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

August 2013

Winmate presents 2nd gen of its Android-based rugged handheld
When Winmate announced an Android-based industrial handheld with a 4.3-inch capacitive touch screen two years ago, no one quite knew what to make of it. Turns out, Winmate's crystal ball was on the mark. And now they have introduced the second gen of the platform, the E430M2. The new model has a faster processor, twice the RAM and storage, faster WiFi, and it can now handle 5-foot drops and extreme temperatures. It also carries IP67 sealing and now runs Android 4.1. [See description, analysis and specs of the Winmate E430M2 rugged Android tablet] -- Posted Thursday, August 29, 2013

ADLINK launches rugged COM Express module based on Intel 4th gen Core processors and technologies
ADLINK Technology rolled out its most advanced COM Express Type 6 module, adopting the Intel "Haswell" 4th generation Core processor technology. Available with dual and quad-core i5 and i7 versions, support for three independent displays, the Mobile Intel QM87 Express chipset, and ADLINK's Smart Embedded Management Agent controller, the Express-HL COM Express Extreme Rugged Type 6 module is well suited for intelligent systems innovations in a variety of market segments, such as retail, medicine, gaming, transportation, defense, communications, and industrial automation. [See ADLINK Express-HL product page] -- Posted Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Handheld Group updates popular Algiz 7 ultra-rugged tablet
Handheld Group announced the launch of the new version of its highly popular Algiz 7 rugged tablet computer. The updated Algiz 7 is considerably faster than its predecessor, with more memory and storage, improved security and quicker communication capabilities. Improvements include a switch from an Atom Z530 to a dual-core Atom N2600 CPU, twice the RAM, twice the SSD storage capacity, higher-res camera, gigabit Ethernet, updated Gobi 3000, antenna diversity, added security, and two full mPCIe slots for improved flexibility. Look for benchmarks as soon as we get a unit. [See Handheld press release] -- Posted Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: Dell 6430 ATG semi-rugged notebook computer
The Dell Latitude 6430 ATG is a fortified and toughened-up semi-rugged version of Dell's consumer and enterprise line of Latitude E6430 computers. Equipped with an Intel 3rd generation Core i7 processor (a variety are available), an nVidia discrete graphics card, and speedy solid state storage, the ATG proved to be a superior performer with very good battery life. It's a sturdy, trust-inspiring and highly configurable machine with an outdoor-viewable 14-inch display. The Dell 6430 ATG is also reasonably priced, making it an attractive candidate not only for Dell shops, but anyone looking for a modern semi-rugged notebook computer. [See full review of the Dell 6430 ATG] -- Posted Monday, August 26, 2013

Bsquare announces new Board Support Package for TI OMAP 4 Platform
Bsquare announced the availability of a new Bsquare Board Support Package (BSP) for the Texas Instruments OMAP 4 platform which will enable streamlined development -- ideally suited for many enterprise and industrial applications using Windows Embedded Compact 7. [See product sheet] -- Posted Friday, August 23, 2013

CipherLab rugged handheld testing video
Rugged handheld manufacturer CipherLab USA, headquartered in Plano, Texas, posted an excellent video showing all the environmental ruggedness tests they are subjecting their rugged mobile computers to. [See CipherLab testing video on YouTube] -- Posted Friday, August 23, 2013

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire within 12 months
Microsoft announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, upon the completion of a process to choose his successor. "The board is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company," said board member John Thompson, who will lead a committee directing the replacement process. [See Microsoft press release] -- Posted Friday, August 23, 2013

