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Rugged PC News and Developments [ Submit news] [News archive]
Walk down Memory Lane: Panasonic Factory Visit, 2002
Back in 2002, RuggedPCReview.com was still Pen Computing Magazine. Then as now, Panasonic was the marketshare leader in rugged notebooks, and we had reviewed every one of their legendary early Toughbooks. A decade earlier Panasonic had realized that selling commodity PCs was a thankless business and so they decided to identify niche markets and eventually specialized on corporate and ruggedized notebook sales to government, corporate and vertical markets. The result was the Toughbook, one of mobile computing's great success stories. We were invited to Japan in 2002 for an exclusive factory tour, and the result was a feature in the October 2002 issue of Pen Computing Magazine, entitled "Tough as Nails: Panasonic Toughbook — A high tech success story" -- Posted Monday, May 29, 2017

Full review: Handheld Algiz 8X ultra-rugged Windows tablet
RuggedPCReview.com has completed a full review of the Handheld Group's Algiz X8 rugged Windows 10 tablet, designed for modern field workers who require a compact, powerful tablet computer for mobile tasks. Powered by a Intel "Braswell" N3710 quad-core processor, the fanless Algiz 8X has a bright (600+ nits) 1280 x 800 pixel 8-inch procap wet/glove-capable multi-touch display with optional active pen support, can handle extreme environmental conditions, and provides extensive onboard connectivity and a "backpack" system for custom features. [See full review of the Handheld Group's Algiz 8X] -- Posted Friday, May 26, 2017

Continuity of “Care”: What Field Service is Missing without Mobility
No one wants to be “that guy”. The field service professional that can’t answer a simple customer inquiry until they get “back to the office” and are sitting in front of a computer. Or, worse, the contractor that delays a customer quote – or even the service itself – another week because they don’t have the right tools or information access to follow through right then and there. Yet, this is a regular occurrence. [See Xplore Technology blog ] -- Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2017

ESRI’s ArcNews: Taking GIS to the Field and Back
Juniper Systems reports that ESRI, a leader in mapping and spatial analytics software, has recently provided an article covering old vs. new methods of mapping on their ArcNews page. This article works to explain how ESRI’s software comes together to create a seamless mapping workflow from field to office. [See Juniper Systems blog entry and the article] -- Posted Wednesday, May 24, 2017

History repeats itself: it's now the Surface Laptop
So the long awaited Microsoft Surface Pro 5 has finally been unveiled as the "new Surface Pro." In its media release, Microsoft calls it "the next generation of the iconic product line and the most versatile laptop on the planet. The new Surface Pro delivers the most performance and battery life in a laptop that is this thin, light and quiet." [...read more] -- Posted Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Panasonic recalls 280,000 tablet PC battery packs due to fire risk
The Japan Times reports that Panasonic is recalling nearly 280,000 battery packs used in its tablet PCs after multiple reports that they have burst into flames. The electronics maker said it received 16 reports of the battery pack used in rugged-use FZ-G1 tablets having combusted between March 2015 and this April, including 12 in North America and one in Japan. It received no reports of injuries. [See Japan Times article and Panasonic FZ-G1 Mk1-2-3 Product Issue page] -- Posted Monday, May 22, 2017

Panasonic announces Toughbook 33 in the US
Panasonic US announced the Toughbook 33, a 2-in-1 device that the company calls a fully rugged detachable laptop. The Intel Kaby Lake-powered (Skylake for those who want to run Windows 7) 12-inch CF-33 will be the replacement of the venerable Panasonic Toughbook CF-31 that, against rising competition, had ruled the rugged laptop roost for a good many years. Pricing starts at US$3,649. [See Panasonic press release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook 33] -- Posted Friday, May 19, 2017

Added: Honeywell CK75 ultra-rugged, dual OS-capable data collection handheld
Earlier this year, Honeywell AIDC introduced the CK75 ultra-rugged data collection handheld geared towards increasing efficiency and productivity across supply chains. The CK75 is a flashlight-style data collection handheld available with either Windows Embedded Handheld or Android. The CK75 is a new version of the Intermec CK71 (Intermec became part of Honeywell in 2012). The new version comes with tech updates and the capability to run either legacy Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 or Android 6.x.x "marshmallow." [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Honeywell CK75] -- Posted Thursday, May 18, 2017

Janam appoints new sales leader for Latin America
Janam Technologies LLC, a leading provider of rugged mobile computers that scan barcodes and communicate wirelessly, announced today that Jorge Guerra has joined the company to lead its Latin America sales operations. This new appointment underscores Janam's continued commitment to the Latin America region and the company's focus on driving innovation in high growth markets. [See Janam press release] -- Posted Thursday, May 18, 2017

