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

August 2014

Motorola Solutions becomes Symbol again?
The good folks at UK-based Rugged and Mobile reported in their blog that Zebra Technologies would change the name of their Motorola Solutions division-to-be back to Symbol. So... Motorola bought Symbol, split itself into a phone and a solutions business where Google then bought the phone side just to sell it off to Lenovo, while Motorola Solutions bought Psion, just to then see the entire solutions side then being sold to mobile printer maker Zebra. Good move to change the name back to Symbol, which presumably will then also include what's left of Psion. -- Posted Sunday, August 31, 2014

GammaTech adds spill-proof DURABOOK P24 all-in-one
GammaTech announced it has added a series of all-in-one computers to its DURABOOK lineup. Recognizing the need for large-display workstations more durable and damage-resistant than consumer technology, GammaTech created the Intel Haswell-powered DURABOOK P24. The P24 has a 1920 x 1080 pixel 24-inch display with optional 10-point multi-touch, internal UPS, is just 1.4 inches thick, and at 13.6 pounds weighs barely more than a (smaller) iMac21. The P24 is has been MIL-STD-810G tested for vibration and work in temperatures up to 104°F, and its front-panel is spill proof, making it suitable for demanding business/enterprise as well as healthcare deployments. [See P24 product page] -- Posted Thursday, August 28, 2014

Acnodes adds rugged 22-inch fanless Panel PC
Acnodes Corporation announced the fanless Intel Atom D525-powered FPC8759 Touch Panel PC with a large 22-inch 1680 x 1050 pixel wide-format display. The fully enclosed FPC8759 has a rugged aluminum housing, carries IP65 sealing, supports VESA and panel mounting, and offers elaborate I/O (dual LAN, four serial, four USB, etc.). Acnodes points out that most of their rugged panels are custom-built for commercial and industrial clients. [See Acnodes FPC8759 product page] -- Posted Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Cipherlab posts detailed video on their 9700 Series
CipherLab just published a very nicely done YouTube video featuring their OMAP 3730-powered IP65-sealed 9700 Series Windows CE/Embedded Handheld rugged mobile computer available with three different keypads supporting numerous terminal emulations, various 1D and 1D/2D scanners, and flexible wireless communications options. [See video] -- Posted Monday, August 25, 2014

Winmate newsletter: Stainless Steel IP67 Panel PCs
Winmate's latest newsletter highlights their Stainless Steel IP67 Panel PC series, available with a 19-inch 1280 x 1024 display, and soon also in 10.4-inch and 15-inch formats. The Intel Atom D2550-powered panels differentiate themselves with full IP67 protection, which means they are completely dust and waterproof. [See Winmate newsletter on Stainless Steel IP67 panels] -- Posted Monday, August 25, 2014

DURABOOK at Emergency Service Show 2014, UK
DURABOOK announced it will showcase its full product lineup of rugged tablets and notebooks at Emergency Service Show 2014 Stand L32 in the NEC Birmingham, UK September 24 and 25 Sept. 2014. -- Posted Friday, August 22, 2014

Microsoft One Note for Android now with handwriting/inking support for improved tablet experience
Millions are using Microsoft One Note, but Android users didn't get handwriting on it, which makes the app less useful for many. That's now changed as Microsoft introduced One Note for Android with handwriting/inking support to provide a fuller tablet experience. With current advances in truly useful capacitive pens for tablets, annotation capability will become increasingly more important. [See One Note for Android] -- Posted Friday, August 22, 2014

X-ES launches Bay Trail-based rugged XMC/PMC and COM Express modules
Extreme Engineering Solutions (X-ES) introduced the XPedite8101 XMC/PMC and XPedite8150 Rugged COM Express modules based on Intel Bay Trail E3800 processors. Featuring built-In Test (BIT) support, class III PCB fabrication and assembly, and MIL-STD-810 testing, the E3800-based modules are designed for maximum reliability in the most demanding environments and applications that require long life cycles. [See X-ES press release] -- Posted Thursday, August 21, 2014

