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

May 2015

Compact industrial computer with 10-year warranty delivers high performance and durability
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories announced the SEL-3360S Compact Industrial Computer. Designed for extreme environments and small spaces, the SEL-3360S features Intel Core i7 dual- and quad-core processors, two 2.5" SATA SSDs and RAID configurations, and operates reliably in environments ranging from –40° to +75°C (–40° to +167°F) with no fans or forced airflow. Built and tested to utility substation standards, the SEL-3360S will withstand up to 15 kV of electrostatic discharge, high electromagnetic interference and shock up to 15 g. [See news release] -- Posted Friday, May 29, 2015

CRN: 10 tough trends partners are grappling with in the rugged market
CRN ran a feature on tough trends partners are grappling with in the rugged market. CRN points out that rugged products have typically been embraced by niche markets like manufacturing and health care. But now there are emerging trends beyond those niche areas, such as the challenge of more rugged consumer products, and the increased popularity of thinner, lighter and cheaper rugged devices. [See CRN's 10 trends partners say they are noticing in the rugged market] -- Posted Thursday, May 28, 2015

HIMSS study looks at mobility adoption in healthcare
The Panasonic Solutions for Business Blog alerts to the 2015 HIMSS Mobile Technology Study which finds that despite the industry’s lofty goals, healthcare mobility implementations are still falling short of expectations. [View 2015 HIMSS Mobile Technology Study Executive Summary] -- Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Winmate contracted to deploy 300 servers throughout Uruguay
Winmate announced it was selected by Uruguay's government-owned power company to deploy its rugged IV7T-RK2U Embedded Server PC in electrical substations throughout the country. Winmate will provide 300 of the servers to be installed, mounted on racks in groups of three. These will become part of bus substations in an IEC-61850 architecture and IEEE-1588 protocol for synchronization and transmission of information back to the remote control center. [See Winmate news release and RuggedPCReview description, analysis and specs of the Winmate IV7] -- Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2015

IMG database of thousands of cloud-hosted keyboard layouts
With rugged tablets being used in more and more applications, there's often a need for specialized, customized on-screen keyboards. IMG has been offering just that with their My-T-Soft keyboards, panels and boards for the past two decades. The company also offers a variety of powerful pen and touch utilities that can greatly improve the productivity of tablet-based applications. [See IMG's Build-A-Board board browser page] -- Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2015

4DSP expands rugged Compact Embedded Systems line
4DSP announced two new additions to its Compact Embedded System line. The Intel Bay Trail-powered CES820 and the ruggedized CESCC820 variant both feature an upgraded Xilinx Kintex UltraScale FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array), making them powerful processing platforms for data acquisition, signal processing, and communication. [See news release and rugged CESCC820 product page] -- Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2015

JLT Interim Report for January – March 2015
In December 2014, JLT opened the doors to JLT Mobile Computers Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary with 12 employees in the US state of Arizona. After having long served as a close partner that sold the JLT products under its own brand in the North American market, the US operation is now an integrated part of JLT under an assets purchase deal. [Read more] -- Posted Sunday, May 24, 2015

New: super-compact Winmate Bay Trail DIN Rail Box PC for HazLoc market applications
With increasing computer use everywhere, ATEX and C1D2 certification are becoming more and more important, and they are a prerequisite for deployment in industries such as oil, gas, and petrochemical manufacturing, and many others where ignitable gases or vapor may be present. Winmate's new super-compact Bay Trail-powered DIN rail Box PC fills that need. [See description, analysis and specs of the Winmate Bay Trail DIN Rail Box PC] -- Posted Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why physical keyboards and keypads haven’t gone out of style on rugged handhelds
Throughout most of the tech scene, we’ve generally been seeing a phase-out of physical keyboards on handheld devices, with electronics manufacturers opting instead for purely touch interfaces. However, there are many data-intensive applications out there in the field where physical keypads simply remain the better choice. Juniper Systems explains why and where. [See "Why physical keyboards haven’t gone out of style on rugged handhelds"] -- Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2015

MobileDemand adds rugged forklift-mount tablets section
The use of paper and pencil in warehousing and manufacturing environments is a thing of the past for the most part. Especially when it comes to operations which involve the use of forklifts. So MobileDemand has added an information page specifically for forklift-mounted tablets. [See MobileDemand forklift page] -- Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Motorola Solutions announces LEX L10 mission-critical Handheld purpose-built for public safety deployments
Public safety personnel need state-of-the-art handheld technology, but their requirements are very different from what standard consumer smartphone can provide. Motorola Solutions' LEX L10 is an advanced, rugged IP67-sealed Android 4.4.4 handheld with a 4.7-inch multi-touch display, comprehensive wireless broadband and radio connectivity, superior voice capabilities, and Motorola's specially developed PSX ("Public Safety Experience") interface. [See description, analysis and specs of the Motorola Solutions LEX L10] -- Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Juniper Systems to carry Cedar Tree Android rugged handhelds
Juniper Systems announced the merger of its subsidiary company, Cedar Tree Technologies, into Juniper Systems. This move will allow customers to purchase Cedar’s economically priced Android-operated rugged handhelds directly from Juniper Systems. Cedar handhelds run Android, offering access to thousands of business-ready apps and Google services via the Google Play Store. Juniper Systems has published a blog post that outlines the differences between Cedar and Juniper handhelds. [See Cedar Tree Handhelds Now Available through Juniper Systems] -- Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2015