NEC, IEC, & ATEX -- A Guide to Intrinsically Safe Handhelds
Juniper Systems, which specializes in building Class I, Div 2 certified handhelds, published an informative article on how to classify and deal with "hazardous locations" containing conductive or explosive substances either very often, or simply on occasion. The article explains the classifications of the National Electric Code (NEC), International Electrotechnic Commission (IEC), and Europe's ATEX. [See Juniper System's NEC, IEC, & ATEX -- A Guide to Intrinsically Safe Handhelds] -- Posted Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wacom introduces pressure-sensitive active pen for iPad
Wacom introduced the Intuous Creative Stylus, a pressure-sensitive digital pen for sketching, drawing and painting on an iPad. Wacom says the stylus offers a realistic pen-on-paper feel and users can rest their palms naturally on the iPad when using compatible creative apps (such as such as SketchBook Pro, ArtRage, Bamboo Paper, ProCreate and Psykopaint). The US$99 stylus recognizes 2048 pressure levels, uses a AAAA battery, and apparently connects to the iPad via Bluetooth. -- Posted Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cardinal Mobile adds new Trimble Juno T41 versions
Cardinal Mobile, an authorized distributor of Trimble rugged mobile computers and tablets, announced Trimble's expansion of the Juno T41 Handheld Computer configurations. The new configurations of the Trimble Juno T41, which can run either Android 4.1 or Windows Embedded 6.5, include high-speed 1D/2D barcode imaging "S" models, and enhanced, real-time 1-2 meter GPS accuracy "G" models. -- Posted Friday, August 16, 2013

Xplore overall 3rd after Samsung and Apple in ABI Research 2013 Tablet Competitive Assessment
ABI Research, which provides analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies, analyzed 19 leading tablet vendors and then classified them in a four-quadrant matrix where the x-axis shows where a company stands in terms of innovation, and the y-axis how well it's doing in implementation. The overall (and innovation) winner was Samsung. Apple came in second and won on the implementation score. The amazing overall third was Xplore Technologies which, according to ABI Research, "came out ahead of the majority of vendors assessed in this vendor matrix with a good balance between Implementation and Innovation." Congrats, Xplore! The full "Media Tablets" Competitive Assessment is part of ABI Researchís Media Tablets, Ultrabooks & eReaders Research Service. [See ABI Research press release] -- Posted Friday, August 16, 2013

N-trig appoints former SanDisk SVP as CEO
N-trig -- which makes the DuoSense integrated active pen and multi-touch technology for tablet, smartphone and other devices -- announced that Dan Inbar will join the company as CEO in mid-September. He will replace Amichai Ben-David, who is retiring after seven years as N-trigís CEO. Inbar previously served as SanDisk's senior vice president for business initiatives, as well as General Manager of SanDisk Israel. -- Posted Friday, August 16, 2013

Cardinal Mobile adds new Trimble Juno T41 versions
Cardinal Mobile, an authorized distributor of Trimble rugged mobile computers and tablets, announced Trimble's expansion of the Juno T41 Handheld Computer configurations. The new configurations of the Trimble Juno T41, which can run either Android 4.1 or Windows Embedded 6.5, include high-speed 1D/2D barcode imaging "S" models, and enhanced, real-time 1-2 meter GPS accuracy "G" models. -- Posted Friday, August 16, 2013

Becrypt and Getac develop first secure rugged Android tablet for UK Government & MOD
Becrypt, a UK-based cyber security solutions and services provider, announced a technology partnership with Getac to provide the first secure Android tablet solution suitable for military, defence and government and wider public sector markets based on Getac's ruggedized devices. [See press release] -- Posted Thursday, August 15, 2013

Avantech to acquire POS maker AdvanPOS
Advantech announced it is acquiring a 70% equity share in Taiwan-based POS maker AdvanPOS Technology, boosting Advantech's presence in the sizable point-of-sales market. While there is some product overlap in Panel and Box PCs, AdvanPOS will be able to contribute with POS terminals, peripherals, entire solutions, and POS handhelds such as the Android-based M-40 handheld. -- Posted Thursday, August 15, 2013

