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Microsoft unveils Windows Mobile 6.1
At CTIA, Microsoft announced Windows Mobile 6.1. Among the benefits: texting that looks like instant messging; improved browsing with zoom and overview; simpler email and Bluetooth setup, and easier WiFi connection; a new "Getting Started" center; better security; more personal settings; and a new home screen interface. [See Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.1 page] -- Posted Thursday, April 3, 2008 by chb

TabletKiosk resells rugged GETAC tablet computer
The GETAC E100 rugged Tablet PC is now also being resold by TabletKiosk as the GETAC 840XT. The IP54-sealed tablet measures just 11.1 x 7.2 inches and weighs barely more than three pounds. It's powered by a very energy-efficient 800MHz Intel A110, comes with a sunlight-readable 8.4-inch display and built-in GPS. [Read description and specs of the GETAC E100] -- Posted Thursday, April 3, 2008 by chb

VIA releases new chipset for small and embedded devices
Of potential interest for the rugged industry: VIA Technologies announced the new VIA VX800 Series of digital media IGP chipsets offering video, graphics and connectivity performance in a single chip. The VIA VX800 Series comprises two chipsets, the VIA VX800 for ultra thin and light notebooks, mini PCs and embedded devices, and the ultra low voltage VIA VX800U for the fast-expanding ultra mobile market, including the rapidly-emerging mini-note, UMPC and UMD markets. [See VIA's VX800 Chipset page] -- Posted Wednesday, April 2, 2008 by chb

Psion Teklogix first to achieve AT&T 3G network certification for rugged mobile devices
Psion Teklogix announced that its two flagship mobile devices, the Ikon PDA and IP65-rated WORKABOUT PRO, are the first rugged mobile computers to offer simultaneous voice and data capabilities on AT&T's 3G broadband network. AT&T’s 3G network incorporates Universal Mobile Telephone System (UMTS) and High Speed Download Packet Access (HSDPA) technologies with download speeds of as fast as 15 seconds for a 1MB file. [Read release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 2, 2008 by chb

Full review: DRS ARMOR C12
DRS Tactical, the former WalkAbout, certainly knows a lot about rugged computers. But with the recently introduced ARMOR C12 Tablet PC convertible they go against well established competition from Panasonic and GETAC. Can the new DRS machine hold its own? [Read full review of the DRS ARMOR C12] -- Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2008 by chb

Panasonic slightly upgrades CF-19 notebook convertible
Panasonic upgraded its compact Toughbook CF-19 convertible PC from an Intel Core Duo U2400 to a Core 2 Duo U7500. Supporting chipsets have also been upgraded as has standard memory size (now 1GB). An integrated 2MP camera is said to become available and pricing for the CF-19F now seems to start at about US$3,200. [read description and specs of the updated Panasonic CF-19] -- Posted Tuesday, March 25, 2008 by chb

Added: Unitech lineup of durable and rugged data collection PDAs and terminals
We've added the Unitech lineup of durable and rugged point-of-sale and data collection handhelds. Unitech, a Taiwanese company, has almost 30 years of experience in data collection handhelds with integrated laser scanners, imagers, and RFID readers. Read description and full specs of the enterprise PDA Unitech PA500, the somewhat more rugged Unitech PA600, the rugged Unitech PA966/967 with a 36-key keyboard, the very rugged Unitech PA982 that can handle extreme temperatures and full immersion, and the RFID reading Unitech RH767. All units are Windows Mobile or Windows CE-based. -- Posted Saturday, March 22, 2008 by chb

Taiwanese Adlink buys rugged embedded IPC maker Ampro
Adlink Technology, a Taiwan-based industrial PC maker announced the acquisition of privately held Ampro Computers, an IPC producer headquartered in California. The acquisition, characterized as highly synergistic by both companies' CEOs, merges Ampro's expertise in board-level embedded computers with ADLINK's low-cost manufacturing capabilities and products targeting the industrial control and communications markets. Ampro originated the PC/104 and EBX form factors, makes the RuffSystem Extreme Rugged Embedded PC, and specializes in modular embedded solutions for aviation, military and rugged industrial applications. -- Posted Friday, March 21, 2008 by chb

Added: Panasonic CF-52
The semi-rugged Panasonic Toughbook CF-52 looks more like a "real" Toughbook compared to its unassuming CF-51 predecessor. On the technology side, the magnesium-clad CF-52 has been upgraded to T7100/T7300 Core 2 Duo processors. Available hard disks are shock-mounted 80 and 120GB, memory goes up to 4GB, and the display comes in two varieties: 1200 x 800 pixel WXGA or a stunning 1920 x 1200 pixel WUXGA. Overall, this is a superb machine, and that especially goes for the top-of-the-line model with the 1920 x 1200 display. If you need maximum resolution in a still fairly small and handy notebook that's also semi-rugged, the CF-52 is hard to beat. [Read description and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-52] -- Posted Friday, March 21, 2008 by chb

Advantech introduces semi-rugged industrial tablet
Taiwanese Advantech, a global vendor of embedded and industrial computing platforms, introduced the MARS-3100S Industrial Tablet PC. The 3100S has a 10.4-inch display and runs Windows XP Pro or XP Embedded on a power-efficient AMD LX 800 processor. With a magnesium-alloy housing and rubber bumpers the 3100S can survive 3-foot drops. IP54 sealing and the usual MIL-STD-810F testing compliance make this new Advantech product suitable for use in manufacturing, warehousing, shop floor maintenance, field service, transportation, law enforcement, fire or other emergency services. [See description and specs of the Advantech MARS-3100S tablet] -- Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2008 by chb

MobileDemand named Technology Company of the Year by the Technology Association of Iowa
The Technology Association of Iowa last week named MobileDemand, a Cedar Rapids-based rugged Tablet PC manufacturer, Technology Company of the Year. MobileDemand was recognized for its rapid growth, innovation and leadership in the field. RuggedPCReview.com congratulates MobileDemand for this well-deserved honor! -- Posted Monday, March 17, 2008 by chb

VDC describes shifting market conditions for rugged vendors
From briefings with rugged mobile computing vendors at the AUSA Winter Symposium held in Ft. Lauderdale from February 27 through 29, VDC concludes that the robust military spending over the past years is coming to an end, which means military-oriented vendors of rugged mobile computing equipment will need to explore opportunities in other markets. It also means that the military may pursue a “rugged enough” approach and look towards less expensive equipment. VDC mentions the new DRS ARMOR C12 and X10 as well as the Trimble/TDS Recon and Nomad as examples of products that are both reasonably priced AND versatible at a time where the military will no longer automatically purchase expensive successor models. -- Posted Friday, March 14, 2008 by chb

GETAC launches rugged PDA/GPS combo device
GETAC officially launches its Model PS535E Rugged PDA with sunlight readable display this weekend during the ESRI Worldwide Business Partner Conference at the Wyndham Hotel and Palm Springs Convention Center. The PS535E is a combination PDA and GPS device that performs and protects your data in the field. It features embedded GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, 8 hours of battery life and a 3.5-inch transflective sunlight readable display for outdoor performance all day long. It also is as Rugged as they come, withstanding testing to MIL-STD-810F and IP54 standards. We hope to have a full review soon! -- Posted Thursday, March 13, 2008 by chb

TDS Nomad gets broadband cellular data capability
Tripod Data Systems announced the availability of a new broadband wireless modem for the Nomad outdoor rugged handheld. The EVDO high speed cellular data modem, made by Franklin Wireless, allows users to communicate from the field to office or other locations where Sprint cellular connectivity is available in the U.S. Expanding upon the Nomad's current WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities by adding advanced cellular technology, users now have the ability to move about more freely and extend their range while working in the field. [See RuggedPCReview.com review of the TDS Nomad]
-- Posted Wednesday, March 12, 2008 by chb

VDC reports on HIMSS 2008
The 2008 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) annual conference took place in Orlando, Florida. Venture Development Corporation (VDC), a Massachusetts-based technology market research firm reports that vendors are turning from horizontal mobile computing solutions to healthcare-specific hardware to appeal to the potentially huge, yet very fickle, healthcare market. VDC cites the "awkward tablet" and commercial-grade handhelds and smartphones as mostly unsuitable for the healthcare market. VDC praised new products that address ruggedness, germ prevention, white casing and acceptable price points as the way to go, and mentioned the industry's impressive adoption of the Motion Computing C5 medical markets tablet. [Read VDC's HIMSS press release] -- Posted Tuesday, March 11, 2008 by chb

Added: Gateway C-141
The Gateway C-Series Tablet PC convertible (now called an "adaptable notebook") goes on with the C-141 models, following up on the CX200 Series introduced in October of 2005 and the company's initial M275 Tablet PC convertible. [See description and specs of the Gateway C-141 Tablet PC convertible] -- Posted Monday, March 10, 2008 by chb

Added: GETAC P470 and new B300
Rugged computer maker GETAC is on a roll. The company has been introducing slew of impressive new products. We just added a description and specs for the ruggedized "business-class" P470 (left), a compact and fairly light notebook with Core 2 Duo power, excellent connectivity, and a 14.1-inch wide-format screen. Most impressive is also the new B300 (right), a fully rugged notebook that skillfully combines a superbright 1200 nit display with Core 2 Duo L7500 performance, battery life up to 12 hours, and above-average onboard connectivity. [See description and specs of the GETAC P470 and GETAC B300] -- Posted Friday, March 7, 2008 by chb

Dual personality rugged military smartphone
Though it looks a bit like it, the Sectéra Edge by General Dynamics is not your average Blackberry clone. Instead, it is a SME-PED — a Secure Mobile Environment Portable Electronic Device. The Windows Mobile-based device was specifically developed for the National Security Agency's SME-PED program and is certified by the NSA. It's fully rugged and can be operated both in classified and unclassified mode. [See description and specs of the General Dynamics Sectéra Edge] -- Posted Thursday, March 6, 2008 by chb

DRS Tactical lunches ARMOR line of rugged computers
DRS Tactical, located in Melbourne, Florida, announced ARMOR, a line of rugged mobile computers with an emphasis on data protection technology, anywhere connectivity and sunlight readable display options for industrial and government customers. The initial products of the ARMOR line include the compact C12 notebook convertible and the X10 Tablet, a 9th generation Hammerhead. -- Posted Thursday, March 6, 2008 by chb

Taiwanese magnesium chassis plant suffers fire damage
Digitimes reports that a fire has damaged the production lines at Taiwanese Waffer Technology, a company specializing on thixomolded magnesium chassis for mobile computers and other applications. Some production is said to be shifted to China. While commercial notebooks still largely use plastic chassis, some rugged device manufacturers may be affected. -- Posted Wednesday, March 5, 2008 by chb

Dell introduces rugged Latitude XFR D630
Dell is getting serious about rugged notebooks. The XFR D630 is a heavily ruggedized version of the Latitude 630 platform. As such it fits right into the IT infrastructure of numerous organizations that already have hundreds or thousands of Dell Latitudes. But the XFR D630 can more than hold its own with up-to-date technology, excellent connectivity, numerous wireless options, Dell's superb DirectVue sunlight-viewable display technology and impressive ruggedness specs: IP54 sealing, multiple 3-foot drops, operating temperature between -20 and 140 degrees, solid state disk options, a touch screen option, and a competitive price. [Read description and specs of the Dell Latitude XFR D630] -- Posted Tuesday, March 4, 2008 by chb

