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

September 2010

Fully modular: Psion Teklogix Omnii XT10
For a while now Psion-Teklogix has been concerned about offering their customers the exact right handheld computer for a given job. This resulted in the "Modulus" concept that modularizes their hardware platforms as much as possible. With their new full-size Omni XT10, the company is now offering a fully modular ultra-rugged handheld that adheres to the stated goal of offering flexibility, modularity and an open platform to their customers. [See description and specs of the Psion Teklogix Omnii XT10] -- Posted Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Intermec CS40 Mobile Computer
If you feel iPhones and such are nice, but not quite rugged enough and they don't really fit into your corporate enterprise systems, Intermec has a device for you. It's the new CS40 that's small and handy enough to fit into any pocket, has an industrial-strength 1D/2D scanning engine, 3.75G WWAN, a QWERTY or a phone key layout, Windows Mobile 6.5, and the kind of ruggedness and longevity that consumer phones just can't match. [See description and specs of the Intermec CS40] -- Posted Wednesday, September 29, 2010

U.S. Air Force selects Getac rugged notebooks
Getac and NCS Technologies, a manufacturer of its own line of mission-specific computers as well as a few of Getacís products under license, announced that the U.S. Air Force has selected Getac rugged notebook computers as part of its Quantum Enterprise Buy (QEB) program. As part of the QEB, NCS will manufacture and provide Getac's B300 rugged notebook and V100 rugged convertible computers to the USA. [Read press release] -- Posted Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Samwell invites to 2010 IACP
Samwell International invites visitors to IACP 2010 to come see them at booth 1876. IACP is the International Association of Chiefs of Police which will hold its 117th Annual Conference and Exposition October 23-27, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. Samwell also issued a policy statement on how their RUGGEDBOOK line fits into modern environment (see here] -- Posted Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rugged systems companies display at Modern Day Marine Expo
The 2010 Modern Day Marine Expo, which serves as a premier equipment, systems, services and technology exposition, is taking place Sept. 28-30, 2010 at the Marine Corps base at Quantico, VA. This year, 516 exhibitors are showing their products, among them rugged computer and product providers Amrel, Elbit Systems, Gammatech Computer, General Dynamics, Getac, Panasonic, Parvus, and RAM Mounts. -- Posted Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Major investor MMI requests EMS to sell off LXE
MMI Investments, L.P., which owns 7.1% of EMS Technologies' stock, wrote an open letter to EMS, suggests the sale of LXE, stating that "LXE, while an attractive business in its own right with leading market share in its industry niche and a strong operational recovery underway, has no logical connection or potential synergy with its sister companies, whether in manufacturing, sales, technology, strategy, etc. This lack of coherency cheats both sides of the company from achieving fair value in our view. Simply put, investors interested in wireless connectivity or logistics technology have several obvious investment options without the added risk of businesses in which they are uninterested." [See letter] -- Posted Tuesday, September 28, 2010

HABEY announces tiny PC based on new Atoms
And another new product based on the just announced Intel Atom E6xx processors: the HABEY USA BIS-6622 is a tiny (5 x 5 x 1.8 inches) fanless computer with an industrial-grade board that can handle operating temperatures between 14 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit, has extensive onboard I/O, and takes advantage of all the capabilities of Intel's latest Atom platform, such as integrated graphics with HD video encoding and decoding. The BIS-6622 is geared towards communication appliances, digital signage, kiosks, POS, thin-client, automotive, industrial control, and "build your own embedded system" applications. [See BIS-6622 datasheet] -- Posted Tuesday, September 28, 2010

