Modern, versatile industrial PDA
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
When it was introduced a few years ago, the Symbol MC50 was a thoroughly modern durable Pocket PC for enterprise-level applications. It was designed to perform as well or better than consumer Pocket PCs while offering superior durability and expandability for advanced data capture applications. And although the MC50 was built around the same state-of-the-art technology found in consumer Pocket PCs, it is much tougher and much less likely to break though it weighs barely more than a consumer device.
Unlike consumer PDAs, the MC50 can be equipped with a 2D imager, a linear CMOS, a CCD camera, or even a snap-on magnetic stripe reader. There's also an extended battery and industrial strength peripherals and accessories.
Finally, the MC50 comes in two versions, one with the traditional PDA form factor, the other with a brilliantly designed 37-key QWERTY thumbtype keyboard.
As of early 2008, the MC50's lot is somewhat unclear. Now part of Motorola, Symbol is only listed as carrying bar code scanners, mobility software, and OEM scan engines. The former Symbol handhelds are mostly listed without brandname. The MC50 is simply listed as that, "MC50." Neither hardware nor software appears to have been updated, and so this once formidable unit soldiers on with by now ancient Windows Mobile 2003 SE.