ADLINK Technology taps LCR Embedded Systems as value-added reseller for rugged Ssystems
ADLINK announced a partnership agreement with LCR Embedded Systems, a provider of chassis, backplanes, and integrated systems for the aerospace and defense, commercial, rail, and industrial markets. This agreement enables LCR to use ADLINK products in its extensive line of fully integrated embedded computing systems for these markets throughout North America, while providing ADLINK with a channel through which their products can be incorporated into a more complete embedded solution. [See news release] -- Posted Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Review: Advantech's low-profile Bay Trail Mini-ITX AIMB-215
Mini-ITX boards are filling a special purpose in embedded systems. They use the standard ATX case hole patterns, but are much smaller than standard ATX motherboards. Up to now, they were also restricted to much lower performance. That's changed now with Advantech's low-profile fanless AIMB-215 Intel Bay Trail-based Mini-ITX. [See full review of the Advantech AIMB-215] -- Posted Monday, May 18, 2015

Zebra releases Symbol TC75 ultra-rugged Android handheld
As part of their announcement of its "Mobility DNA" (a set of enterprise mobility software solutions), Zebra Technologies introduced the Symbol TC75 ultra-rugged Android handheld. The TC75, which has a 4.7-inch glove-capable dual-mode capacitive touchscreen, is based on the company's TC70, but adds 4G LTE mobile broadband wireless capabilities for deployments in the field. [See description, analysis and specs of the Zebra Symbol TC75] -- Posted Saturday, May 16, 2015

Zebra announces 1Q2015 financials, now including the former Motorola Solutions enterprise business
Zebra Technologies reported its 1Q2015 financials, which now include the numbers of the former Motorola Solutions enterprise business that Zebra had taken over late 2014. As a result, Zebra reported Q1 sales of 893.2 million compared to $288.3 million in 1Q2014. Non-GAAP profit was $72.4 million in1Q2015 versus $48.8 million for 1Q2014. Zebra said that $561.6 million of total sales came from the former Motorola Solutions enterprise business, with core Zebra sales at $331.6 million, up 15% from 1Q2014. According to our records, 1Q2014 Motorola Solutions enterprise sales were $600 million. [See Zebra 1Q2015 financials] -- Posted Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: Advantech's modular MI/O standard and the MIO-2263 Pico-ITX single board computer
Last week we reported on a modular Panel PC concept, and this week we're describing Advantech's MI/O (multiple I/O) board standard that allows quickly building the exact right embedded solution while saving money in the process. We're also reviewing one of the MI/O system's computer module building blocks, the tiny Intel Bay Trail-powered Advantech MIO-2263. [See discussion of Advantech's MI/O standard and review of the MIO-2263 SBC] -- Posted Thursday, May 14, 2015

Advantech revenue up year-on-year
According to Digitimes, embedded systems designer and manufacturer Advantech had revenues of US$106.6 million for April 2015, up 3.8% from April 2014. Revenues for January through April 2015 were US$379 million, up 6.8% from the same period last year. -- Posted Wednesday, May 13, 2015

JLT Mobile Computers announces significant upgrade to wireless connectivity across product range
JLT Mobile Computers, the Swedish developer and manufacturer of rugged computers for demanding environments, has announced a significant technology leap for its range of rugged panel and vehicle computers by upgrading their wireless connectivity. Available now are dual-band 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR, as well as 4G LTW WWAN mobile broadband with assisted GPS/GLONASS support. All of JLT’s computers also come with built-in high-sensitivity Planar Inverted-F Antenna (PIFA) technology for both WiFi and Bluetooth radio, delivering higher coverage in environments that offer poor RF coverage. [See media release] -- Posted Wednesday, May 13, 2015

New research: 2015 product offerings from VDC Research
VDC Research, arguably the most relevant data gathering and analysis source for the rugged and embedded computing industries, informed of the availability of their Strategic Insights 2015 research reports, those being: IoT and Embedded Technology, Enterprise Mobility and Connected Devices, Automatic Identification and Data Capture, and Industrial Automation and Sensors. -- Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Case study: Acme Smoked Fish Corp. and noax Panel PCs
If, like Acme Smoked Fish Corporation of New York, you have to quickly unload and process 44,000 pounds of Norwegian salmon per load, pen and paper just won't do. And that's why Acme began using noax Panel PCs and Computer Associates' Seasoft ERP software a few years ago. A new case study tells how it all went, and why Acme again chose noax for their new Wilmington, NC facility. [See noax case study] -- Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2015

