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

July 2013

TabletKiosk adds value-priced 12.1-inch Atom N2800-powered Sahara NetSlate a525 enterprise tablet
TabletKiosk announced an addition to their line of enterprise-oriented Sahara tablets. The new Sahara netSlate a525 presents a value-priced model completely compatible with existing TabletKiosk accessories and peripherals. Offering improved graphics performance and much longer battery life than the a510 predecessor model, the NetSlate a525 provides excellent connectivity, the choice of various operating systems, dual cameras, a true legacy serial port, and either resistive touch, capacitive multi-touch, or a dual-mode panel that adds an active pen. Pricing starts at US$1,499. [See description, analysis and specs of the TabletKiosk NetSlate a525] -- Posted Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Havis announces the LAPD's future Ford police interceptors
Borrowing a page from Tesla, the Los Angeles Police Department will show their vision of the future police vehicle to Charlotte, N.C. for Hendon Publishing's Police Fleet Expo. Attendees will get to see an all new, in-dash mounted screen in Ford's Police Interceptor Sedan and Police Interceptor Utility. The LAPD worked with Ford, Havis Inc., National Safety Agency and Lectronix to co-develop a solution that will give officers an integrated screen with controls to multiple radio connections and video inputs, HVAC and factory controls, radar detection, license plate recognition systems, laptop computers, printers, and other equipment. [See Havis press release] -- Posted Monday, July 29, 2013

ToolWorx gets patent for SmartVision labeling system
ToolWorx announced that it has been awarded patent No. 8,485,429 for its SmartVision labeling system designed in response to the Produce Traceability Initiative. The labeling system allows produce growers to use standard graphics and markings to identify produce in containers and automatically print the associated initiative-compliant label, all without the use of a computer or mobile terminal. The system uses Intermec Smart Printers to do double duty as a computer and a printer, saving growers money while streamlining and error-proofing their labeling operations. -- Posted Monday, July 29, 2013

Xplore secures additional rugged tablet order from medical device engineering company
Xplore Technologies announced it has secured an additional purchase order of more than US$3 million of its iX104C5 Dual-Mode Lite ultra-rugged tablets from a leading medical device manufacturer. The ultra-rugged tablets are utilized in life-saving procedures, operating as a control unit for a medical device that temporarily takes over the function of a vital organ. Since 2012, the manufacturer has ordered more than $6.5 million of Xplore's iX104C5 DML devices. [See press release] -- Posted Monday, July 29, 2013

Super-high resolution displays becoming mandatory
Google's just revealed second-generation Android 4.3 dual-camera 10-ounce Nexus 7 tablet has 1,920 x 1,200 pixel resolution on its 7-inch IPS Gorilla glass screen. That's more than a big HDTV flatscreen. And 3 times as much as the venerable XGA (1024 x 768) that's still used by many vertical market devices. We see super-high res rapidly becoming a differentiating factor in perceived (and actual) product performance and value. Price of the quad-core 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro-powered tablet? US$229 for a 16GB model, US$279 for 32GB. The challenge for rugged market manufacturers will be to match consumer technology and add sufficient enterprise market value-added (security, ruggedness, durability, service, etc.) to successfully fend off the flood of inexpensive consumer devices, and participate in the tremendous popularity of tablets. -- Posted Saturday, July 27, 2013

Missouri counties use grant to purchase Juniper Systems Mesas for disaster management
To help better prepare for tornados, ice storms and flooding, local officials identified rugged handheld computers as a critical need to assist the counties in preparing for and manage disasters. They obtained a Homeland Security Grant, available through the state's Department of Public Safety, to purchase Juniper Systems Mesa rugged handhelds. [See Missouri Counties Receive Grant to Purchase Rugged Handhelds for Disaster Management] -- Posted Thursday, July 25, 2013

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-- Posted Thursday, July 25, 2013

Intel 4th-gen Core processors beginning to appear in CPU modules for rugged embedded systems
Germany-based embedded systems manufacturer MSC Embedded introduced the MSC C6B-8S COM Express module family based on "Haswell" fourth generation Intel Core processors. The initial MSC C6B-8S module uses the QM87 chipset and 2.4/3.4GHz Core i7-4700EQ quad-core processor with 6MB L3 cache and integrated 4600 Intel HD graphics. It support three DisplayPort 1.2 with daisy-chaining or HDMI up to 3800 x 2400 pixels with three independent displays. The MSC C6B-8S offers seven PCI Express x 1 channels, a PCI Express graphics x 16 interface, an LPC bus for legacy I/O, and four 6 Gb/s SATA channels. -- Posted Thursday, July 25, 2013

