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Rugged PC News and Developments [ Submit news] [News archive]
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

Global tablet shipments below 40 million in Q1/2017
According to DigiTimes, global tablet shipments in Q1/2017 will be less than 40 million units for the first time since Q2/2012. For all of 2016, tablet shipments were 183 million units. -- Posted Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Xplore expands scope of rugged tablet deployment with top 10 U.S. electrical power and natural gas utility company
Xplore Technologies has received a new $750K expansion order from one of the nation’s top 10 electric power and natural gas utility companies, bringing the value of the multi-year field service mobilization initiative to more than $3.5M to-date. These additional XSLATE B10 fully rugged (IP65) tablet PCs and in-vehicle docking solutions will be deployed to the nuclear plant and material logistics groups, among others, to facilitate service dispatch, deliver asset intelligence to infrastructure assessment teams, and improve the efficiency and coordination of repair crew actions. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Monday, March 13, 2017

Motorola Solutions expands managed & support services with Chile acquisition
Motorola Solutions announced that it has acquired Interexport, a company that provides managed and support services for communications systems to government agencies, public safety and enterprise customers in Chile. Motorola Solutions expects Interexport to add approximately $50 million in revenue for 2017. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. [see Motorola Solutions media release] -- Posted Monday, March 13, 2017

RuggedPCReview blog: Are "mobile" sites really needed?
A few days ago I used one of the readily available website analysis tools to check RuggedPCReview.com. The resulting report gave me a stern "site not mobile-optimized" lecture. "Mobile-optimized," of course, refers to the fact that sites on the one-size-fits-all world wide web are being viewed on a very wide range of devices with a very wide range of screen sizes. And it is certainly true that viewing a webpage on a 27-inch display is a very different experience from viewing it on a 4.7-inch smartphone... [read blog article] -- Posted Friday, March 10, 2017

Havis adds computing solutions to work truck, van fleets
Havis announced it has added vehicle-specific computer docking and mounting solutions designed to increase mobile productivity in work trucks, vans and SUVs. Havis will display the solutions at the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show March 14-17, 2017, in Indianapolis, IN. Havis offers vehicle-specific solutions for a number of top-selling brands, including Ford, Chevrolet, Ram, Nissan and more. Havis said it will display a total mobility solution installed in a 2016 Nissan Frontier during the show. -- Posted Friday, March 10, 2017

Site improvement: easy search for product reviews
The "recent reviews/additions" list in the righthand column of the RuggedPCReview front page contains links to almost a thousand products reviews. To make it easier to list just the products of a certain company, or search for a particular product or groups of products by name, we added a "filter" input box. So if you type in "Getac" you instantly get a list of all Getac reviews on our site. Let us know if this is useful. -- Posted Thursday, March 9, 2017

Datalogic is recognized as best channel vendor for 2017 by Business Solutions Magazine
Datalogic, a leader in Automatic Data Capture and Industrial Automation markets, and producer of bar code readers, mobile computers, sensors, vision systems and laser marking equipment, is proud to announce that it has been named a Best Channel Vendor for 2017 by Business Solutions Magazine. Datalogic scored well in all seven categories and placed high in four specific divisions (product features, product reliability, channel friendly, and channel program [See Datalogic media release] -- Posted Thursday, March 9, 2017

Avalue/Bytec Healthcare offer IP67-sealed mobile power packs
With all the horror stories of overheating, burning and exploding batteries, everyone has become somewhat cautious in dealing with them. There are, however, situations where certain types of battery packs must be routinely cleaned and disinfected, such as healthcare environments. To that extent, Avalue Technology's healthcare alliance partner, Bytec Healthcare, has launched intelligent Geni-Tec battery modules. The IP67-sealed mobile Geni-Tec Modules can be washed under running water, deep-cleaned, and disinfected with NHS solutions. [See Avalue media release and Geni-Tec Power Systems page] -- Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2017

