignition sense, remote wake, and integrated backup battery power good for 1.5 hours make the VX-601 suitable for a very wide range of vehicle and field deployments. [See RuggON media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the RuggON VX-601] -- Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2017

DT Research rugged tablet awarded C1D2 certification for safe operation in potentially hazardous environments
DT Research announced that its DT301 rugged tablet has been tested and Class 1 Division 2 Certified to operate safely in hazardous areas where flammable gases, vapors or liquids may be present within sufficient quantities to be explosive or ignitable. The C1D2 certification is recognized as the most widely accepted non-incendive standard in North America for products used in hazardous environments. "As a company specializing in purpose-built solutions for vertical markets, we strive to adhere to the highest standards required in a broad set of industries," said Daw Tsai Sc.D., president of DT Research. "We are proud to add the C1D2 certification to the robust features of the DT301 rugged tablet, making it a viable solution in many more environments." [See DT Research media release and RuggedPCReview analysis of the DT301] -- Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tablet EX Gear offers ingenious tablet chest packs
Tablets are great and increasingly used in the field, but you can't just stick them in a pocket like a smartphone. Realizing that, the crafty folks at Tablet EX Gear are offering a variety of tablet chest packs designed not only to easily stow away a tablet, but also providing space for whatever gear and peripherals you want to take with, and to make using the tablet easier. Very clever. Almost everyone working with a tablet in the field needs this. [See the Tablet EX Gear site] -- Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Juniper Systems releases the Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet with Android OS
Juniper Systems, provider of ultra-rugged field data collection solutions, recently announced the release of its latest product, the Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet running Android 5.1. This handheld aims to provide a solution for those seeking a versatility of Android, without sacrificing the durability and precision the Mesa 2 is known for. [See Juniper Systems media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Mobile Demand and Phantom Controls SAM present the next generation fire truck
Operating fire trucks used to be a very manual thing. But MobileDemand and the folks at Phantom Controls proved that you can teach old dogs new tricks. They retrofitted an old St. Louis fire truck with their SAM (Scene Apparatus Manager) automated fire pump system to open and close valves, set the pressure for the pressure governor, select intakes for water supply, and alert the crew if there are any problems. It allows the truck operator to focus on the crew, their safety, and instantly set or reallocate pressure where and how it's needed. The truck itself has a panel PC, the operator uses a MobileDemand xTablet T8650 rugged tablet PC with Phantom Controls SAM software. The system will be demonstrated at FDIC 2017, April 24-29 in Indianapolis. For a great video on how it works, see this Facebook video (184,000 views as of 4/24!!!). -- Posted Monday, April 24, 2017

MPL rugged embedded computers used on racing sailboat
Swiss rugged embedded computer maker MPL AG reported in its newsletter that since January 2017, MPL AG is a technical partner for the Arnauld Godart-Philippe Sailing Team AGP. AGP uses MPL's PIP32 rugged embedded IPC for instrumentation, sensor monitoring and boat navigation. The racing team had been using MPL rugged computers since 2009 without any failures. [See MPL PIP30 rugged embedded systems] -- Posted Friday, April 21, 2017

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: April 2012
In April 2012, GD-Itronix opened an online store for its rugged computers and accessories, Motorola Solutions reported Q1 sales of almost US$2 billion and US$232 million profit, and Intel introduced its high-end quad-core 3rd gen"Ivy Bridge" Core processors. Microsoft announced there will be three versions of Windows 8 (plain Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows RT for ARM). Socket Mobile turned 20. iSiS-Ex released 19-inch Zone 2 workstations, Advantech created a site just for hazardous application solutions, IBM introduced a new foundation for mobile computing, and Intermec released two new rugged high-speed label printers. e-con Systems explained the challenges of integrating decent cameras into rugged systems, Cybernet Manufacturing launched the CyberMed T10 tablet for use in clinical environments. RuggedPCReview analyzed the nature and potential of Windows 8 for ARM devices and concluded it was probably a longshot.[See April 2012 RuggedPCReview archives] -- Posted Friday, April 21, 2017

