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

October 2014

Happy 25th Anniversary, Getac!

This month, Getac is celebrating its 25t Anniversary. It all started 1989 when GE Aerospace and MiTAC of Taiwan formed Getac to build the company's first product, the T3020 mobile computer that was designed specifically for military field use. Today, Getac is one of the largest providers of rugged notebooks, laptops and handhelds in the world. The company celebrated the event at the US Marine Corps 2014 Miramar Air Show. RuggedPCReview.com was there, and here is our illustrated report: See Getac celebrates 25th Anniversary!
-- Posted Friday, October 31, 2014

Panasonic launches Toughpad FZ-B2
Panasonic announced the launch of the Toughpad FZ-B2, a rugged 7-inch Android 4.4 tablet for field-based workforces. The B2 is a very significant upgrade to (and replacement for) the company's Toughpad FZ-B1, featuring a powerful 1.83GHz Intel N2930 processor, much higher 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, 5-point capacitive glove-enabled multi-touch screen that works with a stylus pen, and up to 14 hours of battery life with the optional high capacity battery. The Toughpad FZ-B2 will be available February 2015 at a list price of $1,299. [See Panasonic Toughpad FZ-B2 spec sheet] -- Posted Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dutch company provides touch screen gloves
Dutch company Mujjo announced their "Refined Touchscreen Glove" for those who need to operate their capacitive touch devices when it's cold. The knitted gloves uses special coated fibers that make operation possible. The palms of the gloves feature grip dots to aid in anti-slip capability. A soft layer of integrated fleece lining provides a soft touch. [See press release] -- Posted Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Zebra Technologies Corporation completes acquisition of Motorola Solutions' enterprise business
Zebra Technologies Corporation and Motorola Solutions announced that Zebra has completed the acquisition of Motorola Solutions’ Enterprise business for US$3.45 billion in cash. The transaction was funded with $200 million of cash on hand and $3.25 billion in new Zebra debt. Motorola Solutions’ Enterprise business, which provides mobile computing and advanced data capture communications technologies, had 2013 sales of US$2.5 billion. [See press release] -- Posted Monday, October 27, 2014

Juniper Systems Ethernet dock now available
Juniper Systems announced that their long-anticipated A2 Single Ethernet Dock is now available. The dock was designed and built in response to customer requests as a convenient means of charging a handheld, as well as syncing data with a PC or a network. The dock comes with an adapter that will allow it to work with either Archer 2 or Allegro 2 handhelds. [See John Florio's "To Dock or Not to Dock" blog entry] -- Posted Monday, October 27, 2014

Microsoft Q1 2015: almost US$1 billion in Surface sales
Microsoft posted its Q1 2015 financials with revenue of US$23.2 billion (up 25% from Q1 2014) and net income of US$4.54 billion. Sales included US$908 million from Surface tablets, boosted, according to Microsoft, by the Surface Pro 3 momentum. While that's not much compared to Microsoft's overall sales volume, almost a billion in revenue from Surface, a much maligned platform, is quite substantial, especially when compared to vertical market tablet manufacturer tablet volumes. [See Microsoft Q3 2015 financials] -- Posted Thursday, October 23, 2014

Increase in cleanroom regulations drives need for rugged tablets
Xplore Technologies points out in a bog entry that an increase in cleanroom regulations is driving the need for rugged tablet computers. That's because cleanrooms have to follow very narrow temperature and humidity control bands and other life safety regulations, meaning that many cleanroom workers have to use computer devices that are at least IP67 rated. [See Xplore blog] -- Posted Thursday, October 23, 2014

Xplore wins telecomm provider deals
Xplore announced that it received more than $6 million in purchase orders for the deployment of its fully-rugged Bobcat Windows tablet. The tablets will be used by field service technicians in the telecommunications provider’s construction and engineering divisions. That's on top of an additional multi-million dollar order for their RangerX Pro fully-rugged Android tablets to be used by network construction technicians out in the field. [See Xplore press release] -- Posted Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New ADLINK Haswell and Bay Trail modules inexpensively boost performance in existing COM Express Type 2 systems
ADLINK announced the release of two new series of COM Express Type 2 modules designed to boost functionality and performance of existing COM Express Type 2 projects with minimal cost. The Express-HL2 is based on 4th gen Intel Core i7/i5/i3 processors, the cExpress-BT2 on Intel Atom E38xx series or Celeron J1900/N2920 chips. -- Posted Wednesday, October 22, 2014