Association lays groundwork for a Universal Digital Ink Framework
To accelerate the growth of the digital stationery ecosystem, the Digital Stationery Consortium, Inc. (DSC), today announced that industry PC leader Fujitsu Client Computing Limited has joined the DSC at the Contributor level, the first tier of membership in the organization. The DSC also announced the formation of three new working groups to ensure a coordinated, industry-led effort to advance and promote digital stationery experiences more broadly. DSC Contributor members — Fujitsu Client Computing Limited, Montblanc, Samsung, and Wacom — will leverage these working groups in their efforts to establish digital ink as universal, open and smart content format based on the Wacom Ink Layer Language (WILL) [See DSC press release] -- Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dominium dramatically improves operational efficiency with Zebra mobile computing solution
Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), a global leader in providing solutions and services that give enterprises real-time visibility into their operations, and Emkat Solutions, Inc., a Zebra PartnerConnect partner, today announced that Dominium, one of the nation's largest affordable housing development and management companies, selected Zebra's Android-based TC55 touch mobile computers to replace its manual task operations The innovative solution helped Dominium cut administrative work order time in half; while also streamlining communications between staff and reducing work order processing and apartment inspection times - generating more than $525,000 in annual efficiency gains. Ultimately, the solution enabled Dominium to better serve residents. [See Zebra press release and RuggedPCReview's coverage of the Zebra TC5X Series] -- Posted Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Apple second quarter 2017 financials
Apple reported that it sold 50.8 million iPhones, 8.9 million iPads, and 4.2 million Macs in its fiscal 2017 second quarter that ended April 1, 2017. Total revenue for the quarter was US$52.9 billion, up 4.6% from a year ago. Net profit for the quarter was US$11 billion, slightly up from US$10.5 billion same quarter last year. [See Apple financials Q2/2017] -- Posted Thursday, May 11, 2017

Hoover picks Panasonic Toughpad tablets to support its service and repair engineers
To deliver on its vision of world class customer service with industry leading service and repairs, Hoover is upgrading its field service application and replacing the mobile devices its engineers use with Panasonic Toughpad tablets. Hoover decided to upgrade its existing FieldAssist service management application to the latest Windows 10 version and develop its own bespoke modifications to meet its needs. The upgrade also provided Hoover with the opportunity to re-examine its choice of mobile device for the engineers. [See Panasonic press release] -- Posted Thursday, May 11, 2017

Zebra Technologies announces first-quarter results
Zebra Technologies announced results for the first quarter ended April 1, 2017. GAAP net sales were US$865 million in the first quarter of 2017 compared to US$849 million in the first quarter of 2016. Net income for the first quarter of 2017 was US$8 million, compared to a net loss of $26 million for the first quarter of 2016. “During the quarter, our team extended Zebra’s leadership through superior execution of our strategy. As a result, we drove better-than-expected first quarter sales performance in our Enterprise segment and achieved earnings per share near the top end of our guidance range. We also retired another $80 million of debt, keeping us on track for at least $300 million of pay down for the full-year,” said Anders Gustafsson, chief executive officer of Zebra Technologies. [See Zebra press release] -- Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Complete Tablet Solutions awarded sixth Texas DIR Contract
Complete Tablet Solutions (CTS) is an Austin, TX-based company focused on delivering productivity-enabling technologies as an approved vendor on Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) Cooperative Contracts Programs since 2013, holding six contracts and listed on two additional OEM DIR contracts. CTS is authorized to sell various rugged computer hardware, tablet computers, situational awareness software peripherals, accessories and deployment services, to DIR customers, delivered as a comprehensive solution. [See CTS press release] -- Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Full review: ARBOR ASLAN W900C Series of capacitive multi-touch high-performance industrial Panel PCs
Industrial panel PCs used to be found mostly on shop floors and similar utilitarian applications. But now we're seeing a new generation of panel computers with the same effortless capacitive multi-touch as smartphones and tablets, the same power as high-end laptops and tablets, and attractive, contemporary design. RuggedPCReview examined a 10-inch and a 21.5-inch version of ARBOR Technology's line of Intel "Skylake"-powered wide-screen panel PCs and we came away impressed. [See review of the ARBOR ASLAN W900C Series of modern industrial panel PCs] -- Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Juniper Systems: Which RFID reader option is best for you?
In their latest blog Juniper Systems says a common question they get is "Which RFID frequency should I use?" The answer, they say, is usually "it depends" as everyone's needs are different. So Juniper lists eight questions they'd ask any prospective customer. The answers help providing the tools a customer needs, without overpaying for features that would't be useful for them. [See Which RFID reader option is best for you?] -- Posted Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Zebra Technologies Named to CRN's Mobility 100 List
Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA), a global leader in providing solutions and services that give enterprises real-time visibility into their operations, today announced that CRN®, a brand of The Channel Company, has named Zebra to its 2017 Mobility 100 list as one of the "Coolest Mobile Hardware Vendors." This list recognizes the influential contributions of vendors bringing to market innovative mobile products and services. [See Zebra press release] -- Posted Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Getac ZX70 fully rugged tablet simplifies one-handed operation for mobile field professionals
Engineered to meet the growing needs of mobile transportation and field service professionals, the new Getac ZX70 is a 7" fully rugged Android tablet designed for comfortable one-handed use in remote and challenging environments. Rugged to the core, its IP67 and MIL-STD 810G certification with best-in-class battery life allow it to go wherever you need it to. The ZX70 is also protected by Getac's industry-leading three-year, bumper-to-bumper warranty. [See Getac press release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Getac ZX70] -- Posted Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Intelligent communications as a service to help Caribbean first responders with their mission
Motorola Solutions introduces at the 32nd Annual General Meeting and Conference of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP), Intelligent Communications as a Service. This service model gives public safety and emergency response agencies access to public safety mobile applications as a recurrent subscription for easy deployment so they can respond more efficiently to the needs of the community. [See Motorola Solutions media release] -- Posted Friday, May 5, 2017

