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

May 2014

RAM Tough-Dock now with dual RF pass-through
RAM Mounts announced that its RAM Tough-Dock is now available with dual RF pass-through. The military-grade Tough-Dock is a powered docking station for the Panasonic Toughbook CF-28/29/30 and 31, is the industry's first injection molding docking station for Toughbook, and offers numerous standard features including 12-30FDC input, surge protection, external fuses, RF isolation, LED indicators, tamper-proof locks, etc. [See RAM Tough-Dock] -- Posted Friday, May 30, 2014

What happend in rugged computing 5 years ago: June 2009
In June 2009, we reported that the Motion J3400 tablet was available with the brand-new Intel Core 2 Duo SU9600. Juniper offered their Archer with a Hemisphere sub-meter GPS. VDC reported that rugged mobile device shipments were US$5.4 billion in 2008, and predicted a bleak 10% decrease for 2009. We reviewed the Getac PS535F and reported that Getac expected to be the #2 rugged PC vendor by 2012. RAM Mounts unveiled the Tough Tray II for the booming netbook market. Intermec gave their CN50 3.5G support. And we contemplated how the iPhone really did change everything. -- Posted Friday, May 30, 2014

Juniper Systems brings "Best Data Collection Tools for the Job" to ACE14 show for water professionals
Juniper Systems reports it is headed to ACE14, the American Water Works Association's (AWWA) annual conference and exposition from June 8 – 11. Held in Boston, Massachusetts, ACE14 (see conference page) is a high-traffic attraction for professionals and vendors in the water industry. In Booth #658, Juniper will show its rugged handheld computers, preferred by water professionals for their ultra-ruggedness and reliability. [See Juniper press release] -- Posted Friday, May 30, 2014

Full review: Handheld Nautiz X4 — a rugged, reliable, efficient data capture and communication tool that fits into any enterprise
The Handheld Group's rugged Nautiz X4 is a multi-purpose data collection mobile computer with integrated keypad and industrial-grade scanner options. The IP65-sealed Nautiz X4 has a 3.5-inch 640 x 480 pixel resistive touch screen, runs Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, weighs under 12 ounces, and includes GPS, WWAN, camera and a microSD card slot. RuggedPCReview examined the Nautiz X4 in detail and found it to be a small and handy mobile computer well suited for reliable and efficient data capture and data communication tasks in the field, and one that fits right into most enterprise infrastructures. [See full review of the Handheld Nautiz X4] -- Posted Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thames Water standardizes asset management and field service with Motion rugged Tablet PCs
Motion Computing announced Thames Water Utilities Limited will standardize on the Motion F5 Tablet PC for its above ground asset management, maintenance and field service operations. The F5 was chosen as the clear favorite in user testing with 86% preferring the Motion device over two alternatives. The tablets will be rolled out as part of a phased introduction this summer to replace a fleet of legacy handhelds. The tablet, running Windows 8, will run Thames Water’s SAP and ClickSoftware asset and field management systems. [See press release] -- Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Full review: Two Technologies' Samsung Galaxy Note II-based ultra-rugged, waterproof, MSR-equipped and quite amazing N4
Hundreds of millions of tablets and smartphones have spoiled users who now want sleek state-of-the-art consumer technology out there in the field as well. That's what Two Technologies offers with their Samsung Galaxy Note II-based N4 handheld. We examined the N4 in detail and found it to be much more than just a tablet in a case. [See full review of the Two Technologies N4] -- Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Datalogic secures logistics and tracking for automotive safety systems leader, Autoliv, with the installation of over 600 mobile computers
Datalogic announced it has deployed more than 600 Datalogic mobile computers for automotive safety systems manufacturer, Autoliv, across their European plants. As Autoliv aims to reduce traffic accidents and injuries with their products and systems, the company needed to optimize efficiency in production line and warehouse operations with state-of-the-art technology, fast operation, ease of use and robustness. In order to achieve this, Autoliv chose to deploy Datalogic Falcon X3, Skorpio X3 and Memor mobile computers to work with the new SAP system. [See press release and video that explains the projects] -- Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2014