VIA to debut VIA VTS-8589 OPS board at Embedded World 2017
VIA Technologies announced it will debut its new VIA VTS-8589 OPS board at the 2017 Embedded World Exhibition and Conference being held this March 14-16 in Nuremberg, Germany. Compliant with Intel’s Open Pluggable Specification (OPS), the VIA VTS-8589 can be installed into OPS-compatible displays without the need for additional power, connectivity, or real estate. [See VIA media release and VTS-8589 OPS page] -- Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Ubiqconn buys RuggON to expand global industrial IoT strategy
Ubiqconn, a subsidiary of FICG (First International Computer Group), announced the acquisition of RuggON, a supplier of rugged portable computing systems and industry sponsor of RuggedPCReview.com. Ubiqconn considers the acquisition a step towards offering complete Mobile IIoT (Industrial IoT) solutions and expanding its global Industrial IoT (IIoT) market strategy. The management team remains after the acquisition, and resources from parent company FIC Group will be provided to expand product lines and branding development for RuggON. [See Ubiqconn media release] -- Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Getac expects revenues to grow strongly in second half of 2017
Digitimes reports that rugged PC manufacturer Getac Technology expects its revenues to decrease sequentially in the second quarter, and that shipping volume will grow strongly in the second half due to increased procurement orders. Getac currently is the second largest vendor in the rugged industrial PC market, holding a market share of 16-18%. Getac is looking to boost the market share to 30% in the next three years. -- Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2017

U.S. Navy awards Patriot Technologies. a large-scale rugged tablet contract for naval shipyards
Patriot Technologies announced a five-year blanket purchase agreement awarded by the Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization-Scott Field Office for the US Navy to procure rugged tablet computer designed by DT Research, a designer and manufacturer of purpose-built computing solutions for vertical markets. The US Navy selected the DT311 rugged tablets to deploy to personnel working at various shipyards for technical maintenance management, warehouse inventory control, field testing and training, and other field data operations. See media release] -- Posted Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Getac introduces MX50 5.7-inch secure, rugged Android tactical tablet for armed forces
Getac introduced its first rugged tactical tablet, built from the ground up, for combat-ready military forces, including dismounted warfighters, elite enforcement agencies and Special Forces military units. The Android-based, Intel x5-Z8350 powered 5.7-inch tablet is heavily ruggedized and will meet the Common Criteria ISO/IEC 15408 computer security certification as well as the NSA’s Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) guidelines and Data-at-Rest (DAR) requirements. [See Getac media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Getac MX50] -- Posted Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Zebra study: 7 in 10 retailers will invest in IoT technologies to revolutionize customer experience
Zebra Technologies published the results of their 2017 Retail Vision Study. The study revealed that nearly 70% of retail decision makers surveyed are ready to make changes to adopt the Internet of Things (IoT), and 65% plan to invest in automation technologies for inventory management and planogram compliance by 2021. This includes investment in mobile devices, kiosks and tablets to increase payment options, mobile point-of-sale, micro-locationing, big data predictive and software analytics for loss prevention and price optimization, and more. [See Zebra media release and one-page summary infographic] -- Posted Monday, March 6, 2017

Winmate's G-WIN Heavy-Duty Panel Computer: Concept and Testing
In its latest newsletter, Winmate ran an illustrated compilation of RuggedPCReview's discussion and commentaries on the company's expanding series of G-WIN heavy-duty panel computers. The focus is on the differences between ruggedness and ruggedness testing in heavy-duty panel computers compared to portable mobile computers.
[Read Winmate's G-WIN Heavy-Duty Panel Computer: Concept and Testing]
-- Posted Monday, March 6, 2017

Full review: MobileDemand's rather amazing US$595 2-in-1 rugged Windows xTablet Flex 10A
It's difficult to figure out what to make of MobileDemand's xTablet Flex10A. It's essentially a generic 10-inch Windows tablet inside expertly designed and executed ruggedization armor, and including straps and handles and pen and screen protector and all. And with an optional very well matched detachable keyboard it becomes a remarkably useful 2-in-1 hybrid. All for US$595 (plus about $100 for the keyboard and easel). [See full review of the MobileDemand xTablet Flex 10A] -- Posted Monday, March 6, 2017