Crystal Group showcases rugged computer for IoT and autonomous driving systems at AUVSI XPONENTIAL
Crystal Group, a leading designer/manufacturer of rugged computer hardware, will highlight its rugged computer for autonomous driving systems and IoT applications at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International's XPONENTIAL, May 9-11, 2017, in booth #1516 at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. [See Crystal Group media release] -- Posted Friday, May 5, 2017

Advantech reports decreased sales, earnings for 1Q17
According to DigiTimes, Advantech has reported net profits of NT$1.205 billion (US$40.11 million) for the first quarter of 2017, down 15.2% on quarter and 8% on year. Advantech posted revenues of NT$10 billion (US$332 million) in the first quarter, down 7.4% sequentially and 0.67% on year. -- Posted Thursday, May 4, 2017

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: May 2012
In May 2012, with Windows 8 getting closer, we reviewed Winmate's M970D rugged Windows tablet, and noted that Android may finally get traction in vertical markets. Juniper Systems partnered with SDG to produce Android version of the Mesa Rugged Notepad. The Houston PD announced it would outfit the city's 1,800 police cruisers with Getac B300 rugged notebook computers. A jury decided Google's Android did not infringe on Oracle's patents. DRS Tactical Systems announces two new lightweight 7-inch multi-touch tablets. DLI announced the 9.7-inch DLI 9000 Windows or Android tablet. Psion received a positive rating in a Gartner rugged handheld report. RIM announced approval of BlackBerry 7 smartphones for U.S. DoD networks. RuggedPCReview reported on the widening gulf between consumer and vertical market handhelds. ecom and Intermec announced the i.roc Ci70 -Ex intrinsically safe rugged handheld. Omnivision unveiled a 12.7mp still/1080p@60fps video sensor that we said we'd like to see in ruggedized professional handhelds and tablets. [See May 2012 RuggedPCReview archives] -- Posted Thursday, May 4, 2017

Xplore fulfills follow-on order for ultra-rugged tablets from leading global automotive manufacturer
Xplore Technologies announced that one of the world's leading automotive manufacturers has equipped workers in one of its new U.S. body shops with Xplore's ultra-rugged XC6 tablet PCs as part of a multi-year, multi-million-dollar mobility initiative. The long-time global customer is utilizing the vibration-proof, shock-proof, waterproof, and dustproof industrial-grade tablets on forklifts in support of multiple logistics activities, including materials handling, shop floor tasks, and maintenance. They have also installed Xplore's secure vehicle docking systems third-party forklift mounts and DC power converters as part of the total Xplore-engineered mobility solution. Additional screen black-out software has been installed for safe rugged tablet use while the forklifts are in transit. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Sparton introduces wide-temperature rugged Mini PCs
Sparton Corporation, which makes industrial rugged computer and peripherals under the Stealth.com brand, has launched a pair of fanless rugged Mini PCs. The LPC-815 and LPC-835 provide an extended -13 to 158F operating temperature range and are designed for a variety of demanding environments and applications. The LPC-815 fits in the palm of a hand and weighs just 1.9 pounds. The LPC-835 adds higher performance with Intel 5th Gen Core i5 or i7 mobile processors, dual drives, and expanded I/O ports. [See Sparton media release] -- Posted Monday, May 1, 2017

Motorola Solutions expands push-to-talk mobile offerings with Kodiak Networks acquisition
Motorola Solutions announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Kodiak Networks, a privately held provider of broadband push-to-talk (PTT) for commercial customers. Kodiak partners with mobile network operators globally to offer its cloud-based PTT solution and management platform, which delivers clear, reliable, instant performance over 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, and 3G networks. The acquisition of Kodiak adds a complementary, carrier-integrated PTT-over-cellular solution to Motorola Solutions’ existing WAVE PTT portfolio, which today includes solutions for high-performance PTT and flexible, “over-the-top” broadband PTT. [See media release] -- Posted Monday, May 1, 2017

SMART announces 8 Terabyte rugged MLC Solid State Drive
SMART High Reliability Solutions, a provider of current and next-gen solid-state storage solutions specializing in ruggedized, high-performance and high-capacity solid-state drives ("SSDs") for defense, aerospace and industrial markets, announced its new 8TB HRS-M1HC 2.5" SATA 6Gb/s SSD. The M1HC is designed for land, air and sea applications where collecting and storing large amounts of mission critical information is essential. Available in capacities of 1, 2, 4 and 8 Terabytes, M1HC SSDs operate at altitudes of up to 100,000 feet, can handle operating temperatures of -40 to 85 degrees Celsius, and withstand shock and vibration up to 1000g. [See SMART media release and product comparison chart] -- Posted Monday, May 1, 2017

