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

October 2009

Handheld's new ultra-rugged GPS PDA
HHCS Handheld USA has beefed up its handheld offerings by adding the ultra-rugged Nautiz X7 handheld computer. Based on Windows Mobile 6.1 and the powerful 806MHz Marvell PXA310 processor, the Nautiz X7 has a 3-megapixel camera, an E-compass, altimeter, a full-VGA 480 x 640 pixel touch display, up to 12GB of storage, Bluetooth and Wifi, and optional HSDPA wireless WWAN. [Read full review of the Handheld Nautiz X7] -- Posted Friday, October 30, 2009

Aaeon introduces rugged Intel Atom-powered tablet computer
Taiwanese Aaeon Technology is now offering its rugged RTC-1000 platform with an Intel Atom N270 processor running Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard 2009. The device has a 10.2-inch WSVGA (1024 x 600) touch display with LED backlight and both sunlight-viewable and active digitizer options. There are disk and SSD based systems, good onboard connectivity and expansion, ruggedness, IP65 sealing and optional 3.5G wireless, GPS, scanning and bar code reading. If more speed is needed, a Core Duo version is available as well. [See description and specs of the Aaeon RTC-1000A] -- Posted Thursday, October 29, 2009

Touch coming to marine displays
Manufacturers of marine displays are hopping onto the touch bandwagon, too. Raymarine just introduced its new E-Series wide-screen Multifunction Display with HybridTouch in an effort to "bring the familiar touch screen and icon-based design found in today's smartphones to the marine environment." The E-Series has a WVGA sunlight-viewable display, an operating temperature range of 14-122F, and carries IPX6 sealing. See Raymarine E-Series -- Posted Thursday, October 29, 2009

Intermec's Cash for Clunkers
The popular "cash for clunkers" program has given rise to similar programs in other areas. Intermec now has a Handheld Trade-In Program that pays rebates up to US$200 per unit, even if the trade-in is from another vendor. [See Intermec trade-in detail program] -- Posted Thursday, October 29, 2009

Registration open for RFID Journal LIVE! 2010
Registration is open for RFID Journal LIVE! 2010, which will take place on Apr. 14-16, 2010, at the Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando, Fla. This is probably the most important RFID event of the year. [Learn about RFID Journal LIVE!] -- Posted Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dell introduced toughened-up XFR version of its XT2 convertible
Dell introduced the Latitude XT2 XFR, a ruggedized version of their Latitude XT2. What you get here is a toughened-up version of Dell's sleek convertible Tablet PC, one that is sealed against the elements, can handle desert-hot and icy-cold, and is altogether better equipped to handle life on the road where things can get bumped and dropped. [Read description and specs of the Dell Latitude XT2 XFR] -- Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Infoworld: Mounting concerns over Windows Mobile's future
Everyone's stating the obvious: Microsoft has failed to keep Windows Mobile up-to-date and its future looks increasingly uncertain. This is especially true in the consumer space where the iPhone has completely redefined not only the market but also expectations. Things are a little different in the rugged vertical space where it took many years to convert from proprietary platforms to Windows Mobile, and there really is no other place to go. [Read InfoWorld's "Windows Mobile worries mount as competition heats up"] -- Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Windows 7: Our opinion
Well, the much advertised public release date of Windows 7 has come and gone. The equivalent of "War and Peace" has been written on how wonderful it is and on how Microsoft "got it right" this time. Maybe they have and maybe they haven't. Here at RuggedPCReview.com, we've used Windows 7 on some of the rugged hardware we've had here for testing and evaluation recently and, frankly, it looked so much like Vista that we barely noticed anything was different. [Read our views on Windows 7] -- Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2009

GCN tests General Dynamics Itronix GD8000
GCN (Government Computer News) reviewed the rugged GD8000 notebook computer from General Dynamics Itronix. The GD8000 got generally good grades though GCN claimed it wasn't as rugged as the Panasonic Toughbook 30 outside. [See the GCN review of the GD-Itronix GD8000] -- Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2009

MobileDemand xTablet T7000: A smaller rugged Tablet PC
Your average full-function rugged Tablet PC weighs between four and five pounds. That's light enough to carry such a device around on the job, but it's still quite substantial. So how about a UMPC device that provides pretty much the same functionality as a full-size machine, but is a lot smaller? If that thought appeals to you, check out what MobileDemand of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, have in store for you. RuggedPCReview is taking a first, and detailed, look at the MobileDemand xTablet T7000. [Read review of the MobileDemand T7000 rugged Tablet PC] -- Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Xplore rugged Tablet PC survives heli crash
Electric Light and Power reports that a surveying helicopter from Georgia-based RotorWorks, LLC was performing scheduled routine aerial patrols and experienced a hard landing due to an engine failure, which resulted in a total loss of the aircraft. The two employees in the aircraft received minor injuries, even though the aircraft was completely destroyed in the accident. However, the Xplore iX104C4 tablet PC survived the crash and is still functioning normally. -- Posted Friday, October 23, 2009