MobileDemand announces production availability of rugged xTablet T8700
MobileDemand announced full production availability of the xTablet T8700, the latest installment in their roster of rugged computer solutions built for a variety of vertical markets. The xTablet T8700, equipped with a data entry keypad and available with scanner and mag card reader options, is ideal for mobile workforces with its unique combination of Intel Core Duo performance, extensive data collection capabilities, and military rated ruggedness. The T8700 is also one of the few rugged tablets we've seen supporting Windows Vista (we published the test scores). See the videos for an amazing demonstration of the unit's ruggedness! [Read full press release] [Read our full review of the xTablet T8700] -- Posted Monday, March 3, 2008 by chb

What role will Intel's new Atom processor play?
Intel introduced the low-power Atom processor designed specifically for mobile internet devices. While desktop chips draw as much as 35 watts of thermal design power (TDP) and even ultra-low power Core Duos draw almost 10 watts, the Atoms will draw from 0.6 to 2.5 watts. Intel stresses that the chip is not a shrunken version of a desktop chip, but designed from the ground up. Various Intel sources mentioned its use as in $250-400 notebooks, "Intel's architecture for mobile devices," "devices that fit in pockets," and as "the basis of new sexy: low power and small." And no fan needed. Will Atom replace the ARM-based PXA processors that Intel jettisoned to Marvell? [See our take on Intel's new Atom processor] -- Posted Monday, March 3, 2008 by chb

Detailed review: GD-Itronix Duo-Touch II
The Duo-Touch II by General Dynamics Itronix is a compact, rugged Tablet PC now in its fourth generation. Upgraded electronics provide an overall benchmark performance improvement of 67% over the predecessor model. The Duo-Touch II also uses the GD Itronix DynaVue daylight viewable display technology for very good outdoor readability. Users can toggle between touch screen mode and an active digitizer, enhancing functionality and ease of use. The 4-pound Duo-Touch II is a fully rugged computer, has IP54 sealing, and can accommodate up to three different integrated radios plus GPS. [Read detailed review of the General Dynamics Itronix Duo-Touch II] -- Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2008 by chb

Socket announces antibacterial plastic products
Socket Mobile announced a new line of products to be built with an antibacterial plastic targeted toward healthcare and other markets that involve hygiene-sensitive environments. The first product combination to debut in the new line is the SoMo 650 handheld computer and docking cradle. The new antibacterial product line incorporates the use of an antibacterial additive that gradually releases microbe-fighting metal ions upon becoming moist or wet, providing an additional layer of protection against the multiplication and spread of potentially harmful bacteria and microbes. -- Posted Monday, February 25, 2008 by chb

Added: AMREL MRK8 rugged medical market notebook
AMREL's line of rugged Rocky notebooks, tablets, and PDAs also includes state-of-the-art Intel Core 2 Duo models with high res 15.1-inch 1400 x 1050 pixel displays and dedicated NVIDIA graphics subsystems for demanding graphics applications. AMREL covers industrial, military and medical markets with its flexible and highly configurable computing platforms, and the MRK8 is geared towards the latter. Its media bay can accommodate special Data Acquisition Cards to include 3rd party technology. [See description and specs of the AMREL MRK8 rugged medical notebook] -- Posted Sunday, February 24, 2008 by chb

Added: Casio's tiny DT-X7 industrial handheld
Weighing just over five ounces, Casio's DT-X7 industrial handheld data entry and collection terminal fits anywhere. It's an ergonomically designed, Marvell XPA270-powered marvel with an integrated imager and a handy 29-key keypad. The DT-X7 is IP54-sealed and can handle three foot drops, making it perfect for any number of warehousing and inventory applications. It has a 2.4-inch QVGA LCD, runs Windows CE 5.0 and won a prestigious 2008 iF product design award (International Forum Design of Hannover, Germany). [Read description and specs of the Casio DT-X7 data entry terminal] -- Posted Friday, February 22, 2008 by chb

LXE acquires Swedish Akerström, adds two vehicle mounts
LXE, Inc. accounced it has acquired Swedish mobile computer maker Akerströms Trux. With the acquisition, LXE adds two Windows XP-based vehicle-mount panel computers to its lineup of handhelds. The Tx700 and Tx800 are rugged forklift and vehicle-mount computers running Windows XP or XP Embedded. The Intel M processor powered panel computers have 10.4 or 12.1-inch touch screens and feature superb onboard connectivity. The TX700 is also available in a Windows CE version. [See description and specs of the LXE Akerström Tx700/Tx700 CE and Tx800 panel computers] -- Posted Thursday, February 21, 2008 by chb

Roper Mobile announces rugged Duros Tablet PC
Roper Mobile Technology -- a subsidiary of Roper Industries that combines DAP Technologies, JLT Mobile Computers, and Black Diamond Advanced Technology -- introduced the Duros Rugged Tablet PC. The Duros is a fourth generation Windows XP-based tablet PC that is sealed to IP-65 specifications and passes the requisite MIL-STD 810F ruggedness tests. Equipped with a sunlight-viewable 8.4-inch SVGA resistive touchscreen and powered by either an AMD Geode LX 800 or a 1GHz Intel Celeron M , the comes with hard drives up to 120GB (or a solid state drive up to 64GB). The battery is hot swappable and the Duros has integrated WiFi, Bluetooth, GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS and optional GPS. It is geared towards harsh field applications such as mining, construction, utilities, public safety or military. [See description and specs of the Roper Mobile Duros rugged Tablet PC] -- Posted Wednesday, February 20, 2008 by chb

Added: Intermec CV30 and CV60 vehicle and fixed mount computers
We added the Intermec CV30 and CV60 vehicle and fixed mount computers to RuggedPCReview.com's panel computer listing. The CV30 is a rugged and very compact Windows Mobile or CE.Net device with a 6.4-inch touch screen. The larger CV60 can run either CE.Net, Windows XP or XP Embedded. It has a 12.1-inch display with touch screen. Both panels have cast magnesium housings that are sealed against dust and water, have onboard wireless and can connect to scanning/RFID peripherals via Bluetooth or tethered USB or serial connections. [Read description and specs of the Intermec CV30 and Intermec CV60] -- Posted Friday, February 15, 2008 by chb

Intermec has record revenue quarter
Intermec reported 2007 fourth quarter revenues of $253 million and earnings from continuing operations of $16.4 million, compared to 2006 equivalents of $219 million and $5.2 million. For the entire fiscal year 2007 revenues were $849 million and earnings from continuing operations were $24.3 million, compared to $850 million and $35.0 million in 2006 [see Intermec earnings news release). Among recently introduced products is the Windows Mobile based CK61ex that integrates EX imaging technology in a rugged handheld computer, enabling users to scan any kind of barcode, in any orientation, from 6 inches to 50 feet away, as well as capture images [see description of the Intermec CK61EX] -- Posted Friday, February 8, 2008 by chb

Added: DT Research information appliances
There was a time when "web tablets" were supposed to be the next big thing and even Microsoft got into the act with its "Mira" platform. That did not go anywhere, but today products like the WebDT 310 and the slightly smaller WebDT 360 from DT Research are being used as light and handy solutions for many mobile computing applications. [See description and specs of the DT Research WebDT 310 and DT Research WebDT 360]. -- Posted Thursday, February 7, 2008 by chb

Windows Mobile-based vibration spectrum analyser
According to Processingtalk, Datastick Systems will demonstrate its interesting VSA-1225 Vibration Spectrum Analyser at the IMC 2007 International Maintenance Conference in Daytona Beach, Fla. The VSA-1225 module comes in a sleeve that attaches to an HP iPAQ hx2400 ord hx2700 Pocket PC. Datastick Systems also makes vibration analyzers that work with Palm Treos and the Palm TX. With these vibration analyzers, inspectors can take vibration measurements, and the view, analyse or email them. -- Posted Wednesday, February 6, 2008 by chb

Added: Psion Teklogix ikôn rugged PDA
Psion Teklogix added the ikôn Rugged PDA to its lineup of rugged handhelds, vehicle mounts, and terminals. The compact and lightweight ikôn is powered by a 624MHz Marvell PXA270, has a full-VGA outdoor-viewable 3.7-inch display, runs Windows CE 5.0 or Windows Mobile 6.0, survives 5-foot drops, and has an impressive IP65 ingress protection rating. [Read description and specs of the Psion Teklogix ikôn Rugged PDA] -- Posted Monday, February 4, 2008 by chb

Businessweek high on Itron
Mobile computing historians know that Itron Inc. started Itronix as a business unit in the late 1980s and then spun it off in 1992. While Itronix became part of Telxon, then Dynatech which changed its name to Acterna and sold Itronix to an investment company before General Dynamics came in and formed today's GD-Itronix, Itron itself is a global leader in advanced meter-reading gear. BusinessWeek is bullish on Itron which sells data collection handhelds and related products to about 3,000 utilities. With 85% of about 2.5 billion meters worldwide still being old electromagnetical devices that need replacement, Itron's modern smart metering systems and handhelds may be the replacement choice of numerous utilities. -- Posted Friday, February 1, 2008 by chb

Psion Teklogix introduces I-Serv Global Service Program
Psion Teklogix has announced its new I-Serv global service program that promises to lower the TCO of their rugged mobile computer equipment and service costs by as much as 50%. The company is factoring the cost of field and warehouse equipment out of commission, time delays and long-repairs cycles as contributing to hidden TCO. I-Serv combines real-time online global device tracking, a guaranteed service level agreement response time, a 24/7 help desk, global support in seven languages and an “abuse” repair program. [Learn about Psion Teklogix I-Serv] -- Posted Thursday, January 31, 2008 by chb

HTC Shift: does this "hybrid" solution show the future?
Albeit not a rugged device, HTC's finally released ultra-mobile PC offers a fascinating look at hybrid technology that combines full Windows Vista with a Windows Mobile variant that offers instant-on and access to push email and PIM data. Vista is powerful but has short battery life; the "SnapVUE" Windows Mobile mode offers only essentials but can run as long as ten days. There are two processors and separate memory, a 1280 x 800 pixel 7-inch touchscreen, and an innovative slide-and-tilt QWERTY keyboard lets you use the Shift like a little notebook. [Read full description and specs of the HTC Shift "hybrid" ultra-mobile PC] -- Posted Wednesday, January 30, 2008 by chb

Intermec adds auto-focus area imaging to rugged CK61 mobile computer
Intermec introduced a new version of its ultra-rugged CK61. The CK61EX integrates Intermec's auto-focus area imaging technology that enables quick scanning of 1D and 2D barcodes in any orientation, from six inches to 50 feet away. In addition, users can capture images, signatures and documents and scan damaged, poorly printed or partially obscured codes in variable lighting conditions. The CK61ex is also RFID-ready for connection to the Intermec IP30 RFID Reader Handle. [see description and specs of the Intermec CK61EX] -- Posted Tuesday, January 29, 2008 by chb

