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

October 2013

Review: GammaTech Durabook CA10 10.1-inch Windows tablet
With consumer tablets selling in the tens and hundreds of millions, makers of ruggedized computing equipment find themselves guessing how to best fill the rapidly growing demand for somewhat more rugged tablets with just the right combination of price, ease-of-use, performance, size, weight and features. RuggedPCReview examined the versatile, economically priced GammaTech Durabook CA10, a semi-rugged 10.1-inch Intel Atom-based Windows tablet with resistive multi-touch. [See review of the GammaTech Durabook CA10] -- Posted Thursday, October 31, 2013

Motion Computing tablets used in medical simulation training
An important part of a healthcare professional's education is simulation training, where specially designed mannequins -- robots, really -- help prepare students for the real thing. Motion Computing has announced that McLennan Community College in Waco, TX, is now using Motion tablets with Gaumard software to wirelessly have the simulator mannequins respond according to the treatment provided by the student. [See Motion press release] -- Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Atmel demonstrates impressive glove and active and/or passive stylus multi-touch controller

Atmel posted a YouTube video demonstrating the thin stylus and thick glove sensing capabilities of Atmel's new mXT640T maXTouch T-series touchscreen controller. The mXT640T supports screen sizes up to 6.2” with a 1.0 mm passive stylus, senses up to 5.0 mm thick multi-finger glove touches, and has superior moisture touch performance. The T Series incorporates Atmel's Adaptive Sensing technology that automatically and intelligently switches between self- and mutual-capacitance sensing to provide users a seamless transition between a finger touch, hover, passive or active stylus, or glove touch. [See Atmel demo video and maXTouch brochure]
-- Posted Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Xplore Technologies selects Red Bend for over-the-air software updates for their RangerX rugged Android tablet
Xplore Technologies announced it has selected Red Bend, a leader in Mobile Software Management (MSM) with more than 1.75 billion Red Bend-Enabled devices, to provide firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updates to Xplore's RangerX rugged Android tablet with Red Bend's OTA Updating Service for Android. The software will ensure that RangerX users will always have the most updated device, increasing efficiency and enhancing user experience. [See press release] -- Posted Thursday, October 24, 2013

Two annoying trends...
Is the Flat Earth Society behind the recent rush to make everything as flat and thin as possible? What's wrong with 3D, icons you immediately recognize, a sense of depth, and just an overall pleasant look? And why must every device be thin, thin, thin at all cost? Have we reached a point where fashion is replacing true innovation? [Read Two Annoying Trends] -- Posted Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bud Industries introduces IP65-sealed tablet enclosures
Bud Industries, a manufacturer of electronic enclosures, has announced tablet enclosures that meet the IP65 rating for waterproofing and dust. Bud enclosures are made of high-impact ABS plastic that is flame retardant, and are available with an optional, oil-tolerant silicone gasket that seals out water and airborne contaminants. Therefore they are well suited for industrial automation and control applications, where tablets may be used in harsh environmental conditions. [See Bud tablet enclosures] -- Posted Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The new Two Technologies N4 — Like having leading-edge Android consumer technology in a very tough case
Two Technologies, headquartered in Horsham, PA, has introduced a remarkable rugged handheld. The new N4 runs Android 4.1.2 on a 1.6GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, has a 5.55-inch 1280 x 720 pixel AMOLED capacitive multi-touch display and an inductive stylus, a 70-key backlit keypad, dual cameras (including an 8mp rear camera that can record 1080p/30), 3G/4G WWAN and even a mag-stripe reader option. The N4 weighs just under a pound, has a wide operating temperature range (-4 to 122°F), IP67 sealing, and hot-swappable dual batteries good for three full shifts. [See RuggedPCReview description, analysis and specs of the 2T N4] -- Posted Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Motorola Solutions Q3 2013 sales down slightly
Motorola Solutions announced third-quarter 2013 results with sales of $2.11 billion, down 2% from the third quarter of 2012 due to a decrease in the Government segment. Government sales fell 4% to 1.5 billion whereas enterprise sales rose 2% to US$647 million. GAAP operating earnings were steady at US$320 million ($324 million for the quarter a year ago). The company holds US$2.9 billion in cash and expects revenue outlook for full-year 2013 to be approximately flat. Motorola said that excluding Psion, Q3 enterprise sales would have been down 5% (which would put Psion's contribution to enterprise sales for the quarter to about US$47 million). [See Motorola Solutions Q3 2013 financials press release] -- Posted Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Apple introduces iPad Air and new iPad mini
At a product introduction event in San Francisco, Apple reported that over 170 million iPads have been sold, and US$13 billion has been paid to developers for downloaded apps. Apple also introduced a new iPad mini with a "retina" 2048 x 1536 7.9-inch display, and the iPad Air, which is thinner and lighter than previous full-size iPads. Both new iPads are powered by the A7 processor that's also in the new iPhone 5S. [See new iPads] -- Posted Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What is successful supply chain visibility?
Companies reliant on the movement of goods have learned that providing their personnel with ruggedized tablet PCs ensures everyone is able to capture or retrieve data right when they need it. The latest article in MobileDemand's Ruggedized Computing Blog explains why. - [Read What is successful supply chain visibility?] -- Posted Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Microsoft temporarily pulls Windows RT 8.1 upgrade
Stating it is "investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1," Microsoft has temporarily pulled the Windows RT 8.1 upgrade (see here). Note: RuggedPCReview's own Surface RT tablet upgraded just fine. -- Posted Monday, October 21, 2013