Motion: complete line ready for Windows 7
Motion Computing announced that its complete line of rugged tablet PCs are ready to ship with Windows 7 Professional. Additionally, the Motion J3400, C5, F5 and LE1700 Tablet PCs are supported for upgrading to the new operating system. With enhanced tablet PC functionality, faster performance and improvements to power management for extended battery life, Windows 7 helps mobile users extend the productivity benefits of computing with highly mobile Motion Tablet PCs. -- Posted Thursday, October 22, 2009

Getac: complete line ready for Windows 7
Getac announced that its entire lineup of rugged computers and tablets (9213, A790, M230, V100 and B300) are fully compatible with the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system. Getac also said that Windows 7 will enhance its newly-introduced resistive multi-touch system. -- Posted Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rave reveals Atom-powered rugged in-vehicle PC
Rave Computer unveiled a new aluminum fanless small form factor computer system for low power applications in rugged environments. The Rave RCV 6100 is an Intel Atom N270-powered industrial box PC for vehicle applications. It can run off CF cards or a hard disk, supports multiple display interfaces, offers GPS, optional 802.11b/g/n, 3.5G, and Bluetooth, and is designed for a variety of location-based services and fleet management applications. [See description and specs of the Rave Computer RCV 6100] -- Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Statistics Center Abu Dhabi buys Intermec CN50 rugged handhelds
Statistics Center-Abu Dhabi announced a deal signed to buy Intermec CN50 wireless handheld devices in partnership with the UAE-based Computer Networks Systems (CNS). The Intermec CN50 was "considered to be the best solution to be used in the general census of population, buildings and establishments national project as well as many others important economical surveys." [See AMEinfo.com report] -- Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New: Fujitsu Lifebook T4410 multi-touch convertible
Fujitsu announced the Lifebook T4410 Tablet PC convertible available with Windows 7 and optional dual-digitizer that includes capacitive multi-touch. The T4410 has a 12.1-inch WXGA display with a 200-nit LED backlight (300-nit wide viewing angle version available), a multi-bay with optical drive, and good connectivity (including an HDMI port). The 4-pound T4410 is powered by a selection of fairly potent Core 2 Duo processors and is also available in a home/student version (the T4310). Pricing starts at a very reasonale US$1,199. [See description and specs of the Fujitsu T4410] -- Posted Monday, October 19, 2009

Wavelink emulation on Motorola MC9500
Utah-based Wavelink, a provider of terminal emulation and device management software, announced that its Wavelink Terminal Emulation product is the only terminal emulation solution being sold and supported by Motorola on its recently announced MC9500 mobile computers (see press release) -- Posted Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Wi-Fi peer-to-peer spec in 2010
Wi-Fi devices will soon be able to link via a new specification called Wi-Fi Direct that enables devices to connect to one another without joining a traditional wireless network. The Wi-Fi Alliance expects to begin certification for this new specification in mid-2010, and products which achieve the certification will be designated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct. We can see many uses for this in mobile and rugged devices. [See press release] -- Posted Saturday, October 17, 2009

PoliceOne.com reviews the TDS Nomad
PoliceOne.com ran an insightful review of the TDS Nomad, the state-of-the-art and nearly indestructible handheld computer we once took on a scuba dive. See PoliceOne.com's review of the Nomad. -- Posted Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mobility Gaining Popularity In Healthcare
Healthcare Technology Online editor Ken Congdon discusses the accelerating trend of handheld mobile computing device adoption at the point of care (see Congdon's article) and also refers to a recent mobile healthcare study by Motorola. -- Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Full review: Datalogic Memor
One of the problems with many industrial handhelds is that they are big and heavy. Those that are small and handy often lack features. Datalogic addressed these issues with the Memor handheld that combines mobile computing, data capture, scanning and voice/data communication in one small but rugged handheld that weighs just nine ounces. Powered by a speedy, modern PXA310 processor and available with a variety of scanning and communication options, the Datalogic Memor has a lot to offer. [See review of the Datalogic Memor] -- Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oracle E-Business Suite adds extension for Trimble GeoManager
Trimble announced that Oracle has developed an extension that allows Oracle Field Service Applications users to add Trimble's GeoManager solution to create an enterprise-level intelligent scheduling and dispatching platform for field service organizations. The on-demand location-based features of GeoManager will allow organizations to improve fleet performance and the management of mobile workers and distributed assets.
-- Posted Monday, October 12, 2009

Case study: Datalogic computers and DC Stat
Datalogic computers and DC Stat software optimize manufacturing process, help Yale Commercial Locks and Hardware improve quality and reduce waste. [See case study: Datalogic Mobile and I&R Partners Lock Out Waste at Yale Commercial Locks and Hardware] -- Posted Thursday, October 8, 2009

Case study: LXE and Safelite AutoGlass
A new case study is available for viewing: LXE handheld computers and warehouse management systems help distribution centers achieve high fill rates. [See case study: Safelite AutoGlass® Sees Clear Advantages with LXE] -- Posted Thursday, October 8, 2009