Xplore reports fiscal 1Q2014 financials
Xplore Technologies announced revenues of US$5.86 million for Q1 of 2014 (down from US$9.95 million for Q1 2013, but up from US$2.7 million for Q1 of 2012). Q1 2014 showed a net loss of US$356k compared to a net income of US$819k in Q1 2013. Philip Sassower, Chairman and CEO of Xplore, said, "While our revenue is down compared to the prior year period, we made meaningful progress on our strategy and continued to generate positive cash flow from operations. A large order from a major U.S. telecommunications provider, which represented approximately 39% of our revenue in the prior year quarter, was responsible for most of the variability experienced.Ē COO Mark Holleran added that the company had "seen a dramatic increase of website traffic and interest as a result of the RangerX." [See Xplore press release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Havis announces docking stations for Getac V100 and V200 rugged convertible notebooks
Havis introduced their new docking station for the Getac V100 and V200 convertible notebooks, and announced its availability for pre-order. Expected fall 2013, Havis' first Getac-specific dock will be compatible with the compact 10.4" V100 and the larger 12.1" V200 convertible notebooks, in both notebook and tablet mode. [See Havis press release and Getac docking station product page] -- Posted Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The dawn of Antel?
"Wintel" -- Intel-powered Windows machines -- has ruled the computing scene for a good 30 years, but are we now seeing the dawn of "Antel" -- Intel-powered Android devices? It's hard to imagine Intel not making a major push into tablets, and the introduction of two education-focused tablet reference designs may be a first step. There's a 1.5-pound, Atom Z2460-powered 10-inch tablet, and a smaller 0.8-pound, Atom Z2420-powered 7-inch tablet, both running Android 4.1. Both tablets are loaded with resources for students and teachers from Intel Education Software. [See Intel Android tablet press release and product briefs on the 7-inch Intel Education Tablet and 10-inch Intel Education Tablet] -- Posted Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Juniper Systems releases Juniper Aspect 1.2, a faster, easier-to-use version of its field mapping software
Juniper Systems announced a new release of its Juniper Aspect field mapping software (see our review of Juniper Aspect). The new release, Juniper Aspect 1.2, builds upon and adds to its previous strengths as an easy-to-use, versatile mapping tool designed to boost surveying efficiency and productivity, while being simple enough that anyone can quickly learn how to use it. Among new features are the ability to more extensively filter and organize data, and more easily import large amounts of data into Excel. Aspect 1.2 will now operate on most devices running Windows Mobile 6.0 or higher. [See Juniper press release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Review: Winmate M700D rugged 7-inch Windows tablet
With the Intel Atom N2600-powered M700D tablet, Winmate offers a straight-forward and cleanly designed basic tool for tablet jobs that require Microsoft Windows, yet also a tool that's technologically attractive with capacitive touch, and highly customizable by partners/resellers that may use their own branding. [See full review of the Winmate M700D] -- Posted Wednesday, August 14, 2013

RuggedPCReview on Flipboard
RuggedPCReview has been experimenting with Flipboard, an electronic magazine publishing platform primarily geared towards tablets, but also accessible via standard browsers. Frankly, we haven't quite figured out how it works and how we could best use it (or even how we could get the Flipboard folks to officially add RuggedPCReview as a magazine), but the concept is attractive enough to have potential. [Check out RuggedPCReview on Flipboard] -- Posted Monday, August 12, 2013

Intermec announces Intermec C# smart printing language for industrial, desktop printers
Intermec announced Intermec C# for Printers, providing the next generation in smart printing capabilities for Intermecís PM43/c industrial printers and PC-Series desktop printers. The addition of the C# programming language capability offers a simple, reliable and economical approach to smart printing development for customers looking to improve accuracy and operations, and virtually eliminate labeling errors. [See Intermec press release and Smart Printing Overview] -- Posted Monday, August 12, 2013

Trouble using your Windows tablet with touch?
Ever since the iPad, the market has been demanding touch instead of pens. Touch works great with operating environments designed for touch, such as iOS and Android, but not nearly as well with Windows. Capacitive touch and legacy out-of-the-box Windows, in particular, are not a great match. Fortunately, there are ways to optimize the legacy Windows interface for touch and tablets, and RuggedPCReview shows you how. [See Optimizing the legacy Windows interface for touch and tablets] -- Posted Sunday, August 11, 2013

Itron selected by Duquesne Light for smart metering technology and services
Itron, which once spun off the now defunct Itronix, is a global technology company which offers solutions that help utilities measure, manage and analyze the use of energy and water. They announced that Duquesne Light signed a contract with Itron for the deployment of Itronís smart metering solution across the utility's service territory for replacing the utility's existing 625,000 electricity meters with Itron smart meters, back-office data collection software, a network communications infrastructure, and professional services. [See press release] -- Posted Sunday, August 11, 2013