noax introduces 19-inch compact industrial Panel PC
noax Technologies announced it has added a 19-inch version to its lineup of rugged compact industrial panel PCs. Using a fanless design, the noax C19 carries full IP65 sealing, has programmable function keys, SXGA resolution, and includes slots for PCI-, PCIe- and mini-PCIe expansion cards. The panel offers extensive wired and wireless connectivity (including dual Ethernet ports), and even a software-secured USB port on the front. [See description, analysis and specs of the noax C19 industrial panel PC] -- Posted Friday, October 18, 2013

Neonode scores potentially huge patent
Neonode, the company that pioneered infrared-based touch screens, received a potentially very valuable patent for an "optical touch screen systems using total internal reflection." The problem with Neonode's original optical touch technology was that it relied on a raised bezel for the light source that was then beaming light across the display surface. The market, however, wants flush glass, and Neonode makes that possible with this new patent for a display with internal light guides. [See Neonode patent #8,553,014] -- Posted Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review: Advantech PPC-3120 Intel Atom D2550-powered, versatile fanless 12.1-inch Panel PC
Panel PCs like the 12.1-inch Advantech PPC-3120 are designed to bring computing to places where a desktop or notebook computer isn't feasible or just won't do. RuggedPCReview analyzed and benchmarked the PPC-3120 and found it to be a cleanly designed, no-nonsense panel computer that combines versatility, ruggedness, easy customization and maintenance, and enough performance. It can be configured for a large variety of applications in all kinds of manufacturing and industrial settings, with application in numerous other settings as well. [See review of the Advantech PPC-3120 Panel PC] -- Posted Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Juniper Systems Limited opens in Europe
Juniper Systems reports that they have opened Juniper Systems Limited in Europe. Their new sales & service center is located in Birmingham, UK, and will allow Juniper to provide more immediate communication, faster response times, and ultimately, more excellent service to their customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). General Manager of Juniper Systems Limited is Simon Bowe who came from DAP Technologies, where he was General Manager UK & EMEA. [See Juniper press release] -- Posted Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Datalogic to offer ruggedized Android devices?
Australian tech news publisher ARN reports that Datalogic plans a comprehensive reseller program as the company's offerings change with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets. Datalogic managing director A/NZ Tony Ignatavicius is quoted as saying that Datalogic would launch form factors that resembled smart phone and tablet based devices on a ruggedized Android platform in the first quarter of 2014. [See ARN article] -- Posted Wednesday, October 16, 2013

AIS offers next-gen Industrial Panel PCs as low as US$499
American Industrial Systems (AIS) announced the availability of its next generation of affordable, cost effective (starting at US$499), open Industrial Panel PCs, pre-designed as open-based HMIs with rugged construction and build quality. All models carry an IP65 NEMA 4/4X rating and feature an all-in-one system design. [See AIS industrial touch panel computers] -- Posted Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Getac announces technologically advanced, impressively thin and light rugged F110 tablet and V110 convertible
Getac is blazing new trails with the new V110—the thinnest and lightest rugged convertible—and the F110, the thinnest and lightest fully rugged large screen tablet. The V110 is a rugged convertible that is 1.34 inches thick and weighs 4.4 pounds, the F110 a tablet that's just under an inch thick, weighs just over three pounds. Both new rugged devices offer a choice of Intel "Haswell" 4th generation Core i5 and i7 processors, have 11.6-inch dual-input multi-touch displays, fast 802.11ac WiFi, and 4G LTE. Both carry IP65 sealing, have impressive -6° to 140°F operating temperature ranges, and battery life well beyond full shifts. [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Getac F110 and Getac V110] -- Posted Tuesday, October 15, 2013

