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

August 2010

LED control chip can lower power draw by 45%
With power management ever more important in mobile devices that must balance performance and features with small size and weight, the ability to manage display backlights is crucial. Analog Devices Inc. just announced their new ADP8870 LED charge-pump backlight driver chip that can lower the power consumption of battery-operated handheld devices by up to 45% without compromising viewing quality by automatically controlling LED brightness. [See ADP8870 product page] -- Posted Monday, August 30, 2010

Learning about Android on tablets for US$169
Experts expect tens of millions of tablets will sell over the next couple of years, and their OS of choice may well be Android. Yet, despite all the tablet announcements, we really haven't seen much. Enter the Augen GenTouch78, a US$169 tablet running Android 2.1. It's available at, of all places, KMart. No, it's not an iPad competitor, it's really stylus and not touch, and it's not very polished. But it provides an inexpensive look at the potential of Android on tablets (and it's better than any Pocket PC ever was). RuggedPCReview.com took a detailed look at the Augen GenTouch, including inside. [See full review of the Augen GenTouch78 Android tablet] -- Posted Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wyse thin clients to use Windows Embedded Standard 7
Wyse Technology announced that it will offer a family of thin clients—the powerful Wyse R90L7, mobile X90c7 and compact C90LE7—using Microsoft Windows Embedded 7. Wyse usually offers various operating systems for each of their hardware solutions, and offering a componentized embedded version of Windows 7 with a good number of next-gen features makes sense. Note, though, that WES 7 comes in a default WS7E version and an extended WS7P version, and we're not sure yet which version Wyse uses. [See Wyse press release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Datalogic to host at 2010 AIM Expo in Chicago
Datalogic announced will host the Auto ID Leadership Breakfast on November 2 at the 2010 AIM Expo, held at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Chicago. "The Auto ID Leadership Breakfast is a perfect match for Datalogic because it aligns directly with our commitment to guiding the industry forward," said Bill Parnell, president and CEO, Datalogic Scanning. "The Leadership Breakfast provides an opportunity for senior-level management to take part in a high-level, strategic conversation on the intrinsic value of auto ID and mobile IT in businesses today." -- Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Full review: Handheld Algiz 7
The advent of Intel's Atom processors a couple of years ago made possible a new generation of smaller, lighter and less expensive "netbook" computers that provide adequate performance and functionality for a wide range of applications. Likewise, we're now seeing a new generation of smaller, lighter tablet computers that use similarly targeted technology for vertical market applications. The Algiz 7 by the Handheld Group is such a product--lighter, handier and smaller than full-size tablets. RuggedPCReview.com presents a detailed assessment of the Algiz 7, its features and performance, and its suitability for tough outdoors jobs. [See full review of the Handheld Group Algiz 7] -- Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Service 800 award for Psion Teklogix
Eleven prominent technology companies received international accolades for exceptional service performance and quality at the Customer Satisfaction Executive Conference, hosted by SERVICE 800, Inc.. Among those recognized for performing at or above industry-wide benchmark levels for five years or more was Psion Teklogix. Good work! [See Business Wire press release] -- Posted Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Surveying software on DAP Kinysis tablets
The American Surveyer reports on a "New Tool for Highway Surveyors and Engineers Available on Rugged Tablet Computer". What they're talking about is Highway Surveyors’ ReGen software available on DAP Technologies’ rugged Kinysis tablet computer. ReGen is a data collection, survey management, and data optimization tool with a Google Maps interface; the Kinysis is a handy, rugged tablet computer, available in versions with or without integrated keyboard, running Windows Embedded Standard -- Posted Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Review: Advantech PIT-1501W patient infotainment terminal
Given the ever-escalating costs of healthcare, you'd think hospital patients would be treated like pampered guests at a 5-star hotel. Sadly, that's hardly ever the case, but if companies like Advantech have a say in the matter, hospital patients may soon have entertainment and information options far more satisfying than watching the usual ancient hospital-issue CRT TV bolted to the wall. That's because forward-looking hospitals are starting to install "patient infotainment terminals" like the Advantech PIT-1501W we had in our RuggedPCReview.com lab for a few days. [See full review of the Advantech PIT-1501W patient infotainment terminal] -- Posted Tuesday, August 24, 2010