Wyse introduces multimedia-capable, large-screen thin clients
At the Citrix Solutions Summit in Orlando, Wyse announced it has complemented its existing X90/X90e thin client notebook with the new X90L and X90Le models. The X90L is based on the 1.2GHz VIA C7-M Ultra Low Voltage processor. Since the X90L are meant to be desktop replacements and capable of display-oriented applications, they have 15.4-inch WXGA (1280 x 800 pixel) LCDs and run Windows XP Embedded. Compared to the standard X90 line that has 12.1-inch displays, the new models also have gigabit Ethernet, an SD Card slot in addition to the Smart Card reader, Bluetooth 2.0, multimedia support, and both VGA and DVI video output. [Read description ad specs of the Wyse X90L/X90Le think client. -- Posted Monday, January 28, 2008 by chb

Case study: GD-Itronix XR-1 notebooks at Aquila
Kansas City, MO, based electric and natural gas distribution company Aquila achieved increased efficiency, faster communication, and enhanced screen viewability since equipping its Customer Operations department with General Dynamics Itronix XR-1 notebooks. Read new GD-Itronix case study. -- Posted Friday, January 25, 2008 by chb

Shockproof IP67-rated camera that's also a barcode scanner and GPS-ready
Ricoh introduced a rugged camera that not only takes pictures, but can scan barcodes, communicate with a GPS receiver, and attach both barcode and GPS data to an image file. The files can then be wirelessly sent to a PC or server where they can be used for barcode-based workflows that require high-quality images or advanced geo-coding/mapping applications. The 8-megapixel camera carries an IP67 rating, has onboard WiFi and Bluetooth, and represents a novel, innovative solution with substantial application potential. [Read description and specs of the Ricoh 500SE] -- Posted Friday, January 25, 2008 by chb

Fujitsu updates tiny Lifebook
Fujitsu released a technologically updated version of its tiny touchscreen notebook, the LifeBook P1620. The 9.15 x 6.6 x 1.36 inch notebook convertible weighs just 2.2 pounds, has a 8.9-inch wide screen with 1280 x 768 pixel resolution, and is now motivated by a 1.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U7600 chip. Ancillary circuitry has been updated as well, and the P1620, which comes with Vista Business, is now available with an optional Solid State Drive. [Read description and full specs of the Fujitsu LifeBook P1620] -- Posted Wednesday, January 23, 2008 by chb

GETAC introduces Intel A110-based lightweight rugged Tablet PC
At DistribuTECH 2008 in Tampa, Florida, GETAC introduced a compact, lightweight rugged Tablet PC slate based on Intel's ultra low-power A110 processor. The E100 measures 11.1 x 7.2 x 1.26 inches and weighs just over three pounds. The 8.4-inch touchscreen display is available with a 800 nit daylight-viewable option. Using a magnesium housing, rubber bumpers, shock-mounted hardware and extensive sealing, the E100 is ruggedness-tested to MIL-STD-810F standards. Geared towards field and customer service applications, the system is available with "mission boxes" for customized market applications that use RFID, barcode and magnetic strip readers or digital cameras. [Read description and specs of the GETAC E100 ruggedTablet PC slate] -- Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2008 by chb

Intermec introduces 4-inch mobile label printer
Intermec introduces the PB50, the company's first wireless mobile label printer and the perfect complement to Intermec mobile computers and scanners such as the CN3 series, 700 series, CK61 series of mobile computers, SR61 and SF51 Bluetooth scanners. As an integral part of the Intermec wireless mobile hardware solution for warehouse operations, the 4-inch PB50 allows users to print labels, tags and receipts wherever and whenever needed through Bluetooth and WLAN connectivity. With a 64MB on-board flash memory, the PB50 can store frequently used label formats and graphics on the printer, eliminating the need to access files from the host system. [See Intermec PB50 product page] -- Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2008 by chb

Review: Panasonic Toughbook CF-30
The original Panasonic Toughbook almost singlehandedly created the market for semi-rugged and rugged notebooks. There is plenty of competition now and so we did a long-term test of the latest version of the original Toughbook, the CF-30. The classy industrial design with its signature magnesium housing remains impressive, the electronics have been upgraded, and the outdoor-viewable display works amazingly well. [Read full review of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-30] -- Posted Monday, January 21, 2008 by chb

Added new rugged devices from Metrologic and Data Ltd
We added detailed descriptions and specs for two interesting new Windows CE devices. The Metrologic SP5700 OptimusPDA is a compact rugged handheld running Windows CE 5.0 on a 520MHz PXA270. It has an integrated scanner or imager. The Data Ltd DLI 8300 is a tablet that can run any number of operating systems, including Windows CE 6.0. It is powered by a 500MHz AMD LX800 Geode and can have screen resolutions up to 1024 x 768. Both devices are IP54 rated and can take a beating. -- Posted Thursday, January 17, 2008 by chb

Psion Teklogix introduces new line of rugged mobile printers
Psion Teklogix announced its PTX Print Mobile printer line, allowing the company to offer its customers end-to-end mobile computing and wireless data collection solutions. The new printers, PTX Print PRINTABOUT, PTX Print MLP3030 and PTX Print MLP 3040, combine small size, lightweight and ruggedness with a rich set of features for virtually any mobile printing application. The PRINTABOUT is a compact, lightweight, thermal printer for mobile sales, field service and public safety applications. It is available in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cabled versions, smaller and lighter than most competition, and has a IP54 and 4-foot drop rating. The wireless MLP 3030 3 and 4-inch printers, also IP54 rated, are designed for quick production of even complex labels and receipts. They use flexible vehicle mounting or can be carried on a belt or shoulder.
-- Posted Thursday, January 17, 2008 by chb

MobileDemand introduces sunlight viewable rugged Tablet PC
MobileDemand introduced the xTablet T8700, a compact, rugged Tablet PC slate based on a reliable platform that has seen duty in various vertical markets for years. There are significant technology enhancements in the new model that make the versatile tablet more practical than ever. The latest version of the xTablet is faster, especially with the optional Solid State Drive, and even handles Windows Vista efficiently with its Intel Core Duo processor and generous 2GB base RAM. The machine has an integrated numeric keypad, and is available with a mag stripe reader and scanner/imager. And the sunlight viewable dual-digitizer display is a big productivity enhancement for those who use the machine outdoors. [See our detailed review of the MobileDemand xTablet T8700]
-- Posted Monday, January 14, 2008 by chb

Electrovaya releases Scribbler SC 4000 Tablet PC
Electrovaya announced the launch of the Scribbler SC4000 series. The sleek new Tablet PC slate combines an Electrovaya 70Wh Lithium Ion SuperPolymer battery, a 1.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U7500 ULV CPU, fingerprint security, a 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth, 802.11a/b/g WiFi, gigabit Ethernet, a 60 GB SATA 5400 rpm hard drive (upgradeable up to 160 GB) and 1GB RAM (upgradeable to 4 GB). It includes a TPM security module and there is a sunlight-readable screen option for the wide viewing angle 12.1-inch display. The Scribbler SC4000 weighs 3.3 pounds and is less than an inch thick. The Scribbler SC4000 comes with Windows Vista or Windows XP Tablet 2005. [See Electrovaya SC4000 spec sheet] -- Posted Thursday, January 10, 2008 by chb

McKesson releases Motion C5-based medical applications
Building upon two decades of experience in mobile point-of-care solutions, McKesson is the first healthcare IT company to announce general availability for the Motion C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant Tablet PC. McKesson has certified its major Horizon Clinicals applications on the C5. An estimated two million clinicians – including more than 400,000 registered nurses – rely upon these applications to deliver safe, efficient care. [Read full release] -- Posted Thursday, January 10, 2008 by chb

Zebra unveils UHF RFID card printer/encoder
Zebra Technologies, a global leader in specialty printing and automatic identification solutions, announced the launch of its Zebra R3i and R4i UHF RFID card printer/encoders, a new RFID product series designed to save time and costs, while heightening security in a host of auto-identification, access control and asset tracking applications. The company is also offering genuine Zebra-designed supplies -- rugged, flexible UHF RFID-enabled plastic cards for single-sided or dual-sided card printing. The RFID card printers are now available in North America, with global release scheduled for early 2008 -- Posted Tuesday, January 8, 2008 by chb

OQO adds 64GB SSD and sunlight-optimized display
OQO expanded its UMPC line with the addition of a 64GB solid state drive option and the introduction of a new display technology offering dramatic improvement in direct sunlight readability with greater than 50% reduction in unwanted reflections. This expansion addresses several growth segments of the UMPC market. Field service professionals, for example, require outdoor-useable UMPCs in tough environments. The OQO model 02 with 64GB SSD uses high performance NAND Flash. The Sunlight Optimized display uses proprietary anti-reflective films in order to reduce specular reflections between the internal layers of the display itself, resulting in reduced reflections in direct sunlight and improved contrast when used in outdoor viewing scenarios. [View OQO Model 02 description] -- Posted Monday, January 7, 2008 by chb

US Air Force buys GD-Itronix rugged notebooks via Telos
According to Business Wire, Telos Corporation announced that the Air Force Reserve Command and the Air Force Special Operations Command have each placed task orders totaling US$4.3 million for ruggedized notebook computers to support aircraft maintenance operations on the flight line. Under the orders, Telos is reselling 585 GD-Itronix ruggedized notebooks to be used at 18 AFRC sites across the US and 289 laptops for four AFSOC sites -- Hurlburt Field, Fla., Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Kadena Air Base, Japan and RAF Mildenhall, England. The computers will be used on the flight line and in hangars by aircraft maintenance technicians and will communicate with the base network over a secure wireless LAN previously designed and implemented by Telos. -- Posted Friday, January 4, 2008 by chb

New: Special section for panels and vehicle mounts
RuggedPCReview has added a special section for panel and vehicle mount computers. We define panels as stationary slate or tablet computers. They are used in situations where computing power is needed in a vehicle or shop floor or laboratory, but there is no need for the computer to be carried around and no room to set up a conventional, non-rugged PC. We have added the first batch of panel and vehicle mounts, many more will be added. If you're a manufacturer of such systems, please let us know so we can include you. [See new section on Rugged Panel and Vehicle Mount computers] -- Posted Sunday, December 30, 2007 by chb

Dell finally has a Tablet PC!
Well, it took a while, but Dell finally has a Tablet PC. The Latitude XT follows Dell's trademark formula of offering competent yet fairly generic products with some extra goodies baked in. The XT excels by offering what promises, if it uses the ATG 630's technology, to be one of the best outdoor-viewable displays. And the N-trig dual mode pen and touch digitizer adds flexibility. We would have preferred an internal optical drive to the snap-on Media Base, but overall the Latitude XT is a nice addition to Dell's Latitude line as well as a serious competitor in the notebook convertible market. [Read detailed description and specs of the Dell Latitude XT Tablet PC convertible] -- Posted Tuesday, December 18, 2007 by chb

Metrologic releases high-performance miniature imaging engine
Metrologic Instruments announced the IS4920, a miniature mega-pixel imaging engine with a hardware decoder. OEMs can integrate the high-performance engine into a wide range of devices for omnidirectional scanning of 1D and 2D bar codes. The IS4920 captures high-res 1.2 megapixel images and decodes bar codes in applications associated with mobile computers, handheld scanners,kiosks, identity verification, medical/diagnostic instruments and lottery terminals. The IS4920 draws approximately half the operating current of comparable products. [See Metrologic IS4920 webpage] -- Posted Monday, December 17, 2007 by chb

