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

September 2009

CipherLab enters alliance with Summit Data Communications
CipherLab, which offers Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) for the retail, warehouse, healthcare, government and distribution markets, announced a strategic alliance with Summit Data Communications, a provider of wireless LAN radio modules and cards for business-critical mobile devices. Summit's embedded Wi-Fi solutions, which we've found in many products reviewed here at, enable new CipherLab mobile computers to establish secure and reliable wireless network connections in the most challenging operating environments. -- Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2009

General Dynamics Itronix offers Gobi wireless 3G technology in rugged mobile computing products
General Dynamics Itronix will offer Qualcomm's Gobi global mobile Internet technology as a new capability for the Itronix line of rugged notebooks, tablet PCs and ultra-mobile PCs, including the vehicle-rugged GD6000 and the fully rugged line of GD8000 notebook computers. The multi-mode Gobi technology enables General Dynamics Itronix customers to take advantage of high-speed, data access services from 3G network carriers around the world. Customers ordering Gobi-ready GD6000 and GD8000 notebooks equipped with WWAN and CRMA modules, before November 30, 2009, will be eligible to receive a free Gobi module valued at $350.00. -- Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vehicle-mount computers in Middle Eastern markets ran an interesting article on the significant potential of vehicle-mounted rugged computers in Middle Eastern markets, quoting representatives from LXE, Psion Teklogix, Motorola, Intermec and others. Read article. -- Posted Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wacom adds multi-touch to Bamboo tablets
Wacom has introduced Multi-Touch in its new family of Bamboo tablets that are meant to serve as natural and intuitive input to desktop or laptop computer users. Bamboo includes a family of five distinct tablets: touch-only, pen-only and three versions of the pen and Multi-Touch combination. [See Wacom's Bamboo page] -- Posted Saturday, September 26, 2009

Review: Dell Latitude XT2 convertible with multi-touch
With the Latitude XT2, Dell offers a very competent Tablet PC convertible with a modern, economical Core 2 Duo processor, decent battery life, both digitizer and touch input, and even some multi-touch functionality. The XT2 weighs less than four pounds, has a 12.1-inch wide-format screen, and offers excellent connectivity, both wired and wireless. [Read review of the Dell Latitude XT2] -- Posted Wednesday, September 23, 2009

RAM introduces the RAM Tough-Hub for the mobile office
RAM is extending the functionality and utility of the mobile office with the introduction of the RAM Tough-Hub. The Tough-Hub adds six powered USB 2.0 ports, 10/100 mbps Ethernet, threaded 12-48 VDC power input, and an ignition trigger in a small, rugged box that can be mounted almost anywhere. See review of the RAM Tough-Hub or the RAM Tough-Hub product page. -- Posted Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Silverlight central to Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3
Microsoft announced the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3, the next-generation platform of the componentized, real-time Windows Embedded CE operating system. The main thrust is that Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R3 adds the Silverlight for Windows Embedded user interface (UI) framework which is meant to enable a consistent experience across devices and PCs with Microsoft Office and PDF viewers. [Read Microsoft release on Windows Embedded CE 6.0] -- Posted Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Motion Computing's rugged F5 now brighter and faster
Motion Computing has always been very proactive in keeping its roster of Tablet PCs up-to-date. The latest version of the F5 rugged tablet now has what we consider the best overall display in the business (Hydis AFFS+), and it's faster, too. But just how much brighter and faster is it, given that the original F5 was already quite impressive? And what about battery life? We're taking a detailed look at the newly upgraded F5. [See detailed update on the Motion F5] -- Posted Monday, September 21, 2009

ADLINK introduces new rugged I/O platforms
ADLINK Technology announced the release of the Matrix MXE-1000 and MXC-2000 series of rugged and fanless I/O platforms based on the Intel Atom N270. The MXE-1000 (starting at US$550) provides embedded I/O functions and the MXC-2000 series (starting at US$750) offers configurable PCI and/or PCI Express slots. [See ADLINK press release] -- Posted Monday, September 21, 2009