noax Technologies releases S21WP industrial PC with industrial-grade PCAP Technology
noax Technologies, a German OEMr of industrial PCs (IPCs), has announced the release of the S21WP, the first IPC offering modified Projected Capacitive (PCAP) touchscreen technology which operates with the use of gloves even in extreme environmental conditions. The S21WP features food-safe screws and EPDM rubber seals to prevent the harboring of contaminants and allow for easy cleaning. Protected against shocks and vibrations, the slim design of the IPC features special grouting for gaps, which has the additional function of an anti-shock mounting. [See media release] -- Posted Thursday, April 20, 2017

Handheld offers OS options for new Algiz 10X models
Handheld Group announced that it has made Windows 7 available on its Algiz 10X ultra-rugged tablet computer. The Algiz 10X received an upgrade last year to a 10.1” HD projective capacitive touchscreen and offered the Windows 10 operating system. “At Handheld, we concentrate on the unique needs of enterprise deployments of our rugged tablets and handhelds,” says Johan Hed, director of product management. “Part of that value is to offer stability and flexibility to meet enterprises where they are. Windows 10 has enjoyed wide-spread enterprise acceptance, but Windows 7 is still important to many of our customers. Now we give them the option to choose.” [See Handheld media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2017

JLT Mobile Computers to showcase the importance of rugged IT solutions for mining operations
JLT Mobile Computers will be attending Canada’s premier mining event, CIM 2017 Convention, from April 30 to May 3 at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal to show its rugged computers with proven reliability that increases productivity and minimizes costly interruptions in mining operations. JLT will be demoing the outstanding capabilities of their latest generation, high-performance VERSO computers for heavy-duty industry, developed to withstand the most extreme conditions, including severe vibrations and chemicals, making them perfectly suited for use in mining industries. [See JLT Mobile media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Advantech identifies six growth engines at its 2017 Service-IoT Worldwide Partner Conference
At its 2017 Service-IoT Worldwide Partner Conference, Advantech discussed what the company considers the major growth engines for three major business areas. In Intelligent Healthcare those are promoting intelligent wards and solution-ready platforms as well as expansion into intelligent integrated operating rooms. In Intelligent Retail those are the creation of a global Intelligent retail eco-partners network as well as a cloud platform with integrated retail management software. In Intelligent Logistics, Advantech sees a need for a more complete range of industrial mobile solutions and application-ready platforms for safety In and out of vehicles. [See Advantech media release] -- Posted Friday, April 14, 2017

Zebra Technologies unveils SmartPack Trailer solution to optimize loading operations
Zebra Technologies Corporation announced SmartPack Trailer which provides the transportation and logistics industry with real-time operational visibility. SmartPack Trailer captures load density, trailer fullness, packages scanned and loaded per hour, and other relevant data and visuals, helping organizations achieve optimal performance and profitability. This is in line with Zebra’s Enterprise Asset Intelligence strategy of capturing operational data at the point of activity and then analyzing that data to derive actionable insights for personnel and dock managers. [See Zebra media release and SmartPack Trailer page] -- Posted Friday, April 14, 2017

Xplore secures $2.2 million order from new division at major global telecommunicationsprovider
Xplore Technologies announced that one of the nation’s largest telecommunications service providers has chosen to replace the standard laptops and Toughbooks previously used by its Digital Electronics Group (DEG) with Xplore XSLATE B10 Fully Rugged Tablet PCs. The initial order from DEG is valued at $2.2 million, with additional follow-on orders from the telco’s DEG, as well as other business units, anticipated as part of the customer’s multi-year commitment to standardize its field teams on Xplore rugged tablets. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Thursday, April 13, 2017