Germane Systems' CEO receives SmartCEO Brava Award
Germane Systems, a designer and manufacturer of rugged computer systems and servers, has announced that its CEO and president Kerry O'Brien has been awarded the SmartCEO's Brava Award. The Brava award is designed to recognize female CEOs who "combine their entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for giving back to the community." -- Posted Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Review: Samwell Ruggedbook PC-750 rugged Windows tablet
The Samwell Ruggedbook PC-750 provides full Windows 7 functionality in a rugged tablet form factor. Measuring just 10.8 x 7.8 x 1.1 inches and weighing just over three pounds, the Intel Atom N2600-powered PC-750 is considerably lighter than most full-size rugged tablets. Its excellent 10.4-inch resistive touch screen with 1024 x 768 pixel XGA resolution offers enough space to run Windows comfortably. There is plenty of wired connectivity on board, all the connectors are standard size, and there is a wealth of wireless functionality, and also dual integrated cameras. [See full review of the Samwell Ruggedbook PC-750] -- Posted Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tablets in healthcare a US$1.7 billion market
According to Kalorama Information's latest report, the global market for tablet PC devices in healthcare is expected to increase to $1.7 billion for 2013, reflecting an increase of nearly 27% over the prior year. The report, "The Market for Tablet PCs in Healthcare," has breakouts of usage of Tablet PCs and of the market by customer type (nursing home, physician offices, hospitals) and by geographic region. -- Posted Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: GammaTech Durabook SA14 semi-rugged notebook
The GammaTech Durabook SA14 is a semi-rugged 8-pound notebook computer designed to be substantially tougher and more durable than standard consumer notebooks, but without the high cost of a fully rugged model. RuggedPCReview tested the Durabook SA14 and found it to be a very solid, trust-inspiring machine with a bright, reflection-free 14-inch wide-format display, good connectivity, good battery life, and excellent performance. [See full review of the GammaTech Durabook SA14] -- Posted Monday, July 22, 2013

Microsoft takes $900 million write-down on Surface RT tablets
Microsoft announced its quarterly financials, making a US$5 billion profit on revenue of US$20 billion. Despite the dismal situation in PC sales and the lackluster acceptance of Windows 8, those figures are actually better than the same quarter last year (US$18.1 billion sales, US$492 million loss). But analysts had expected much better. Of note to tablet enthusiasts: Microsoft took a US$900 million write-down on unsold Surface RT tablet inventory. Ouch. US$900 million is 30 times the entire-year sales of a tablet pioneer such as Xplore Technologies, and it's more than the annual sales of a sizable company such as Intermec. While we liked the Surface RT (see here), apparently, customers didn't go for tablets that run only a limited version of Windows. Hmmm... didn't we learn that 15 years ago with Windows CE "Jupiter" devices? [See Microsoft press release] -- Posted Friday, July 19, 2013

Small PC introduces new version of its fanless iBrick with Intel 3rd-gen Core professor
Small PC Computers of Clearwater Florida, has released an addition to its iBrick line of compact rugged computers. The fanless model SC215ML measures just 8 x 5 x 3 inches, weighs under 3 lbs., and the initial version runs an Intel 3rd-gen Core i3-3217U. Pricing starts at US$1,695. [See SC215ML product page and YouTube video introduction] -- Posted Thursday, July 18, 2013

Three things to consider when choosing a Tablet PC for forklift mount applications
Forklift-mounted computers have been transforming the way products move throughout the supply chain for decades, but proper implementation requires good planning and awareness of potential pitfalls. MobileDemand's most recent Ruggedized Computing Blog discusses them in 3 things to consider when choosing a Tablet PC for forklift mount. -- Posted Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Digitizer pioneer Wacom celebrates 30th anniversary
Wacom held its 30th anniversary celebration party on July 12, 2013 at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo in Roppongi, Tokyo, with partners from around the world, across a wide range of industries. Wacom, of course, supplied its unsurpassed active pen technology to the first wave of pen computers back in the early 1990s. Ten years later, Microsoft built the Tablet PC around Wacom digitizer technology. And today, professional (and increasingly, consumer) tablets still rely on Wacom pen technology for accurate pen functionality. And that's in addition to the various lines of innovative digital pen tablets used by artists, professionals and enthusiasts the world over. Congratulations, Wacom, on a wonderful job! [See illustrated Wacom press release]
-- Posted Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Intermec research suggests significant potential savings
A recent survey of 375 transport and logistics managers at organizations of over 500 employees within the UK, France, Germany, USA, Australia and New Zealand conducted by Intermec suggests that transport and logistics companies could save an average of about $460,000 per year if they re-engineered processes and implemented mobile technology across workflows. [See more survey results] -- Posted Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Winmate M700D and M970D rugged tablets now with Windows 8
Winmate Communications reports that their Intel Atom N2600-powered Winmate 7-inch M700D and 9.7-inch M970D rugged tablets are now available with Windows 8. Both tablets offer projected capacitive multi-touch. Winmate also implemented a number of "hot tab" keys as Windows 8 charms, allowing users to quickly access frequently called functions. [See Winmate release] -- Posted Friday, July 12, 2013

Datalogic's small, rugged Lynx PDA now certified for AT&T 4G
Datalogic announced that AT&T has certified the Lynx PDA for both voice and data communications on its 4G network. The certification applies to all HSPA+ (3G/4G) models of Datalogic's small and light (9.5 ounces) data capture and communication Lynx PDA that runs Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 on a 2.7-inch display. -- Posted Friday, July 12, 2013