Dell buys Perot Systems
Dell, which has been dabbling in rugged systems with ruggedized versions of Latitude notebooks, announced it will buy IT services provider Perot Systems for US$3.9 billion. Once the deal is completed, Perot Systems will become Dell's services unit, headed by Peter Altabef, current Perot Systems CEO. Ross Perot Jr. will probably get on Dell's board of directors. [See Dell news release] -- Posted Monday, September 21, 2009

Unitech introduces monitoring software for mobile computers
Unitech has introduced 12Monitor to control access to apps on Unitech mobile computers. 12Monitor puts the device in kiosk mode, allowing users to access certain applications, but not the entire operating system. This prevents users from changing settings, increases security and ensures productive and efficient use of the device. 12Monitor allows desktop customization with colors, icons and logos. Instead of a standard Windows desktop, the device displays up to 10 buttons labeled for the specific application the user is allowed to access. Customers can download 12Monitor for free from the Unitech website. -- Posted Monday, September 21, 2009

Nikon-Trimble introduces Windows CE-based Nivo
Nikon-Trimble Co., Ltd., a joint venture between Nikon and Trimble to address the global surveying and construction market, introduced the Nikon Nivo Series of compact, high-precision, Bluetooth-capable mechanical total stations. Meeting IP66 standards with water and dust-proof protection, the Nikon Nivo C Series, which has a Windows CE touchscreen interface, is rugged and can operate in virtually all types of weather. This is another example of interdisciplinary cooperation to provide crossover solutions that combine expertise in various fields. -- Posted Monday, September 21, 2009

Apple iPhone as part of medical records solutions?
We're seeing more and more iPhone apps for industry applications. Webahn, for example, just launched two new iPhone apps for physicians. Capzule for its online Electronic Medical Records service and Accent, a voice recording application, for its online transcription service The emergence of iPhone apps will undoubtedly raise the bar for what users expect from their mobile computers. -- Posted Monday, September 21, 2009

Toshiba announces half-terabyte 7,200rpm 2.5-inch hard drives
It's not all about SSDs just yet. Toshiba announced a new family of high-performance 7,200 RPM 2.5-inch HDDs, including a top-end half-terabyte capacity. The series carries the SATA-certified 3Gb/s logo, and offers extended battery life with lower power consumption in standby and sleep modes and faster start-up operation. Sounds perfect for a business-rugged or vehicle-rugged machine that needs both performance and vast storage space. [Read Toshiba's release on the new high-speed half-terabyte drives -- Posted Friday, September 18, 2009

Psion Teklogix: Cash for Data Collection Clunkers
The very popular Cash-for-Clunkers stimulus program in the US may be gone, but Psion Teklogix is now advertising a "Cash for your Data Collection Clunker" program. Psion Teklogix offers an up to $300 trade-in credit but, unfortunately, that only applies to old Psion Teklogix equipment. [See the Psion Teklogix Cash for Data Collection Clunkers program page] -- Posted Thursday, September 17, 2009

DRS Technologies completes acquisition of Soneticom
DRS Technologies announced it has successfully completed its acquisition of Soneticom, Inc., a Melbourne, Florida based company that provides precision geolocation systems, wireless communications protocols, and digital signal processing. -- Posted Thursday, September 17, 2009