GD6000 goes on 2010 Paris to Peking Motor Challenge
Steatite Rugged, a UK supplier of rugged laptop and computing technology, is helping Simon Mackenzie-Smith’s bid to complete the 2010 Paris to Peking Motor Challenge. Mackenzie-Smith, Chairman of UK for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, needed a rugged laptop for the charity trip and Steatite will contribute a General Dynamics Itronix GD6000 laptop for his challenge. Now there's an interesting challenge for a vehicle-rugged computer! -- Posted Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Australian aged care home chooses Motion C5v tablets
Aiming to be entirely paperless within two years, Australian healthcare organization Jacaranda Village is taking delivery of the Motion Computing C5v Mobile Clinical Assistant (MCA) as it commits itself to mobility solutions. Using i-Care software, electronic medication charts, and the device's wireless functionality, means, according to Jacaranda Village’s chief executive Sue Bowditch, "our staff can spend more time with the residents and still get their work done.” [See Motion press release] -- Posted Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Advantech reports 43% sales increase for first half 2010
Taiwanese industrial computer maker Advantech reported sales of US$187 million and net profit of US$29.5 for Q2 of 2010, with 27% of revenues contributed by US sales. For the first half of 2010, the companies revenues rose 43% to US$322 million compared to first half 2009 sales. -- Posted Friday, August 20, 2010

Getac scores big in the land down under
The Ambulance Service of New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, is rolling out the latest version of their VACIS (a popular ambulance medical records system) application on almost 1,000 vehicles. And the mobile computer system the paramedics will use is the Getac V100 rugged convertible tablet computer. The systems are provided through Australian Getac distributor Tough Corp. -- Posted Thursday, August 19, 2010

New Intel Atoms, and how Oracle is helping Microsoft
So Intel adds a couple of new Atom chips to its growing and rather confusing roster of low-end chips. What do the new D425 and D525 mean for you? And Oracle's suing Google over Android! What's up with that? [read more...] -- Posted Thursday, August 19, 2010

BSQUARE doing well
Mobile computing pioneers may remember BSQUARE as an early Windows CE software developer as a mobile and embedded systems house. While not too many companies from that era are still around, BSQUARE is, and is doing well. They just reported record earnings of US$26.9 million for Q2 of 2010, and scored a record net income of US$4 million. BSQUARE CEO Brian Crowley reported "a great job of driving sales growth of both Microsoft Embedded and Windows Mobile licenses" and a general "continued momentum in Microsoft Windows Mobile license sales." [See BSQUARE press release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 18, 2010

AIS releases Power-over-Ethernet Touch Panel PCs
American Industrial Systems (AIS) introduced a line of Power over Ethernet (PoE) touchscreen Panel PCs available in 5.7", 7", and 10.1" compact form factor sizes. Power over Ethernet allows the safe transfer of up to 25.5 watts of electrical power, along with data, to remote devices over standard CAT5 cable in an Ethernet network, without a need to modify the existing cabling infrastructure. AIS PoE wall mount touchscreen terminals are meant to offer cost-effective solutions by bringing power and data transfer via a standard twisted-pair Ethernet cabling in a network for industrial automation, transportation, appliance and digital signage applications. [See AIS press release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Toshiba announces Wipe technology for self-encrypting drives
Toshiba announced Wipe for Toshiba Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) models, a technology that allows for sensitive user data to be securely erased when a system is powered-down or when a SED HDD is removed from the system. The feature can also be used to securely erase user data prior to returning a leased system, system disposal or re-purposing. Wipe was created as an enhancement to Toshiba's Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) hard disk drives. [See Toshiba press release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Review: Advantech SOM-5788 COM-Express: Embedded Intel Core i5/i7 power
Embedded systems solutions are everywhere in the field. They are built for specific tasks and purposes, and they use computer-on-module technology to quickly supply (and replace) scalable computing power. Intel's Core i5 and Core i7 processors now bring unprecedented performance to those standardized modules. RuggedPCReview took a detailed look at one of the new Intel Core i7-based COM-Express boards from Advantech. [See review of the Advantech SOM-5788 COM-Express module] -- Posted Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Intel releases two Atom chips with DDR3 SODIMM support
Intel has added two more processors to its growing family of Atom processor products. The single-core Atom D425 and the dual-core Atom D525 both run at 1.8GHz, representing a small step up from the existing 1.6GHz D410 and D510. Thermal Design Power remains at 10 and 13 watts, and the stated quantity prices of US$42 and US$63 is also the same as that of the earlier chips (which, however, enjoy "embedded" status). There is a difference, however: the two new chips support DDR3 SODIMM, and Intel is promoting them for home and small business network storage devices. [See Intel release on Atom D425 and D525] -- Posted Tuesday, August 17, 2010