MobileDemand updates website, issues NASCAR case study
MobileDemand announced the launch of several website enhancements as well as new content including a new partner directory, a photo viewer, a public sector page and a cool new nav system (see what all is new at MobileDemand). MobileDemand also issued their latest case study entitled "Red Bull Racing NASCAR Team Taps MobileDemand Tablet PC to Drive Competitive Advantage." It describes how the rugged xTablet PCs hold up under the harsh conditions of the race track to provide real-time data for better race day decisions. [View Red Bull Racing case study (pdf)] -- Posted Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Getac B300 gets substantial technology, features, ruggedness update
Getac announced a substantial technology, feature, and ruggedness update to the Getac B300. On the technology side, the new B300 uses a 2GHz Intel Core i7 processor, more and faster RAM, larger hard disks and the availability of optional SSDs, an optional display that is even brighter than before (1400 nits!), better sealing and a wider operating temperature range, faster and more extensive wireless communication support, as well as faster graphics and an HDMI port. will conduct a full evaluation and run full benchmarks as soon as an eval B300 becomes available. -- Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Janam picks Wavelink terminal emulation
Wavelink Corporation announced Wavelink Terminal Emulation will be pre-installed on Janam's XG100 rugged, gun-shaped mobile computers. -- Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Panasonic and Mobile Armor strike deal
Panasonic and Mobile Armor, Inc., which provides portable data encryption and mobile device management, have entered into a license and reseller agreement to integrate the Mobile Armor Data Encryption Solution into select Panasonic Toughbook rugged notebooks and mobile clinical assistants (MCA). -- Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Datalogic places more Joya self-shopping terminals
Datalogic Group, a manufacturer of bar code readers, data collection mobile computers and RFID and vision systems, announced it has signed two commercial agreements with Coop Estense and Coop Liguria to supply a total of over 300 Joya terminals, a self-shopping pod produced and distributed by the groupís subsidiary Datalogic Mobile. [See press release] -- Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Motorola releases fast, tough MC65 EDA with dual 3.5G WWAN
Motorola released the MC65 enterprise digital assistant. It's an ultra-rugged (6-foot drop, IP65 sealing) handheld that combines advanced data capture via a Symbol SE4500 1D/2D imager, PDA functionality, with software-configurable dual 3.5G GSM HSPA and CDMA EVDO Rev A WWAN. This means the device can use virtually any carrier anywhere. Also new compared to the MC55: full VGA display, USB 2.0, larger battery, and more internal storage. [See description and specs of the Motorola MC65 Enterprise Digital Assistant] -- Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Motorola releases MC9500-K Series variant with GOBI
Motorola announced a special version of its MC9500-K Series of industrial-class mobile computers. The new MC959B is for users who need a data-only version of the series, but require the ability to use different carriers and different wireless technologies. The MC959B is, to the best of our knowledge, the first handheld to include Qualcom GOBI technology. [See the MC9500-K series Motorola] -- Posted Tuesday, September 21, 2010

LXE to hold partner and media events
LXE announced it will host a series of media and partner events in Europe and North America to advance best practices in hardware and application development for field workers in rugged-environment markets, including field service, direct store delivery, utilities and public safety. Events will be hosted in conjunction with already-scheduled conferences including CTIA Wireless and Apps in San Francisco, Calif., on Oct. 6, IP Convergence in Paris, France on Oct. 19, IFDA Distribution Solutions Conference in Tampa, Fla., on Oct. 25, and AIM Expo in Chicago, Ill., on Nov. 4. -- Posted Monday, September 20, 2010

Mi-Forms for tablets now on Group Mobile's software store
Mobile data collection company Mi-Co, the Mobile Data Collection announced that it has formed a partnership with Group Mobile, a reseller of rugged tablets, laptops and more, to resell Mi-Forms-Professional electronic forms software for Tablet PCs on Group Mobile's new software store. -- Posted Friday, September 17, 2010

Winmate G-Win Full IP67 Rugged Series
Winmate announced the G-WIN 15-inch Full IP67 Rugged Series designed to provide advanced features and performance in the most demanding environments including mining, harbor/maritime, military, industrial automation, off-shore, etc. Standard features include wide power range DC input, high-brightness daylight-viewable displays, anti-corrosion treatment, and extensive shock and vibration testing. Custom configurations are available to meet customer requirements. -- Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010

Handheld Algiz XRW: an ultra-rugged netbook
The Handheld Group has introduced the Algiz XRW, and anyone who's been waiting for a fully rugged netbook will welcome this new addition to Handheld's lineup. The XRW, which stands for "Xtreme Road Warrior," runs Windows 7 Ultimate on a 2.0GHz Atom Z550 processor, has 2GB of RAM, a 64GB solid state disk, and has a 10.1-inch daylight-readable 1366 x 768 pixel wide-format display. With IP65 sealing, the footprint of a netbook, and weighing just 3.3 pounds, the Handheld Algiz XRW can go anywhere. [See description and specs of the Handheld Algiz XRW] -- Posted Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eurotech announces Atom "Tunnel Creek" board
Eurotech, a supplier of embedded technologies, products, and systems, announced the small form factor Catalyst TC based on the just-announced " Tunnel Creek" Intel Atom E6xx series. The tiny 67 x 100 mm extended temperature range COM board supports E6xx processors up to 1.3GHz with the Intel "Topcliff" chipset and allows any PCIe-compliant device to be easily connected, thereby expanding I/O support.. [See Eurotech Catalyst TC product page] -- Posted Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Embedded processor graphics on the rise
In the past, graphics were either handled by chipsets or separate graphics boards. But graphics are now moving into the CPU, resulting in lower costs and smaller board sizes. According to a new report by Jon Peddie Research, embedded processor graphics, such as those pioneered early 2010 with Intel's Core i5/i7 processors, will grab 23% of the market this year, 43% next year, and then level off in the low 50% range through 2015. Another trend are Heterogeneous Processor Units (co-processing on chips other than the CPU), and embedded HPUs are also expected to make inroads, albeit at a slower ate (roughly 25% market share by 2015). Discrete graphics, on the other hand, are expected to decline from the current 30% to just 10% in 2015. [See Jon Peddie Research Opportunities, Threats, and Changes Created by the EPG & HPU] -- Posted Wednesday, September 15, 2010