RMT's DAP Technologies expands into Windows Embedded Standard with new line of Kinysis tablets
For those who really like the quality and form factor of their CE8640 and CE8800 tablets, but need a Windows Embedded Standard OS instead of Windows CE, RMT's DAP Technologies now offers the AMD Geode-powered Kinysis 8900KS and 8900VS. The two new tablets share the CE-versions' design, size and ruggedness (4-foot drop, IP67, -4 to 122F, etc.) but can take advantage of the power and configurability of a full Windows Embedded OS. The Kinysis tablets can also accommodate custom electronic modules within their sealed expansion bay. [See description and specs of the DAP Kinysis 8900KS and Kinysis 8900VS] -- Posted Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fedex to get as many as 100,000 Motorola MC9500
Computerworld reports that Fedex will deploy as many as 100,000 of Motorola's just announced MC9500 rugged mobile handhelds over the next two or three years. -- Posted Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rugged handhelds marketshare
David Krebs, a wireless analyst at VDC Research in Natick, Mass., is quoted as saying that Motorola currently has approximately 40% of the total market for rugged handhelds, Intermec less than 20%, and Psion Teklogix and LXE each less than 10%. -- Posted Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fujitsu LifeBook T5010 now with optional multi-touch
Fujitsu announced that the LifeBook T5010 convertible tablet PC now has a new dual digitizer option where the touch screen function on its 13.3-inch display supports multi-touch for two-finger actions including panning, rotating, flicks and zooming. With seamless switching between pen and touch, users can change tasks on the fly, from casual surfing to detailed editing or writing. The currently Windows Vista-based LifeBook T5010 is the first in a line of new LifeBook platforms and form factors designed to take advantage of the capabilities of soon-to-be-launched Windows 7. -- Posted Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Motorola introduces next-gen MC9500 rugged handheld
Building upon its successful MC9000 line of rugged handhelds, Motorola introduced the next-gen MC9500 built on state-of-the-art processing (Marvell PXA320), display (3.7-inch VGA), communication (3.5G, both major standards) and data capture technology (laser/imager/camera). The device also includes SiRFstarIII GPS, a smart full-shift battery, no fewer than five modular keyboard options, and it's tough as nails. [See description and specs of the Motorola MC9500] -- Posted Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The next version of Windows Embedded
Microsoft has released the Windows 7-based Windows Embedded Standard 2011 (formerly code-named "Quebec") Community Technology Preview for OEMs and developer. [See the Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 2011 site] Microsoft will also host a series of five free webinars, starting October 1, exploring the enhanced functionality, networking capabilities, improved security and reliability of Windows Embedded Standard 2011 [signup page for webinars]. -- Posted Monday, September 14, 2009

LXE to equip all its rugged handhelds with Summit Data WiFi solutions
LXE announced today a strategic alliance with Summit Data Communications, a leading provider of wireless LAN radio modules and cards for business-critical mobile devices. Under the expanded alliance, LXE will equip all of its rugged handheld, voice- ready, and wearable computers, and most LXE vehicle mount computers, with Summit- embedded Wi-Fi solutions. -- Posted Monday, September 14, 2009

SXC teams with Allscripts to enhance electronic prescribing
SXC Health Solutions Corp announced a strategic relationship with Allscripts to enhance the electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) options available to SXC's healthcare benefits management customers. According to a March 2009 study by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, the percentage of U.S. prescribers using electronic prescribing will increase from fewer than 15% today to more than 75% by 2014 -- Posted Monday, September 14, 2009

Dell announces Electronic Medical Records solution
Dell introduced an Electronic Medical Records solution, saying it is "eliminating long-standing barriers to EMR adoption for small and medium medical practices: cost, complexity and interoperability." Dell says "the solution includes industry-leading EMR and practice management software, hardware systems, and a complete service and support portfolio" without offering any details. An explanatory YouTube video by the head of Dell's healthcare team can be accessed here. -- Posted Monday, September 14, 2009

Atmel releases maXTouch capacitive touchscreen controller solutions
Atmel announced the release of its new maXTouch capacitive touchscreen controller solutions, capable of supporting an unlimited number of unique simultaneous touches with a video-quality screen refresh rate of 250 Hz. maXTouch can be used in 10-inch and larger touchscreens with full zoom, rotate, handwriting and shape recognition functionality. According to Displays Research, by 2013, worldwide demand for touch screen modules will exceed $6.4 billion, making touch interfaces the fastest growing segment in the displays industry. -- Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Handheld Group expands its reach into Australia
The Handheld Group announced its continued global expansion by joining forces with Australia-based AvanTEC, which distributes and supports rugged mobile computers from General Dynamics Itronix, LXE, Navman Wireless and now Handheld via an extensive partner network throughout the Oceania region. -- Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009