Disruptive innovation?
In a recent Xplore blog, Bob Ashenbrenner postulates that "if you want to get things done, don’t let innovation (or tech) become disruptive." As we are continuously bombarded with new technology and pressure to rethink and innovate, do we perhaps focus too much on change and reinventing, and not enough on reaping the benefits from tried-and-true methods and technology? Good questions, and certainly something to think about. [See If You Want to Get Things Done, Don’t Let Innovation (or Tech) Become Disruptive (Part 1)] -- Posted Friday, March 3, 2017

Panasonic Europe announces Toughbook CF-33
Panasonic Europe introduced the Toughbook CF-33, a 2-in-1 device that the company calls a fully rugged detachable laptop. The Intel Kaby Lake-powered 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. [See Panasonic media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-33] -- Posted Monday, February 27, 2017

eVision presents mobility solutions at Bartec Agile X IS DIV 1 and Zone 1 tablet launch
Bartec will officially launch their Agile X IS DIV I and Zone 1 tablet in the US market on 9 March 2017, at a private event in Houston. The Agile X IS is an intrinsically safe tablet pc that has a built-in scan engine, hot-swappable battery and diverse add-on module options to adapt to your working environment. [See media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the BARTEC Agile X IS] -- Posted Saturday, February 25, 2017

Zebra announces Q4 and full year 2016 financials
Zebra Technologies announced net sales of $942 million in Q4 2016 compared to $951 million in Q4 2015. Net income for Q4 2016 was $17 million, compared with a net loss of $28 million for Q4 2015. Full year 2016 sales were $3.574 billion in Q4 2016 compared to $3.65 billion in 2015. Net loss for 2016 was $137 million, compared with a net loss of $158 million in 2015. Of 2016 net sales, 65.2% came from the Enterprise division (i.e. the former Motorola Solutions enterprise division) and 34.8% from Legacy Zebra. In 2015, the split was 64.9 to 35.1%. Zebra CEO Anders Gustafsson said, "Zebra entered 2017 with an unmatched portfolio of innovative solutions, a solid backlog, and a healthy pipeline of opportunities to drive profitable sales growth." [See Zebra Q4 2016 financials] -- Posted Thursday, February 23, 2017

Blog: In search of the prepaid, transferrable SIM
At RuggedPCReview.com, we often analyze and report on mobile computing devices with integrated WWAN (mobile broadband) capability and a SIM card slot. it would be nice for us to be able to test device wireless data capabilities while we review them. We can't always ask vendors and manufacturers to get us test units with activated voice and data service, and we cannot, of course, set up cellular service for every such device that comes into our lab. So we wondered if there is an equivalent of prepaid phones and cards for SIM cards... [Read In search of a prepaid, transferrable SIM] -- Posted Thursday, February 23, 2017

VIA announces new VIA SOM-6X50 IoT acceleration platform
VIA Technologies announced the launch of the new VIA SOM-6X50 IoT Acceleration Platform for the rapid development of automated ticketing, signage, and kiosk devices. "Self-service systems that let consumers access information or purchase items with a tap on the screen or through their smart phone are critical for improving the user experience no matter whether it’s at a retail store or a parking lot,” said Richard Brown, VP International Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. “With our latest VIA SOM-6X50 IoT Acceleration Platform, we make it fast and easy for operators to design and build automated information display and transaction processing systems that meet their exact deployment needs.” [See VIA media release, the SOM-6X50 page, and the VIA Custom IoT Platform Design Services] -- Posted Thursday, February 23, 2017