GammaTech Durabook U12Ci rugged notebook chosen by 3HC Home Health and Hospice Care
GammaTech reports that it has been chosen by 3HC Home Health and Hospice Care, Inc., of eastern North Carolina, to supply its field clinicians with rugged notebooks. Over a two-year period, more than 200 standard field laptops will be replaced by 12.1-inch GammaTech U12Ci rugged convertible notebook that can easily be converted from notebook to tablet based on user preference. "Health providers need computers that they can depend on every day, no matter where they are," said Jen Chen, GammaTech president. "Our U12Ci gives 3HC's field clinicians access to the information and programs they need to better serve their patients." -- Posted Thursday, August 8, 2013

Intermec partners with Lowry Computer and SRA International for the U.S. Army's pRFID II Passive RFID contract
Intermec announced it has been chosen to provide the U.S. Army with Intermec's line of RFID, mobile computer and printer products in partnership with Lowry Computer Products and SRA International, Inc. for the Army's Movement and Identification Solutions (AMIS) pRFID II $30 million contract. Under the contract, Intermec will provide their CN70 RFID and CN4 rugged mobile computers, their PM43 passive UHF RFID and barcode printer, and their IF2 Fixed RFID Reader. [See press release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Group Mobile adds Xplore RangerX rugged Android tablet
Rugged computing equipment vendor Group Mobile announced it extended its product offerings to include the new Xplore RangerX. The 10.1-inch 2.2-pound RangerX is Xplore's first fully rugged Android tablet and offers up to 192GB of storage. The Xplore RangerX, which has a starting price of US$1,349, offers dual cameras, HDMI-out, USB, RFID, and can be equipped with a common access card (CAC) reader, HDMI-in, RJ-45 and more. [See press release and Group Mobile RangerX page] -- Posted Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Getac partners with ecom instruments to offer ATEX-certified rugged Android tablets and handhelds in Europe and Middle East
Getac, global designer and manufacturer of rugged technology, has strengthened its partnership with ecom instruments, global market leader in the field of portable explosion-protected equipment, with an agreement to supply Getac's new ATEX certified Z710-Ex rugged Android tablet and rugged handheld PS336-Ex in Europe and Middle East. [See press release] -- Posted Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review: Handheld Group Algiz 10X
The rugged Algiz 10X carries on on the Handheld Group's tradition of offering interesting, versatile mobile computers covering every part of Handheld's target markets. This 3-lbs., 10.1-inch, Intel Atom N2800-powered tablet is for anyone who needs both legacy and state-of-the-art Windows functionality out there in the field, and enough screen real estate for complex applications. [See full review of the Handheld Algiz 10X] -- Posted Monday, August 5, 2013

What happend in rugged computing 5 years ago: August 2008
In August 2008, Xplore Technologies introduced the latest addition to the iX104 line of ultra-rugged tablet computers, the iX104C4, codenamed "Wildcat." Two Technologies introduced the ultra-rugged Hydrus handheld, which we reviewed underwater! We did a full review of Motion Computing's F5 tablet, a "field tool" version of the company's C5 healthcare tablet. Jim Rimay was promoted to be president of Getac USA. Juniper Systems announced the Allegro MX ultra-rugged handheld. We reported on how Trimble Nomand handhelds were used in a National Geographic-funded scientific and exploratory expedition currently underway in Gabon, West Central Africa. We looked at RM Mounts' then new Tough-Box vehicle mount solution. [See what happened in rugged computing five years ago] -- Posted Monday, August 5, 2013

2Q13 tablet unit sales up 50% over 2Q12
According to IDC, In the 2nd quarter of 2013, worldwide tablet unit shipments grew from 28.3 million to 45.1 million. While Apple declined from 17 to 14.6 million iPads, other vendors, and Samsung in particular, greatly boosted sales. Measured by operating systems platform, Android's marketshare skyrocketed from 3% to 62.6%, with Apple's iOS falling from 60.3% to 32.5%. Windows marketshare was at 4%, and Windows RT just 0.5%. [See IDC press release and tables] -- Posted Monday, August 5, 2013

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