VarTech introduces rugged 24-inch 1080p panel-mount monitors
VarTech Systems announced the expansion of their line of industrial grade LCD and sunlight readable monitors with the release of their new rugged 24-inch high definition, panel mount LCD display monitors as industrial solutions for harsh environments where larger display screens are needed. The displays--which can can be configured with input options such as HDMI, VGA, BNC, DVI and HD-SDI--deliver 1080p resolution, industrial grade construction, extended operational temperature, and low energy consumption. [See VarTech rugged 24-inch 1080p displays] -- Posted Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Review: Advantech's scaleable, ultra-thin DS-060 Series digital signage platform with Atom all the way to quad-core Core i7
Working on a digital signage project and looking for the smallest, thinnest player? Put the Advantech DS-060 Series Ultra-Slim Digital Signage Platform on the short list. Coming in five versions ranging from an Atom N2600 all the way up to a quad-core Intel 3rd-gen Core i7-3615QE, the DS-060 is just 0.75 inches thick and weighs under two pounds. [Read our full review of the Advantech DS-060 Series Ultra-Slim Digital Signage Platform] -- Posted Thursday, October 10, 2013

Microsoft Support Lifecycle
There are numerous versions of numerous Microsoft software products, and it's not aways easy to find out what is still supported and what is not. You can, however, get a quick answer by using the Microsoft Product Lifecycle Search. -- Posted Thursday, October 10, 2013

Blank-it teams up with Xplore to stop distracted driving
Xplore Technologies announced it is partnering with blank-it to deliver an integrated solution to improve safety by eliminating distractions while operating heavy machinery in warehousing and distribution operations. By integrating blank-it's distracted driving solution with Xplore's ultra-rugged tablets, drivers are limited to the use of pre-selected programs while in motion, such as navigation aids, reversing camera displays or dispatch systems. [Xplore news] -- Posted Thursday, October 10, 2013

Motion F5te tablet video on YouTube
Motion Computing published 3-minute video describing their new Motion F5te rugged tablet computer. [See Motion F5te tablet on YouTube] -- Posted Thursday, October 10, 2013

Motion expands their mobile technology platform, and unveils new software and productivity accessories for rugged tablets
Motion Computing, one of the original leaders and pioneers of tablet computers, introduced the next generation of their C5 (geared towards healthcare) and F5 (targeted at field operations) series of rugged Windows tablets. The new C5te and F5te benefit from changed Intel 3rd generation Core processor choices, increased RAM and solid state disk capacity, and new 10-finger multi-touch. At the same time, Motion also launched new image sharing and documentation software, an asset and inventory management UHF RFID reader, and workflow-enabling accessories. [See Motion press release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis, and specs of the Motion F5te] -- Posted Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Juniper Systems announces Archer 2 rugged handheld with 4.3-inch high-res capacitive touch screen and IP68 sealing
Juniper Systems of Logan, Utah, introduced the Archer 2 rugged handheld computer as a follow-up and eventual replacement of the company's versatile and virtually indestructible Archer Field PC. The new Archer 2 is faster, has a larger and brighter 4.3-inch 800 x 480 pixel capacitive touch display that can be used with gloves, an extra-long battery life, enhanced GPS capabilities, and it carries IP68 sealing, which means it's completely dust and waterproof. [Read Juniper Systems press release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Archer 2] -- Posted Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Review: Advantech's rugged, compact AIMB-201DS multi-display digital signage player
We reviewed the Advantech AIMB-201DS/AIMB-B1000 rugged, industrial-quality media player for digital signage applications that offers three HDMI video outputs with standard CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) functions to drive multiple displays simultaneously. Available with a variety of Intel Sandy and Ivy Bridge Core processors, the very compact Mini-ITX based player fits into a 1-1/2 inch space. [See review of the Advantech AIMB-201 with AIMB-B1000 chassis] -- Posted Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Avalue announces Intel Bay Trail based SBC for embedded intelligent systems applications
Avalue Technology unveiled a new fanless 3.5-inch single board computer. The ECM-BYT is powered either by the newest Intel Atom processor E3800 product family or by Intel Celeron N2920/J1900 processor, a system-on-chip (SoC) formerly codenamed "Bay Trail." Based on the 22nm Silvermont microarchitecture, these new processors are designed for intelligent systems and applications with low power consumption and high performance requirements. [See Avalue ECM-BYT product page] -- Posted Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ProntoForms and Panasonic team up for a Toughpad promotion
ProntoForms, a mobile form application and platform for enterprises and SMBs, launched an offer for businesses looking for a tablet for employees on the go. Teamed with the rugged Android-based Panasonic Toughpad, available in two sizes, ProntoForms allows businesses to dispatch, collect and submit data in real time, no matter the working conditions. The offer allows businesses to receive $679 off a Panasonic Toughpad FZ-A1 (MSRP $1,779) or JT-B1 (MSRP $1,679) purchase, with the purchase of a ProntoForms AT&T one-year subscription ($220). The offer ends on December 31, 2013. [See ProntoForms/Panasonic Toughpad offer] -- Posted Sunday, October 6, 2013