Review: Toshiba Portege R500
The Toshiba Portege R500 is another remarkable showcase product from one of the world's great notebook makers. Despite having a full-size keyboard, an advanced optical drive, tons of connectivity and a very powerful battery, it's thinner and much lighter than you'd expect a notebook to be. Weighing just over two pounds and being less than 0.8 inches thick, you hardly know it's there if you carry it around. The transreflective 12.1" display is totally revolutionary and provides superb viewability both indoors and outdoors. The R500 is "executive rugged," which means it was designed to take some more punishment than standard notebooks. [Read full review of the Toshiba Portege R500] -- Posted Monday, December 17, 2007 by chb

Computrace security software support in GD-Itronix rugged notebooks
Absolute Software Corporation announced that the General Dynamics Itronix GoBook XR-1 is now shipping with industry standard Computrace computer theft recovery and data protection support built-in. Effective immediately, the GoBook XR-1 will have Computrace Computer Theft Recovery, Data Protection and Secure Asset Tracking technology built in at the BIOS level. General Dynamics Itronix also plans to begin offering Computrace support in its next generation GoBook VR-2 semi-rugged notebook computers. -- Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2007 by chb

Alinean and Wipro Windows Mobile Messaging TCO Tool
Alinean announced the availability of the Windows Mobile Messaging TCO Tool, an online calculator developed to analyze the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of competing mobile solutions. Developed in partnership with Wipro, the analysis tool is based on research of mobile deployments by 160 customers, and a comparative lab-based study to determine the TCO of the leading mobile platforms for e-mail messaging and collaboration. The tool was introduced at the Windows Mobile Partner Summit 2007. [Check out the Windows Mobile Messaging TCO Tool] -- Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2007 by chb

Trimble's new Field Service Technician software
Trimble introduced a new mobile workforce management solution for field service technicians -- TrimbleFS software. Designed for field technicians who perform maintenance, repairs, equipment installations and many other services, the new application for Windows Mobile devices extends enterprise information into the field and automates paper-based processes to increase efficiencies and improve customer service. [Read Trimble News release on TrimbleFS] -- Posted Tuesday, December 4, 2007 by chb

General Dynamics Itronix amasses awards
General Dynamics Itronix amasses multiple honors, including 2007 Innovation Award from Cygnus Law Enforcement Group for the GoBook XR-1 and Military Embedded Systems Magazine's Editor's Choice Selection for DynaVue Touchscreen Display Technology. Most recently, the General Dynamics Itronix GoBook VR-2, a next-generation semi-rugged notebook, was named Best Notebook of the Year in the Semi-Rugged category by LAPTOP Magazine in its December 2007 issue. -- Posted Friday, November 30, 2007 by chb

Full review: Juniper Systems Archer Field PC
If you're in need of an ultra-rugged Windows Mobile-based PDA, Juniper Systems of Logan, Utah, offers the Archer Field PC for applications in numerous vertical markets from agriculture to forestry to meter reading/data collection to wildlife resources and more. The Archer provides standard Windows CE functionality and excellent connectivity in a device so tough that it can be used in the most extreme working conditions. We put the Archer to the test and yes, that includes underwater and drops. [Read full review of the Juniper Systems Archer Field PC]

-- Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2007 by chb

Garmin stays with NAVTEQ, drops Tele Atlas takeover attempt
Garmin announced it has signed a six-year extension to its contract with NAVTEQ under which NAVTEQ provides digital map data for location based solutions and vehicle navigation. Garmin also announced that in light of this developments it does not intend to pursue its offer for Tele Atlas. Our take: Ok, let's recap: This past July TomTom wants to buy Tele Atlas for $2.4 billion. In October Nokia offers $8.1 billion to buy NAVTEQ. Upon that Garmin offers $3.3 billion for Tele Atlas, but TomTom ups that with $4.3 billion. Garmin makes nice with TomTom but TomTom apparently still wants to buy Tele Atlas. So both mapping companies may soon be owned by device makers. Not good. Maybe the US government which shoulders the entire cost for the GPS satellite system that makes mapping possible in the first place should get into the act. -- Posted Monday, November 19, 2007 by chb

LXE adds rugged lightweight MX8 handheld to lineup
LXE introduced the MX8 wireless data collection handheld. The MX8 is LXE’s smallest, lightest, and most economical handheld device to date, perfect for use in a wide array of light industrial and retail environments. With its choice of standard range laser or 1D/2D imagers. The MX8 is a Windows CE 5.0 device running a 520MHZ Marvell PXA280 processor, has superb battery life, a very bright 2.8-inch touchscreen, and enough ruggedness to easily survive in its intended applications in supply chain and retail. [See description and specs of the LXE MX8] -- Posted Friday, November 16, 2007 by chb

LG Philips develops dirt-resistant LCD
Smudges on LCD displays are not only unsightly, they can interfere with viewablity. And cleaning them off improperly may lead to damage with certain types of displays. There are smudge and dirt-resistant coatings that are applied on top of films, but that adds a costly step in the manufacturing process. LG.Philips LCD has now found a way to create a dirt-resistant LCD panel without that additional step. A LG.Pilips LCD representative said that the new panel "employs a principle similar to that used on non-stick frying pans. Dirt and oil can easily be wiped away." [See press release on the LG.Philips diret-resistant LCD notebook panel] -- Posted Thursday, November 15, 2007 by chb

How should ruggedness be tested and reported?
Most rugged handhelds, notebooks, and slates come with ruggedness specs. The specs are meant to provide potential customers with an idea of what kind of abuse a piece of equipment can handle. That is crucial information. But are the reported specs meaningful? Do they really help? And should we here at RuggedPCReview conduct our own tests, or should we treat evaluation equipment with kid gloves? We present our thoughts on Tests and reviews - how much punishment?. -- Posted Thursday, November 15, 2007 by chb

Microsoft releases Windows CE Embedded 6.0 R2
At the Embedded Technology 2007 conference in Japan, Microsoft announced the release of Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2, designed to quickly build smart, connected, real-time commercial and consumer electronics devices. New features include the Web Services on Devices API, VoIP telephony and thin-client technology enhancements, and Windows Embedded CE 6.0 R2 seamlessly connects to computers running Vista and Windows Server 2008 as well as other devices. Microsoft also announced the launch of a community-focused initiative, code-named "SPARK," a joint offering between Microsoft and select hardware vendors designed to bring the benefits of embedded development on Windows Embedded CE 6.0 and Visual Studio 2005 to hobbyist developers and the academic community. [See what's new in Embedded CE 6.0 R2] -- Posted Wednesday, November 14, 2007 by chb

Added: downloadable PDFs of full reviews
One of the benefits available to our sponsors are print-style PDFs of full, detailed reviews of their products. We've now added direct access to those high-quality PDFs directly from the home page of RuggedPCReview.com (right-side column). Available ford viewing and download are: GETAC A790, GETAC M230, GETAC V100, GD-Itronix DynaVue , GD-Itronix MR1, GD-Itronix VR2, GD-Itronix XR1, MobileDemand T8600, MobileDemand T8600 update -- Posted Thursday, November 8, 2007 by chb

IR touchscreen with swipe & touch interface in Neonode N2
Touch technology has been used in rugged mobile devices for a very long time. Resistive touch technology is prevailing, the kind where you use a stylus. However, Apple's iPhone is now popularizing projected-capacity/multi-point touch as a very promising alternative, but even that is not all. A small Swedish company has adapted the IR touchscreen, prior used in POS terminals and ATMs, to very small screens. The company, Neonode, combines its IR touch screen (called zForce) with its special swipe-and-tap interface that sits on top of embedded Windows Mobile 6.0. We reviewed the new Neonode N2 multimedia phone and feel the technology itself may be of interest to RuggedPCReview readers. [Read full review of the Neonode N2] -- Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2007 by chb

Trimble/TDS Nomad now with digital camera and scanner
Trimble announced the availability of two Nomad rugged handheld computers: the 800LC and the 800LE. The Nomad 800LE comes with a fully integrated 2 megapixel digital camera and an integrated laser bar code scanner. The Nomad 800LC comes with the built-in digital camera only. Both models include integrated Bluetooth, 802.11, and GPS as well as 1 GB of internal data storage. [See our full review of the Trimble Nomad] -- Posted Monday, November 5, 2007 by chb

Pragma PocketVT SSH/telnet client now on Psion, LXE, Handheld Products
Pragma Systems, a provider of enterprise-class remote access and security software for Microsoft Windows and Windows Mobile added support across multiple manufacturers, including Psion Teklogix, LXE, Handheld Products, and NordicID to its PocketVT SSH/telnet client software for securing distribution, supply chain, order processing and other remote connectivity and management applications. PocketVT is a SSH and telnet client for handheld devices running Windows Mobile, Pocket PC and CE allowing command line access to remote computers which have an SSH or telnet server installed. Pragma's PocketVT can be deployed across Windows, Linux, Unix and Apple operating systems, and are typically used to run programs, check server status, remotely manage the enterprise environment. -- Posted Monday, November 5, 2007 by chb

Datalogic ships rugged Pegaso with expanded RAM, BT
Datalogic Mobile, a global player in the Rugged Mobile Computer market, announced the availability of the Datalogic Pegaso mobile computer with Bluetooth and 128 MB of RAM. The Pegaso, a PDA-style mobile computer runs Windows CE 5.0 on a 520MHz Marvell PXA270, has a full VGA display, provides excellent ruggedness with a durable overmold, IP64 sealing, and design that withstands multiple 5-foot drops to concrete. [See RuggedPCReview's analysis of the Datalogic Pegaso] -- Posted Thursday, November 1, 2007 by chb

EQO mobile internet phone app for WinMo smartphones
EQO Communications announced the release of a native Windows Mobile beta version of its mobile VoIP, text and IM application. EQO is a free mobile application that lets users call anywhere in the world for rates as low as 2.3 cents USD/minute (1.2p) and also features inexpensive international text messages and free access to popular instant messaging services, including MSN, AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, ICQ and Jabber. [See the EQO Windows Mobile VoIP/text/IM page
-- Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007 by chb

Study: Business-grade PDAs have lower failure rate, lower TCO
Socket Communications announced findings of research into the real lifetime cost of mobile computing products used in businesses.A study by Venture Development Corporation shows that consumer-grade handhelds result in up to 23% higher Total Cost of Ownership than business-specific durable devices, such as the SoMo 650 business mobility solution from Socket Mobile, when used in a working environment such as healthcare or field service. Companies frequently underestimate the hazards mobile devices will be exposed to and that most organizations fail to do effective TCO analysis before selecting a mobile device. As a result, organizations select consumer devices based on lower upfront costs, but eventually pay for their decision with shorter product lifecycles and lost productivity. [See our full review of the Socket Mobile 650 business handheld] -- Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2007 by chb

Roper Mobile Technology acquires Black Diamond
Roper Mobile Technology, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Roper Industries, announced the acquisition of Black Diamond Advanced Technology and its flagship product, the SwitchBack PC. Debuted in the fall of 2006 as the world’s first rugged UMPC (Ultra Mobile Personal Computer), the SwitchBack is a light and compact Windows XP-based PC with a novel replaceable "BackPack" that can be customized to fit customers' requirements. Roper Mobile now includes DAP Technology, JLT, and Black Diamond. The image below shows the company's lineup of rugged mobile computers on its new website. [See Roper Mobile SwitchBack PC]