Full review: Handheld Group Algiz 10X 10.1-inch rugged Windows tablet with tech update and fresh new look
The third generation Handheld Algiz 10X addresses the needs of anyone who's been looking for a tough, rugged Windows 10 tablet for demanding work even under extreme environmental conditions, and one with a bright, sharp display large enough to comfortably work on. RuggedPCReview examined this latest version of the Algiz 10X that now comes with full-HD resolution, glove and rain-capable capacitive multi-touch, concurrent GNSS, an optional active stylus, the LTSB version of Windows 10, and a fresh and modern new look. [See full review of the Handheld Algiz 10X] -- Posted Thursday, April 27, 2017

Law enforcement agencies adopting DURABOOK rugged laptops and tablets
GammaTech announced it ended 2016 with broad sales to Law Enforcement customers across the country. The DURABOOK R11 tablet, SA14 semi-rugged laptop, and R8300 fully rugged laptop were purchased by Police and Sheriff departments in Missouri, Connecticut, Georgia, Texas, California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Arizona, and Washington. Customers include the Denver PD, DeKalb Country Marshall's Office, Sweetwater PD, South San Francisco PD, Branson PD, Clallam County Sheriff, Chino Valley Police, Falls Township PD, Liberty County Sheriff and Pecos County Sheriff. [See GammaTech media release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Xplore expands price and performance range of the XSLATE R12 rugged tablet series
Xplore Technologies announced that it has added two additional CPU options to its XSLATE R12 rugged 12.5-inch Windows tablet. In addition to the Intel Core i7-7500U and Core i5-6200U processors initially available, Xplore has now added the Core i7-7600U at the high end and the Celeron 3865U at the low end. This gives the R12 series a wider performance range as well as a wider price range. The Celeron-powered tablet starts at US$2299 while the Intel Core i7 vPro version starts at $3299. When RuggedPCReview tested a Core i7-7500U version of the R12, it clocked the overall fastest PassMark benchmark numbers we had ever seen on a rugged mobile device. The i7-7600U powered new version should be faster yet. [See Xplore media release and RuggedPCReview report on the Xplore XSLATE R12] -- Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Handheld Group upgrades RAM and scanner in rugged Nautiz X2 Android hendheld
Handheld Group announced that their Nautiz X2 enterprise handheld now comes standard with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB storage. The 2D Imager model is also upgraded to the latest Honeywell N6603 high performance imager. Handheld originally offered the Honeywell N3680 as an optional 2D scan engine for the Nautiz X2. The N6603 offers a higher resolution sensor (844 x 640 vs 640 x 480), twice the scan rate, a wider field of view, wider scan range, and lower current draw. [See Handheld media release]
-- Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Janam partners with TouchStar to improve fleet management operations
Janam Technologies, a provider of rugged mobile computers that scan barcodes and communicate wirelessly, and TouchStar, a multinational provider of logistics and mobility software solutions, announced today that Janam’s XT2 is the preferred rugged mobile computer for TouchStar’s TransPac application. TransPac is a cloud-based application that integrates seamlessly with an organization’s fleet tracking and planning software. It enables users to view customer details, fulfill orders and print invoices while on-site with the customer. It also integrates directly with fleet management and accounting software to help improve driver efficiency and create an effective scheduling and delivery process. Janam and TouchStar will co-exhibit at NAFA’s Institute & Expo taking place in Tampa, Florida on April 26-27, 2017. [See Janam media release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017

JLT Mobile Computers selected by large international automaker for U.S. warehouse logistics use
JLT Mobile Computers announced it has won a contract with a large global automaker for the JLT VERSO+ 10 rugged computer. The units will be used in the U.S. warehouse, one of the customer’s multiple production and distribution sites around the globe. The order positions JLT well for further expansion at the customer, as it is part of a greater roll-out of future installations. “The compact VERSO+ 10 mobile computer represents a new class of rugged vehicle terminals, delivering the highest standard in terms of usability and reliability in the face of some of the industry’s harshest applications,” said Eric Miller, CEO of JLT Mobile Computers. [See JLT Mobile media release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 26, 2017

VDC: Demand for legacy WIndows platforms rapidly waning in rugged handhelds while Android gains traction
VDC Research issued a new report that analyses the approximately US$5 billion global rugged handheld and rugged smartphone market. VDC states that although a majority of available rugged handheld devices are still Windows-based, demand is rapidly waning for legacy Windows platforms such as Windows Mobile/Embedded Handheld 6.5 and Windows CE. Google’s Android continues to gain traction among enterprise users looking to leverage Android’s active app development ecosystem. Rugged OEMs are responding to the need to bridge the performance and functionality gaps with consumer mobile technology. Many are taking this OS shift as an opportunity to upgrade their aging portfolios. [See Taking Stock of the Rugged Handheld and Rugged Smartphone Product Portfolio] -- Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2017