iSiS-Ex unveils two new Zone 1 HMIs
iSiS-Ex announced it had introduced two new Zone 1 HMI products art at 2014 OTC week. One was the iSiS1301 that's just 5 inches thick, machined from a single piece of anodised aluminum, packs a quad-core i7 processor, and has a super high-bright, high res display. The other was the iSiS470, a responsive, state-of-the-art workstation ideal for daily rig up/down applications. [See iSiS-Ex press release] -- Posted Tuesday, May 27, 2014

RUGGEDBOOK invites you to see their new rugged Windows tablets at 2014 COMPUTEX Taipei, June 3-7, 2014

RUGGEDBOOK invites you to visit them at 2014 COMPUTEX TAIPEI from June 3rd to 7th, 2014. They are at booth M1031a at 4F of the TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall. RUGGEDBOOK will show four exciting new rugged Windows tablets based on state-of-the-art Intel Bay Trail and Haswell technology (for sneak previews, see Rugged Tablet PC 358, 751, 760, and 770). [Sign up for free 2014 Computex registration with personal badge]
-- Posted Monday, May 26, 2014

GammaTech unveils vastly improved new corporate website
GammaTech Computer Corp. — which offers a large lineup of rugged notebooks, tablets and convertibles under its Durabook brand — has unveiled its new and completely overhauled website! The new site is modern, elegant, clean, and a vast improvement. The site is also fast (very important!), logically organized, and easy to navigate. Congratulations to GammaTech and everyone who helped make this happen! [See the new GammaTech website] -- Posted Thursday, May 22, 2014

Motorola Solutions marks enterprise first by providing customers a choice with Google Mobile Services on Android mobile computer
Motorola Solutions announced the expansion of its portfolio of Android-based enterprise mobile computers with the availability of the TC55 touch computer for the Verizon network, along with new options for Google Mobile Services. The Standard Configuration comes with GMS, which includes Google Maps, Gmail, the Google Play store, Google Search, Google Talk, and the Chrome browser. The Professional Configuration does not include GMS and prevents Google data gathering of user location, keypad entries and search activities while providing customers with control of application and OS upgrades. [See press release] -- Posted Thursday, May 22, 2014

Microsoft introduces 12-inch Haswell-powered Surface Pro 3
Microsoft introduced the Surface Pro 3. The Intel Haswell Core i3/i5/i7 powered new tablet is just 0.36 inches thick, weighs 1.76 pounds, and has a 2,160 x 1,440 pixel 12-inch display, and dual cameras (5mp and 1080p HD). It comes with either 4 or 8GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of SSD storage. There's USB 3.0, a microSD card reader, mini DisplayPort, and a cover that's also a keyboard. The Surface Pro 3, which starts at US$799 (but goes as high as US$1,949 for a loaded model) has a pen which, interestingly, is from N-Trig and not Wacom (N-trig also replaces Atmel for the Surface 3's touch capabilities). [See Microsoft press release, and the transcript of press event introduction and -- Posted Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Accept payments in the field via a tablet credit card reader
If you have employees in the field performing maintenance, inspections, or installation of appliances, equipment, homes, machinery and more, you want a fast and safe way to collect payments once the job is complete without the hassle of paper invoices? Look no further than a tablet credit card reader. [See article in MobileDemand's Rugged Computing Blog] -- Posted Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Getac upgrades flagship X500 ultra rugged notebook and X500 rugged mobile server with Intel 4th-gen Core technology
Getac announced it has upgraded its flagship X500 ultra rugged notebook and X500 rugged mobile server. By incorporating 4th-generation "Haswell" Intel Core processors and related technology, as well as discrete nVidia graphics options, the new X500 versions now offer state-of-the-art performance, an enormous benefit to the technologically advanced military and industrial customers who rely on speed and efficiency when working in some of the world's harshest and most demanding work environments. [See Getac press release and our description, analysis and specs of the Getac X500 and X500 Server] -- Posted Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Advantech: How to secure your systems after the end of XP tech support
Microsoft tech support for Windows XP Pro ended on April 8, 2014 but embedded channels can still provide 15 years of XP Pro product availability through 2016. But since Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for XP, securing XP-based systems is imperative. Advantech points out that customers who want keep their current applications' XP Pro setup, McAfee embedded whitelist control is a good solution (it allows only known good/trusted software to run). As an alternative to XP Pro, Windows Embedded is committed to 15 years of product availability with 10 years of support, and no-cost security updates. WES 2009 and Ready2009 are both based upon Windows XP Pro SP3, therefore migrating to them is an alternative option for customers who still need to stay with XP. [See Advantech press release]
-- Posted Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Integrated camera modules becoming more and more important in mobile devices
With integrated imaging becoming ever more important, it's good to know where things are headed. According to RnRMarketResearch.com, the current 5mp and 8mp CMOS cameras will be replaced by 13mp, and many devices will have several additional lower-res cameras for things like gesture and positional control. Hot new technologies also include optical image stabilizers. CMOS camera modules are expected to be a US$14.6 billion market in 2014. -- Posted Monday, May 19, 2014