Victoria, Australia, police to use Motorola Solutions system and service for 10,000+ consumer handhelds
Motorola Solutions will provide a new mobility managed service to Victoria Police, bringing real-time information to at least 10,000 police officers equipped with iPads and iPhones. The technology will also help Victoria Police to preserve its mission-critical radio communications for essential emergency communications by removing lower priority traffic from the radio network. The solution includes, mPol, a mobile application developed by Gridstone, the Collingwood-based mobile application developer that's part of Motorola Solutions. Our take: That means another 10,000+ fragile consumer-grade devices on the street and in the field. Rugged would likely have been better in the long run. [See Motorola Solutions media release] -- Posted Thursday, April 13, 2017

L-com launches new line of armored M12 cable assemblies
When rugged gear must be connected out there in the field, waterproof screw-on or bayonet M12-style connectors are often used instead of standard I/O ports. But what about the cable itself? Is it strong enough? To make sure it is, L-com Global Connectivity, a manufacturer of wired and wireless connectivity products, has released a new line of armored M12 cable assemblies for use with industrial Ethernet, test equipment, I/O connectivity, sensors and actuators, and industrial control and factory automation. The inner cable jacket is resistant to oil, UV sun rays, weld splatter and is rated for 600V. Stainless steel armor protects the cable from damage and features 1,500 PSI of crush resistance. [See L-com media release] -- Posted Thursday, April 13, 2017

Unitech PA720 rugged Android handheld wins iF Design Award
Unitech announced that its newest Enterprise PDA, the PA720, has won the 2017 iF Design Award in recognition of its outstanding product design. At an awards ceremony held in Munich, the PA720 was selected by a panel of about 60 leading design experts as one of the winners of the top accolade. This year's competition saw a total of 5,500 products submitted from 59 countries. [See Unitech media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Unitech PA720] -- Posted Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Juniper Systems Geode sub-meter GNSS receiver
Using modern positioning technology to determine location on the planet within two or three meters is incredible. But sometimes it's not good and accurate enough. That's where sub-meter accuracy comes in. In a recent Juniper Systems blog post, John Florio discusses their Geode sub-meter GPS receiver, a powerful, easy-to-use, and affordable GPS solution that works with Windows, Windows Mobile and Android devices. Geode can be mounted on a pole, in a pack, or held in your hand. The systems offers all-day battery life, optional GLONASS capability, and connects either via Bluetooth or wire. The Geode is also compatible with Juniper Systems Aspect software, and many other mapping applications available such as Esri Collector for ArcGIS, ArcPad, and more. [See Let’s talk Geode Sub-meter GPS Receiver] -- Posted Monday, April 10, 2017

Getac financials and outlook
According to the Taipei Times, Getac chairman James Hwang told an investors’ conference that he expects Getac’s 2017 revenue to increase by 5-10% from 2016's NT$20.4 billion (US$666.5 million), driven by the mechanical components and rugged computer systems. In 2016, 47% of revenue, US$313 million, came from rugged systems, and Hwang said revenue from rugged systems could surge by a double-digit percentage 2017 on increasing orders from existing clients and Windows 10 conversion demand. [See article] -- Posted Friday, April 7, 2017

Lucas certifies Zebra TC51 Android Touch Computer for use with Lucas Move applications for voice picking and other warehouse functions
Lucas Systems, a provider of solutions for intelligent mobile work execution for warehouses and distribution centers, announced that it has certified Zebra Technologies’ TC51 rugged mobile handheld computer for use with Lucas Move mobile applications. The Zebra TC51 is the first Android-based industrial computer certified for Lucas Move, the mobile component of the Lucas Mobile Work Execution Solutions. Lucas Move guides users through their tasks using a combination of voice direction, speech recognition, visual user interfaces, barcode scanning, NFC and RFID. [See Lucas media release and RuggedPCReview's assessment of the Zebra TC51] -- Posted Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Xplore now ships rugged XSLATE D10 tablet with Android 6.0.1
Xplore Technologies announced its flagship Android rugged tablet, the 10.1-inch XSLATE D10, is now available with the upgraded Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system. With Android 6.0.1, battery life improves over 10%, lasting beyond full shifts, and up to 22 hours with an optional second battery. Marshmallow also brings several enhancements to the Android for Work and Voice Assist APIs, each may yield greater worker efficiency and application responsiveness. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 4, 2017

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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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