N-trig DuoSense (pen & multi-touch)
Digitizer maker N-trig took the "back-to-school" season as an opportunity to issue a press release on the many uses of its innovative DuoSense technology that combines digital pen functionality with multi-touch. DuoSense is currently used in various HP, Dell and Lenovo products and is a competitor to Wacom's G6 Multi-Touch technology used in the Motion J3500 tablet. -- Posted Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Motorola releases new healthcare-oriented rugged handheld
Motorola released the MC75A0-HC enterprise digital assistant, a device designed for use in healthcare organizations and other medical settings. Based on the popular MC75A, the new healthcare version can handle the cleaning agents used in disinfecting gear in clinical settings, and it fits in with a blue/white color scheme. Based on the 806MHz Marvel PXA320 and running Windows Mobile 6.5, the MC75A0-HC is designed to help improve patient safety and worker efficiency in any healthcare setting. [See description and specs of the Motorola MC75A0-HC] -- Posted Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Gunze USA expands to meet increased touch screen demand
Gunze USA, a subsidiary of one of the largest resistive touch screen suppliers in the world, is bullish on touch screens. "The world market for touch screens is projected to top $14.5 billion dollars in 2015, over 3.5 times greater than in 2009," said Aparna Sharma, President of Gunze USA. Gunze announced an expansion in its clean room facilities in Austin, Texas, to meet expected increased demand for projected capacitive and digital multi touch products. [See Gunze's vertical market touch screen brochure] -- Posted Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Advantech announces line of "Tunnel Creek" embedded products
Hot on the heels of Intel's "Tunnel Creek" announcement of Atom-based Systems-on-Chips, embedded platform and integration services provider Advantech announced a new full range of embedded boards based on the "Tunnel Creek" E6xx series of Atom processors, ranging from QSeven (SOM-3564) and PC/104 CPU modules (PCM-3364), COM-Express Compact (SOM-6764) to COM-Ultra (SOM-7564) and 3.5Ē Single Board Computers (PCM-9364). All new products feature the ultra-low power operation, great I/O flexibility, and wide temperature support needed in today's carrier boards. -- Posted Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tunnel Creek: Intel describes first System-on-Chip Atom
At the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, Intel described upcoming Atom-based system-on-chip (SoC) products for embedded applications. Codenamed "Tunnel Creek," this will be Intel's first generation of Atom-based SoCs, with "Tunnel Creek" being the Atom SoC, and "Queens Bay" the platform (chipset, boards, OS, software) that works with Tunnel Creek. The big news here is that the Queens Bay platform won't use a Front Side Bus to communicate with the chipset. Instead, PCIe-compliant 3rd party devices can directly connect to the chip, opening up many new markets and opportunities. Compared to the existing "Menlow" (Atom Z5xx) chips, the "Tunnel Creek" E600 SoCs add hardware accelerated encoding, 50% better graphics performance, a smaller form factor, enhanced HD audio, and a reduced bill of materials. [See Intel's Tunnel Creek presentation (PDF)] -- Posted Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Intermec introduces INcontrol managed services portfolio
Intermec announced the launch of a new managed services portfolio, INcontrol, enabling greater visibility and proactive tracking of customers' mobile device via a hosted web based tool set to shift the day to day task of management and troubleshooting of mobile devices and WLAN/ WWAN infrastructures to Intermec or one of its qualified PartnerNet members' technical experts, allowing customers to efficiently track assets, secure network investments and achieve a lower total cost of ownership. [See Intermec INcontrol press release] -- Posted Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Android form factor issues
Just like Windows CE before it, the Android OS is having problems accommodating devices with different screen sizes and resolutions. As is, Android was really designed for small, portrait-oriented smartphone displays and accommodating landscape-oriented tablet displays isn't without problems. The latest 2.2 version of Android, for example, is not optimized for tablets, something Google itself freely admits. Apple is facing the same issue with the iPhone and iPad where there are different OS versions and iPad apps are increasingly higher-end and higher priced. -- Posted Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Group Mobile again in INC. 5000
Group Mobile—a major reseller of a variety of rugged notebooks, slates and handhelds—was again named to the prestigious INC 5000 list. The list represents a comprehensive look at the most entrepreneurial and fastest growing companies in America. -- Posted Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Single chip LCD power management and LED driver
Integrated Device Technology, a provider of mixed signal semiconductor solutions, announced what the company says is the industryís first single-chip power management solution for TFT LCD panels, such as those used in netbooks, Tablet PCs and notebooks. The solution integrates a full-function low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS) timing controller with integrated power management, and a four-channel LED driver for LED backlighting. By integrating all of these functions onto a single chip, the IDT VDAP1000 saves power and board space, giving system architects increased design flexibility and reducing bill of materials. [See IDT product page] -- Posted Sunday, September 12, 2010