General Micro Systems launches rugged embedded field solution
Aimed at avionics and vetronics applications, the new super-compact Golden Eye II by General Micro Systems of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., brings Core 2 Duo power to embedded computing applications such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Weighing just 2.5 pounds, the unit is sealed, outfitted with Mil 38999 connectors, impervious to dust, dirt and salt, and watertight to 10 meters, yet it can accommodate up to 2TB, support legacy systems, and never draws more than 25 watts. -- Posted Saturday, August 14, 2010

LXE announces Atom/Windows 7 Marathon field computer
LXE announced an interesting new machine. The LXE Marathon field computer picks up the "open book" design that combines a display and a keyboard in a very compact tablet. The Marathon weighs just over two pounds, has a 7-inch outdoor-viewable touchscreen, runs Windows 7 on an Intel Atom processor, and includes a high-res camera, a fingerprint reader that doubles as a mouse, and also offers a wealth of bolt-on accessories such as a mag stripe reader, 2D imager and extended battery for up to 8 and 12-hour operation. The device, which measures about 8 x 7.6 inches, includes Gobi WWAN, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth, and is sealed to IP 65 specs. [See LXE press release] -- Posted Friday, August 13, 2010

Android contemplations
Off the cuff, the way we see it is that Android has a better than even chance of becoming the OS of choice for tablets and other mobile devices. Android is really nothing more than another Linux distribution, but one backed and sort of run by Google. Microsoft, of course, will make the usual argument of leverage and security and integration into other Microsoft products, but the fact is that Linux itself can be at least as secure as anything Microsoft makes. Just look at the Mac OS which is also Unix-based, and Unix is the basis of Linux. [read more...] -- Posted Thursday, August 12, 2010

Navman Wireless online ROI Calculator for Fleet Tracking
Navman Wireless announced the availability of an interactive ROI calculator enabling fleet managers to instantly determine the potential savings of deploying the Navman Wireless OnlineAVL2 fleet tracking system in a particular organization. The free calculator is online at www.navmanwirelessus.com/roi-calculator.html. -- Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2010

MobileDemand exhibiting at APWA International
MobileDemand announced it will demonstrate its rugged Tablet PCs at the 2010 APWA International Public Works Congress & Exposition, August 15-18, 2010. [See MobileDemand's listing and 2010 APWA website] -- Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Xplore financials
Xplore Technologies reported revenues of US$5.1 million for the quarter ending June 30, 2010, a slight increase over the same quarter last year. The company also reported a small operating profit for the quarter, but still a net loss of $0.67 million, down from a net loss of $1.3 million for the same quarter last year. The company said it prepared to launch "a significantly improved and highly anticipated new generation of its iX104 Tablet PC family later this year. Here's what'd be on our wish list: both a Core i5/i7 version and an Atom version; capacitive touch and electromagnetic digitizer; Android and Win 7 OS options. -- Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Full review: Advantech PPC-157T panel PC
There are numerous industrial and control applications that require rugged panel PCs. RuggedPCReview.com tested the Advantech PPC-157T, a versatile industrial panel computer from an experienced Taiwanese embedded and industrial systems manufacturer. The 15-inch panel offers good performance with a 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo processor, comes with your choice of touchscreen (resistive, capacitive or WAV), and offers excellent onboard connectivity, including extensive legacy support. [See review of the Advantech PPC-157T panel PC] -- Posted Monday, August 9, 2010