Small PC introduces new waterproof rugged Bluetooth PC Keyboard for when onscreen isn't enough
Even the best tablet or compact mobile computer occasionally benefits from an external keyboard for heavy duty work and data entry. For such situations, Small PC introduced its new rugged IP68-sealed SK310 Bluetooth PC Keyboard (US$140). Its solid construction and wireless operation makes it ideal for use on factory floors, hospitals, medical, marine and specialized vehicles. [See SmallPC SK310 wireless keyboard] -- Posted Thursday, August 21, 2014

Motion secures CID2 certification for F5 rugged tablet and EasyConnect UHF RFID reader
Motion Computing announced has secured Class I, Division 2 (CID2) certification for the F5te Rugged Tablet and EasyConnect UHF RFID Long-Range Reader. With CID2 certification, the Motion F5te Rugged Tablets & EasyConnect RFID Long-Range Readers can be used in new environments, in new ways, such as streamlining inspections at oil and gas companies and improving plant safety and integrity across process manufacturing. [See Motion press release and CID2 explanation] -- Posted Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Curtiss-Wright introduces Parvus DuraWORX 10-10 that combines rugged mission computer and Cisco router
Curtiss-Wright announced that its Defense Solutions division has introduced the Parvus DuraWORX 10-10, one of the embedded defense and aerospace industry's first single unit SWaP-optimized subsystem solutions to combine Intel Core i7-based processing and a Cisco 5915 Internetwork Operating System-managed defense-secure network router in a single subsystem. The scalable COTS modular and scalable platform is designed for optimal performance in extended temperature, high shock & vibration environments in tactical computing, IP networking and situational awareness applications. [See Curtiss-Wright press release] -- Posted Tuesday, August 19, 2014

RAM setting new standard in tablet mounting solutions
The new RAM X-Grip line of products got bigger and better, just when we're starting to see larger tablets coming to market. The RAM X-Grip holder, backed by a lifetime guarantee, expands and contracts for perfect fit of most 10” and 12" tablets with or without sleeves, as well as some smaller tablets. And the X-Grip is fully compatible with RAM's patented rubber ball and socket design. Available 10/14/2014. [See RAM X-Grip page] -- Posted Monday, August 18, 2014

Panasonic launches limited-edition Toughpad comic book series, sweepstakes
So when the League of Valor, the world's preeminent superhero team, failed to launch the XK-5000V laser cannon to blast an invasion fleet back into space (because they had Caps Lock on...), it falls to their IT guy to save the world. Good thing he has a Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 that can handle whatever the bad guys throw at him. He and the FZ-E1 save the world, and the heroic deed earns geeky Kevin an invitation to join the team. All this is captured in Unbreakable Valor, a limited-edition Panasonic comic book series featuring Panasonic Toughpads, and is accompanied by a promotional sweepstakes. [See the first League of Valor issue and sweepstake registration and a cartoon version on YouTube] -- Posted Monday, August 18, 2014

MobileDemand xTablet Flex 10 for less than an iPad Air
MobileDemand announced its second thin and light tablet of the year, the xTablet Flex 10. It's an Intel Bay Trail-powered Windows 8.1 tablet with a 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 pixel IPS capacitive multi-touch display. Inside its specially selected dual-layer protective case and behind a special protective screen cover, the Flex 10 can handle four-foot drops onto concrete and steel balls falling on its display. And it costs just US$695 with 64GB of storage, less than a 64GB WiFi iPad Air. [See description, analysis and specs of the MobleDemand xTablet Flex 10] -- Posted Thursday, August 14, 2014

Review: Advantech PPC-6170 high performance Panel PC
Panel PCs like the Advantech PPC-6170 are designed to bring powerful computing capabilities and excellent connectivity to places where a conventional desktop or notebook computer isn't needed or feasible. We've had a chance to analyze and benchmark a PPC-6170 and, equipped with a top-of-the-line Core i5 processor, found it to be a strong performer with superior build quality. The panel's modular design allows almost endless configuration possibilities both for state-of-the-art as well as legacy interfaces. [See full review of the Advantech PPC-6170 Panel PC] -- Posted Thursday, August 14, 2014