Intermec webinar: How today's Mobile Devices are Redefining TCO and Transforming Field Service
On Thursday, October 17, 2013, 10:00AM EDT, Intermec will hold a free webinar discussing how between the proliferation of consumer smartphones and the BYOD conundrum, today's Field Mobility Operations and IT leaders are facing more challenges than ever. The webinar, seeks to help cut through all the noise to zero in on today's Field Mobility challenges and shows how to empower mobile field workers to not only perform existing tasks more efficiently, but also take on new tasks quickly. [Free registration] -- Posted Thursday, October 3, 2013

Amrel releases fully rugged 5-inch multi-OS DF6 handheld
Amrel has launched the Rocky DF6, a fully rugged ARM-powered 5-inch handheld with 800 x 480 resolution that can run either Android or Windows Embedded CE 6.0. The device, which weighs just a pound, offers numerous configuration and interface options, sealed Fischer and LEMO ports, and impressive ruggedness. [See description, analysis and specs of the Amrel Rocky DF6] -- Posted Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Rugged handheld makers getting serious about Android
On October 1st, two big names in rugged handhelds, Motorola Solutions and Honeywell/Intermec, both announced Android-capable rugged devices for enterprise and industrial use. Given that almost all consumer smartphones are iOS or Android, but almost all industrial handhelds still run versions of the old Windows CE/Mobile/Embedded Handheld, that's quite significant. [Read RuggedPCReview's analysis of the emerging situation] -- Posted Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Delta Air Lines to equip 11,000 pilots with Microsoft Surface 2 tablets
Microsoft reported that Delta Air Lines is equipping its 11,000 pilots with electronic flight bags using the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet. Device rollout to pilots flying the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 fleets will start later this year and all Delta cockpits are projected to be paperless by the end of 2014. The tablets will provide flight crews real-time access to essential tools and the most up-to-date flight-related resources including key charts, reference documents and checklists while saving the airline $13 million per year in fuel and associated costs. Our take: That's a big win for the much maligned Windows RT. But it's also a big loss for Microsoft's tablet hardware partners (like Motion Computing, Xplore, etc.) who, before Microsoft began making its own tablets, would have had a chance to land such contracts. [See Microsoft press release] -- Posted Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Winmate opens North American service center
Winmate announced it is expanding operations in North America with a service center for Tablet PCs and PDAs via TTX Canada, Inc., a division of Winmate. Located in Ontario, Canada, this will be Winmate's first U.S. and North America service center location. Winmate also announced it has appointed Louise Kucic as Business Development Director, North America. In this role, Kucic will be responsible for the development of the North American market as Winmate continues to expand its presence in the rugged Tablet PC, mobile computer, and PDA market. -- Posted Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What happend in rugged computing 5 years ago: October 2008
In October 2008, we reported that Intermec got a US Army contract for their CK61G and the Seattle PD picked their CN3, and that the LXE TX700 and TX800, which LXE, later bought by Honeywell, took over after they bought Swedish Akerstroms, was now made in the US. Motorola began offering Windows Mobile 6.1 and launched the VC6096 vehicle computer, Finmeccanica bought DRS Technologies, Toshiba unveiled the very cool Portege M750 Tablet PC and Fujitsu the ST6012 slate, and we did a full review of the super-tough Xplore iX104C4. [See what happened in rugged computing five years ago in October 2008] -- Posted Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Swiss railroad to deploy 20,000 tablets and handhelds
SBB, the Swiss railroad, plans on deploying 12,000 smartphones and 8,000 tablets, in addition to replacing 11,000 devices, in a comprehensive effort to electronically report and document problems, disseminate news, establish an intranet, get IT support, use custom apps, and have digital documentation at hand. SBB implemented the "paperless cab" a year ago, with good results. Apple and Samsung, however, are favored to make the sale in an area where rugged devices probably would have been used just a few years ago. [See 20,000 smartphones and tablets for SBB staff (German language)] -- Posted Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Eurotech sells Parvus to Curtis-Wright
Eurotech, a provider of embedded products and technology, announced it has signed an agreement with Curtiss-Wright Controls for the sale of Parvus Corporation, the American fully-owned subsidiary of the Eurotech Group specialized in embedded computers and COTS subsystems for the US Defense market. [See Eurotech press release] -- Posted Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Motorola Solutions expands enterprise Android portfolio
Motorola Solutions announced that three of their enterprise mobile computers—the ET1 tablet, the MC40 enterprise PDA, and the rugged MC67 handheld— will become available with Android Jelly Bean, supported by Motorola's Mx security features and the fourth generation of RhoMobile Suite's cross-platform development framework. This new set of technologies and development tools will help businesses adapt, enhance, integrate and secure the Android OS for enterprise customers. [See Motorola Solutions press release] -- Posted Tuesday, October 1, 2013

