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

June 2010

Arista updates industrial Panel PCs
Fremont, Calif. based Arista Corp. introduced an update to its ARP-2200 series of rugged industrial panel computers. The new ARP-2200AP series comes with 15, 17, or 19 inch displays, and also a special model with a giant 42-inch display. All but the 42-inch product are available either with Intel Core Duo processors of a power-efficient VIA C7 chip. Designed for fanless operation, these new Arista panel PCs are geared for applications including automation, manufacturing, medical, semiconductor, food processing, machine control and more. [Read description and specs of the Arista ARP-2200AP series or view press release] -- Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Panasonic makes rugged cameras, too
If you need a rugged camera to go along with your Panasonic Toughbook, Panasonic makes them, too. And the ruggedness specs are actually remarkably similar: the Panasonic Lumix TS2 compact camera has a 6.6-foot drop spec, can handle operating temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and it's waterproof. Much more so than any Toughbook, actually: you can take it down to a depth of 33 feet without protective housing! We gave the US$399 Lumix TS2 a good workout in the cold waters off the California Channel Islands. [Read full review of the Panasonic Lumix TS2] -- Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Novatel Wireless introduces LTE PCIe embedded modules
Novatel Wireless introduced its LTE Embedded Module roster with the Expedite E351, E362 and E371 PCIe mini cards. The Expedite E351 provides multimode support for LTE and EV-DO Rev. A and backward compatibility for all CDMA networks. The E362 adds global roaming capabilities with support of LTE, EV-DO Rev. A, HSPA+, UMTS and backward compatibility to existing 2G/3G GSM and CDMA networks. The E371 provides support for LTE with backward compatibility to dual carrier HSPA+, UMTS, EDGE and GPRS. -- Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New GD-Itronix Tadpole ultra thin-clients offer simplicity, security, and economical operation
General Dynamics Itronix expanded its line of Tadpole ultra-thin clients with the new netbook-sized M1000, the compact notebook-size M1500, and two wireless desktop units, the Pulsar and Pulsar Premium. Not having local storage or software, wireless clients offer a very secure and easily managed computing environment that can result in economical operation and reduced total cost of ownership. See description and specs of the Tadpole M1000 and Tadpole M1500] -- Posted Monday, June 28, 2010

AIS releases inexpensive Windows CE touch panel PC
American Industrial Systems Inc. (AIS) introduced a small, rugged 5.7-inch industrial Windows CE 5.0-based touchscreen computer intended for use as an IP64-sealed operator panel PC and graphic operator interface terminal. The VGA display features a bright 400 nits backlight and a resistive digitizer. Pricing for VARs starts at an exceptionally low US$399. [See description and specs of the AIS PM570M] -- Posted Friday, June 25, 2010

Moto releases tiny 1D Bluetooth laser scanner
Motorola has released what may turn out to be a very relevant product in the tiny CS3000 Series 1D laser scanner. Measuring a minuscule 3.4 x 1.95 x 0.87 inches and weighing just 2.5 ounces, the ruggedized little scanner, that uses the SE955 scan engine, can operate both in batch and real-time capture modes, where it communicates with almost any notebook, PDA or smartphone via Class Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. Its 512MB Flash memory can store over a million time/date-stamped bar codes, and the rechargeable battery lasts up to 24 hours. [See Motorola CS3000 Series spec sheet] -- Posted Thursday, June 24, 2010

New print-style PDFs of reviews available
Yes, we still know how to use Quark XPress to generate nice print-style layouts, and we generally do those for most major reviews. The latest ones available are for the Motion Computing J3500, Juniper Systems TK6000, Getac PS535F, Getac PS236, GD-Itronix Tadpole Topaz, and Samwell Ruggedbook 820. -- Posted Thursday, June 24, 2010

LXE Europe unveils 2010 Partners Award Winners
At its LXE PartnerPass Executive Conference held June 8 and 9, 2010, in Berlin, Germany, LXE recognized the performance of its top European partners as follows: Best Premier Partner: Lexter - Italy; Best Preferred Partner: Renovotec - UK; Best Business Partner: Goodtech Products; Best Marketing Partner: Experteam - Switzerland; Top New Market Development: L-mobile solutions - Germany; and Partner of the Year: RMS.LU - Luxemburg. -- Posted Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Full review: Motion's new J3500 tablet with capacitive dual touch
Motion Computing has introduced the rugged Motion J3500 tablet, a sleek, slender, full-featured, full-power tablet computer featuring an approximately 40% overall performance increase compared to the predecessor model courtesy of an ultra low voltage Intel Core i7 processor that incurs no penalty in battery life. The new machine also offers Motion's new capacitive dual touch, automatically combining capacitive touch and a Wacom digitizer. Add Gobi2000, a high res camera, more memory and larger disks, and you have a very impressive tablet. [Read full review of the Motion Computing J3500] -- Posted Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Motorola introduces ES400 Enterprise Digital Assistant
The Enterprise Mobility Solutions division of Motorola introduced the ES400 Enterprise Digital Assistant. Fitting somewhere between a consumer smartphone and a ruggedized handheld, the ES400 is aimed squarely at enterprise users in field sales/service, retail, healthcare, etc. The ES400 runs Windows Mobile 6.5 with a custom front end, has WiFi, GPS, a 3.2mp camera that can also scan, and 3.5G WWAN for both the GSM and the CDMA side. With the iPhone having redefined expectations, the question is whether this sort of category-busting convergent device is what users want. [Read more...] -- Posted Friday, June 18, 2010