Opticon releases rugged Android enterprise terminal
Opticon has added the Opticon H27 rugged Android enterprise terminal to its lineup of handhelds, scanners and data collectors. The Snapdragon MSM8960-powered H27 runs Android 4.2.2 on a bright 800 x 480 pixel capacitive touch screen measuring 4.3 inches diagonally. Equipped with an industrial grade 1D scanner or 2D imager, GPS, NFC, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, the H27 weighs just 8.5 ounces, but can handle extreme temperatures, survive 5-foot drops and carries IP65 sealing. [See description, analysis and specs of the Opticon H27] -- Posted Thursday, August 14, 2014

Smartphone sales pass 300 million Q2 2014, Android dominates
According to IDC, the worldwide smartphone market reached 301.3 million a new milestone in Q2 of 2014, up 25.3% from the 240.5 million units shipped in Q2 of 2013. Android and Apple's iOS, saw their combined market share swell to 96.4% for the quarter, leaving little space for competitors. In fact, Android alone accounted for 255 million devices, dwarfing even Apple's 35 million. Windows Phone marketshare was 2.5%, down from 3.4% Q2 2013. "With many of its OEM partners focusing on the sub-$200 segments, Android has been reaping huge gains within emerging markets," said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager at IDC. [See IDC press release] -- Posted Thursday, August 14, 2014

Xplore reports fiscal Q1/2015 financials
Xplore Technologies announced revenues of US$8.27 million for Q1 of 2015 (up from US$5.86 million for Q1 2014). Q1 2015 showed a net loss of US$551k compared to a net loss of US$356k in Q1 2014. Philip Sassower, Chairman and CEO of Xplore, said, "We are extremely pleased with the year-over-year revenue growth of 41%. We are in the process of implementing our strategy of moving from being a single product company, with the ultra-rugged iX104 tablet family, to a multi-product company with a broader product line of lighter weight and more affordable fully-rugged devices, with the introduction of our RangerX Pro and Bobcat families." [See Xplore financials] -- Posted Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Advantech announces first half 2014 financials, will establish Corporate Investments subsidiary
Advantech announced first half 2014 revenues of US$580 million, up 20% from the first half of 2013, with net profit of US$79 million, up 18.9% from the same period last year. Advantech also announced will establish a subsidiary, Advantech Corporate Investment (ACI), to help promote development of smart cities and applications for the Internet of Things (IoT), with investments in the manufacturing, robotics, medicare, retail, in-car devices and smart buildings industries. -- Posted Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Juniper Systems announces new rugged handheld company – Cedar Tree Technologies
Juniper Systems unveiled Cedar Tree Technologies, a new rugged handheld company founded by Juniper. Cedar Tree, based in Corvallis, Oregon, brings ruggedness, affordability, and intuitive software to its customers -- mainly consisting of mapping and field service professionals. [see press release]
-- Posted Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Handheld’s Nautiz X4 data collector now certified by Verizon Wireless
Handheld Group announced that Verizon Wireless has granted carrier certification for its Nautiz X4 rugged handheld computer. The Nautiz X4 is a rugged, fully portable handheld device designed to offer efficient data collection and communication capabilities for fieldworkers. The Verizon-ready Nautiz X4 is available now for $1,399 MSRP (1D scanner) or $1,549 MSRP (2D imager). [See press release and our review of the Handheld Nautiz X4] -- Posted Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Intel provides more detail on Broadwell processor platform
Intel officially announced details of their upcoming "Broadwell" processor platform. Named "Core M," Broadwell uses the same micro architecture as Haswell, but introduces 14nm lithography and a number of tweaks and improvements. The major benefit will be lower power requirements, with TDPs (Thermal Design Power) of just 3.5 to 4.5 watt in Broadwell Y-Series processors. That's like getting 50mpg in a car that also makes 400 hp if you step on it. According to Intel, this will enable fanless design in devices as thin as 9mm. Quite obviously, Broadwell will be of major importance to rugged mobile systems design. [See Intel press release] -- Posted Monday, August 11, 2014

