Viewsonic's rugged handheld for vertical markets
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
ViewSonic has always been known to test the waters with all sorts of new technology. If it doesn't work out they cut their losses and move on. So while you can no longer buy a new consumer ViewSonic Pocket PC, the company now offers a series of ruggedized handhelds based on the Windows Mobile Pocket PC 2003 platform. The ViewSonic V38r is a device that merges up-to-date technology such as a 416MHz Intel XScale processor and 802.11b/g wireless with the kind of ruggedness required for commercial and light industrial applications. The V38r sports IP54 sealing, can survive multiple 4-foot drops, and operate in temperature extremes. It comes in two versions, the V38r-01 and the V38r-02. The 02 adds a 1.3 megapixel CMOS digital camera, a battery with twice the capacity (3,600 mAh vs 1,800 mAh), twice the SDRAM (128MB vs 64MB), and a fingerprint authentication sensor above the 240 x 320 3.5-inch TFT. Both models have a 1-D CCD imager engine supporting all standard formats. The V38r models are larger and heavier than standard Pocket PCs, but they are still handy, measuring 5.8 x 3.2 inches and weighing 12 and 14 ounces, respectively.
In November of 2006, ViewSonic added three additional models to the lineup. The V38r-06/07/08 models all come with a faster 520MHz version of the PXA processor. All three include Bluetooth for connectivity and communication, and the 07 model also includes GPS. The 07 and 08 models are RoHS-compliant to meet the new European environmental standards.