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

August 2012

Getac US totally revamps its website
Getac announced it has completely redesigned its North American website with the help of creative agency Envoy. The emphasis of the redesign was to provide customers with an easy-to-navigate site "that will help them choose which Getac rugged computer best fits their extreme working environment." The new Getac site is indeed easy to use, full of very good product photography, and it presents the major selling points clearly and concisely. A most impressive job. [See the new Getac US website] -- Posted Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sprint gets rugged
For decades, the decision whether to get dedicated rugged handheld computers or just cellphones for jobs out there in the field was simple. Not anymore. Phones are computers now, and carriers like Sprint start paying ever more attention to vertical markets. Are phones like the Kyocera DuraPlus or the Motorola Admiral, part of Sprint's Sprint Gets Rugged program, a viable alternative to rugged handhelds? [Read more....] -- Posted Thursday, August 30, 2012

Upcoming Intermec Webinar: How to Fast Track Field Mobility
On Tuesday, September 18, 2012, at 1pm EDT, Intermec will conduct a free webinar on how to fast-track field mobility without jeopardizing success. The webinar case study from Intermec and Field Technologies shows how ThyssenKrupp Elevator rapidly deployed an effective field service mobility solution that delivered increased flexibility and productivity for their field service workers. In total, 2,800 devices -- fully loaded with custom diagnostic applications, accessories, and training manuals -- were deployed across 150 locations Iin just 90 days! [Sign up for Intermec webinar] -- Posted Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Toshiba adds 720p and 1080p CMOS image sensors driving advanced camera features for tablets and notebooks
At, we've long encouraged the rugged computing industry to include state-of-the-art cameras into their state-of-the-art rugged notebooks, tablets and handhelds. Documentation in the field is often a must, and for that users need HD video and high-res, high-quality pics at least as good as what every smartphone can do. Toshiba's Electronics Components group just informed us they have released their first native 720p (T4K08) and 1080p (T4K24) sensors. OEMs: Definitely worth considering. [See Toshiba's CMOS Image Sensor page] -- Posted Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Toshiba unveils powerful and retail-hardened WILLPOS M30
Toshiba unveiled the WILLPOS M30, a "retail-hardened" high-performance hybrid POS system designed to better connect with consumers in a new world of multi-channel retailing. Toshiba claims the Intel Sandy Bridge-based WILLPOS M30 offers 5-20 times the performance of current competitive top of the range POS terminals. The WILLPOS M30 is geared for food and non-food operations and is suitable as a back-office server or as a Kiosk engine box. [See Toshiba WILLPOS M30 page] -- Posted Tuesday, August 28, 2012

OmniVision launches cost-competitive 5-megapixel CameraChip sensor for tablets and smart devices
OmniVision, which makes digital imaging solutions, announced the OV5648, a high-performance, low-cost 5-megapixel CameraChip sensor for smartphones and tablets. The new sensor combines a smaller die size with higher quality photography and high definition (1080p/30 and 720p/60) video, and adding a significant improvement in low-light performance. The entire sensor fits into a 6 x 6 mm fixed focus module with a height of less than 4.5 mm. -- Posted Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trimble introduces more productivity-enhancing apps
While rugged, reliable, powerful hardware is the bedrock of successful mobile productivity enhancement, it's clever, helpful applications that drive demand and open new markets. With that in mind, Trimble just announced three new productivity-boosting apps, those being yield monitoring for its CFX-750 display so farmers can instantly see how well their crops performed; a Connected Farm app for smartphone platforms for collecting in-field information to aid in fast and accurate decision making; and the WM-Topo survey system, a portable topographic data collection solution for water management which includes a Trimble Nomad handheld computer and a pole-mounted GNSS receiver. -- Posted Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jon Peddie Research: Graphics add-in board shippments down
Jon Peddie Research found that graphics add-in board (AIB) unit shipments during Q2 2012 was lower on a year-to-year comparison and on a quarter-to-quarter comparison for the quarter. A total of 14.76 million were shipped, compared to 15.79 million Q2 2011. Nvidia (59.3% and AMD 40.3%) own this market. Given the substantially improved performance of graphics integrated into CPUs, we're not surprised at the drop and expect it to continue. -- Posted Monday, August 27, 2012

Rugged tablets in ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys: Samwell Ruggedbook PC750
Ground penetrating radar (GPR) systems are increasingly being used to analyze soil, test underground structures and subterranean conditions, locate pipes and foundations, as well as assist in archeological and military applications, and in environmental testing. GPR is a perfect application for rugged tablet computers such as Samwell's Ruggedbook PC-750. [See Rugged tablets in ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys] -- Posted Sunday, August 26, 2012

Performing under pressure
A while ago, began performance benchmark testing not just under ideal lab temperatures, but also near the limits of a device's stated operating temperature range. We found that some products maintain performance across the full operating temperature range, while others experience mild to serious performance drop-offs. Since customers likely expect predictable performance, this is an issue that should be discussed within the rugged industry. For more thoughts on this issue, see "performing under pressure" in the RuggedPCReview Blog. -- Posted Sunday, August 26, 2012