Full review: Getac B300 ultra-rugged notebook computer
There are times when nothing but a full size, full function, tough and rugged notebook computer will do, and preferably one that isn't being restyled and redesigned every other year, because that needlessly obsoletes customer investment and equipment. The Getac B300 is one of those, one of the very few, and it's now in its sixth generation. RuggedPCReview conducted a full, detailed review of the now Intel Skylake-powered Getac B300. Performance has more than quadrupled compared to the original version, the super-bright, pushbutton-operated 1,400 nits backlight still dazzles, and yet the B300 remains completely compatible with every peripheral, dock and accessory ever made for it. [See full review of the Getac B300 ultra-rugged notebook computer] -- Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2017

NXT Robotics unveils rugged all-terrain security robot
Mobile robotics are playing an increasingly important role in the security of our borders, military facilities, and even power plants. To meet this growing demand, San Diego-based NXT Robotics has developed Scorpion, a rugged all-terrain and all-weather outdoor security robot designed to provide organizations with round-the- clock physical security monitoring and reporting capabilities. [See NXT Robotics media release and Scorpion product page]] -- Posted Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Full review: DT Research DT311H 2-in-1 enabled rugged tablet
Addressing three hot tablet trends all at once — larger screen, higher resolution, and 2-in-1 hybrid functionality — the DT Research DT311H figures to be a strong contender in the rugged tablet market. RuggedPCReview performed an in-depth analysis and review of the IP65-sealed, high-performance 11.6-inch DT311H tablet that can instantly provide full laptop functionality without the extra bulk and weight of a permanently attached keyboard. [See full review of the DT Research DT301S] -- Posted Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Scan handle transforms rugged tablet into barcode scanning powerhouse
MobileDemand has designed a scan handle attachment for the new xTablet T8650 rugged tablet. The optional accessory snaps directly to the back of the device to enable fast and ergonomic barcode scanning using the rugged tablet’s built-in 2D barcode scanner. The Scan Handle, which connects via Bluetooth, is powered by a swappable battery, providing up to 90 hours of continuous use on a single charge. [See MobileDemand media release and watch xTablet T8650 Scan Handle demo video] -- Posted Thursday, February 16, 2017

Avalue presenting seamless smart retail solution at EuroShop 2017
Avalue Technology, an embedded solution provider and an associate member of Intel Internet of Things Solutions Alliance, will be joining one of the world’s largest retail trade show, EuroShop, at Düsseldorf, Germany, on March 5-9, 2017. Visit Avalue’s Café-Boutique at Hall 7, Booth A36 to experience seamless retail solution. Avalue’s omnichannel retail solutions include modules such as in-store marketing, customer satisfaction, customer behavior analysis, point of sale, store management and business analytics. [See Avalue media release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2017

GammaTech to feature newest rugged computers at the AFCEA West 2017 Conference
GammaTech announced it will be partnering with Transource to showcase their latest DURABOOK line of rugged computers for leading military personnel at the AFCEA West 2017 Conference in the Transource booth (#1137 and #1139). The conference will take place from February 21-23 in the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA. Meeting or exceeding most difficult Military Standards, DURABOOK tablets and PCs are designed for demanding environments and can withstand the most hostile, toughest military applications. Whether in actual combat or preparing for it, these rugged devices offer power, performance and reliability to meet the needs of today’s military personnel. [See GammaTech media release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sony develops next-gen camera image sensor for mobile devices
Interested in the future of cameras integrated into mobile devices? Sony just announced a new 3-layer stacked 21-megapixel CMOS image sensor with DRAM for smartphones and the like. The sensor captures still images of fast-moving subjects with minimal focal plane distortion as well as 4k/60fps video and super slow motion movies at up to 1,000 frames per second. [See Sony media release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2017