-- Posted Monday, October 29, 2007 by chb

Full review: Dell Latitude ATG 630 -- superb outdoor display
Battling established competition from General Dynamics-Itronix, GETAC, Panasonic and others in the semi-rugged notebook market, Dell offers the ATG D630, a ruggedized version of their high-volume Latitude 630, a platform that has a fairly long 18-month product cycle -- desirable in large-scale commercial and government market deployment. The Intel Core 2 Duo-powered ATG has very good price/performance, is as configurable as all Dells, and comes with what is currently the best outdoor-readable display on the market. Read our detailed review of the Dell ATG D630. -- Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2007 by chb

Full review: Motorola/Symbol MC35 -- PDA, phone, camera, scanner, GPS all in one
The durable, pocketable Symbol MC35 from Motorola is a true mobile EDGE GPRS/GSM voice and data communicator running the Windows Mobile 5.0 Premium Phone Edition on a 416MHz Marvell PXA270 processor. The MC35 also has image capture and bar code scanning capabilities via a 2-megapixel digital camera that can instantly scan and process any 1D and 2D codes. An integrated GPS module supports a wide range of location-based services and applications. Bluetooth 1.2 supports wireless modem communication, printing, synchronization and more. An internal 802.11b/g wireless LAN allows for fast data connectivity and also, via third party applications, "walkie-talkie" Voice over IP connectivity. [Read our full review of the Symbol MC35 Enterprise Digital Assistant] -- Posted Friday, October 12, 2007 by chb

Psion Teklogix four-year product roadmap
On eChannelLine.com, Vanessa Ho reports on Psion Teklogix's four-year product lineup, as presented at the company's Ascend 2007 forum in Atlanta. Mobility devices are important as that will be a US$3.7 billion market by 2001, up from 2.4 billion in 2006. 802.1n will be important. In supply chain logistics there will be smaller, more ergonomic next-gen multi-function VoIP WWAN capable devices. Vehicle mounts is a smaller market, under US$1 billion, but still grows 6% annually. Those devices will be smaller, include Vista, sunlight readable touch displays. Another emphasis is enabling speech recognition in all products. Psion Teklogix will continue to offer Widows CE, with 6.0 devices by early 2009. Remote software maintenance and upgrades are important, as well as RFID solutions. [Read full eChannelLine.com report on Psion] [See our reviews of the 1st Gen WorkAbout Pro, 2nd Gen WorkAbout Pro, 730 G2, and 735 G2] -- Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2007 by chb

iKey introduces NVIS Green B compliant rugged keyboards
NVIS stands for Night Vision Imaging Systems, a technology needed for safe flight during nighttime. NVIS devices intensify and magnify light at night and often come as helmet-mounted goggles. The outside then may look green, and instruments and displays, of course, must be of a certain type to be optimally visible with NVIS. NVIS colors for aviation are defined in MIL-L-85762A. The standard defines the exact chromatic limits for green, yellow and red. See excerpt from the Digital Avionics Handbook. iKey's rugged computer peripherals for military applications now include LED backlit NVIS Green B compliant keyboards compatible with night vision goggles. -- Posted Tuesday, October 9, 2007 by chb

EMS Expo 2007 Oct 9-13, 2007
More than 7,000 safety public professionals are attending EMS Expo 2007 at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando. The show, in its 19th year, is for the First Responder community - paramedics, instructors, nurses, physicians, purchasing agents, etc. - and features education and also an expo on the latest technology available to First Responders. GETAC will showcase its rugged computers, the V100, M230 and W130, Panasonic, DRS, Wise, etc., will be there as well as numerous providers of software and peripheral solutions. -- Posted Tuesday, October 9, 2007 by chb

Seagate starts volume shipment of hybrid drives
Hybrid technology -- combining two complementary technologies and using each for what it does best -- is hot in automobiles, and now it has arrived in disk drives. Seagate, the world's number one hard drive maker, began shipping in volume hybrid notebook disc drives that combine disc storage with flash memory to deliver more power efficiency, faster boot-ups and greater reliability for the laptop PCs. The new 80/120/160GB Momentus 5400 PSD (Power Savings Drive) puts commonly used hard drive data onto a 256MB Flash for faster boot-up, lower power consumption, and reducing wear on the drive. Access speed is improved by putting frequently used data onto Flash. Windows Vista deliver native support for hybrid drives, and we're likely to see the seemingly very sensible technology. [See Seagate Momentus 5400 PSD page] -- Posted Monday, October 8, 2007 by chb

Added: 4P all-in-one Field Digital Assistants
4P Mobile Data Processing, hedquartered in Padova, Italy, has been designing and manufacturing specialized handheld terminals and computers for demanding field applications since 1989. The FDA300 Field Digital Assistant is a modern data collection and Auto-ID handheld with barcode scanner, RFID, camera, and cellphone functionality. The "all-in-one" FDA600 adds integrated printer, mag card reader and Smart Card reader. [Read description and specs of the 4P FDA300 and 4P FDA600] -- Posted Monday, October 1, 2007 by chb

RuggedPCReview.com secures RuggedHandheldReview.com
RuggedPCReview.com is the web's #1 listed resource for reviews and information on ruggedized PCs. However, since we review and list at least as many rugged handheld devices, we secured the rights to RuggedHandheldReview.com as well. -- Posted Monday, October 1, 2007 by chb

Nokia plans to buy map maker Navteq
Finnish cellphone maker Nokia said it plans to buy digital-map supplier Navteq for almost US$12 billion. This comes after navigation device maker TomTom recently said it plans to pay about US$2.5 billion for Navteq's only serious rival, Tele Atlas. So instead of having two independent digital mapping companies supplying their maps to device makers, they will be owned by device makers. What will that mean for the competition? And for rugged device manufacturers and vendors who increasingly rely on GPS and mapping systems as part of the functionality of their products? -- Posted Monday, October 1, 2007 by chb

DAP announces CE3000B handheld for security and access control
DAP Technologies, a Roper Mobile company, announced the DAP CE3000B, a rugged Windows Mobile 5.0-based handheld that addresses FIPS 201-mandated access security. The CE3000B is specifically billed as a "handheld for security and access control" and includes everything needed to provide immediate identification as security checkpoints and other places where quick, positive identification is essential: both contact and contactless SmartCard readers, fast fingerprint identification, and 1D and 2D barcode reading. [Read description and specs of the DAP CD3000B security access control computer] -- Posted Friday, September 28, 2007 by chb

VDC: Health care mobility market offers huge opportunity
VDC estimates the global market for enterprise mobility solutions for health care will reach $2.1 billion in 2007 and expects the market to grow 18.8% through 2011. Health care presents one of the fastest-growing market opportunities for mobile solutions yet at the same time one of the most complex. To be successful in this market, a vendor must be knowledgeable about the macro-issues driving investment and offer solutions that meet the unique needs of the health care workforce. The opportunities and key trends are discussed in great detail in VDC's newly released report, Enterprise Mobility Solutions: Health Care Vertical Market Analysis. -- Posted Friday, September 28, 2007 by chb

Full review: GETAC V100
The GETAC V100 is a small, lightweight notebook that can either be used as a standard laptop or, by rotating the display, as a Tablet PC slate. Up-to-date technology includes an energy-efficient ultra-low voltage Intel Core Duo processor, a large 120 or 160GB serial ATA hard disk, gigabit Ethernet, fast wireless PAN and WAN implementations, SD Card reader and an integrated camera. The V100 uses advanced thermal design to keep heat buildup at an absolute minimum. Heat pipes and the sturdy aluminum alloy case keep the computer cool and alleviate the need for a noisy fan. Customers can select different 3G cellular data options, add an integrated GPS receiver, an optional Smart Card reader, and even opt for a 12.1-inch wide-format touch screen instead of the standard 10.4-inch touch display. This machine will give the Panasonic CF-19 a run for the money. [Read our detailed review of the GETAC V100 -- Posted Thursday, September 27, 2007 by chb

Hand Held Products introduces Dolphin 7850
Hand Held Products announced the Dolphin 7850, a Windows Mobile 5.0-based handheld computer purpose- built for scan-intensive environments such as retail and warehousing applications, including inventory and price management, shipping and receiving, order picking, and cross docking. The 7850 is compact (7.1 x 3.3 x 1.4), fairly light (22 ounces) and rugged enough to survive 5-foot drops and earn an IP64 rating. It can be ordered with a variety of scanners and has a powerful battery that can last up to 10 hour even in scn-intensive applications. [See description and specs of the Dolphin 8750] -- Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2007 by chb

Touch-based software for law enforcement and first responders
Informed Digital Field Guides MDC Edition 2007 bundles a library of popular law enforcement, fire/rescue and emergency medical field guides into software that operates on mobile computers in emergency response vehicles. A "tap browser" provides instant touch-screen access to critical information, and user-programmable buttons customize the software to meet regional requirements. Built on the .NET framework, the software operates on any Windows-based platform, including MDC systems, laptops, desktop computers and, soon, mobile phones and PDAs. -- Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2007 by chb

New Trimble solutions for survey and engineering
Trimble introduced new and enhanced surveying products as part of its Connected Site model -- the new Trimble S8 Total Station and Trimble 4D Control Software for engineering and monitoring applications; advances in Spatial Imaging with the next-generation Trimble GX 3D Scanner and enhanced field and office software that works with the Trimble VX Spatial Station; an expanded service for Trimble VRS Now service in Germany; and an updated Trimble VRS Infrastructure solution. These positioning products and services add greater flexibility and versatility to provide seamless and streamlined workflow for all of the critical phases of surveying. -- Posted Wednesday, September 26, 2007 by chb

Full review: Trimble Nomad
&tThe TDS Nomad ranks right up there with the best conceived, designed, and most meticulously executed rugged handhelds we've tested over the past 14 years. Its superb industrial design is ergonomic, attractive and functional. The technology is state-of-the-art, and in some areas beyond. The result is an eminently practical, powerful handheld computer that can tackle whatever task it is assigned to. [Read full review of the Trimble Nomad]

-- Posted Friday, September 21, 2007 by chb

LXE introduces wearable Windows CE voice computer
LXE has substantial experience with wearable and voice activated, enabled and/or controlled computers. The company's HX2 is a small arm- or waist-wearable that's voice enabled, but it still has a display. The new HX3, introduced in September of 2007, does away with the display altogether. It is a completely hands-free voice-operated computer for use with voice-directed logistics applicatons, even if they take places in freezers with temperatures down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. [see description of the rugged LXE HX3 voice computer] -- Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2007 by chb

RFID handheld reader market takes off
According to Venture Development Corporation, almost 250,000 handheld RFID reader units were shipped in 2006, accounting for nearly 20% of all reader units shipped. Louis Bianchin, Senior RFID Analyst at Venture Development Corporation said, We saw an increase in handheld unit shipments (as compared to 2005) of nearly 385% and are expecting growth rates in excess of 30% annually over the next 5 years. The global market for RFID readers exceeded $430 million in 2006 and is anticipated to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 23% through 2011. -- Posted Friday, September 14, 2007 by chb