RuggedPCReview at the Handheld Group Business Partner Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, June 2-4, 2010
The Handheld Group had its annual Business Partner Conference June 2 through 4th, 2010, at the Elite Hotel Marina Tower in Stockholm, Sweden. The conference provided a venue to socialize with business partners and inform them on products, outlook and opportunities. was there, and here is our report. [read more...] -- Posted Friday, June 18, 2010

Datalogic Mobile and Ford Performance Racing form partnership
Ford Performance Racing (FPR), the primary, manufacturer-backed Ford team in the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series, has formed a technical partnership with rugged data collection mobile computer maker Datalogic Mobile. Datalogic Mobile devices will be used throughout the FPR business, and Datalogic Mobile will assist with advice and solutions to expand mobility and exploit efficiencies both on and off the track. -- Posted Friday, June 18, 2010

Juniper Systems to sponsor 2010 ESRI UC Forestry SIG
Juniper Systems is proud to announce its sponsorship of the ESRI User Conference Forestry SIG. A schedule of events can be found by at Juniper Systems Sponsors ESRI User Conference Forestry SIG. The ESRI Forestry SIG meeting will demonstrate how Juniper Systems and ESRI products can enhance forestry data collection methods. Attendees will be the first to see the latest addition to Juniper Systems suite of rugged handheld computers, along with the opportunity to enter an exciting drawing. -- Posted Friday, June 18, 2010

DLI upgrades its rugged tablets
LaPorte, In. based DLI announced it has upgraded its line of rugged tablet computers with new HiBrite LED display technology that combines reduced internal reflection, enhanced polarization coating and a stronger backlight (up to 900 nits) to increase effective contrast ratio by a factor of 1.6x while using no more power than older CCFL displays (available in the DLI 8300 rugged tablet and 8400 ultra-mobile tablet). In addition, standard displays now also get LED backlighting, and DLI is integrating Wacom's Penabled digitizer touch screen technology in the DLI 8300, 8400 and 8800 Mobile POS Tablet. -- Posted Thursday, June 17, 2010

HP completes purchase of Phoenix's Linux-based quick-boot OS
Phoenix Technologies has sold its HyperSpace, HyperCore and Phoenix Flip instant-on technology to HP for US$12 million. Phoenix had developed the Linux-based system for people who were tired of waiting for Windows to boot. Instead, HyperCore allowed almost instant start-up and access to browsing and other core functions, while also running Windows. Phoenix apparently wasn't able to get traction with it, but HP, with aspirations in the emerging tablet market, may be able to build on the technology. [See Phoenix release] -- Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010

JLT releases new version of its rugged JLT8404 tablet
Swedish rugged computing manufacturer JLT began shipping an updated version of its rugged JLT8404 tablet. The primary change seems to be a switch from the 1.1GHz Intel Atom Z510, which we always considered a bit underpowered for this class of tablet, with the ubiquitous 1.6GHz Atom N270 that's successfully used in millions of netbooks. Based on's benchmark library, we expect a 40-50% performance increase. The new version is available with Windows 7 and a Sierra Wireless WAN module. -- Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Canada Post to deploy more than 8,000 Intermec CN50s
Intermec announced that Canada Post, the official postal service of Canada, has selected the Intermec CN50 to equip more than 8,000 foot-based letter carriers to provide timely delivery information to customers for all traceable items via real-time upload of scanned data. Through its EA21 scanner and 3G radio, the CN50 can communicate with the Canada Post Central Delivery Information Application to provide data capture and delivery processes as part of a transformational Canada Post program to modernize its postal network end to end. -- Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Zebra releases all-in-one printer/handheld for Motorola MC70/75
Zebra Technologies Corp. announced the new RW 420 Print Station (model RW4-PS), a printer and hand-held in one unit that's capable of supporting the Motorola MC70 and MC75 handheld terminals. The thermal RW 420 can be operated between -4 and 131 degrees Fahrenheit, weighs just over three pounds, and prints 4-inch paper at 3"/second. [See Zebra RW 420 Print Station page] -- Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Black Diamond delivers rugged handheld dual-iris capture biometrics device
Black Diamond Advanced Technology has designed and delivered to Northrop Grumman a ruggedized, identity-management system for secure and efficient multi-modal biometrics collection in the field. Called the BioTRAC, the advanced multi-biometric, mobile handheld computer features IriTech's new embedded-processor dual-iris camera system, which is capable of outdoor, independent dual-iris image capture in less than 5 seconds on a rugged platform. -- Posted Monday, June 14, 2010

Healthcare IT leaders merge
Allscripts, a major provider of clinical software, information and connectivity solutions for physicians, and Eclipsys, a major enterprise provider of solutions and services for hospitals and clinicians, announced an agreement to merge in a stock transaction valued at approximately US$1.3 billion. The combined client base includes 1,500 hospitals and 180,000 physicians, and is certain to have an impact on the rugged mobile tablet and MCA market. [See press release] -- Posted Monday, June 14, 2010