GammaTech to show rugged computers designed for healthcare professionals at HIMSS 2017
GammaTech announced the company will be partnering with Lund Industries to showcase their DURABOOK line of mobile rugged computer options for medical professionals at HIMSS 2017 in the Lund Industries booth, #3203. The HIMSS 2017 Annual Conference will take place February 19-23 in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. GammaTech’s DURABOOK line of rugged computers will be mounted to Lund Industries’ DataCart products, resulting in state-of-the-art care carts ideal for use in medical situations such as telemedicine, behavioral health, stroke and nursing home use, where dependable technology can ensure that the professional’s attention will be focused on the patient. [See GammaTech media release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Xplore fulfills Initial $1.3M order to enable world’s first Android tablet-based vehicle safety and emissions system
Xplore Technologies announced that it has fulfilled an initial $1.3 million order for its XSLATE D10 tablet PCs and is in the process of deploying them as part of the first rugged tablet-based vehicle safety and emissions system ever built for a public or private-sector emissions safety program. The completely mobile system, which is also the first to leverage an Android device, exclusively relies on Xplore XSLATE D10 fully rugged tablet PCs to power the field and back-office workflows of vehicle safety and emissions programs across the United States. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Monday, February 13, 2017

VIA to showcase Smart Transportation Solutions
VIA Technologies announced that it will be showcasing its latest Smart Transportation Solutions at the 2017 Embedded World Exhibition and Conference being held this March 14-16 in Nuremberg, Germany. The VIA booth #2-551 is in Hall 2 of the Nuremberg Exhibition Center. Highlights on display at the VIA booth include a broad spectrum of commercial-grade systems, HMI starter kits, and IoT acceleration platforms that can be rapidly customized for in-vehicle and in-station applications. See VIA media release] -- Posted Thursday, February 9, 2017

Handheld Group announces Algiz 8X rugged Windows tablet
Handheld Group announced their new Algiz X8 rugged Windows 10 tablet, designed for modern field workers who require a powerful, portable computer for mobile tasks. Powered by an Intel "Braswell" N3710 quad-core processor, the Algiz 8X has a bright (600+ nits) 1280 x 800 pixel 8-inch procap wet/glove-capable multi-touch display with active pen support, can handle extreme environmental conditions, and provides extensive onboard connectivity and a "backpack" system for custom features. [See Handheld media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Handheld Group Algiz 8X -- Posted Wednesday, February 8, 2017

MediaTek introduces 16nm octa-core Helio P25
MediaTek announced the launch of its 64-bit MediaTek Helio P25, the newest addition to the MediaTek Helio P series mobile processor family. The new chipset, which clocks up to 2.5GHz, combines a 16nm ARM Cortex-A53 Octa-core processor with MediaTek Imagiq image signal processor technology (ARM Mali-T880 dual GPU, 4k video supported) and dual camera features (up to 24mp or 13mp+13mp). [See MediaTek press release and Helio P25 product sheet] -- Posted Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Stealth.com launches a new Lineup of rugged fanless Mini PCs
Stealth.com (a Sparton company) has launched a new lineup of rugged fanless Mini PCs. The company's most comprehensive offering to date, the new LPC-800 series is versatile, robust and designed for a variety of demanding environments and applications. The LPC-800 series consists of 4 small form factor models; The LPC-810 is the smallest and lightest, the LPC-830 a mid-size system equipped with more storage and I/O functionality and LPC-860 which offers the highest performance in the series and lastly the LPC-862 which expands on the LPC-860 with two expansion slots. See Stealth media release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Xplore rugged tablets become first mobile PC platform to improve beer delivery process for largest distributor in Caribbean
Xplore Technologies announced that the largest beer distributor in the Caribbean has begun using Motion F5m by Xplore rugged tablets to track and schedule beer shipments among its 600 delivery trucks in the Dominican Republic. The company is also using F5m tablets to run an inventory control management application on its bottling lines and storage areas for the 20 brands it sells on behalf of its parent company, which is currently the largest beer distributor in Latin America and the fifth largest beer distributor in the world. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Kyocera DuraForce PRO rugged smartphone wins iF Design Award 2017
Kyocera announced that its Kyocera DuraForce PRO rugged 4G LTE smartphone with a super wide view HD (1080p) Action Camera received the iF DESIGN AWARD 2017. Built not just to survive in harsh environments, DuraForce PRO is shockproof, drop-proof, and dustproof, with IP68 sealing and MIL-STD-810G tested protection against dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain, low pressure, solar radiation, salt fog, humidity, immersion, temperature shock and icing/freezing rain. [See Kyocera media release and DuraForce Pro product page] -- Posted Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Motorola Solutions reports full-year 2016 financials
Motorola Solutions reported 2016 full-year sales of USS$6.04 billion, up 6% from US$5.69 billion in 2015. 2016 operating earnings were US$1.07 billion, up 7% from 2015's US$994 million, with 2016 net earnings of US$560 million vs. US$640 million in 2015. The product vs. services sales breakdown was about 60:40. For 2017, Motorola Solutions expects revenue growth of 1-2%. [See Motorola Solutions financials media release -- Posted Saturday, February 4, 2017