Full review: Trimble Yuma rugged tablet
The Trimble Yuma is a very rugged, small and light (2.6 pounds) tablet computer that can go places where a full-size tablet is just too large and heavy. The Yuma is Atom-powered, has an exceptionally bright outdoor-viewable touch screen display, and is dust and waterproof. In RuggedPCReview's testing, the Yuma proved to be a very trust-inspiring, easy-to-use, and exceptionally sturdy machine. Running Windows 7 and having good onboard connectivity, including two cameras and GPS, make the Yuma suitable for a large variety of field applications. [See full review of the Trimble Yuma] -- Posted Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Getac introduces Intel i7-powered V200 rugged convertible notebook with super-bright 12.1-inch multi-touch display
Getac announced the V200 rugged convertible notebook computer, which represents a more powerful, higher-end addition to the company's V100 that remains available. The V200 is based on a 2GHz Intel Core i7-620LM processor, has a 12.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel display with a superbright 1,200 nits backlight, resistive multi-touch that works while wearing gloves, a forward/backward facing 2mp camera, available "LifeSupport" hot-swappable battery technology, GPS, Gobi 2000, a variety of keyboard options, and, of course, the highly configurable convertible design that allows operation both as a notebook and as a tablet. [See description and specs of the Getac V200] -- Posted Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fujitsu announces 10-inch Intel Core i5-powered multi-touch Lifebook T580 convertible
Fujitsu announced the Lifebook T580, a small 3.1-lbs computer that at first sight looks like a netbook with its compact body and 10-inch display. However, the T580 packs far more power and many more features than your standard netbook. Most notably, it's powered by an Intel Core i5 processor and it offers multi-touch (up to four fingers) capabilities. 3G wireless and GPS are options, and the dual-input digitizer reportedly uses the N-trig DuoSense system, though we do not have that confirmed yet. For a demo of the T580, check this YouTube demonstration. -- Posted Sunday, September 5, 2010

What are discrete graphics, and why would you need them?
If you follow the mobile computing beat, you've probably come across the term "discrete graphics." What that generally means is a computer's graphics display capabilities that are a separate sub-system and not part of the motherboard or, more recently, processor. Why should you care? The answer is, if you need 3D and, especially, OpenGL performance, discrete graphics are almost a must, else integrated will do just fine. Read "What are discrete graphics, and why would you need them?" -- Posted Friday, September 3, 2010

Full review: Panasonic Toughbook 31
Panasonic's flagship Toughbook hardly needs an introduction. Few computers have the history and pedigree of the rugged Toughbooks that hold a special place as perhaps the most popular rugged notebook computers ever made. In mid-2010, Panasonic announced the Toughbook 31 with a variety of technology updates (including Intel Core i3 and i5 processors) and enhancements that brings the platform technologically up-to-date without obsoleting existing customers' investment in older Toughbook docks and peripherals. [Read full review of the Panasonic Toughbook 31] -- Posted Thursday, September 2, 2010

Motion launches enhanced Tablet PC support programs
With first-class support increasingly becoming a differentiator when making rugged computing product choices, Motion Computing announced a number of new support programs geared towards improved uptime and reducing lost productivity. The Motion Express Tablet Exchange Service provides next business day delivery of a replacement tablet for volume (50+) customers; Accidental Damage Protection offers an added layer of protection against unintentional physical damage; and Enterprise (1000+ units) Support Services offers access to a dedicated team of product experts to address critical technical support issues. [See Motion Product Services page and press release] -- Posted Wednesday, September 1, 2010

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