RAM Mounts now has No-Drill mount for the new Ford F150
Ford's F-Series trucks have not only been the overall best-selling vehicles in the US for many years, the new 2015 Ford F150 revolutionized the industry by saving as much as 700 pounds through extensive use of aluminum. RAM Mounts equally revolutionized their industry with its no-drill vehicle laptop mounting system, and it's now available for the new F150. [See RAM Mounts RAM No-Drill mount for Ford F-150] -- Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2015

AOL got mail: Verizon bought it
How the mighty have fallen. Email and internet access were once almost synonymous with AOL, the company that easily passed pioneer Prodigy in the early 1990s with its customer-friendly demeanor and truly world-wide access. In 2000, the deal between Time Warner and AOL was worth US$162 billion. Now Verizon picked up AOL for just US$4.4 billion. No one had a map for THAT. [Read Verizon news release] -- Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2015

ARBOR launches rugged 21.5-inch All-in-One medical station
ARBOR Technology introduced the ARBOR M2150 medical-grade workstation. Based on Intel Haswell processors, the fanless All-in-One system offers 10-point capacitive multi-touch that works with gloves, has 7 configurable function keys, an IP65-rated front panel with easy anti-bacterial cleaning, VESA mount hole patterns, camera, USB 3.0 and serial, RFID/NFC reader, and dual smart card readers for access control. [See media release and ARBOR M2150 product page] -- Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Zebra introduces Mobility DNA Suite
Zebra Technologies, which now includes the former enterprise business of Motorola Solutions, launched Mobility DNA, a set of enterprise mobility software solutions designed to enhance efficiencies and productivity for businesses, mobile workers and channel partners. New solutions include SimulScan Document Capture, Workforce Connect Push-To-Talk (PTT) Pro, AppGallery, Swipe Assist and All-Touch Terminal Emulation. Previously announced tools such as RhoMobile, Mobility Extensions (Mx), Enterprise Browser and EMDK for Android are also part of the Mobility DNA suite. [See Zebra news release] -- Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2015

MEN Mikro Elektronik webinar video
MEN Mikro Electronik, a German provider of rugged computer boards and systems for harsh mission-critical mobile environments, posted an informative overview video on their modular industrial rugged Box PCs, highlighting concepts and capabilities. [See video here] -- Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Review: Logic Supply Cincoze Convertible Display System
The idea behind Logic Supply's modular Cincoze Crystal Industrial Convertible Display is to offer a far larger number of possible Panel PC configurations than would be possible if the company had to build and stock all possible permutations of display type/size, touch technology, and performance/feature levels. RuggedPCReview examined the concept and execution of the system in detail. [See review of the Logic Supply Cincoze Crystal 15] -- Posted Monday, May 11, 2015

New radar locating technology uses rugged Panasonic tablet computer to save Nepal earthquake victims
Earthquake, tornadoes and similar catastrophes can leave victims trapped beneath fallen rubble. The portable FINDER (Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response) device was developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and uses microwave-radar technology to detect heartbeats and breathing of victims trapped in wreckage and rubble. A critical component of FINDER is the tablet computer that is used to operate the solution. DHS and NASA selected the fully rugged Panasonic Toughbook H2 tablet PC. Two prototype FINDER systems were deployed in Nepal and were able to help locate four men who were buried underneath as much as 10 feet of bricks, mud and other debris. [See Panasonic Solutions for Business blog] -- Posted Friday, May 8, 2015

Handheld US strengthens sales team with two key appointments
Handheld Group announced two key appointments that will strengthen its North American sales team. Carri Fiori is Handheld US’s new Regional Sales Manager for the northwestern U.S. and western Canada. She has a decade of experience in sales, marketing and business development. Adam Young is Handheld US’s new Regional Sales Manager for the midwestern U.S. and central Canada. He joins Handheld from Peak-Ryzex, a systems integrator of supply chain automation solutions for enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. -- Posted Friday, May 8, 2015

Getac launches rugged in-vehicle Veretos Mobile Video System for law enforcement and similar applications
Getac announced the release of the rugged Veretos Mobile Video System (MVS), an in-car mobile video recording system for law enforcement vehicles that captures all activities in and around the vehicle as they happen. The system consists of the ZeroDark camera with near complete dark recording capability, H.264 compression, up to 1280 x 1024 resolution, 18X zoom; a DVR with triggered auto-recording, 128-512GB M.2 flash storage, multi-camera input (up to 12), and 802.11ac WiFi/4G LTE for uploading and live-streaming; wireless microphones, a 5-inch 800x480 pixel multi-touch display, and extensive recording and evidence management software. [See Getac Veretos media release, the Veretos Mobile Video page and Veretos brochure]. -- Posted Thursday, May 7, 2015