Case Study: San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department
This one was pointed out to us by Getac. Though the case study is primarily about deploying Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus to the 3,400 employees of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, the project also included providing patrol officers with rugged tablet PCs running Windows 8.1. And those tablets were Getac V110s, prominently featured in the YouTube video accompanying the case study. [See San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department case study and video] -- Posted Monday, May 19, 2014

Micronet acquires US-based fleet management division of Beijer Electronics
Micronet, a supplier of rugged in-cab mobile data terminals, announced that it will acquire the mobile resource management/fleet management business division of Beijer Electronics. With the businesses combined, Micronet will have a total installed base of 700,000 units. Micronet will have the most comprehensive product line in the industry, including portable Android-based in-cab rugged tablets and cloud-based mobile device management software. The Salt Lake City-based Beijer division will operate as a Micronet base for sales, production and support organizations, whereas additional R&D, product development and support facilities will continue to be located in Israel." -- Posted Monday, May 19, 2014

SDG Systems announces Linux for the Trimble Yuma 2
SDG Systems has released a dual-boot Linux version of the Trimble Yuma 2 rugged tablet. The introduction of Linux to the Yuma 2 tablet enables the mobile use of a wide variety of free and open source applications. SDG's Linux version of the Yuma 2 is currently running the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Linux release. Other Linux distributions or releases are available by request, with volume commitment or engineering payment. [Read SDG press release] -- Posted Friday, May 16, 2014

Panasonic showcases end-to-end food services technology solutions at National Restaurant Association Show 2014
Panasonic announced it will showcase its latest integrated technology solutions for restaurants at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show in Chicago, IL. Panasonic’s easily scalable, end-to-end solutions were designed to enhance business efficiency and improve customer experiences, and incorporate a wide variety of Panasonic hardware including POS workstations, wireless drive-thru headsets, handheld tablets for line busting and mobile POS and digital signage. [See Panasonic food services solutions] -- Posted Thursday, May 15, 2014