DAP Technologies unveils ruggedized Windows tablet with 9.7-inch multi-touch IPS display
Today's market is ready to deploy tablets in numerous areas, but many businesses require a Microsoft OS platform and more ruggedness than media tablets can provide. DAP Technologies addresses these issues with their new Intel Atom N2600-powered M9700 2.2-pound tablet with a 9.7-inch multi-touch display that currently runs Windows Embedded Standard 7, but looks to be Windows 8 ready. The M9700's ruggedness specs far exceed those of consumer media tablets. [See analysis and specs of the DAP M9700 rugged tablet] -- Posted Friday, August 24, 2012

Group Mobile now offers lease financing on rugged computing products
Group Mobile -- which carries most of the top brands in rugged laptops, rugged tablet PCs, rugged PDAs, and rugged handheld computers -- is now offering fixed-term lease financing of rugged computer products ranging from $1,000 to $25,000. [See Group Mobile press release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Latest MobileDemand blog: rugged tablets in retail
MobileDemand posted a new article entitled "Increase Retail Effectiveness with Rugged Tablet PCs." Note that MobileDemand posts brief articles on all sorts of ways of making tablet computers work for industry and business. The latest can always be found here, so if interested, check back frequently. -- Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2012

N-trig's active pen + multi-touch DuoSense certified for Win 8
N-trig announced that its DuoSense pen and multi-touch user interface has passed Microsoft's requirements for Windows 8 certification with approval of a production-ready system from a major OEM. Optimized for Windows 8 apps that take advantage of the active pen and multi-touch user interface, DuoSense seeks to transform the mobile computing experience from simple media consumption to content creation, increased productivity and true interaction. -- Posted Monday, August 20, 2012

The future of mobile computers is rugged
The Handheld Group published an article by CEO Jerker Hellström, CEO, entitled "True Mobility Trend: The Future of Mobile Computers is Rugged". It's a compact, overall assessment of how people work and use computers today. Hellström also makes the case for the feasibility of using rugged computers when needed, and provides a brief definition and discussion of rugged devices. [See The Future of Mobile Computers is Rugged] -- Posted Friday, August 17, 2012

TouchStar newsletter
Always interesting reading: TouchStar's InTouch newsletter. See the latest issue (#115) here. -- Posted Thursday, August 16, 2012

Trimble releases Juno T41 rugged handheld
Trimble introduced the Juno T41 handheld computer, designed to be a smartphone-inspired option for industries requiring a rugged field computer for data collection and mobile workforce management. The Juno T41 has a 4.3-inch 800 x 480 pixel capacitive multi-touch display with Gorilla Glass, GPS, IP65 or IP68 (fully waterproof) sealing, an 8MP camera with dual LED flash, up to 16GB of Flash, and a microSD card slot. Trimble positions the T41 as a developer-friendly device for real-world field conditions, available with either Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 or Android OS 2.3.4. -- Posted Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Full review: the new Motion F5t tablet
The latest version of Motion's F5 "field tool" has received yet another major power boost thanks to a switch to the Intel 3rd generation Core processor platform. The performance boost is massive and clearly noticeable in almost every aspect. Our benchmarks show an overall 2x improvement over the predecessor model. Even with the much more powerful processor and the same size battery, battery life of the 10.4-inch 3.3-pound tablet has improved significantly. [Read full review of the Motion F5t tablet] -- Posted Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Intermec records largest ever growth for Middle East and Africa in Q2
Intermec recorded the largest ever growth in the second quarter, in terms of revenue and unit shipments, for the Middle East and Africa. According to an Intermec press release, direct store delivery remained Intermec's core market with significant growth, predominantly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Turkey. In addition, developing transport and logistics markets in the Maghreb countries was also a major contributor to the regional growth. [See press release] -- Posted Monday, August 13, 2012

Full review: the rugged Dell Latitude E6420 XFR
Dell not only ships millions of notebooks, desktops and servers every month, they also make rugged laptops. tested the fully-rugged 2nd-gen Intel Core-based Dell Latitude E6420 XFR with its 14-inch sunlight-viewable wide format touch display, and found it to be an impressive full-size workhorse of a computer and a platform whose toughness and ruggedness is far more than skin-deep. [Read full review of the Dell Latitude E6420 XFR] -- Posted Monday, August 13, 2012

City of Mobile, Ala. selects semi-rugged GammaTech D14RM
GammaTech Computer Corp. announced it has been chosen by the City of Mobile, Ala., to supply vehicles in its Fire-Rescue department with notebook computers. After conducting field tests that included GammaTech and several competitors' products, the city chose the rugged Durabook D14RM. Features include a 14-inch sunlight-readable display, illuminated keyboard, smart-card reader, fingerprint scanner, TPM 1.2, and four USB and one HDMI ports. PR officer Steve Huffman said, "The D14RM was within our budget. Like so many other agencies, we have been experiencing some tough times during the sluggish economy. Although we received a grant to purchase laptops, we still had to be cost conscious in making our purchase. GammaTech was at the right price without compromising durability and our needs." -- Posted Friday, August 10, 2012