Getac to offer multi-touch on its V100 rugged Tablet PC
Getac announced that its V100 rugged Tablet PC will offer a multi-touch screen that can be used with or without gloves. According to Getac's press release, this marks a first for rugged computers, and the multi-touch feature will enable users to rotate maps and pictures, zoom in and out of manuals and other documents, move and edit, navigate, and employ a series of special gestures that go beyond what is possible with traditional touch screens that only recognize a single touch. [Read how Getac's multi-touch technology works] -- Posted Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Motion equips C5 and F5 tablets with durable "Gorilla Glass"
Ever at the forefront of technology. Motion Computing announced that its C5 and F5 tablets now use Corning's Gorilla Glass to provide extra display protection and durability. Read what Corning's Gorilla Glass is, and how it works in Motion's C5 and F5 tablets. -- Posted Tuesday, October 6, 2009

AIS: new rugged rackmount touchscreen panel PCs
American Industrial Systems Inc. (AIS) releases rugged Rack Mountable Panel PCs that meet Military-STD-810F shock and vibration standards. Powering the unit is an Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz processor featuring fanless operation, high reliability, industrial long product lifetime support, low power consumption, while providing the best performance per watt operation. The ruggedized computer is a direct drop-in rack solution measuring 9U in height, available in 17" and 19" sizes. AIS' industrial PCs are designed to be used in harsh environmental conditions, suitable for field deployment, naval vessels, military servers, telecommunications, and anywhere reliability, performance, and long lifetime are top priority. -- Posted Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Windows Mobile 6.5: Big letdown
To almost no one's surprise, the release of Windows Mobile 6.5 has generally been greeted with anything from indifference to downright shock and dismay (see the extent of the dismay in John Herrman's detailed review at Gizmodo). Essentially, WinMo 6.5 provides a weird new home screen on what appears to be the same ancient, obsolete OS. In recent years we've frequently commented on how increasingly sophisticated and powerful rugged handheld hardware seems to be held back by Windows Mobile (see Palm and Windows Mobile and how the iPhone really changed everything), and this "new" version 6.5, unfortunately, perpetuates the misery. -- Posted Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Intermec launches plug-and-play solution for wireless scanners
Intermec announced the SD61 multiport wireless base station that provides a secure ISCP connection between multiple Intermec industrial scanners - including the SF51 and SR61B, and the host device. The SD61 allows up to seven Intermec Bluetooth-equipped scanners to operate in the same work area, connected wirelessly to the same mobile cart solution, PC or Intermec printer. By reducing the number of hosts, the SD61 delivers a quick ROI and a less cluttered work environment. [See Intermec press release]
-- Posted Tuesday, October 6, 2009

White Paper: The case for the Tablet PC in health care
An interesting white paper on Tablet PCs in health care is available for free download from Healthcare Technology Online. It concentrates on HP's Tablet PCs, but offers a good overviews of how Tablet PC technology can help in various health care settings. Free registration required. [See The Case for the Tablet PC in health care] -- Posted Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Will we soon see 3D displays on handhelds?
3M’s Optical Systems Division announced that 3M has developed a new, field sequential 3D optical film for handheld devices, enabling true auto stereoscopic 3D viewing on mobile phones, gaming and other handheld devices without the need for glasses. The standard optical film stack is replaced with a reflective film, custom light guide and 3D film. By using directional backlight technology, left and right images are focused sequentially into the viewer’s eyes—enabling a full resolution display of the panel. -- Posted Monday, October 5, 2009

Elbit Systems introduces rugged vehicle computer
Elbit Systems of America, a supplier of tactical handheld computers to the US Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy, introduced the Intel dual core-powered ETC Mark IV rugged vehicle computer. The Mark IV has a sunlight-viewable 10.4-inch touch screen, an integrated QWERTY keyboard, programmable function keys, and both commercial or military connectivity and communications. [See description and specs of the Elbit Systems ETC Mark IV] -- Posted Monday, October 5, 2009

Full review: Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR800
The Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR800 is a compact rugged Tablet PC that offers a good balance between performance (Intel Core Duo U2500), features, ruggedness, portability, and battery life. Its 10.4-inch display is larger and offers higher resolution than that of most machines in its class and the tablet has both a touch screen and an active digitizer. [See review of the Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR800] -- Posted Sunday, October 4, 2009

Raytheon delivers Ground Soldier System prototypes
Raytheon's Network Centric Systems is one of three companies creating so called Ground Soldier System (GSS) prototypes to the U.S. Army under an April 2009 contract. The company, which in this project partners with RMT's Black Diamond (see Black Diamond's SwitchBack) and CHI Systems whose products include the iGEN artificial intelligence engine, announced it has delivered ten GSS wearable computer prototypes designed to link dismounted warfighters to the netted battlefield. [See Raytheon release] -- Posted Sunday, October 4, 2009

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