Xplore Technologies introduces 10.1-inch rugged Android tablet
Xplore Technlogies announced the RangerX, a 2.2-pound, 10.1-inch class rugged Android tablet powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor. Xplore's new tablet merges the kind of state-of-the-art technology consumers expect and demand with the ruggedness and durability business and enterprise need. The RangerX has dual cameras, a high-quality 1366 x 768 pixel IPS projected capacitive touch display, up to 192GB storage, exceptional onboard connectivity (including optional HDMI-in and RJ45), a CAC reader, carries an IP65 ingress protection rating, and has a 10-hour battery life. Pricing starts at US$1,349 [See description, analysis and specs of the Xplore RangerX rugged Android tablet] -- Posted Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Juniper Systems looking for Project Manager
Just seen on Facebook: Juniper Systems is looking for a new Project Manager: "If you'd like to work for a great company with great benefits, send us an application!" [See job description page] -- Posted Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Juniper Systems' Archer Field PC used to measure largest trees in the world
Juniper Systems announced that its Archer Field PC was recently used to measure some of the largest trees in the world. Michael Taylor, a member of The Native Tree Society (NTS), used the Archer, Laser Technology Inc.'s MapSmart software and laser rangefinder for the project, and said, "I have not found a better set of tools for the job." For an interesting and very detailed description of the project, see "Precision Footprint Survey With Archer Field PC & MapSmart." -- Posted Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Dutch hospital uses Datalogic Gryphon imager to help guarantee safety of blood and blood products
Datalogic announced that UMC St Radboud Hospital in Nijmeng, Netherlands, chose Datalogic's Gryphon imager to help guarantee the safety of the blood and blood product distribution process for its patients. Over 400 Gryphon imagers are currently used in the transfusion, hematology, intensive care and neonatology departments. The solution will be expanded to the other departments in the hospital in the near future. [See Datalogic press release and case study] -- Posted Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Full review: Toughpad G1 -- Panasonic dishes up a very fast and very competent new-era Windows tablet
With the Toughpad G1, Panasonic offers what one might call a "new-era" rugged Windows tablet in the 10-inch class. The Intel Core i5-powered G1 with its 1920 x 1200 pixel dual input (capacitive touch and active pen) screen is light and sleek, yet still provides the toughness and ruggedness Panasonic mobile computers are known for. We've also found it to be a superior performer that still provides very good battery life. [See our full review of the Panasonic Toughpad G1] -- Posted Monday, July 8, 2013

Expedition to one of the world's coldest places relies on Getac S400 rugged laptop
A scientific expedition to research the structure of the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean put Getac's rugged computer technology at the heart of its operation in some of the most extreme environments. "The notebook's long battery life enabled us to stay out on the ice for long periods too, which was invaluable and helped us keep the amount of back-up equipment we needed each day to a minimum," said Associate Professor Lund-Hansen from the Department of Bioscience at Aarhus University in Denmark. "And even though the wind chill factor meant temperatures were pretty extreme at times the Getac S400 did not let us down." [See illustrated press release] -- Posted Friday, July 5, 2013

New video: Motion CL910 Tablet PC Overview
Sometimes a picture conveys a thousand words, and a video even more. The latter certainly applies to Motion's new video overview of their CL910 Windows tablet. In a neat and elegant two minutes and 19 seconds presentation, you learn what the tablet is all about, and what it can do. [See Motion CL910 Tablet PC Overview] -- Posted Friday, July 5, 2013

MobileDemand offers new cradle for its rugged xTablet T1200
Ruggedized tablet PC manufacturer MobileDemand introduced a new cradle for its Intel Core i5-powered rugged Windows tablet computer. Developed for use in vehicles, on forklifts and mounted to walls, the cradle secures the tablet firmly in place but allows quick release for mobility applications or recharging. [See MobileDemand release] -- Posted Tuesday, July 2, 2013

French services company Connect Assistance deploys 1,000 Samsung tablets in protective cases
TabTimes reports that France-based Connect Assistance deployed 1,000 Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 tablets to its customer and field tech support staff. To prevent damage in the field, the tablets are placed inside shock-resistant cases. Commentary: Another example of a large sale going to consumer technology in cases rather than ruggedized equipment that would probably yield better TOC. [See TabTimes article] -- Posted Monday, July 1, 2013

What happend in rugged computing 5 years ago: July 2008
Not that much usually happens in the dog days of summer, but the following kept us busy in July of 2008: Fujitsu introduced two Tablet PC convertibles, the Lifebook T5010 and T1010, Itronix (RIP) supported a Zambezi expedition with their super-tough GoBook XR-1. We reviewed the Roper Mobile Duros tablet back when Duros was a separate product line. Intermec relocated final assembly from Everett, WA, to a Singapore serves provider. Honeywell introduced the Dolphin 9900, and announced it was buying Metrologic. And MobileDemand suggested we check if their rugged Tablet P worked underwater. It did, for a while. [See more of what happened in rugged computing five years ago] -- Posted Monday, July 1, 2013

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