RuggON announces versatile Intel Skylake-powered 12.1-inch rugged in-vehicle terminal
RuggON announced that it is expanding its ruggVMC line of vehicle-mount computers with the new VX-601. Built around a superbright 12.1-inch with either resistive or capacitive touch, the Intel Core i5-6300U powered vehicle-mount runs wither Windows 7 Embedded or Windows 10 Iot and offers an unusually broad array of wired and wireless connectivity. A very wide input power range, ignition sense, remote wake, and integrated backup battery power good for 1.5 hours make the VX-601 suitable for a very wide range of vehicle and field deployments. [See RuggON media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the RuggON VX-601] -- Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2017

DT Research rugged tablet awarded C1D2 certification for safe operation in potentially hazardous environments
DT Research announced that its DT301 rugged tablet has been tested and Class 1 Division 2 Certified to operate safely in hazardous areas where flammable gases, vapors or liquids may be present within sufficient quantities to be explosive or ignitable. The C1D2 certification is recognized as the most widely accepted non-incendive standard in North America for products used in hazardous environments. "As a company specializing in purpose-built solutions for vertical markets, we strive to adhere to the highest standards required in a broad set of industries," said Daw Tsai Sc.D., president of DT Research. "We are proud to add the C1D2 certification to the robust features of the DT301 rugged tablet, making it a viable solution in many more environments." [See DT Research media release and RuggedPCReview analysis of the DT301] -- Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tablet EX Gear offers ingenious tablet chest packs
Tablets are great and increasingly used in the field, but you can't just stick them in a pocket like a smartphone. Realizing that, the crafty folks at Tablet EX Gear are offering a variety of tablet chest packs designed not only to easily stow away a tablet, but also providing space for whatever gear and peripherals you want to take with, and to make using the tablet easier. Very clever. Almost everyone working with a tablet in the field needs this. [See the Tablet EX Gear site] -- Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Juniper Systems releases the Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet with Android OS
Juniper Systems, provider of ultra-rugged field data collection solutions, recently announced the release of its latest product, the Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet running Android 5.1. This handheld aims to provide a solution for those seeking a versatility of Android, without sacrificing the durability and precision the Mesa 2 is known for. [See Juniper Systems media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Mobile Demand and Phantom Controls SAM present the next generation fire truck
Operating fire trucks used to be a very manual thing. But MobileDemand and the folks at Phantom Controls proved that you can teach old dogs new tricks. They retrofitted an old St. Louis fire truck with their SAM (Scene Apparatus Manager) automated fire pump system to open and close valves, set the pressure for the pressure governor, select intakes for water supply, and alert the crew if there are any problems. It allows the truck operator to focus on the crew, their safety, and instantly set or reallocate pressure where and how it's needed. The truck itself has a panel PC, the operator uses a MobileDemand xTablet T8650 rugged tablet PC with Phantom Controls SAM software. The system will be demonstrated at FDIC 2017, April 24-29 in Indianapolis. For a great video on how it works, see this Facebook video (184,000 views as of 4/24!!!). -- Posted Monday, April 24, 2017

MPL rugged embedded computers used on racing sailboat
Swiss rugged embedded computer maker MPL AG reported in its newsletter that since January 2017, MPL AG is a technical partner for the Arnauld Godart-Philippe Sailing Team AGP. AGP uses MPL's PIP32 rugged embedded IPC for instrumentation, sensor monitoring and boat navigation. The racing team had been using MPL rugged computers since 2009 without any failures. [See MPL PIP30 rugged embedded systems] -- Posted Friday, April 21, 2017

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: April 2012
In April 2012, GD-Itronix opened an online store for its rugged computers and accessories, Motorola Solutions reported Q1 sales of almost US$2 billion and US$232 million profit, and Intel introduced its high-end quad-core 3rd gen"Ivy Bridge" Core processors. Microsoft announced there will be three versions of Windows 8 (plain Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows RT for ARM). Socket Mobile turned 20. iSiS-Ex released 19-inch Zone 2 workstations, Advantech created a site just for hazardous application solutions, IBM introduced a new foundation for mobile computing, and Intermec released two new rugged high-speed label printers. e-con Systems explained the challenges of integrating decent cameras into rugged systems, Cybernet Manufacturing launched the CyberMed T10 tablet for use in clinical environments. RuggedPCReview analyzed the nature and potential of Windows 8 for ARM devices and concluded it was probably a longshot.[See April 2012 RuggedPCReview archives] -- Posted Friday, April 21, 2017

noax Technologies releases S21WP industrial PC with industrial-grade PCAP Technology
noax Technologies, a German OEMr of industrial PCs (IPCs), has announced the release of the S21WP, the first IPC offering modified Projected Capacitive (PCAP) touchscreen technology which operates with the use of gloves even in extreme environmental conditions. The S21WP features food-safe screws and EPDM rubber seals to prevent the harboring of contaminants and allow for easy cleaning. Protected against shocks and vibrations, the slim design of the IPC features special grouting for gaps, which has the additional function of an anti-shock mounting. [See media release] -- Posted Thursday, April 20, 2017