Xplore reports their fiscal Q3/2017 financials
For Q3 of their fiscal 2017 financials, Xplore Technologies reported revenue of US$24.5 million, compared to US$27.0 million for the same quarter a year ago. Xplore reported net income for the quarter of $219,000 compared to net income of $786,000 for the three months ended December 31, 2015. As far as revenue goes, Xplore said the numbers reflect increased demand for multiple Xplore platforms, offset slightly by production capacity constraints caused by orders weighted heavily toward XSLATE D10 and Bobcat devices. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Friday, February 3, 2017

What happened in rugged computing 5 years ago: February 2012
February 2012 was a busy month in rugged computing! DAP opened a second US office and previewed their V1010 vehicle computer. Motion expanded its presence in the UK with a new Country Manager. Xplore reported their first-ever profitable quarter, Intermec posted $850 million in revenue for the year and launched the CV41 rugged forklift computer. Juniper added a HazLoc version of its Mesa, Psion a Neo handheld with UHF RFID, and Trimble introduced a new gen of its rugged Juno GIS handhelds. Android started to make a move: Harris introduced the RF-3590 rugged Android tablet, Motorola the LEX 700 mission-critical Android handheld, and and Winmate introduced the Android-based 4.3-inch E430M handheld. AMREL received a quality award, the US Air Force selected the Getac B300 for QEB fully rugged laptop category, and Panasonic reported on its 3,500+ unit Navistar Toughbook deployment. [See full January 2012 archive] -- Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Crystal Group White Paper on specialized rugged electronics
Crystal Group, a designer/manufacturer of combat-proven rugged commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) systems, announced the availability of a new white paper that provides system engineers with an overview to understand why ruggedized electronics are critical components of Direction Finding and Locating Systems. [Crystal Group White Paper section rehistration and download] -- Posted Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Handheld Group upgrades ultra-rugged ALGIZ RT7 tablet
The Handheld Group announced it has upgraded its popular 7-inch Algiz RT7 rugged Android tablet to Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and doubled RAM to 2 GB. These upgrades will also apply to the Algiz RT7 eTicket used in public transportation fare collection and ticket validation. Jerker Hellström, Handheld Group CEO, said that “Android 6.0 is a vast improvement over 5.1 for our enterprise customers, increasing data security and adding features designed specifically for mobile workforces employing Android. And the performance-enhancing RAM increase ensures our customers have the power they need for complex field tasks.” [See Handheld Group media release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Juniper launches economically priced dual-SIM, IP68 rugged 4.7-inch Android handheld
Juniper Systems has launched the Cedar CT5 rugged smartphone as a more powerful and technologically more advanced successor to its earlier CT4. The 4.7-inch Gorilla Glass 3-protected 8-ounce handheld runs Android 6.0 "Marshmallow" on a 2GHz Octa-core ARM Cortex A54 processor, has dual cameras (5 and 13mp), FCC-approved 2G/3G/4G LTE, 32GB Flash, microSD, PTT button, dedicated GPS, IP68 ingress protection, and a powerful 16 whr battery. [See description, analysis and specs of the Juniper Systems Cedar CT5 rugged handheld.] -- Posted Monday, January 30, 2017