Dell rugged notebooks in "Into the Storm" tornado movie
It's always good to see rugged mobile computing technology in movies, and Dell rugged convertible notebooks are repeatedly featured in the tornado disaster movie "Into the Storm" that just hit the theaters. Interestingly, though, the Dells shown are Latitude XT2 XFRs, which were discontinued several years ago, and not the new Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme convertible notebook, or the Dell Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme. -- Posted Sunday, August 10, 2014

Added: RuggON rugged tablet and vehicle-mount lineup
Added RuggON's lineup of rugged tablet and vehicle mount computers to This includes the 7-inch Android-based PA-301, the 7-inch Windows-based PM-311, the semi-rugged 10.1-inch PM-501, the 10.4-inch PM-511, the 10-4-inch Bay Trail-powered PM-522, and the vehicle mount VM-521. -- Posted Saturday, August 9, 2014

ARBOR suggests 5.5-inch Android-powered rugged Gladius 5 for IoT applications
ARBOR Technology suggests powering mobile POS as well as warehousing, transportation and medical applications with their new ARBOR Gladius 5 rugged IoT handheld. Equipped with an MT 6589 Quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU and running Android 4.2, the IP65-sealed Gladius 5 has a 5.5-inch 1280 x 720 procap multi-touch screen with Gorilla Glass, RFID/NFC, 5 sensors, 1D/2D barcode scanning and WLAN/WWAN/BT wireless. [See ARBOR Gladius 5 release] -- Posted Saturday, August 9, 2014

Handheld’s Algiz 10X rugged tablet now compatible with Spillman public safety software
Handheld Group announced the compatibility of the Handheld Algiz 10X ultra-rugged tablet computer (see our review) and Spillman Technologies mobile integrated public safety software. Spillman serves more than 70,000 public safety professionals across the United States, including police departments, sheriff’s offices, communication centers, fire departments and correctional facilities. [See press release] -- Posted Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Trimble reports Q2 2014 results
Trimble reported Q2 2014 revenue of $642.2 million, up 11% as compared to Q2 2013. Engineering and Construction revenue was $368.1 million, up 17%, Field Solutions revenue was $114.5 million, down 1%, Mobile Solutions revenue was $122.9 million, up 6% due primarily to double-digit growth in sales of transportation and logistics solutions. Advanced Devices revenue was $36.8 million, up 17%. Revenue in all major regions grew, with the largest percentage increases in Europe and Asia Pacific. GAAP net income was $77.8 million, up 43% compared to Q2 2013. [See Trimble financial report news] -- Posted Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Motorola Solutions reports lower Q2 2014 sales, restructuring
Motorola Solutions announced Q2 2014 results with sales of $1.4 billion, down 7% from Q2 2013 primarily due to lower sales in North America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Whereas Motorola Solutions used to break down financials into Government and Enterprise segments, the sale of the Enterprise business to Zebra Technologies in a $3.45 billion all-cash transaction means that from now on Motorola Solutions will report sales broken into Products and Services. Sales from "discontinued operations" (i.e. what is being sold to Zebra, essentially Symbol and Psion) were $560 million in the second quarter of 2014 compared with $610 million in the year-ago quarter. What it all means is that Motorola Solutions will more or less return to its root business of radio and communications products and services, whereas the acquired Symbol and Psion rugged mobile computing operations go to mobile printer maker Zebra. This brings to an end Motorola's attempts in mobile computing that included such interesting projects as the mid-1990s Marco and Envoy handhelds and the Forte CommPad rugged tablet. [See Motorola Solutions Q2 2014 financials] -- Posted Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Winmate newsletter: Inventory Management
Winmate's latest newsletter highlights their rugged computing solutions for inventory management, and specifically the 12.1-inch Atom N2800-powered R12ID8M-RTM7GP, for streamlining efficiencies in warehouse operations. [See Winmate Newsletter and rugged tablet product line overview] -- Posted Monday, August 4, 2014

Cipherlab at RetailNOW
CipherLab reports they will be at RetailNOW August 5/6 year in Orlando at booth #1011. They will be demonstrating our latest rugged 9700 series Terminal Emulation Handheld Solution (see YouTube demo) for retail and warehouse applications. -- Posted Monday, August 4, 2014

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