DAP partners with Omni-ID to produce first rugged tablet with both active and passive RFID readers
DAP Technologies, a unit of Roper Industries, and Omni-ID announced the launch of a new series of mobile tablets that incorporate both active and passive RFID reader capabilities -- an industry first. Because most companies use a combination of auto-identification technologies incorporating both passive and active RFID tagging to track and locate assets, they have been forced to use multiple types of readers. With the integration of both active and passive RFID in one rugged device suitable for harsh environments, customers can have the ease and convenience of one device. -- Posted Tuesday, October 1, 2013

TabletKiosk announces trade-up program
TabletKiosk announced the availability of a new trade-up program designed to provide customers a hassle-free way to upgrade their existing TabletKiosk hardware. Through December 31, 2013, customers can trade in their older Sahara Slate PC or Sahara NetSlate Tablet PCs and receive $50 to $500 credit towards the purchase of a new Sahara Slate PC i575/i535 or Sahara NetSlate a525. Additionally, TabletKiosk may also accept trade-ins from competing Tablet PC manufacturers on a case-by-case basis. For more information about trading in competitors’ tablets, please call 310-782-1201. -- Posted Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Getac announces significant updates to its best-selling B300 ultra-rugged notebook, now with Intel 4th gen Haswell technology
Getac announced a major performance upgrade to its B300 rugged notebook computer. The newly enhanced B300, which is Getac's most popular hardened laptop, benefits from Intel 4th generation ("Haswell") i5 and i7 processors, boosting graphics performance and efficiency over the previous generation of the platform. Additional upgrades and improvements in wireless communication and components keep this fifth generation of Getac's ultra-rugged notebook at the technological forefront and well equipped to provide computing muscle even under the most extreme working conditions. [See Getac press release, B300 product page, and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the B300 G5] -- Posted Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Intermec, now part of Honeywell, introduces rugged CN51 mobile computer with two OS options -- Android and Windows
Intermec, now part of Honeywell Scanning & Mobility, announced the CN51 rugged mobile computer. The CN51 is an updated version of Intermec's successful CN50, but has a larger, higher resolution screen (4.0-inch, 800 x 480) that now uses resistive multi-touch, updated WiFi, WAN, Bluetooth, camera, and scanners, and it's now based on the dual-core 1.5GHz TI OMAP 4 processor, which means Intermec can offer the CN51 either with Microsoft Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 OR with Android 4.1. [See Intermec press release, and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Intermec CN51] -- Posted Tuesday, October 1, 2013

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