AMREL includes MIL-STD-1553 functionality for mobile avionic solutions into their rugged handheld, tablets and laptops
Rugged computer maker AMREL announced that it now offers a full line of turn-key avionics solutions with integrated MIL-STD-1553 cards. MIL-STD-1553, which defines the mechanical, electrical, and functional characteristics of a serial data bus, is often used in spacecraft on-board data handling. By integrating MIL-STD 1553 AMREL provides its customers with a range of options for communicating with aircraft for troubleshooting, diagnostic systems, and data loading. [See AMREL press release] -- Posted Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Full review: The Handheld Group's handy, multi-talented Nautiz X1 rugged Android-based mobile computer
What the Handheld Group offers with the Android-based Nautiz X1 is an ultra-compact mobile computer that also provides most of the power, features and functionality of the leading consumer smartphones, but in a package that is much tougher than any of them. Equipped with a crisp WVGA 800 x 480 pixel 4.0-inch capacitive multi-touch display, the Nautiz X1 can reliably and efficiently perform data capture and data communication tasks out there in the field. And also serve as a smartphone that won't ever break. [See full review of the Handheld Group's Nautiz X1 -- Posted Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Getac upgrades S400 semi-rugged laptop
Getac introduced an upgraded version of its popular S400 semi-rugged laptop. The third generation models can be equipped with a choice of four Intel "Haswell" i3/i5/i7 processors (see detailed comparison), with the top-of-the-line i7-4610M offering, according to Getac, a 53% performance improvement over the fastest prior gen S400. The new models also benefit from integrated Intel HD Graphics 4600, RAM up to 16GB, and faster WiFi (802.11ac). Despite the updates, the S400 G3 starts at the same US$1,699 as the prior model. [See Getac S400 G3] -- Posted Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Rugged SSDs for extreme applications
SMART High Reliability Solutions announced its HRS-S3 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s SSD for industrial temperature applications. Designed and tested per MIL-STD-810 to operate in high shock and vibration applications at industrial operating temperatures of -40°F to +185°F, the HRS-S3, which is available in capacities from 60 to 960GB, is also certified for operation at altitudes up to 80,000 ft. [See press release] -- Posted Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Doctor says mHealth apps useless
Health IT Outcomes quotes Australian health expert Dr. George Margelisas saying, “The health app world is still very immature, despite the plethora of apps out there," and "“There is a strong need for better education of developers and healthcare professionals on developing models of care that utilize the technology effectively.” Dr. Margelis explains that in order to create useful apps, designers must have a background in the medical field or at least some knowledge of the area they intend to design an app. [See Health IT Outcomes article] -- Posted Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Motorola Solutions launches rugged Symbol TC70 Android-based Touch Computer with 4.7-inch auto-sense procap display
Motorola Solutions launched the Symbol TC70 Touch Computer, a rugged Android 4.4-based handheld with a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 pixel Gorilla Glass-protected auto-sense capacitive touch screen that offers both effortless multi-touch as well as glove touch and a precise capacitive stylus. IP67-sealed and able to handle 6-foot drops, the Symbol TC70 also offers industrial grade 1D/2D scanning, NFC, MSR, WorkForce Connect Push-To-Talk with three microphones and a very loud speaker, long battery life, as well as the company's Mx enterprise and security extensions to Android. [See Symbol TC70 product page and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Motorola Solutions Symbol TC70] -- Posted Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Swiss company offers rugged high-speed GigE Vision camera
A couple of weeks ago we published a review of an Advantech industrial PC capable of receiving simultaneous high-speed input from eight GigE Vision type industrial cameras. Today, Switzerland-based AOS Technologies released the super-rugged GigE Vision compliant H-EM 501 high speed camera, using just one cable and recording at up to 90fps in 1080p resolution and up to 300fps in SVGA. Geared towards aerospace and defense applications, the camera can easily handle extreme operating conditions. [See AOS Technologies H-EM 501 product sheet] -- Posted Monday, October 20, 2014

Datalogic preliminary Q3 2014 sales up 3.6%
Datalogic reports Q3 2014 revenues of €116 million, up 3.6% from Q3 2013. Datalogic's Automatic Data Capture division (which includes the former Datalogic Mobile) saw its revenues grow by 12.6% to €76.9 million compared to Q3 2013. For the first nine months of the year, preliminary sales revenues reflect the gradual improvement achieved by all divisions in A3, and came in at €340.1 million, with a growth of 2.8% compared to the first nine months of 2013. [See Datalogic financials press release] -- Posted Monday, October 20, 2014