Getac reports strong December sales
According to Digitimes, ruggedized computing device maker Getac Technology reported consolidated revenues of US$64.9 million for December 2016,up 1.62% on month and 16.2% on year. Revenues for Q4/2016 increased 12.8% sequentially and 18.2% on year to US$188.4 million, the company's highest quarterly figures in eight years. For all of 2016, revenues amounted to US$637.6 million, up 11.1% from the prior year. -- Posted Monday, January 30, 2017

Case Study: Handheld Group Algiz 10X emergency response system improves efficiency for ambulance workers
Sweden is improving its emergency healthcare efforts with Paratus, a modular solution built on Handheld's Algiz 10X rugged tablet. Swedish emergency responders are using the Algiz 10X emergency response tablet to send critical status updates to hospital workers as they happen, increasing emergency healthcare efficiency and improving patient outcomes. [Read Algiz 10X emergency response system improves efficiency for ambulance workers] -- Posted Thursday, January 26, 2017

Commercial mobile tech jumps to military deployment with rugged tablets
DT Research points out that commercial-grade level tech has proved to be a boon across a wide range of civilian industries. It provides low-cost production of mobile devices, and has made mobile technology more affordable than ever. However most commercially produced mobile devices cannot withstand the physical demands of military deployment. To meet this need, a new breed of tablet has emerged; it combines the best features of commercial-grade tablets with a new form of ruggedization that meets exacting military standards. [Read more Rugged Tech Talk with DT Research] -- Posted Thursday, January 26, 2017

Rugged computing experts offer economically priced, full-featured, field-ready IP68-sealed 7-inch Android tablet
Juniper Systems has released the Cedar CT7G rugged 7-inch Android 6.0 tablet to meet customer demand for a lower cost, ruggedized Android line that would serve as a more suitable alternative to fragile consumer devices for outdoor applications. Powered by the "world mode" quad-core MTK6735 platform, the IP68-sealed tablet targets geomatics industry and geospatial technology customers, and should be interesting to anyone seeking an economy-priced rugged Android tablet. [See description, analysis and specs of the Juniper Systems Cedar CT7G] -- Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Xplore Technologies expands worldwide service organization
Xplore Technologies announced that it has completed a significant expansion of its global support and service organization in line with its growing global customer base. Over the last 12 months, the company has added four new Service Depots, three new Authorized Service Providers, and more than 10 toll-free numbers to connect rugged tablet customers in every region with the Customer Care Center for technical support and warranty processing. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2017

New VIA platform accelerates Smart Signage innovation
VIA Technologies unveiled their new VIA VAB-630 HMI system platform, create to accelerating the deployment of smart signage installations in retail, office, and factory environments. Combining a 3.5” SBC motherboard with an optional 10.1” touch panel screen, the VIA VAB-630 provides advanced compute, graphics and video features for interactive multimedia applications in kiosks, signage displays, and factory automation. Functionality can be further enhanced with the integration of optional wireless communication modules, including a combination USB Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module or miniPCIe 3G module. [See VIA media release and VAB-640 product page] -- Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Winmate releases "slim" Series of G-WIN rugged Panel PCs
Winmate's G-WIN rugged panel computers have been available and deployed around the globe for years. Now the company has added the S65 line of "slim" G-WIN panel PCs. Sealed to IP65 standard and using waterproof M12 connectors for all wired I/O, the S65 "slim" models are available in four display sizes (7, 10.1, 12.1 and 15 inch). All but the 7-inch model are available either in Wintel configurations (Intel N2930 Bay Trail + various versions of Windows Embedded) OR ARM configurations (Freescale i.MX6 + Android or various Linux distros). [See RuggedPCReview's analysis, description and specs of the Winmate G-WIN S65 "slim" Series] -- Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Full review: DT Research DT301S 2-in-1 enabled rugged tablet
2-in-1 enabled rugged Windows tablets are coming on strong, combining powerful, productivity-oriented tablet hardware with matching detachable keyboards designed for real work. RuggedPCReview performed an in-depth analysis and review of the DT Research DT301S, an IP65-sealed, Intel Skylake-powered 10.1-inch tablet that can instantly provide full laptop functionality without the extra bulk and weight of a permanently attached keyboard. [See full review of the DT Research DT301S] -- Posted Thursday, January 19, 2017