Handheld offers OS options for new Algiz 10X models
Handheld Group announced that it has made Windows 7 available on its Algiz 10X ultra-rugged tablet computer. The Algiz 10X received an upgrade last year to a 10.1” HD projective capacitive touchscreen and offered the Windows 10 operating system. “At Handheld, we concentrate on the unique needs of enterprise deployments of our rugged tablets and handhelds,” says Johan Hed, director of product management. “Part of that value is to offer stability and flexibility to meet enterprises where they are. Windows 10 has enjoyed wide-spread enterprise acceptance, but Windows 7 is still important to many of our customers. Now we give them the option to choose.” [See Handheld media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2017

JLT Mobile Computers to showcase the importance of rugged IT solutions for mining operations
JLT Mobile Computers will be attending Canada’s premier mining event, CIM 2017 Convention, from April 30 to May 3 at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal to show its rugged computers with proven reliability that increases productivity and minimizes costly interruptions in mining operations. JLT will be demoing the outstanding capabilities of their latest generation, high-performance VERSO computers for heavy-duty industry, developed to withstand the most extreme conditions, including severe vibrations and chemicals, making them perfectly suited for use in mining industries. [See JLT Mobile media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Advantech identifies six growth engines at its 2017 Service-IoT Worldwide Partner Conference
At its 2017 Service-IoT Worldwide Partner Conference, Advantech discussed what the company considers the major growth engines for three major business areas. In Intelligent Healthcare those are promoting intelligent wards and solution-ready platforms as well as expansion into intelligent integrated operating rooms. In Intelligent Retail those are the creation of a global Intelligent retail eco-partners network as well as a cloud platform with integrated retail management software. In Intelligent Logistics, Advantech sees a need for a more complete range of industrial mobile solutions and application-ready platforms for safety In and out of vehicles. [See Advantech media release] -- Posted Friday, April 14, 2017

Zebra Technologies unveils SmartPack Trailer solution to optimize loading operations
Zebra Technologies Corporation announced SmartPack Trailer which provides the transportation and logistics industry with real-time operational visibility. SmartPack Trailer captures load density, trailer fullness, packages scanned and loaded per hour, and other relevant data and visuals, helping organizations achieve optimal performance and profitability. This is in line with Zebra’s Enterprise Asset Intelligence strategy of capturing operational data at the point of activity and then analyzing that data to derive actionable insights for personnel and dock managers. [See Zebra media release and SmartPack Trailer page] -- Posted Friday, April 14, 2017

Xplore secures $2.2 million order from new division at major global telecommunicationsprovider
Xplore Technologies announced that one of the nation’s largest telecommunications service providers has chosen to replace the standard laptops and Toughbooks previously used by its Digital Electronics Group (DEG) with Xplore XSLATE B10 Fully Rugged Tablet PCs. The initial order from DEG is valued at $2.2 million, with additional follow-on orders from the telco’s DEG, as well as other business units, anticipated as part of the customer’s multi-year commitment to standardize its field teams on Xplore rugged tablets. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Thursday, April 13, 2017

Victoria, Australia, police to use Motorola Solutions system and service for 10,000+ consumer handhelds
Motorola Solutions will provide a new mobility managed service to Victoria Police, bringing real-time information to at least 10,000 police officers equipped with iPads and iPhones. The technology will also help Victoria Police to preserve its mission-critical radio communications for essential emergency communications by removing lower priority traffic from the radio network. The solution includes, mPol, a mobile application developed by Gridstone, the Collingwood-based mobile application developer that's part of Motorola Solutions. Our take: That means another 10,000+ fragile consumer-grade devices on the street and in the field. Rugged would likely have been better in the long run. [See Motorola Solutions media release] -- Posted Thursday, April 13, 2017

L-com launches new line of armored M12 cable assemblies
When rugged gear must be connected out there in the field, waterproof screw-on or bayonet M12-style connectors are often used instead of standard I/O ports. But what about the cable itself? Is it strong enough? To make sure it is, L-com Global Connectivity, a manufacturer of wired and wireless connectivity products, has released a new line of armored M12 cable assemblies for use with industrial Ethernet, test equipment, I/O connectivity, sensors and actuators, and industrial control and factory automation. The inner cable jacket is resistant to oil, UV sun rays, weld splatter and is rated for 600V. Stainless steel armor protects the cable from damage and features 1,500 PSI of crush resistance. [See L-com media release] -- Posted Thursday, April 13, 2017