Review: Advantech ARK-1388 for in-vehicle LBS applications
With high-speed wireless data networks becoming increasingly available, we're seeing a great increase in in-vehicle computing solutions such as fleet and route management systems to all sorts of vehicle-based applications that communicate with backend servers. We're taking a look at the rugged and super-compact Core 2 Duo U7500-powered Advantech ARK-1388 in-vehicle box PC with integrated GPS and optional 3G voice/data. [See review of the Advantech ARK-1388] -- Posted Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Getac introduces ultra-rugged GPS PDA
Getac beefed up its handheld offerings by adding the ultra-rugged PS236 GPS handheld. Based on Windows Mobile 6.2 and the powerful 806MHz Marvell PXA310 processor, the PS236 has a 3-megapixel camera, an E-compass, altimeter, a full-VGA display, up to 12GB of storage, Bluetooth and Wifi, and optional HSDPA wireless WWAN. [See description and specs of the Getac PS236 GPS handheld] -- Posted Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Full review: Handheld US Nautiz X5
If you need a high-performance, top-of-the-line rugged handheld computer with integrated scanner, full VGA graphics, and 3G voice/data communication, there aren't many choices. The Nautiz X5, sold by Handheld US, is one of the few handhelds powered by the speedy 806MHz Marvell PXA320 processor. It has an integrated laser scanner, integrated SiRFstar III GPS, 3G comms, a very powerful battery, and a RFID version is available as well. [See full review of the Handheld US Nautiz X5] -- Posted Thursday, September 3, 2009

Motorola enhances its One Point Wireless Suite
The Enterprise Mobility Solutions business of Motorola announced enhancements to its One Point Wireless Suite, a set of wireless network design and management solutions that help design, deploy and optimize indoor and outdoor wireless networks. The new Motorola BroadbandPlanner and updated versions of Motorola LANPlanner and RF Management System allow to more efficiently design indoor and outdoor wireless deployments, ensure optimum configuration and performance for mobility applications, and quickly pinpoint and resolve network problems. [See One Point Wireless data sheet] -- Posted Thursday, September 3, 2009

Motorola MT2000 pistol-grip scanner/computer
Motorola introduced the MT2000 series of mobile terminals that are meant to combine the simplicity of a scanner with the brainpower of a Windows CE-based and Marvell PXA270-powered mobile computer - all packaged in a handy, ergonomic package with the popular gun-style form factor. The idea here is to add smarts, and thus flexibility and power, to a conventional laser scanner. [See description and specs of the Motorola MT2000] -- Posted Thursday, September 3, 2009

COPsync software to run on vehicle rugged GD-Itronix notebooks
General Dynamics Itronix has approved COPsync™ software to run on vehicle-rugged GD6000 notebook computers. The new hardware/software combination enables law enforcement and first responders to transfer and share dispatch-critical information including ‘911’ emergency data. Officers can also retrieve driving records, license and criminal history data, as well as other information typically used during an incident or emergency call. Next steps include the availability of the COPsync software for the General Dynamics Itronix GD8000 line of fully rugged computers. -- Posted Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wyse launches Project Borg; will resistance be futile?
Are your PCs obsolete and you face replacing them with expensive new hardware that can keep up with Microsoft's latest? Not so fast! Wyse has responded to this challenge with a new solution enabling companies to leverage their existing PC's for 4-6 years, instead of the need to replace them at the typical 3-4 year mark. How does Wyse do it? With Project Borg that "rejuvenates and simplifies" older PCs, enabling customers to adopt desktop virtualization at a lower up-front cost. Star Trek aficionados, of course, remember The Borg as evil cyborgs seeking to assimilate everyone else into their interconnected collective. Wyse doubtlessly hopes that "resistance is futile." [See Wyse release on Project Borg] -- Posted Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Two Unitech products named best in the business
Unitech announced that two of its devices have been selected as “Best Channel Products” in Business Solutions Magazine’s annual survey. The magazine’s VAR subscribers ranked the PA600 mobile computer and MR650 fixed mount terminal among the industry’s top products. The Windows CE 5.0-based Unitech MR650 fixed mount terminal was voted a Best Channel Product for Workforce Management / Time and Attendance. Unitech’s compact and rugged PA600 won in the Handheld Mobile Computer category. -- Posted Tuesday, September 1, 2009

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