Firewalls in battlefield vehicles
General Dynamics Canada and Secure Computing Corporation announced the availability of the MESHnet Firewall for use in battlefield vehicles. MESHnet features Secure Computing's first Evaluation Assurance Level 4 common-criteria-certified firewall ruggedized to MIL-STD 810. It was shown at the General Dynamics booth at the Defence Systems & Equipment International conference in London, England, 11-14 September. Our take: This makes perfect sense. Wouldn't want military vehicles hacked into and disabled. Sounds like sci-fi, but it is not. -- Posted Friday, September 14, 2007 by chb

Garmin's aviation product support ranked #1
Aviation International News' annual avionics product support survey ranked 14 avionics manufacturers in seven categories: parts availability, parts cost, aircraft-on-ground (AOG) response, warranty fulfillment, technical manuals, technical reps and overall product reliability. Garmin finished first place in five of the seven categories. According to the magazine, "But by and large, pilots and mechanics were effusive in their praise for Garmin's products, judging the quality as good to excellent and support among the industry's best." -- Posted Tuesday, September 11, 2007 by chb

MobileDemand earns Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status
MobileDemand, LC, providing rugged Tablet PC systems for a wireless world, announced it has attained Gold Certified Partner status in the Microsoft Partner Program with a competency in OEM Hardware Solutions and a specialization in System Building, recognizing MobileDemand's expertise and impact in the technology marketplace. -- Posted Thursday, September 6, 2007 by chb

HP introduces 5 new iPAQs

Not necessarily rugged, but relevant anyway: HP returns Apple's serve (a whole new lineup of iPods) with a masterful volley of their own: Five new iPAQs (and a whole slew of new iPAQ programs, services and accessories). Read all about the "classic" iPAQ 110 that combines iPAQ style with state-of-the-art technology; the enterprise-oriented iPAQ 210 -- a spiritual successor of the iPAQ 4700 with its big and razor-sharp VGA display; the iPAQ 310 Travel Companion with a large, ultra-hi-res screen and a GPS-optimized processor; and two quad-band/3Q/WiFi/Bluetooth/GPS communicators with either a phone keypad (the iPAQ 610) or a thumbtype keyboard (the iPAQ 910).
-- Posted Thursday, September 6, 2007 by chb

Contigo launches GPS beacon for indoor tracking
Contigo, a provider of turn-key GPS solutions for asset tracking, fleet management and personal safety, has announce the launch of the Contigo 8100, an inexpensive, indoor-locatable beacon for covert asset tracking, theft recovery and personal security. The Contigo 8100 uses Qualcomm's gpsOne that allows the beacon to be located in environments where standalone GPS fails, such as indoors. The device hass a battery life of up to 10 days on a single charge. Using the Contigo platform, subscribers have the ability to proactively locate or track the 8100, review scheduled position reports online, and receive alerts (via email or cell phone) for multiple monitored zones. -- Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2007 by chb

Spectacular test results for Ampro embedded board
Ampro Computers, Inc., a supplier of standards-based computer systems, single board computers, and computer-on-modules, announced spectacular results for its CoreModule 800 SBC during Highly Accelerated Life Testing (H.A.L.T.). The CoreModule 800 withstood intense multi-axis vibration of 50Grms while operating over a very broad operating temperature range of -76 degrees to +194 degrees Fahrenheit. The embedded computer packs uses a 1 GHz Intel Celeron M 373 on the tiny PCI-104 form factor standard without protruding beyond the required 3.6" x 3.8" board outline. This means that system integrators and equipment manufacturers in avionics, military, industrial and transportation applications have a solution for extremely demanding, rugged requirements. -- Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2007 by chb

Fujitsu biometric technology uses contactless vein pattern scan
The Fujitsu PalmSecure is a contactless palm vein based authentication device that offers an easy-to-use, hygienic solution for identity verification, answering a worldwide need of government, healthcare institutions, and private sectors. PalmSecure works by capturing a person's palm vein pattern image by radiating it with near-infrared rays. As veins are internal in the body with a wealth of differentiating features unique to each person, attempts to forge a person's identity based on their vein pattern is extremely difficult. The success of the PalmSecure device has been validated with recent deployments, including the Carolinas HealthCare System Charlotte-area hospitals. The installation is part of a solution to register a patient's information and protect their medical records and identity. It has the largest user base for any biometrically powered patient registration solution in North America. PalmSecure is also used widely throughout Japan, with more than 15,000 sensors already installed in banks, universities, hospitals, and private condominiums. -- Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2007 by chb

Kontron sells US rugged mobile business to Azonix
Not long after acquiring Dolch, a well established maker of rugged computers, German-based Kontron announced that it is selling the MRD Division of Kontron America to Azonix Corporation, a subsidiary of Crane Corporation. Azonix is a solution provider of rugged computers and displays primarily for the Oil and Gas Exploration, US Military, and Automation Markets. Kontron Germany, however, appears to continue to offer the rugged NotePAC Duo, Semi, Ultra, Light, and ReVolution, with the Semi just introduced this month. -- Posted Thursday, August 30, 2007 by chb

Lockheed spoken-language technology helps warfighters and first responder
Lockheed Martin announced the Wearable Intelligent Reporting Environment (WIRE), a spoken-language-understanding system for military mobile and dismounted operations and potentially for first responders. WIRE uses reliable, on-demand, spoken-language-understanding technology that lets warfighters speak their observations while keeping their hands free and eyes up. WIRE is not a recording device, but an intelligent system that actually listens, understands the context of language, and intuitively knows how to parse the observation into a variety of reports, such as the Size Activity Location Unit Time and Equipment (SALUTE) report. [Read WIRE overviw and view an awesome FLASH demo movie of WIRE in action] -- Posted Thursday, August 30, 2007 by chb

Extech portable printers used in Patterson Dental's mobile field service solution
Case study: How Patterson Dental utilized Extech Data Systems� printers and GD-Itronix rugged computers to cross over from a completely paper-based field service operation to an electronic one. -- Posted Monday, August 20, 2007 by chb

Added: Augmentix XTG630 rugged notebook
Augmentix introduced the XTG630, a rugged 8-pound notebook with a 13.9 x 9.9 footprint geared towards military, telecommunications and industrial markets that require rugged mobile computing. It is 2.3 inches thick, has a 14.1-inch 1280 x 800 wide-format display that uses the same superb DirectVue display enhancement as the Dell ATG. The attractively designed machine offers IP54 sealing, can handle numerous 3-foot drops, has excellent connectivity and expandability, a very flexible media bay, and its Dell underpinnings guarantee reliability and economy. [See description and specs of the Augmentix XTG630] -- Posted Monday, August 20, 2007 by chb

Ultra-rugged Trimble/TDS Nomad packs a punch
Tripod Data Systems, a Trimble company, was among the very first to bring to market a new machine built around the 806MHz version of the new XScale PXA320 processor. Having bought the XScale processor business from Intel in 2006, new owner Marvel offers a speedy, powerful, yet also very energy-efficient solution to forward-thinking clients. The Windows Mobile 6-based Trimble/TDS Nomad is an ultra-rugged high-performance handheld with a full gigabyte of Flash, a full 480 x 640 VGA display, and exemplary configurability with customizable endcaps. It operates in an enormously wide temperature range and can even survive underwater. [see description and specs of the Trimble/TDS Nomad] -- Posted Thursday, August 16, 2007 by chb

Intermec RFID secures Pan American Games
Intermec provided RFID technology to this year's Pan American Games, a multi-sport event held every four years between competitors from all nations in the Americas. The technology was purchased by the Brazilian government to provide maximum security and optimal access control for event attendees and venue workers, as well as the 5,662 athletes that competed at the Rio de Janeiro-based event. The RFID solution selected by the Brazilian government includes Intermec IF5 RFID fixed readers, IP4 portable RFID readers, 751 mobile computers and RFID tags, as well as Cisco AP 1231 access points. -- Posted Saturday, August 11, 2007 by chb

VDC reports growing rugged/mobile opportunity in Health Care market
VDC reports that the development of interoperable data exchange in the form of the Electronic Health Record was discussed at the 2nd Annual World Congress Leadership Summit on The Road to Interoperability in Boston, MA. Mobile device vendors recognize the health care sector as a market opportunity, but have not generally understood the market's needs. Mobile solutions have suffered from high device failure, small screens, and low battery life, causing frustration. According to VDC, IT Healthcare evaluators look for mobile platforms that seamlessly integrate into the workflow and withstand the health care environment. They must at least have semi-durable ruggedness, ergonomic design, and intuitive features and software. Vendors like Panasonic, Motion, and Motorola/Symbol are researching health care�s needs and developing mobile specific solutions (see the Motion C5). The mobile solution market for health care is still small with only the most progressive organizations adopting, but VDC estimates the American market is growing 17.3% annually over the next four years. -- Posted Saturday, August 11, 2007 by chb

Ampro introduces "Santa Rosa" rugged systems
Ampro Computers, Inc., a supplier of standards-based computer systems, single board computers and computer-on-modules supported Intel's "Santa Rosa" embedded launch with a pair of high-performance Core 2 Duo embedded PC modules. Ampro's rugged COM 840 product offers dual core processors with the Intel 965 chipset in the Type 2 pinout of the official PICMG COM.0 COM Express form factor up to Core 2 Duo L7500 CPU at 1.6 GHz, along with 4 MB of on-chip L2 cache, powerful 800 MHz FSB and two SODIMM sockets for up to 4 GB of RAM. The COM 840 provides the enormous bandwidth of the PCI Express x16 interface to the baseboard. Both products are fully RoHS compliant. -- Posted Friday, August 10, 2007 by chb

Wyse and Novell collaborate on Linux Thin Clients
Wyse Technology announced it is working with Novell to bring the next generation of Linux-based thin clients to market. Wyse claims that customers can realize lower operating costs, increased data security and dramatically improved manageability. Some Wyse customers are already using SUSE Linux Enterprise on Wyse thin clients in limited installations. [see full release] -- Posted Monday, August 6, 2007 by chb

Four new Datalogic handhelds added
We have added descriptions and specifications for four new ruggedized handhelds from Datalogic: Datalogic Jet (a ruggedized industrial PDA), Datalogic Memor (a pocket-size mobile computer with a laser scanner), Datalogic Pegaso (a rugged industrial PDA with a full VGA display), and Datalogic Skorpio (a compact rugged handheld computer with a "Green Spot" laser). -- Posted Monday, July 30, 2007 by chb

VDC study: Mobile device downtime nukes productivity
VDC released a comprehensive analysis of total cost of ownership (TCO) of mobile computer and communications devices used in Enterprise Mobility Solutions in vertical and application markets. Nearly 50% of the cost of operating a mobile computing and communications device in enterprise settings are the costs of worker productivity downtime when the device fails. According to the research, upfront hardware adoption accounts for only 16% of mobile computer TCO, however, it frequently represents the single most important selection criterion. VDC also clearly found a lower TCO for rugged mobile computers in comparison to non-rugged or consumer/commercial-grade mobile computers for many applications because of the significantly higher failure rates of non-rugged hardware. [View VDC report on Mobile Computing TCO] -- Posted Friday, July 27, 2007 by chb