Unitech PA720 rugged Android handheld wins iF Design Award
Unitech announced that its newest Enterprise PDA, the PA720, has won the 2017 iF Design Award in recognition of its outstanding product design. At an awards ceremony held in Munich, the PA720 was selected by a panel of about 60 leading design experts as one of the winners of the top accolade. This year's competition saw a total of 5,500 products submitted from 59 countries. [See Unitech media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Unitech PA720] -- Posted Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Juniper Systems Geode sub-meter GNSS receiver
Using modern positioning technology to determine location on the planet within two or three meters is incredible. But sometimes it's not good and accurate enough. That's where sub-meter accuracy comes in. In a recent Juniper Systems blog post, John Florio discusses their Geode sub-meter GPS receiver, a powerful, easy-to-use, and affordable GPS solution that works with Windows, Windows Mobile and Android devices. Geode can be mounted on a pole, in a pack, or held in your hand. The systems offers all-day battery life, optional GLONASS capability, and connects either via Bluetooth or wire. The Geode is also compatible with Juniper Systems Aspect software, and many other mapping applications available such as Esri Collector for ArcGIS, ArcPad, and more. [See Let’s talk Geode Sub-meter GPS Receiver] -- Posted Monday, April 10, 2017

Getac financials and outlook
According to the Taipei Times, Getac chairman James Hwang told an investors’ conference that he expects Getac’s 2017 revenue to increase by 5-10% from 2016's NT$20.4 billion (US$666.5 million), driven by the mechanical components and rugged computer systems. In 2016, 47% of revenue, US$313 million, came from rugged systems, and Hwang said revenue from rugged systems could surge by a double-digit percentage 2017 on increasing orders from existing clients and Windows 10 conversion demand. [See article] -- Posted Friday, April 7, 2017

Lucas certifies Zebra TC51 Android Touch Computer for use with Lucas Move applications for voice picking and other warehouse functions
Lucas Systems, a provider of solutions for intelligent mobile work execution for warehouses and distribution centers, announced that it has certified Zebra Technologies’ TC51 rugged mobile handheld computer for use with Lucas Move mobile applications. The Zebra TC51 is the first Android-based industrial computer certified for Lucas Move, the mobile component of the Lucas Mobile Work Execution Solutions. Lucas Move guides users through their tasks using a combination of voice direction, speech recognition, visual user interfaces, barcode scanning, NFC and RFID. [See Lucas media release and RuggedPCReview's assessment of the Zebra TC51] -- Posted Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Xplore now ships rugged XSLATE D10 tablet with Android 6.0.1
Xplore Technologies announced its flagship Android rugged tablet, the 10.1-inch XSLATE D10, is now available with the upgraded Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow operating system. With Android 6.0.1, battery life improves over 10%, lasting beyond full shifts, and up to 22 hours with an optional second battery. Marshmallow also brings several enhancements to the Android for Work and Voice Assist APIs, each may yield greater worker efficiency and application responsiveness. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Crystal Group showcases rugged embedded computers at Navy League’s Sea Air Space Exposition
Crystal Group announced it will highlight its rugged embedded computer line at Navy League's Sea Air Space Exposition. These embedded devices are ideal for use in environments where water threats, extreme temperature and volatile conditions occur; yet high capacity computing, graphics performance, power saving and long-term server availability are in demand. The SE16 Sealed Embedded Computer has an all-aluminum construction with custom EMI gasketing to seal the chassis, allowing it to operate while fully submerged in water up to one meter. The RE0814 is a rugged embedded computer with no moving parts is a cost-effective solution for harsh environments and critical around the clock land, sea, air, and space operations. [See Crystal Group media release] -- Posted Friday, March 31, 2017

ARBOR Technology launches Digital Signage Player with 6th Gen Intel Core™ i-series processors
ARBOR Technology, announced its new ELIT-1900 digital signage player with 4K/Ultra HD display support for commercial environments. Based on Intel 6th-gen Skylake-H CPU technology and containing an AMD E8860 GPU, the ELIT-1900 delivers outstanding processing performance and truly immersive graphics. [See ARBOR media release and ELIY-1900 product page] -- Posted Thursday, March 30, 2017

Getac partners with Trivalent to provide next generation data protection for the first time in rugged computing devices
Getac announced its partnership with Trivalent, a leading provider of next-generation data protection services, to deliver seamless and robust next-generation data protection for the first time on rugged computing devices. By integrating Trivalent’s software security into its line of rugged devices, Getac confirms its commitment to safeguarding customer data with technology that has been certified by the NSA. [See media release] -- Posted Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Added: Winmate EAC-PRO
Winmate's new EAC-PRO is an Intel 6th generation-based embedded computer for factory floor, vision systems, surveillance, machine automation, medical imaging and similar. It measures roughly 8 x 8 x 8 inches and weigh 10-12 pounds depending on configuration, and is perfect for projects that do require PCI and PCI Express expansion in a compact, industrial-grade package. And with Winmate using an embedded systems approach with the EAC-PRO, the company should easily be able to accommodate custom configurations with different SBC (Single Board Computer) and I/O boards. [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Winmate EAC-PRO and Winmate's EAC-PRO product page] -- Posted Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What happens when you don't upgrade your hardware
So the folks in the new SciFi movie Life are using Handheld Group's ultra-rugged Algiz 10X tablet when they retrieve a space probe returning from Mars. Problem is, the probe contains a very hostile organism that escapes containment and evolves. Quite obviously, had the scientists on the space station upgraded to the new and improved version of the Algiz 10X, the problem could have been avoided. Lesson: Always upgrade to the latest version! [See "Life" trailer on YouTube and also what the new version of the Algiz 10X looks like] -- Posted Saturday, March 25, 2017