GammaTech to display at IACP, Orlando, FL Oct 26-28
GammaTech Computer Corp. announced it will showcase its DURABOOK line of mobile rugged tablets, notebooks and convertible PCs during IACP 2014 — the 121st Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference and Law Enforcement Education and Technology Exposition — in booth 2230. The expo will take place from October 26-28, 2014 in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fl. GammaTech will display a variety of computing solutions with customizable features that meet the unique needs of today's public safety professionals. [See IACP Conference] -- Posted Monday, October 20, 2014

Review: Advantech TREK-674 for mobile surveillance projects
Fleet management and mobile surveillance systems need specialized rugged computers as well as matching displays. And they need to be able to collect and process the video input from multiple cameras. RuggedPCReview.com is taking a detailed look at the Bay Trail-powered Advantech TREK-674 compact industrial computer, which includes an embedded Stretch S7 H.264 video hardware encoder, and the TREK-306DH touch display. [See review of the Advantech TREK-674 and TREK-306DH] -- Posted Sunday, October 19, 2014

ADLINK launches 4-ch simultaneous 16bit 2ms/s USB dAQ module for high-speed data acquisition
ADLINK Technology announced its new USB 2.0 data acquisition module. The USB-1210 supports four 16-bit channels of simultaneous sampling at up to 2 MS/s per channel, and ensures zero data loss in long-term data acquisition thanks to 256MS deep onboard FIFO. The USB-1210 delivers maximum performance with the simplicity and portability of USB connectivity, resulting in an optimized solution for portable high-speed data acquisition. [See ADLINK press release] -- Posted Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bsquare and Aava Mobile introduce MobileV reference design for rugged handhelds and tablets
Bsquare and Aava Mobile announced the release of MobileV, a complete hardware and software reference design for OEMs building durable and rugged class handhelds and industrial tablets. MobileV combines Microsoft Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Pro with Aava Mobile Intel board reference designs based on the quad-core Bay Trail Z3745 chip, along with Bsquare software. MobileV is sold as a package of production-ready reference designs and licenses. The reference design shown by bSquare had a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 multi-touch screen with pen support, with IP67 sealing, 5-foot drop spec, GPS, NFC, LTE, 5 sensors, etc. [See press release, MobileV product page, and MobileV data sheet.]
-- Posted Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2015 IoT Conference to be held in Santa Clara
IoT Developers Conference, the only technical conference and exhibition focused on practical implementations of IoT technologies, will take place May 6-7, 2015 in Santa Clara, Calif., at the Hyatt Regency. Building on its earlier successes, the IoT DevCon will once again join forces with the Multicore DevCon and will include two days of technical training, hands-on demonstrations, and a friendly and constructive environment for networking. -- Posted Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Full Review: Bay Trail-powered 10" Samwell Ruggedbook PC-751
With the second generation Ruggedbook PC-751, Samwell offers a tough, economical Windows tablet suitable for a very wide range of applications. Powered by a dual-core 1.33GHz Intel "Bay Trail" E3825 processor, the 3.3-pound PC-751 provides a good balance between performance and battery life, has a bright and sharp 10.4-inch resistive touch screen, and has generous onboard connectivity with four USB ports, LAN, VGA, audio and even a serial port. [See full review of the Samwell Ruggedbook PC-751] -- Posted Monday, October 13, 2014

Juniper System announces next gen Allegro 2 rugged handheld
Juniper Systems announced the Allegro 2, a new and significantly enhanced and optimized generation of the company's long-running line of Allegro rugged handheld computers. According to Juniper Systems, the Allegro 2 was “designed for the data-intensive,” with special attention paid to engineering and design. The new Allegro 2 has a larger, higher resolution display, uses procap, is faster, has more storage, better GPS, faster WiFi, a new keyboard, much longer battery life, and it's now IP68 sealed. [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Juniper Allegro 2] -- Posted Monday, October 13, 2014

CMAA National Conference Oct. 19-21, 2014 in San Francisco
The 2014 National Conference of CMAA, a premier event for the construction/program management industry, is being held October 19-21, 2014 at the Marriott Marquis, San Francisco, CA. [See CMAA National Conference & Trade Show] -- Posted Monday, October 13, 2014