Rugged and industrial peripherals catalog by iKey
iKey industrial peripherals released its new 2007-2008 industrial catalog. Containing dozens of NEMA rated, rugged computer keyboards, monitors and pointing devices, the iKey industrial catalog provides a solution for every application. In an attempt to more specifically target its multiple markets, iKey has created segmented literature for each of its vertical markets. This means that industrial, medical, public safety, military, and kiosk customers can receive information that is specific to their applications. Requests for the new iKey 2007-2008 catalog or other vertical brochures can be made by calling an iKey representative at 1.800.866.6506. -- Posted Thursday, July 26, 2007 by chb

VDC Study: Bluetooth catalyst for mobile accessory sales
After a slow start, Bluetooth technology has finally matured to become the most widely accepted short-range wireless connectivity technology in the mobile device market. According to VDC's Mobile Device Accessories: Global Market Demand Analysis, Bluetooth technology is one of the most aggressive catalysts for mobile accessory sale. [see PDF of full VDC release on Bluetooth Market Demand] -- Posted Thursday, July 26, 2007 by chb

Intermec elects new President and CEO
Intermec's Board of Directors elected Patrick J. Byrne as President and Chief Executive Officer succeeding Larry D. Brady, who is retiring as previously announced. Mr. Byrne was also elected to the Company's Board of Directors. Mr. Byrne, 46, is a 24-year veteran of HP and Agilent Technologies where he held increasingly responsible positions in Research, Engineering, Marketing and General Management. He was most recently Senior VP of Agilent Technologies, Inc. and President of Agilent's Electronic Measurement Group, and prior to that he was VP and General Manager of Agilent's Wireless Business Unit. -- Good luck to Mr. Byrne in succeeding the very highly respected Larry Brady! -- Posted Friday, July 20, 2007 by chb

Shock Watch and Glacier Computer sign global distribution agreement
ShockWatch, a leader in developing and manufacturing damage prevention products, announces its new global distribution agreement with Glacier Computer, an Amherst, N.H.-based developer of rugged industrial computer systems. The companies will leverage ShockWatch's international sales force to distribute Glacier's Everest computer product line outside the U.S. -- Posted Friday, July 20, 2007 by chb

Added CATCHER CCAP and Trimble Juno ST
RuggedPCReview.com added description and specs of the Trimble Juno ST and the CATCHER CCAP. The Trimble Juno is a small and handy Windows Mobile 5.0-based GIS data collection PDA with access to an industrial strength library of Trimble and third party GPS and GIS software. The CATCHER CCAP is a Windows-based rugged UMPC with not one but two cameras designed for first responders who need quick data access and the ability to transmit voice, data and video. -- Posted Friday, July 20, 2007 by chb

VDC study on wireless intrinsically safe devices
A new study on wireless intrinsically safe devices by Venture Development Corporation (VDC) estimates total 2006 worldwide shipments for wireless intrinsically safe devices and equipment at $271.5 million, and forecasts shipments to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 9.8%, reaching $432.7 million in 2011. Intrinsic safety is one of the methods used to prevent equipment from causing fires and explosions in areas with hazardous atmospheres, such as explosive gas-air mixtures. Equipment and wiring is intrinsically safe if it is incapable of releasing sufficient electrical or thermal energy to cause ignition of a hazardous atmosphere in its most ignitable concentration. This can be an important consideration in rugged and mobile applications. -- Posted Friday, July 20, 2007 by chb

Intel releases Core 2 "Extreme" processors
Intel released to vendors the first in a new line of "Extreme" high-end chips, the Intel Core 2 Extreme X7800 dual-core processor for notebooks. Supposedly designed for "experienced enthusiasts who desire more capability," the chip's overspeed protection bus ratio locks have been removed and OEMs can boost clockspeeds to 3GHz and higher. Performance of the stock X7800 is said to be up to 28% higher than that of the predecessor Core Duo T2600. Speed doesn't come cheap; in volume, the X7800 costs $851, hundreds more than existing high-end notebook processors, and more than many economy consumer notebooks. Our take: Intel continues the profitable game of quickly obsoleting existing high end processors, thus forcing computer makers to offer product that quickly obsolete their own high end offerings. -- Posted Friday, July 20, 2007 by chb

Sybase iAnywhere adds security advances
Sybase iAnywhere announced enhancements to its Information Anywhere suite focused on collaboration and security for mobile enterprise users. The Information Anywhere platform addresses converging enterprise requirements for mobile email, messaging, security, device management and enterprise applications. The suite's mobile collaboration capabilities has been expanded with Information Anywhere Mobile IM, which provides secure instant messaging and presence capabilities to mobile workers. There are also significant enhancements to the suite's security solution for laptops, including the addition of security for shareable removable media -- all important to vertical market application development. -- Posted Friday, July 20, 2007 by chb

Baracoda adds rugged/mobile Bluetooth scanners
Baracoda, a manufacturer of Bluetooth wireless barcode readers and RFID solutions, is introducing three new products for the mobile/rugged scanner market. ScanWear is a lightweight, hands-free barcode scanning solution as little as a matchbox for order picking and dispatching applications. The torch shaped, rugged and ergonomic ToughRunners are designed for industrial, logistics and warehouse environments in extreme temperature conditions and are ideal for forklift operations. The D-Fly barcode scanner offers high performance at a competitive price.
-- Posted Friday, July 13, 2007 by chb

Extech Andes 3 printer reaches IP54 rating
Extech Instruments' new Andes 3 printer, designed specifically for harsh outdoor environments, managed to score an impressive IP54 ingress protection rating. The Andes 3 is an ultra-lightweight yet heavy-duty portable receipt printer with integrated Bluetooth wireless communication for use in field service, public safety, field sales and similar applications. Output can include logos, forms, barcodes and graphics. -- Posted Monday, July 9, 2007 by chb

Wireless connection between wholesalers, distributors and customers
Master System,specializing in integrated software for wholesalers and distributors, announced the release of its newest edition of Pocket OMS, designed to let wholesalers and distributors process sales orders more effectively and efficiently, through the use of wireless handheld devices. Pocket OMS delivers a full range of enhanced benefits, such as wireless FTP file transferring, on-board graphics (including product photos), improved sales reporting, reduced file maintenance and inventory counting efficiency, by allowing companies to remotely enter orders into their fulfillment system in a fraction of the time previously required. -- Posted Monday, July 9, 2007 by chb

External notebook battery simultaneously powers and charges
Tekkeon announced the myPower ALL Plus MP3450, an external rechargeable 50Wh laptop battery that roughly doubles the life of an average notebook battery and can simultaneously charge other small portable devices through an on-board USB port. The US$159.95 myPower ALL Plus is modular, so a second extended battery can be added to provide even more mobile power. -- Posted Monday, July 9, 2007 by chb

Secure Computing offers one-time passcodes for mobile devices
Secure Computing Corporation, an enterprise gateway security company, announced the availability of SafeWord MobilePass, a software authenticator that allows a user access to Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Citrix, Outlook and a number of other applications through one-time passcodes generated on their personal mobile WinMo, Palm, BlackBerry of J2ME device or laptop PC. -- Posted Monday, July 9, 2007 by chb

LXE 007 Annual American Business Award winner
LXE announced that it won a coveted Stevie Award for Best Customer Service Organization - Computer Hardware & Software from The 2007 American Business Awards held on June 11 in New York. Stevie Awards were presented in over 40 categories, including Best Overall Company, Best Executive and Best Customer Service Organization. More than 2,000 entries from companies of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted for consideration. -- Posted Monday, July 2, 2007 by chb

O'Neil 4te mobile printer offers BT, 802.11b/g and 10x faster processing
O'NEIL Product Development, Inc., manufacturer of The Most Reliable Portable Printers and a subsidiary of Dover Corporation introduced the microFlash 4te wireless portable thermal printer, providing dramatically increased processing speeds, expanded wireless communications, and enhanced security options. The 4te is the enhanced evolution of O'Neil's 4t printer; the industry's leading portable thermal printer and the de facto standard for route accounting and field mobile printing applications. -- Posted Monday, July 2, 2007 by chb

Intermec introduces handheld with autofocus near-far scanner
Intermec added to its CK31 line of flashlight-style handhelds with the CK31ex, the first handheld computer with integrated Intellibeam EX25 auto-focus near-far area imaging technology that can read virtually any symbology from six inches to 50 feet. This enables warehouse workers to consolidate their computing, data capture and documentation needs in a single device, improving productivity and reducing costs. The extended range clearly opens up new application opportunities and efficiencies. [See description of Intermec CK31/CK31ex]. [Read Intermec FAQ on the IntelliBeam technology] -- Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2007 by chb

Ordia Solutions Mobile Tactical Collaboration System
At Police Security Expo 2007, Ordia Solutions announced its Mobile Tactical Collaboration System solution for law enforcement, fire/EMS, and search and rescue agencies, and for fusion and emergency operation centers. MTCS integrates collaborative software tools, including drawing, white boarding, and voice-over-IP, with GIS and incident management tools. The software is delivered via a web browser and runs on mobile wireless information devices mounted inside emergency vehicles to drive effective and interoperable communication, collaboration, coordination, command and control among first responder. [Read release on Mobile Tactical Collaboration System] -- Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2007 by chb

Transcend 32GB ExpressCard Solid State Disk
With growing memory capacity and faster card standards, Solid State Disks (SSDs) are becoming ever more attractive for rugged and mobile applications. Transcend's RoHS-compliant ExpressCard/34 SSD is a smaller and faster plug-in module solution that supports USB 2.0 and PCI Express Applications, is compatible with Windows Vista and supports ReadyBoost function. It also comes bundled with a portable USB adapter, which makes it work as a regular USB flash drive. -- Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2007 by chb

Sybase iAnywhere mobile inspection toolkit
Sybase iAnywhere today announced the availability of a new toolkit targeted at creating mobile forms for field inspection and survey applications. The toolkit is built on the company's Information Anywhere suite, which enables developers to build always available applications that provide wireless and offline access to enterprise information. -- Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2007 by chb

Pana and Verizon announce embedded EV-DO Rev A for Toughbooks
Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, manufacturer of the Panasonic Toughbook mobile computers, and Verizon Wireless announced several new notebook certifications for embedded access to the EV-DO Revision A-based BroadbandAccess service from Verizon Wireless. Panasonic products now certified on the Verizon Wireless Revision A network include the rugged Toughbook 30 notebook and Toughbook 19 convertible tablet PC designed and tested for military, public sector and industrial users in more extreme environments and the semi-rugged Toughbook 74 notebook and business-rugged ultra-portable and thin-and-light notebooksthe T, W and Y seriesdesigned for business travelers and mobile professionals in government, commercial and healthcare industries. -- Posted Thursday, June 21, 2007 by chb

GD-Itronix introduces the GoBook MR-1 ultra-mobile notebook
&tGD-Itronix has released the GoBook MR-1, a fully rugged Windows ultra-mobile notebook that measures just 6 x 4.5 inches and is about an inch and a half thick. The MR-1 is powered by a 1.2GHz Intel Core Solo processor, can accommodate 1GB of 533MHz DDR2 RAM, comes with a shock-mounted and heated 40GB disk (80GB available), and has a brilliant, razor-sharp 1024 x 600 pixel 5.6" SVGA-W with the GD-Itronix DynaVue technology that provides superb outdoor viewability. The MR-1's magnesium chassis and housing is sealed to IP54 standards and can take as much punishment as the company's fully rugged XR-1 notebook. The MR-1 can be ordered with as many as four integrated wireless systems (three radio plus GPS), including 3G high speed services. A clever "slice" expansion system allows for expansion via stackable modules. [Read full review of the GD-Itronix MR-1 ultra-mobile notebook -- Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2007 by chb