Motion and Bluebeam host seminar for construction professionals
Design and construction professionals looking for new ways to cut costs during closeout will have a unique learning opportunity next week. Bluebeam Software, the developer of PDF solutions for the architecture, engineering and construction industry, and Motion Computing are teaming up to present a case study webinar titled, "Take PDF Punchlists Mobile with Tablet PCs." For more information or to register visit: www.motioncomputing.com/promotions/webinars.asp -- Posted Monday, August 9, 2010

Review: Advantech PCM-3362 PC/104-plus module
The inexpensive Advantech PCM-3362 is a fanless Intel Atom N450-powered PC/104-Plus single Board Computer suitable for a variety of rugged embedded projects that require both state-of-the-art technology as well as small size (just 3.5 x 3.8 inches) and both PCI and ISA support. Note that these sturdy modules are actually stackable, offering excellent versatility and expansion potential. Extended operating temperature range versions are available. [See review and specs of the Advantech PCM-3362] -- Posted Saturday, August 7, 2010

Rugged DLI 8300 tablets help Denver Regional Transportation District
In an article titled "Tablet Computer Drives Improvements To Public Transit System," Field Technologies Online describes how DLI 8300 rugged tablet computers are used in the Denver Regional Transportation District's Call-N-Ride service. [Read article] -- Posted Friday, August 6, 2010

LXE has its best sales quarter since 2008
EMS Technologies reported Q2 2010 sales of US$88.5 million and net earnings of US$4.2 million. EMS subsidiary LXE had its best sales quarter since 2008, with US$36.4 million in revenues, up 19% from Q1 and 22% higher than Q2 2009. LXE shipped more mobile computers in Q2 of 2010 than any other quarter in its history. This revenue improvement was mainly due to a resurgent North American market. International revenues also increased but at a lower rate, pressured by a weaker Euro. CEO Neil Mackay said while LXE has historically focused on data comms and asset monitoring over LANs in in warehouses and such, their new WWAN-enabled mobile computers will open up new opportunities in field force automation and will complement EMS solutions in global tracking, aviation and defense. -- Posted Thursday, August 5, 2010

IP67 - What is the real requirement?
Interesting discussion on Psion Teklogix's Ingenuity Working community blog on the pros and cons of IP67. [Read the IP67 - What is the real requirement? discussion] -- Posted Wednesday, August 4, 2010

General Dynamics Itronix introduces Android-based GD300 wearable computer
General Dynamics Itronix announced the GD300, a small wearable computer that combines rugged computing, GPS and data communication into one device specifically designed to provide access to tactical networks and enhance situational awareness. Interestingly, the GD300, which has a 3.5-inch 800 x 480 pixel touch display, runs the Android OS, making it probably the first ruggedized device from a major provider to use Android instead of Windows CE/Mobile. [See description and specs of the General Dynamics Itronix GD300] -- Posted Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Advantech launches two rugged 5.7" and 12" fanless touch panels
Advantech has introduced two new fanless touch panel PCs. The Intel Atom powered TPC-651H (5.7-inch VGA display) and TPC-1251H (12.1-inch SVGA display) touch panels have a very wide -4 to 140F operating temperature range, IP65 frontside sealing, carry Energy Star certification, run Windows XP/XPe/CE, and offer superb connectivity including complete isolation protection for the units' serial ports. -- Posted Monday, August 2, 2010

Panasonic and Reality Mobile partner for video solutions
Panasonic Solutions Company (PSC) and mobile video collaboration software company Reality Mobile, have partnered to provide government agencies with improved technology for situational awareness and crisis response, using Toughbook U1 tablets with RealityVision software to securely send and receive live video streamed over wireless networks including cellular and satellite. [See press release] -- Posted Monday, August 2, 2010

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