Review: Getac T800 Gen 2 ultra-rugged Windows 10 tablet
The T800 is Getac's entry into the compact 8-inch rugged tablet market. Its footprint is just a little larger than that of an iPad mini, making it easy to carry around and stow almost anywhere. RuggedPCReview takes an extended look at this highly configurable, state-of-the-art Windows 10-based capacitive multi-touch tablet that can handle 6-foot falls and plenty of punishment. [See review of the Getac T800 Gen 2 ultra-rugged tablet] -- Posted Friday, March 24, 2017

Panasonic’s new rugged 2-in-1 detachables reflect European market demand for hybrid mobile devices
Panasonic Europe notes that a new IDC whitepaper predicts that IT buyers will be equipping their mobile workforces with more detachable mobile devices in 2017. With an increased awareness of the need for data entry and content creation to improve productivity, the predicted screen size sweet spot for these devices will be displays of 12-13.3 inches. Which pretty much describes the recently introduced fully rugged 12-inch Panasonic Toughbook CF-33 and the semi rugged 12.5-inch Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2. Both are 2-in-1 detachables offering the best of both worlds with tablet and notebook functionality in a single business device. [See Panasonic media release] -- Posted Friday, March 24, 2017

Crystal Group and Intel forge rugged autonomous vehicle all-weather solution to deliver on IoT promise
To meet the growing demand for reliable technology on the Internet of Things (IoT), Crystal Group, a designer/manufacturer of rugged computer hardware, announced the development of a rugged server able to withstand extreme temperature variations for commercial autonomous vehicles (AVs). Crystal Group's Intel-powered RS363S15F Rugged 3U Server is just one example of an agile and rugged system with applications for the commercial AV market. Crystal Group and Intel have been working with other technology companies and major automotive OEMs as part of the Intel Internet of Things Solutions Alliance to build systems to support the entire driverless vehicle ecosystem. [See Crystal group media release and RS363S15F rugged 3U server] -- Posted Friday, March 24, 2017

GCSS-Army Deploying 9,783 Getac F110 G3 Rugged Tablets
The Global Combat Support System branch of the U.S. Army (GCSS-Army) has ordered 9,783 Getac F110 G3 rugged tablets with docking stations. After a thorough vetting process, GCSS-Army determined the Getac F110 G3 would be the best new rugged tablet to replace several aging and outdated Army management information systems across tactical logistics environments within the Army’s Active and Reserve components as well as the National Guard. The Getac F110 G3 tablets will ultimately be used to capture UID data using its built-in barcode reader to provide unprecedented asset visibility. [See Getac media release] -- Posted Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Added: Handheld Group Algiz 10X Gen 3
Product description and specs of the heavily updated 3rd generation of the Handheld Group's ultra-rugged Algiz 10X tablet now available on RuggedPCReview. Major updates include switch to 1920 x 1200 pixel, 16:10 aspect ratio, 10.1-inch display; switch to capacitive multi-touch with glove and rain modes; addition of optional active pen; switch to u-blox NEO-M8N positioning; and switch to Windows 10 Enterprise LTSB. [See description, specs and analysis of the Handheld Group Algiz 10X] -- Posted Monday, March 20, 2017

Full review 6th gen GammaTech DURABOOK SA14
The GammaTech DURABOOK SA14 is a modern semi-rugged laptop solution for customers who need more durability and ruggedness than consumer notebooks generally provide, but still at an affordable price. Now powered by Intel 6th generation "Skylake" processors, the impressively well-built SA14 convinces with very good performance, great battery life, a large display that works very well outdoors, and plenty of onboard I/O, all at a very reasonable cost. [See full review of the semi rugged GammaTech DURABOOK SA14] -- Posted Friday, March 17, 2017

Wireless Network Solutions completes validation of Janam XT2 rugged touch computer
Janam Technologies announced that value-added reseller Wireless Network Solutions has technically certified Janam’s XT2 rugged touch computer. This validation ensures interoperability between Janam’s Android-powered XT2 and Wireless Network Solutions’ Inspector+ 4.0 software. Inspector+ 4.0 is a cloud-based Android application that enables businesses in the airline, healthcare, and oil and gas industries to replace pen and paper tracking. The newly released software provides enterprise organizations with a robust method of cost-effectively improving inspection processes. [See Janam media release] -- Posted Thursday, March 16, 2017

Handheld appoints new President of Its North American subsidiary
Handheld Group announced the appointment of Mike Zelman as President of its North American subsidiary, Handheld US. Mike Zelman has been on the Handheld US board since its inception and most recently served as Vice President of Business Development for Handheld Group. Prior to joining Handheld, he served as Vice President of Marketing for Merix, a leading global manufacturer of complex interconnect solutions. He has also held management positions within the mobile computing division at Trimble, the electrical component business at Flextronics, and the semiconductor group within Agilent Technologies. [See Handheld media release] -- Posted Thursday, March 16, 2017

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