Added: Talla-Tech ruggeds: RPDA-57 and Tacter-31M
We've added descriptions and specs of two rugged handhelds from Tallahassee Technologies. The RPDA-57 is a rugged Pocket PC running Windows CE 5.0 on a PXA270 processor. It is extremely flexible with a variety of modular backs. The Tacter-31M is a very compact full Windows machine available with either a 6.4-inch display or a XGA 10.4-inch screen, both sunlight readable. In June of 2007, Tallahassee Technologies received a $18.5 million purchase order from the US Marine Corps for the RPDA-57. [See descriptions and specs for RPDA-57 rugged military Pocket PC and Tacter-M31 rugged Windows handheld computer] -- Posted Monday, June 11, 2007 by chb

Feature: What Type of Flatscreen Should I Get?
Even if you're mostly mobile, you want a big easy-on-the-eyes flatscreen to do work in the office and at home. Technology Editor Geoff Walker analyzes the current LCD flatscreen market, explains concepts and advantages and presents his recommendations and choices, including three Editor's Choices. [Read "What Type of Flatscreen Should I get?"] -- Posted Monday, June 11, 2007 by chb

Identec merges GPS and RFID in GPS Tag
Identec Solutions announced the release of the first independently intelligent RFID tag, a satellite assisted tag that can isolate the specific location and movement of an asset. The GPS Tag has a read/write range of almost 2,000 feet and can be activated at any time with a reader, providing increased ease of access and reduced infrastructure. Self-tracking, the GPS tag uses satellites in combination with RFID to chart its route and movement. Once within range of a reader, the tag provides information of the assets movements. Use of this technology is well suited to any type of asset or personnel tracking application, and in particular for container and port transit. The receiver will be able to ascertain the exact route and journey of any asset or person. -- Posted Monday, June 11, 2007 by chb

Review: MobileDemand xTablet T8600
Offering integrated bar code and mag card readers for field data collection activities makes the MobileDemand xTablet T8600 Tablet PC a superb productivity tool for a variety of vertical market applications. It is also one of the few tablets with an integrated keypad, speeding up data entry. The fully rugged slate has a magnesium housing, extensive shock absorption, can survive multiple 3-foot drops and offers IP54 sealing (see our shower test. A massive battery allows for full-shift operation. Despite all this, the xTablet T8600 is very compact and weighs just 4.6 pounds. [Read full review of MobileDemand xTablet T8600 Tablet PC] -- Posted Wednesday, June 6, 2007 by chb

GD-Itronix unveils semi-rugged GoBook VR-2 with DynaVue
General Dynamics Itronix unveiled the GoBook VR-2, a compact semi-rugged notebook using the company' stunning new DynaVue display technology that provides superb outdoor viewability on its 13.3-inch touchscreen display. This is one machine where you have to see outdoor performance to believe it. The VR-2 features excellent industrial design, state-of-the-art processor technology, and multiple wireless technologies including GPS and various 3G wide area wireless network systems. [Read detailed review of the GD-Itronix VR-2 semi-rugged notebook] -- Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2007 by chb

GD-Itronix DynaVue Outdoor-Readable Display Technology
General Dynamics Itronix has unveiled a remarkable daylight-readable display technology called "DynaVue." How good is it? Our technology editor Geoff Walker says, "Don't you just hate it when some marketing guy labels something as "ultimate"? Well, I've found something that really should be labeled as "ultimate." It's General Dynamics (GD) Itronix' brand-new DynaVue outdoor-readable touch-screen display technology." [Read technical review of the Itronix DunaVue Outdoor-Readable Touch-Screen Display technology] -- Posted Tuesday, June 5, 2007 by chb

Full review: GETAC A790 with PCI expansion chassis
If you need a fully rugged notebook that can also accommodate standard ISA, PCI or PCI Express cards via special expansion units that attach onto the bottom of the computer, the GETAC A790 fits the bill. It is equipped with the latest technology, offers superb expandability via two peripheral bays, and packs more battery power than any other notebook we've tested. IP54 sealing, low temperature operation, optional touch and sunlight-readable screens, numerous civilian and military radios options make the GETAC A790 a compelling choice. [Read full review of the GETAC A790 rugged notebook] -- Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2007 by chb

Wyse shipping thin clients with Windows Embedded CE 6.0
Wyse Technology announced that it is shipping thin clients based on Microsoft Windows Embedded CE 6.0 with its optimized security and IT administration features while utilizing enhanced add-on and peripheral support. Windows Embedded CE 6.0 enables Wyse thin computers to support the latest Windows Embedded CE-based applications while making it easier to integrate and manage peripherals such as wireless adapters, smart card readers and security solutions. Embedded CE 6.0 is ideal for IT departments and organizations that require Citrix ICA, Microsoft RDP as well as a local browser and terminal emulation support. -- Posted Friday, May 18, 2007 by chb

Fujitsu announces U Series convertible UMPC
Adding to its long tradition of offering pen slates, Tablet PC convertibles, and mini notebooks with touchscreens, Fujitsu announced the U Series of convertible ultra-mobile PCs. Unlike most current UMPCs, the U Series offers full (albeit cramped) notebook functionality with a 74%-scale QWERTY keyboard as well as tablet operation. The little device measures just 6.75 5.25 inches, is barely over an inch thick, and weighs about 1.3 pounds. The U Series is powered by an 800 MHz Intel A110 chip, has 20-40GB of hard disk, 512MB or a gig of RAM, and a 5.6-inch wide screen with 1024x600 resolution. Either Windows XP Pro or Vista are available, and the starting price in Japan is US$1,199. [Read our description of the Fujitsu U-Series UMPC convertible] -- Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2007 by chb

I-O corporation launches new line of thin clients
Utah-based I-O Corporation launched a new line of simple, secure thin clients that are small enough to mount on the back of standard LCD monitors. The new I-O Windows XP Embedded and Windows CE based Pro|Edge thin clients are available for a 30-day trial offer as part of the launch. The ProEdge C10 Thin Client, for example, has a 1GHz processor, runs Windows CE 5.0, can display up to 1600 x 1200 pixels, yet measures just 1.5 x 6 x 5.3 inches. [see ProEdge lineup] -- Posted Monday, May 14, 2007 by chb

Toshiba reveals new, brighter industrial LCDs
Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co. has expanded its lineup of industrial-use TFT LCDs with six new modules. The new products include a 12.1-inch SVGA (800 x 600) panel with ultra-high brightness of 1,000 cd/m sq. for improved viewability for vending machines, ticket dispensers, or other equipment installed outdoors; 3.5- and 5.7-inch QVGA (320 x 240) modules with enhanced resolution and replaceable LED backlights for use in measuring instruments and handheld computing devices; high-brightness 10.4-inch and lightweight 8.4-inch modules to expand TMD's popular SVGA line; and a new 7.0-inch module to expand TMD's WVGA (800 x 480) wide-screen lineup. [see our full writeup on the new Toshiba panels] -- Posted Wednesday, May 9, 2007 by chb

Motion offers 32GB solid state drive for the LS800 Tablet PC
In what may well become a rapidly ccelerating trend, Motion Computing is now offering a 1.8-inch 32GB solid state drive for its ultra-compact LS800 Tablet PC. Since Flash has no moving parts, reliability is improved, there is 10% more battery life, and data is accessed faster. The new SSD drive has the same formfactor as a 1.8-inch hard drive, and current LS800 owners can upgrade their devices to an SSD drive via one of Motion's Certified Maintainer partners. [see our review of the Motion LS800] -- Posted Tuesday, May 8, 2007 by chb

Additions and updates
RuggedPCReview.com has added TabletKiosk's Sahara TufTab i310XT and eo TufTab v7112XT UMPC to the rugged slates section. We've also added the Psion Teklogix 7530 G2 and 7535 G2, both tech updates to earlier models. We further added the Schweers Ticketman, a specialized solution for law enforcement, and Glacier Computer's Magnum and Everest vehicle-mounts. -- Posted Friday, April 27, 2007 by chb

Where are they now? Rejuvenated CIC inks deal with Lenovo
Longtime followers of the pen computing scene know CIC, Communication Intelligence Corporation, as a pioneer in handwriting recognition. As we all know, that was a rocky road. But where most others gave up, CIC rolled with the punches and reinvented itself as a (now profitable) provider of electronic signature solutions for business process automation in the financial industry and a leader in biometric signature verification. CIC just announced a sales and marketing agreement with Lenovo to provide its electronic signature solution for ThinkPad Tablet PCs and for the companies to jointly promote their product offerings. Much optimism stems from IDC suggesting that convertible Tablet PC unit shipments will reach more than one million this year and more than four million by 2010. CIC's SignatureOne Suite includes its SignatureOne Server, Sign-it, and iSign software. SignatureOne Server provides user authentication, profile administration and transaction receipts. Sign-it and iSign provide shrink-wrapped application plug-in as well as developer tools for the integration of signatures into complex enterprise architectures and custom applications. -- Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2007 by chb

Trimble introduces WinMo5 Juno ST GPS handheld
Trimble introduced the latest addition to its GIS product linethe Juno ST handheld, a portable, low-cost data collection solution supported by Trimble's range of field and office software. It comes standard with a built-in high-sensitivity GPS receiver, runs WinMo Microsoft 5.0 software, has 128MB of non-volatile Flash, a SD slot, an 8-hour battery, WiFi/Bluetooth, weighs just 4.8 ounces and measures 4.3 in x 2.4 in x 0.7 inches. The Juno ST handheld GPS receiver is available for order now through Trimble's Mapping and GIS dealer network. It is expected to begin shipping in early May 2007. -- Posted Monday, April 23, 2007 by chb

Reseller agreement between Itronix and Telos
General Dynamics Itronix announced a reseller agreement with Ashburn, Va.-based Telos Corporation for provision of rugged computing equipment for Army customers in office environments. The agreement includes rugged handhelds and laptops, including the Duo-Touch Rugged Tablet PC, GoBook VR-1 semi-rugged notebook and the award-winning GoBook XR-1 fully rugged notebook. Telos is a prime contractor under the Army Desktop and Mobile Computing-2 program. As part of the Army's Small Computer Program, ADMC-2 focuses on leases and purchases of personal computers, notebooks, ruggedized notebooks, tablets and personal digital assistants as well as printers, digital cameras, video teleconferencing equipment, projectors, displays and high-definition television units. All military services and the Department of Defense agencies may also use the contract, if desired -- Posted Monday, April 16, 2007 by chb

Panasonic reveals rugged Toughbook CF-08 Wireless Display
Panasonic introduced the Windows CE 5.0-based Toughbook CF-08 Wireless Display. The new slate, which measures 10.5 x 8.25 inches, is 1.4 inches thick and weighs 2.65 pounds, is primarily meant to be used for terminal sessions while communicating with a Toughbook or Windows Server via Citrix or Microsoft RDP. The PXA270-powered slate has a 10.4-inch daylight-readable TFT with 1024x768 resolution. It is also meant to last, with IP54 ingress protection and a 4-foot drop spec. [Read our preview of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-08] -- Posted Thursday, April 12, 2007 by chb

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