Added: Winmate EAC-BY3030 fanless embedded Box PC
In its April 29, 2015 Newsletter (see here), Winmate highlighted its line of rugged industrial Box PCs, and especially their new Intel Bay Trail-powered EAC-BY3030. Designed for a variety of industrial automation or machine-to-machine applications, the fanless EAC-BY3030 with its unique thermal cooling fin design offers no fewer than eight RS232 serial ports. [See description, analysis and specs of the Winmate EAC-B3030] -- Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Getac revenue up year-on-year
According to Digitimes, Getac Technology had revenues of US$47.6 million for April 2015, up 15.5% from April 2014. Revenues for January through April 2015 were US$185.6 million, up 20.7% from the same period last year. Digitimes said Getac is currently the second largest rugged PC vendor worldwide, following first-place Panasonic. -- Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Full review: GammaTech Durabook R11
GammaTech views their Durabook R11 as part of a new class of fully rugged high-performance tablets for use in the field and in harsh environments, one that is lightweight, versatile, has a large display, and represents state-of-the-art technology. Can this elegant 11.6-inch, Haswell Core i5-powered Windows tablet that looks just as sleek and slick as a consumer tablet deliver? [See full review of the GammaTech Durabook R11] -- Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Janam introduces pistol-grip rugged lightweight mobile computer with industrial scanning options
Janam introduced the Janam XG3 mobile computer, a rugged gun-style Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 device that offers scanning options, compact size, and low weight. Offering the choice of two industrial grade scanners, a laser from Zebra/Motorola and an imager from Honeywell, the 22 ounce, ARM Cortex-A8-powered XG3 can handle six-foot drops, carries IP65 sealing and has a -4 to 140F temperature range. The hot-swappable Li-Ion battery is good enough for full-shift operation. [See press release and description, analysis and specs of the Janam XG3] -- Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2015

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 Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Microsoft buys N-trig "technology and talent"
For a very long time, anyone wanting an active pen on a tablet essentially had their choice of either Wacom or N-trig, which is based in Israel, with the Wacom pen having the advantage of not needing a battery. Microsoft, however, had switched from Wacom to N-trig for their Surface 3 tablets. In February 2015, Reuters reported that Microsoft was buying privately held N-trig, which was gearing up for a public offering, for at least $200 million. Apparently that didn't happen, but now the Wall Street Journal says Microsoft is buying N-trig's assets for just $30 million. Microsoft has a history of buying pen related technology, such as aha! Inkwriter that became Microsoft Journal, and the Paragraph recognition engine, parts of which live on within Windows. [See Microsoft Surface Blog] -- Posted Saturday, May 2, 2015

HABEY MITX-6770: Swiss Army Knife of Mini-ITX boards
Embedded computer product manufacturer HABEY USA, announced the MITX-6770, their latest embedded Mini-ITX board powered by the Intel J1900 Quad Core 2.42 GHz Celeron processor. The MITX-6770, which HABEY described as the Swiss Army Knife of Mini-ITX boards, is designed to meet the increasing demand for variety of network connectivity, higher network performance, flexible storage options and improved security of the Internet of things (IoT). The board has dual Gigabit Ethernet ports with Power over Ethernet (PoE) option, TPM) security and two mSATA slots for storage redundancy. [See HABEY USA MITX-6770 product page] -- Posted Friday, May 1, 2015

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago? May 2010
In May of 2010, we wondered if 4G was ready for prime time, and whether WiMax was going anywhere. RAM Mounts offered mounting solutions for the new iPad. We reported that Panasonic and Motion were among the first to upgrade from Core 2 Duo to Intel's new Core processors. We reviewed Panasonic's new Toughbook 31, Data Ltd's DLI 8400, and shook our heads when Bill Gates predicted that netbooks would be the future of digital reading. Getac scored two "Best Choice" awards at the 2010 Computex Taiwan. LXE quarterly revenues were up 28% from the year before, but Intermec's Q1 revenues were down. Intel introduced the Atom Z6xx platform, QSI added two new TREQ vehicle terminals, and Juniper Systems announced its partnership with Beijing Water & Land. [See RuggedPCReview archives May 2010] -- Posted Friday, May 1, 2015

RAM Mounts' universally mountable new sun visor
Harsh environments often mean sun and heat and glare in vehicles. That's why RAM Mounts created universal RAM Sun Visors in various levels of tint. They are completely compatible with the entire RAM mounting system, can be adjusted any which way, and mounted virtually anywhere. [See RAM Mounts new Sun Visor] -- Posted Friday, May 1, 2015

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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."