Janam golden with XM66 rugged scanner handheld
Without ever mentioning the London Olympics, Janam announced that its rugged handheld devices are being used to scan spectator tickets "during this summer's preeminent global sporting event." Janam CEO Harry Lerner said, "This is yet another case where mission critical operational needs are best addressed with purpose-built tools, as opposed to fragile consumer devices in attachable sleds with half a day of battery life." The device in question is the Janam XM66, a Windows Mobile 6-powered keypad handheld that weighs less than ten ounces. [Read Janam press release] -- Posted Friday, August 10, 2012

Parvus introduces rugged COTS Sandy/Ivy Bridge powered computer subsystems
Eurotech subsidiary Parvus announced the DuraCOR 80-40, a rugged Commercial-Off the Shelf (COTS) tactical mission computer subsystem based on Intel Core i7 Sandy/Ivy Bridge-powered stackable PCI-Express bus (PCIe/104) modules for easy I/O card expansion. The DuraCOR 80-40 combines powerful graphics and multi-core processing with ultra-reliable mechanical robustness and modular I/O expansion for extreme environmental and EMI performance per MIL-STD-810G (thermal, shock, vibration, dust, water, humidity) and MIL-STD-461F. [See Parvus press release] -- Posted Friday, August 10, 2012

Advantech industrial-grade monitor mini site
Advantech's Industrial Automation Group issued a nicely formatted mini site on its lineup of industrial-grade monitors, sort of like everything on one page. A nice resource, and complemented by a number of case studies. [See Advantech Industrial-Grade Monitors] -- Posted Monday, August 6, 2012

GPS and Its Discontents
AMREL published an interesting article, authored by William Finn, on the dangers of the increasing global reliance on GPS, GPS vulnerabilities, and a number of opportunities for GPS backup. [See GPS and Its Discontents] -- Posted Monday, August 6, 2012

Trimble introduces GreenSeeker handheld crop sensor for agriculture
Trimble introduced the GreenSeeker handheld crop sensor, a measurement device designed to assess the health of a crop. Readings can be used to make decisions regarding the amount of fertilizer to be applied to a crop. The GreenSeeker handheld will be available in mid-August 2012 starting at US$495. Note that Trimble already offers the GreenSeeker RT200 nitrogen application system (see here) that combines sensors, GPS, rate controllers and a rugged tablet interface. -- Posted Monday, August 6, 2012

Intermec reports Q2 2012 financials
Intermec reported Q2 2012 revenues of US$201.0 million (an increase of 12% compared to the first quarter of 2012) with a net loss of US$39.3 million, compared to Q2 2011 revenues of US$221.1 million and net loss of US$3.8 million. Excluding impairment, restructuring and certain other adjustments totaling $39.2 million, adjusted operating income for the quarter was $3.9 million and adjusted net earnings were $1.3 million. [See Intermec press release] -- Posted Friday, August 3, 2012

Honeywell announces rugged Dolphin 7800 Android Enterprise Digital Assistant
Honeywell announced an Android-based version of its Dolphin 7800 rugged enterprise digital assistant, offering, Honeywell says, "mobile workers a device with the same platform that many use in their personal lives." Honeywell also says that "what sets the Dolphin 7800 Android apart are security features to give businesses peace of mind. Companies who issue the device to their employees have the ability to remotely secure a lost device. With Honeywell's Remote MasterMind 3.0 device management software, businesses also can enroll and configure devices, track company assets and enforce strong password protection." Honeywell also introduced a developer program for their Android mobile devices (see here). -- Posted Thursday, August 2, 2012

Habey USA introduces rugged Intel Atom N2800/D2550-powered industrial Panel PC
HABEY USA announced a 15" Intel Atom Cedarview N2800/D2550-powered fanless resistive touchscreen Panel PC. The PPC-3615 uses Habey's MITX-6932 Mini ITX motherboard with up to 4GB of DDR3 memory, 2 SATAII ports, 5 USB 2.0 ports, 6 COM ports, 2 Mini PCI-E, 8-Bit GPIO as well as HDMI and VGA/DVI video for additional external displays. A SIM 4G slot is included for M2M applications. [See product brochure of the Habey PPC-3615 rugged Panel PC]
-- Posted Thursday, August 2, 2012

InfoSonic launches IPx5-sealed R800 7-inch Android tablet
InfoSonics — a designer, manufacturer and provider of wireless handsets and related products to OEMs, carriers and distributors — announced its new shock-resistant Android-based WiFi/3G verykool R800 Outdoor Tablet with with a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen, up to 16GB of storage and an IPx5 sealing rating, which means it is protected against low-pressure water jets from all directions. [See InfoSonics R800 page] -- Posted Thursday, August 2, 2012

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