Full review: Advantech AIIS-1240 PoE Compact System
A special treat: RuggedPCReview analyzed Advantech's AIIS-1240, a compact industrial computer with desktop-class processing power designed specifically for machine vision projects. The AIIS-1240 can provide Power over Ethernet to four industrial cameras for numerous automated optical inspection applications. [See full review of the Advantech AIIS-1240 PoE Compact System] -- Posted Friday, October 10, 2014

Crystal Group offers online Total Cost of Ownership calculator for rugged servers
Crystal Group Inc, a manufacturer of rugged COTS computing hardware, published an online Total Cost of Ownership calculator on its website. The TCO calculator allows input numerous hard and soft costs for both ruggedized, and non-ruggedized hardware, and then provides a graphical breakdown of costs over the life of the system, allowing the user to determine which type of hardware they should be purchasing. The calculator harvests potential customer data, of course, and it's targeted at servers, but it's certainly interesting to compare rugged vs. non-rugged costs. [See Crystal Group's TCO calculator page] -- Posted Thursday, October 9, 2014

ADLINK announces alliance strategy for integrated networking and communications, opens tech demo room
ADLINK Technology, a global provider of cloud-based services, intelligent gateways, and embedded building blocks for edge devices that enable the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the opening of a demo room—developed in collaboration with Intel at ADLINK's Shanghai Operations Center—as the kick-off event for a newly signed collaborative technology strategy. [See ADLINK press release] -- Posted Thursday, October 9, 2014

Datalogic unveils latest integrated solutions line-up at PACK EXPO 2014
Datalogic, a global leader in Automatic Data Capture and Industrial Automation markets and producer of bar code readers, mobile computers, sensors, vision systems and laser marking equipment, announced it will show at PACK EXPO 2014 (Chicago, Illinois, Nov 2-5) cutting-edge, live demonstrations on a working conveyor designed to simulate real pharmaceutical and food & beverage production environments. Attendees who visit Datalogic booth N-6104 at Chicago’s McCormick Center will get an opportunity to see the products in action. -- Posted Thursday, October 9, 2014

Xplore Technologies announces additional military order
Xplore Technlogies announced that it received a multi-million dollar purchase order for its iX104C5 M1 ultra-rugged Windows tablets as part of an ongoing military program that utilizes the tablets for field data collection. This purchase order follows previous orders for iX104C5 M1 ultra-rugged Windows tablets from the same customer. [See Xplore press release] -- Posted Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hewlett Packard to split into two companies
Hewlett Packard announced plans to separate into two new publicly traded companies. Hewlett-Packard Enterprise will include HP's enterprise technology infrastructure, software and services businesses, while HP Inc. will have the current company's PCs and printers under the existing logo. In terms of financials, both halves will start out roughly equal -- each about $58 billion sales, $6 billion operating profit. Let's hope this works out better than when Motorola split into Motorola and Motorola Solutions. As for impact on the rugged industry, HP customers can currently buy Getac rugged notebooks and tablets under HP's 3rd party solutions program, which will likely stay with HP Inc. [See HP press release] -- Posted Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Review: Advantech TREK-520 rugged in-vehicle computer for fleet and mobile resource management
RuggedPCReview took a detailed look at Advantech's very compact rugged and very compact RISC-powered TREK-520 in-vehicle computer, designed for local fleet management and mobile resource management applications. The easily installed system can interact with vehicles and sensors, and offers superior wireless connectivity with dedicated external antennae. Used in conjunction with fleet management software it's an inexpensive way to streamline operations, optimize vehicle use, and reduce errors, fuel usage and overall costs. [See full review of the Advantech TREK-520 in-vehicle computer] -- Posted Monday, October 6, 2014

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: October 2009
In October 2009, Handheld Group introduced the ultra-rugged Nautiz X7, Aaeon Technology the rugged RTC-1000 tablet, and Dell a toughened version of its XT2 convertible, the XT2 XFR. Intermec offered "cash for clunkers," a liberal trade-in program. Infoworld said WindowsMobile's future looked increasingly uncertain. We at RuggedPCReview found that the new Windows 7 looked remarkably like Vista with a new name. MobileDemand introduced a smaller rugged Tablet PC, the xTablet T7000. The Statistics Center-Abu Dhabi bought Intermec CN50 handhelds. We did a full review of the small Datalogic Memor with its "speedy, modern PXA310 processor," and also examined the Samwell Ruggedbook SR800. On the bleeding technology edge, Getac offered multi-touch on its V100, Fujitsu Lifebook the T4410 multi-touch convertible, and Motion Gorilla Glass on its C5/F5, and we wondered if 3D, the hot thing on TVs, would soon be on handhelds via a new 3M optical film. [See September 2009 archive] -- Posted Sunday, October 5, 2014