Kutta Technologies upgrades its rugged handheld display and computer for remote UAV command and control
Kutta Technologies has unveiled its newly upgraded UGCS-400 handheld controller, and KRC-100 rugged computer, both designed to meet military standards MIL-STD-810 and MIL-STD-461 testing procedures, and sealed with an IP67 rating. The UGCS-400 controller is a light-weight (2.5 lbs) solution to unmanned system control, working in conjunction with the KRC-100 either via cable or a secure wireless link. The Intel Core i3-powered KRC-100 has a 256GB SSD, 16GB of DDR3, USB 3.0 and connectivity to interface with tactical radio and communication gear. A hot-swappable standard military 2590 lithium-ion battery provides 8 hours of runtime. [See UGCS-400 handheld controller and KRC-100 rugged computer] -- Posted Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Case study: noax rugged stainless steel computers used at JW Aluminum for process automation and enhanced product quality
noax Technologies published a case study outlining how their rugged industrial panel PCs help JW Aluminum in Mt. Holly, South Carolina in the production of rolled aluminum. Using noax industrial PCs as the standard, company-wide automation tool, JW Aluminum can now manage the production process from beginning to end, ensuring traceability and product quality, and have real-time communications and data collection at various areas of production, with the noax computers mounted and placed right beside machinery in the harshest environments. [Read noax JW Aluminum case study] -- Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Juniper Systems invites agricultural researchers to join them at Field Days 2014
Juniper Systems invites agricultural field researchers to join them June 17th for Field Days 2014, held in Kelly, Iowa. At Field Days, a number of exhibitors will be demonstrating their field equipment in a casual, outdoor environment. Juniper Systems/HarvestMaster will be exhibiting their Twin GrainGage, Mirus software, and the Archer 2, Allegro MX, and Mesa Rugged Notepad. -- Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2014

MobileDemand xTablet T1400 product page available now
Full description, analysis and specs of the MobileDemand xTablet T1400 now available on RuggedPCReview. [See MobileDemand xTablet T1400 product page] -- Posted Monday, May 12, 2014

Comark's sealed and fanless 12" military-grade MissionVue Line passes MIL-STD-901D shock testing
Comark, which designs and manufactures rugged computer and display solutions for the military and mobile markets, reports it has successfully completed full environmental testing of its latest addition to the MissionVue line, the sealed and fanless 12-inch Intel Atom N2800-powered MV120, including MIL-901D Grade A lightweight shock testing. [See Comark press release and Comark MV120 product page] -- Posted Friday, May 9, 2014

Honeywell research: workflow process improvements could save field service organizations $875k/year
According to survey findings released by Honeywell and The Service Council, 38% of field service organizations expect to save 30 minutes or more per technician per day by changing and improving workflow processes. For those companies, this generated a potential average savings of $875,000 per year, identifying a need to better align goals with the actual process and workflow reviews currently being conducted at the field operations level. [See press release and graphical summary] -- Posted Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cipherlab to show its rugged handhelds and scanners at CLDA 2014 Expo in Scottsdale, AZ
CipherLab USA announced it will showcase its latest line of barcode scanners and mobile computers at the CLDA (Customized Logistics and Delivery Association) Annual Meeting & Exposition at Westin Kierland in Scottsdale, AZ, May 14th-17th, 2014 booth #17. CipherLab will have the CP60 series Mobile Computer (see our analysis of the Cipherlab CP60) on display as well as the 1600 series pocket size Bluetooth barcode scanners. -- Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2014

MobileDemand announces new thin and rugged Windows tablet
MobileDemand announced it is launching a series of tablet innovations for the mobile workforce. The new xTablet T1400 rugged tablet is a thin and light device capable of running standard enterprise Windows (8.1 and 7) applications while withstanding harsh operating environments, at a new price point. The fanless T1400 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 1080 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 T1400 weighs 2.4 pounds, has IP65 sealing and can handle 4-foot drops. [See MobileDemand press release and T1400 product sheet] -- Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Motion rugged tablets used by Australian utility
Motion Computing reports that Australian state-owned electricity distributor Aurora Energy has begun the process to replace its paper-based fault response system with a mobile alternative for its field workers. The Tasmanian utility has started deploying Intergraph's InService software, running on Motion Computing's field tablets, to 375 of its approximately 400-strong field fleet. [See Aurora Energy rolls out workforce mobility program] -- Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Crystal Group teams with EMC to offer rugged server and storage solutions
Crystal Group, an employee-owned small business located in Hiawatha, Iowa, USA, announced a reseller's agreement with EMC Corporation focusing on providing a best in class storage solution based on the combination of Crystal Group's rugged servers with EMC's storage software and a single point of contact for customers. -- Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Motorola wins 2014 Edison Award for HC1 headset computer
Motorola Solutions announced it has been recognized with a Bronze Edison Award for the HC1 headset computer. The HC1 is the first in a new class of Motorola hands-free enterprise mobile computers that leverages advanced voice recognition, head gestures and video streaming to enable users to access and navigate business-critical documents and applications. [See RuggedPCReview analysis of the Motorola HC1 headset computer] -- Posted Monday, May 5, 2014