Panasonic announced Android-based Toughpad FZ-A2
Over five years ago, Panasonic introduced their original Toughpad, the Android-based FZ-A1. The world wasn't quite ready for an iPad-sized rugged Android tablet at the time, but now it is. The new 10.1-inch full-HD, Intel Atom x5-Z8550-powered Toughpad FZ-A2 shares much with the tablet part of Panasonic's Windows-based 2-in-1 Toughbook CF-20, but in a lower-end configuration and running Android 6 Marshmallow. [See description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-A2] -- Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Full review: Juniper Systems Mesa 2 ultra-rugged Windows tablet
RuggedPCReview performed a detailed examination of Juniper Systems' Mesa 2, the company's first "full" Windows device, and found it to be a supremely competent, very configurable, Intel Bay Trail-powered 7-inch capacitive multi-touch tablet with a sharp, bright display, excellent battery life, and the kind of trust-inspiring ruggedness and sealing that means field workers won't have to baby their gear. The Mesa 2 is available in several versions, including barcode, RFID, GEO, and HazLoc. [See full review of the Juniper Systems Mesa 2] -- Posted Monday, January 16, 2017

Panasonic releases 2-in-1 12.5-inch Toughpad FZ-Q2
Panasonic introduced the Windows-based 12.5-inch Toughpad FZ-Q2 as both an upgrade and enhancement to its prior Toughpad FZ-Q1, as well as a re-positioning of the platform to a 2-in-1 convertible/hybrid. As a member of Panasonic's family of enterprise-grade rugged tablet computers, the upgraded Toughpad Q2 thus further bolsters its position as a "pro" tablet with a larger display, extra features, and now 2-in-1 convertible functionality. [See description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2] -- Posted Sunday, January 15, 2017

Taking the gloves off: drop testing Surface Pro 4 cases
A lot of folks are starting to claim they're "meeting MIL-STD-810G." Problem is, that statement alone means very little as the MIL-STD-810G simply issues testing guidelines. The rugged tablet folks at MobileDemand, who do know a thing or 50 about ruggedness testing, decided to do some of their own comparison testing. Ouch. [See MobileDemand Surface Pro 4 rugged case drop test blog and video] -- Posted Friday, January 13, 2017

Xplore Technologies and CLS America partner to launch the Thorium X SatCom rugged Android tablet
Xplore Technologies has partnered with CLS America to launch the Thorium X satcom rugged tablet system. The Thorium X is built on Xplore's XSLATE D10 Android rugged tablet PC. Xplore received an initial order from CLS for 1,000 XSLATE D10 units, plus follow-on orders as needed. The giant advantage of the Thorium X is that it can communicate where there is no WiFi or cell coverage. According to Michael Kelly, VP of CLS America. “Thorium X allows people to stay connected via satellite 100% of the time, and at a fraction of the cost of satellite phones.” [See Xplore/CLS America media release and Thorium X web page] -- Posted Friday, January 13, 2017

Panasonic Europe numbers
A Panasonic UK release yields this information: For 2015, Panasonic claims a 66% share of rugged notebook and convertible revenue in Europe, as well as a 59% rugged tablet revenue share. Panasonic also claims 1,000 partners across Europe and 30 registered ISVs, and states that 77% of its European Toughbook and Toughpad revenue came through the channel. [See Panasonic media release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2017

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