Avnet signs distribution agreement with GD-Itronix
Avnet Technology Solutions, an operating group of US$7 billion Avnet, Inc., and General Dynamics Itronix announced a pan-European distribution agreement for GD-Itronix's wireless, rugged computing solutions, including rugged laptops, tablet PCs and Ultra Mobile PCs. The agreement enables Avnet to distribute the full GDI product portfolio of rugged mobile solutions through Avnet's extensive network of business partners, including system developers and VARs throughout Europe, Turkey and Russia. [Read Avnet press release] -- Posted Monday, June 14, 2010

Editors abuse Getac computers!
What happens when a bunch of editors visit the Getac facilities in Taipei during the Computex trade show? They abuse Getac rugged notebooks, tablets and handhelds. See the results in this YouTube video. -- Posted Monday, June 14, 2010

Zebra Enterprise Solutions World conference San Francisco Sept. 26-29, 2010
Zebra Technologies announced details for Solutions World 2010, the eighth biennial conference focused on technology advancements in marine terminal operations and supply chain logistics. Formerly known as Navis World, the user-conference is now Zebra Enterprise Solutions World and will be held September 26-29, 2010, at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Supporters and partners include rugged computer manufacturers Motorola, DRS Technologies and LXE. [See conference page] -- Posted Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Socket Mobile scanners for use with iPad/iPhone
Socket Mobile announced Apple iPhone/iPad/iPod touch OS 4 compatibility for the Socket Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner (CHS) 7X and its antimicrobial equivalent, the CHS 7XRx. Both are lightweight, portable, state-of-the-art 1D/2D barcode scanners that fit a diverse set of application requirements in a range of industries including healthcare, hospitality, retail, automotive and the public sector. [See video of how the scanners work with the iPhone] -- Posted Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Psion Teklogix and Mobile Tornado brings Push-to services to rugged devices
Psion Teklogix and Mobile Tornado announced that Psion Teklogix will now resell and support Mobile Tornado's "Push-to" technology on its rugged mobile computers. This partnership will enable organizations to communicate with, alert and locate workers via Psion Teklogix’s handheld computers at the push of a button reducing costs, increasing efficiency and improving safety. -- Posted Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Black Diamond and CTI wearable computer for Israeli military
Black Diamond Advanced Technology, makers of the SwitchBack, has been awarded the production and manufacturing contract from Computech International (CTI) for a ruggedized, wearable tactical computer system for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The production award follows a successful prototype phase, which began in January 2009 and culminated in a successful 6-month end-user evaluation. The Digital Army Computer System (DACS) will be deployed by the IDF in late 2010. [See press release] -- Posted Monday, June 7, 2010

Avalue releases rugged Intel Atom D510-based IPC
Industrial computer manufacturer Avalue Technology has released a series of new rugged embedded system in its ERS- series industrial PCs for use in vehicles as well as industrial and military equipment. The 5.5-pound ERS-PNV-510 is especially interesting with its dual core Intel Atom D510 processor and generous onboard I/O (5 USB, 3 serial, 2 LAN, video, mini-PCIe, etc.). The platform is also available with single core Atom D410 or N450 processors. [See Avalue ERSPNV-510 product page] -- Posted Monday, June 7, 2010

Major upgrade to Getac's compact rugged E100 tablet
In 2008, Getac was ahead of the time when it introduced the small and compact E100 rugged tablet that weighed just three pounds. In our full review we lauded the E100's functionality, expansion potential, long battery life, and superb outdoor-viewable display. However, time moves on, and Getac has now given the E100 a major technology upgrade with a switch to a 1.6GHz Atom processor, the addition of an RS232 port, an option for dual smart card readers for special applications and requirements, embedded microphone, 812.11a/g/n wireless LAN, Gigabit LAN and Bluetooth 2.0 as standard features, with optional 3G Network connectivity. Ruggedness as been boosted to IP65 sealing, the battery is hot-swappable, and there is a comprehensive 5-year warranty. -- Posted Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Microsoft announces Windows Embedded Compact 7
During a keynote address at Computex Taipei, Microsoft announced Windows Embedded Compact 7. It's just a "public community technology preview" for now, but this will be the next version of Windows CE (now called Windows Embedded CE), designed to allow OEMs to create specialized devices. Microsoft stressed a major update to Internet Explorer, support for Adobe Flash 10.1 and seamless integration with Windows 7. The emphasis clearly seems to be on full integration into the massive existing Microsoft infrastructure. [See Windows Embedded Compact 7 page] -- Posted Tuesday, June 1, 2010

LXE releases four new Toughtalk headsets
According to Materials Handling World, rugged handheld and panel computer maker LXE has released four new LXE "Toughtalk" headsets, specifically designed with superior noise cancellation and ruggedness for voice recognition applications. [See news item] -- Posted Tuesday, June 1, 2010

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    The editor and co-founder of Pen Computing Magazine launched 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 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."