Almost 200 TB storage on a tape cartridge?
With data storage requirements skyrocketing, commonly available storage media seems to run out of steam. DVDs are slow and only hold a few gigs, Blue-ray writing is poorly supported, SSDs are limited in capacity, and conventional hard disks are often not rugged enough. In what seems like a blast from the past, Sony announced a new magnetic tape technology with the potential of recording over 185 terabyte onto a single LTO-standard tape cartridge (which up to now maxed out at 2.5TB). While tape-based storage may or may not have a practical future, it shows that there's still a lot of headroom in higher storage densities. [See Sony press release] -- Posted Monday, May 5, 2014

JLT Mobile Computers launches handy, high-performance 10-inch procap multi-touch vehicle terminal
Swedish JLT Mobile Computers expanded its VERSO line of rugged vehicle computers with the VERSO+ 10, a compact high-performance panel computer that can be mounted almost anywhere. Available with either a Haswell Core i5 processor or an Atom D2550, the fanless VERSO+ 10 has a 10-inch capacitive multi-touch display, an all-aluminum housing, and a quick-connect feature. [See description, analysis and specs of the JLT Mobile VERSO+ 10] -- Posted Monday, May 5, 2014

F4 Tech rugged handhelds to assist in Nepal
F4 Tech announced it is working with Esri and in partnership with The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), to provide assistance to the government of Nepal in the devastating aftermath of the 7.8 earthquake. F4 Tech will be sending a donation of multiple rugged high accuracy GPS devices, Flint model 812, for the purposes of assessing and mapping damaged areas in order to aid volunteer efforts throughout the country. -- Posted Monday, May 5, 2014

Crystal Group receives Seven Seals Award
Crystal Group, which manufactures COTS custom-developed computers, displays, switches, and storage devices, has been presented with the prestigious Seven Seals Award by the Department of Defense and the Iowa Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). [See press release] -- Posted Friday, May 2, 2014

Motorola Solutions reports lower Q1 2014 sales with 21% earnings decrease over Q1 2013
Motorola Solutions announced first-quarter 2014 results. Q1 sales were $1.801 billion, down 9% from Q1 2013 sales of US$1.973 billion, mostly due to weak Government segment sales. Q1 earnings were US$170 million, down 7% from $216 million for the quarter a year ago. Q1 2014 sales were roughly 1/3 from enterprise sales (which declined 4% to $600 million primarily due to the expected decline in iDEN) and 2/3 from government sales. Motorola Solutions also reported it repurchased another $57 million of its shares in the quarter. For Q2, Motorola Solutions expects a revenue decline of 5-8% compared with the second quarter of 2013. [See Motorola Solutions press release] -- Posted Thursday, May 1, 2014

What happend in rugged computing 5 years ago: May 2009
In May 2009, we reviewed the Winmate I980, the Handheld Algiz 8 and Algiz 10, the GD Itronix GD8000, and Advantech's MICA-101 clinical tablet. DRS received a $217 million rugged computer contract from the US Army, LXE announced that a French vehicle inspection provider was deploying 2,500 LXE MX7 handhelds, and Data LTD introduced their rugged DLI 8400 tablet. DisplaySearch predicted that the touch screen market would reach $9 billion by 2015 (it's already far larger than that), Canada's Home Hardware Stores picked the Intermec CK3 for over 1,000 retail locations. RAM Mounts introduced an ingenious new mount for the Panasonic CF-H1, and Intermec said it was "positioning the company for strong operating leverage and growth when the markets recover." [See what else happened in May 2009] -- Posted Thursday, May 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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