Full review: MobileDemand's thin-and-light xTablet T1400
The 2.4-pound xTablet T1400 10.1-inch tablet not only considerably expands MobileDemand's product reach from its traditional rugged application areas, it also advances the state-of-the-art with its combination of bright, super-high resolution capacitive multitouch display and next-gen "Bay Trail" processor in a thin and light, but sufficiently hardened package that should have great appeal to a wide variety of customers. [See full review of the MobileDemand xTablet T1400] -- Posted Thursday, October 2, 2014

ADLINK announces new ETX Computer-on-Module as a drop-in replacement for existing ETX systems
ADLINK released a new ETX computer-on-module based on the Intel Atom E3800 SOC Series, ranging from the single-core 1.4GHz E3815 to the quad-core 1.9GHz E3845, and including up to 4 GB non-ECC 1333/1066 MHz DDR3L memory. The ETX-BT supports all the legacy I/O of previous ETX modules and extend the service life of expiring ETX-based systems for another seven years. ETX-BT is also equipped with ADLINK’s Smart Embedded Management Agent (SEMA) for remote monitoring, and control​ of embedded devices via SEMA Cloud Services. [See ADLINK press release] -- Posted Thursday, October 2, 2014

Honeywell announces new global performance partner program, award winners at 2014 EMEAI Partner Conference
Honeywell announced its new global partner program and award winners from the 2014 EMEAI partner conference in Prague. Themed “Leading Change,” the conference was the first combined partner event for Honeywell since the integration with Intermec. With more than 1,200 partners represented worldwide, the event included more than 650 partner attendees from across the EMEIA region. Unveiled at the event was Honeywell Scanning & Mobility’s new global Performance Partner Program, designed to allow for simplified processes, improved ease of doing business for partners and increased opportunities for collaboration. The program will begin January 1, 2015. [See Honeywell AIDC press release] -- Posted Thursday, October 2, 2014

Motion Computing releases CL920, next generation of successful CL-series of rugged tablets
Motion Computing released its next generation of CL-series mobile technology. The Motion CL920 Rugged Tablet Platform includes a 69% faster Windows-based 10.1”rugged tablet, powered by an Intel Pentium N3540 processor, along with a line purpose-built accessories for service contractors, manufacturing and retail distribution. Integrated features like 4G LTE and SnapWorks by Motion further streamline the work day. [See Motion press release and RuggedPCReviews' description, analysis and specs of the Motion CL920] -- Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2014

RuggedPCReview welcomes Cedar Tree Technologies as its newest industry sponsor
Cedar Tree Technologies has joined the RuggedPCReview industry sponsor family, thus helping us spread the word of the uses and benefits of ruggedized computing equipment, and generating the detailed product reviews our organization is known for. Launched by the founders of Juniper Systems, Cedar is where ultra-ruggedness and affordability meet. Cedar provides rugged handheld computers equipped with the power and versatility of Android to professionals in a wide variety of markets. Initial products include the CT7 tablet, CT4 handheld/phone, and CMP1 MiniPhone. -- Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2014

APTA Expo 2014 Oct. 13-15, Houston TX
APTA Expo 2014, the annual conference and exhibit of the American Public Transportation Association, will take place October 13 to 15 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX. Of names you find on RuggedPCReview.com, exhibitors include Acrosser, Beijer Electronics, Fujitsu, Handheld Group, NEXCOM, O'Neil, Panasonic, Toshiba, etc. Acrosser alerts to its special APTA Expo microsite that promises to tell all you need to know about fleet management. -- Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lenovo acquires IBM x86 business
Lenovo announced it acquired IBM's x86 business for about US$2,1 billion. Having already bought IBM's laptop and desktop divisions in 2005, Lenovo is now a US$39 billion company. What Lenovo gets with the purchase is essentially IBM's x86-based server business. Over the last few years, HP and IBM have battled for the top spot, with Dell a strong third. -- Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Juniper Systems and Soil Instruments partner for superior geotechnical monitoring
Soil Instruments Limited has partnered with Juniper Systems to provide a superior geotechnical monitoring system using rugged computers and geotechnical engineering instrumentation to improve field activities in the structural and earthworks industry. Specifically, pairing Juniper Systems’ Archer 2 rugged field computer with Soil Instruments’ Digital Inclinometer Systems offers field engineers with a truly robust measuring and data collection system. [See Juniper press release] -- Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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