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Full review: Cedar Tree Technologies CT4
In this era of 2-year contracts and installment plans to get the latest fragile consumer smartphone, many wish there'd be something less expensive and more durable. There is. RuggedPCReview.com performed a detailed review of Cedar Tree Technologies' CT4, an economically priced (US$489), dual-SIM, fully rugged, and remarkably advanced 4.3-inch Android handheld designed for harsh environments. It's IP68-sealed, virtually indestructible, and has superior cameras. [See full review of the Cedar Tree Technologies CT4] -- Posted Tuesday, November 25, 2014 by chb

Full review: MobileDemand xTablet Flex 10
With their new xTablet Flex 10 10.1-inch tablet, MobileDemand breaks new ground by combining a modern, competent Intel Bay Trail-powered Windows 8.1 tablet with a specially designed and preinstalled case that provides very respectable ruggedness. The whole package, including the industrial-grade briefcase carrying handle and heavy duty handstrap costs less than an iPad Air 2! Yet, the 2.25 pound tablet's specs are impressive. Quad-core Z3770 CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 10-point capacitive multi-touch, and a 1920 x 1200 pixel IPS display. [See full review of the MobileDemand xTablet Flex 10] -- Posted Monday, November 24, 2014 by chb

Corning introduces Gorilla Glass 4
Corning announced Gorilla Glass 4, which the company says is up to two times tougher than any competitive cover glass design now in the market. The new Gorilla Glass 4 has been especially formulated to address screen breakage from everyday drops. Gorilla Glass was first introduced in 2007. RuggedPCReview.com reported on it when tablet pioneer Motion Computing began using it in 2009 and we had an insightful conversation with Corning's Dr. Nagaraja Shashidhar back then (see here). Since its launch, Gorilla Glass has been used in more than 3 billion devices. The new Gorilla Glass 4 offers enhanced retained strength after use, higher resistance to scratch and sharp contact damage, improved drop performance, and superior surface quality. [See Corning Gorilla Glass 4 press release and detailed Gorilla Glass 4 specs]] -- Posted Thursday, November 20, 2014 by chb

MobileDemand announces 11.6-inch rugged xTablet T1600
MobileDemand announced the xTablet T1600, a rugged "thin & light" tablet with a large 11.6-inch 10-point capacitive multi-touch display, Intel "Haswell" U-Series Core i5 power, good onboard connectivity, optional 1D/2D scanner or HF RFID, as well as IP65 sealing and a 3-foot drop spec. Pricing starts at US$1,995. [See description, analysis and specs of the MobileDemand xTablet T1600] -- Posted Monday, November 17, 2014 by chb

Data Ltd introduces two Bay Trail-based rugged mobile POS multi-touch tablets for either Windows or Android
Data Ltd introduced the 8-inch DLI 8 and the 9.7-inch DLI 10 compact rugged tablets. Both are based on the 1.83GHz Intel "Bay Trail" N2930 processors, both offer capacitive multi-touch, and both can run either Android 4.4.4 (KitKat) or the full or embedded versions of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. While suitable for a variety of markets and applications, want sets these new DLI tablets apart is the availability of an add-on 5-in-1 module that adds RFID/NFC, MSR, scanning, smart card and pin pad for full-service mobile payment processing. [See description, analysis and specs of the Data Ltd DLI 8 and Data Ltd DLI 10] -- Posted Thursday, November 13, 2014 by chb

Full review: Samwell RUGGEDBOOK PC-760
The Samwell RUGGEDBOOK PC-760, geared towards mobile point-of-sale and data collection applications, provides Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 functionality in a refreshingly unique rugged tablet form factor. Slender and weighing under three pounds, the Intel Bay Trail-powered PC-760 has a sharp and bright 10.1-inch touch screen with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, capacitive multi-touch, and includes an industrial-grade 1D/2D scanner. Available options include bolt-on magnetic card and Smart Card readers, as well as HF RFID. [Read our full review of the Samwell RUGGEDBOOK PC-760] -- Posted Friday, November 7, 2014 by chb

Intrinsically safe ecom Tab-Ex: another rugged tablet based on Samsung hardware
em instruments launched the Tab-Ex, an 8-inch rugged Android 4.4 tablet with a Zone 1/Div. 1 intrinsic safety rating, meaning that the device can be used in certain types of hazardous environments with flammable gasses present. The unusual aspect of the Tab-Ex is that it is based on the Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Android tablet, which is inherently IP67-sealed and can already handle 4-foot drops. Applying their own patented technologies to the platform, ecom will be able to offer the Tab-Ex at various levels of intrinsic safety. [read more] -- Posted Tuesday, November 4, 2014 by chb

Full review: ARBOR Gladius G0975 rugged Bay Trail tablet
RuggedPCReview tested the elegantly designed and Intel Bay Trail N2930-powered ARBOR Gladius G0975 tablet that provides full Windows functionality in a rugged tablet form factor. Intended for use in field service, transportation, mobile point of sale and logistics work and weighing just over two pounds, the Gladius is considerably lighter than most traditional full-size rugged tablets. Its bright 9.7-inch multi-touch screen with XGA resolution offers enough space to run Windows comfortably and even works with thin gloves. There is sufficient wired connectivity on board, as well as a wealth of wireless functionality. [See full review of the ARBOR Gladius G0975] -- Posted Monday, November 3, 2014 by chb

Happy 25th Anniversary, Getac!

This month, Getac is celebrating its 25t Anniversary. It all started 1989 when GE Aerospace and MiTAC of Taiwan formed Getac to build the company's first product, the T3020 mobile computer that was designed specifically for military field use. Today, Getac is one of the largest providers of rugged notebooks, laptops and handhelds in the world. The company celebrated the event at the US Marine Corps 2014 Miramar Air Show. RuggedPCReview.com was there, and here is our illustrated report: See Getac celebrates 25th Anniversary!
-- Posted Saturday, November 1, 2014 by chb

Zebra Technologies Corporation completes acquisition of Motorola Solutions' enterprise business
Zebra Technologies Corporation and Motorola Solutions announced that Zebra has completed the acquisition of Motorola Solutions’ Enterprise business for US$3.45 billion in cash. The transaction was funded with $200 million of cash on hand and $3.25 billion in new Zebra debt. Motorola Solutions’ Enterprise business, which provides mobile computing and advanced data capture communications technologies, had 2013 sales of US$2.5 billion. [See press release] -- Posted Monday, October 27, 2014 by chb

Say goodbye to the Nokia Lumina. It's all Microsoft from now on.
Microsoft announced that in the coming months, there will be gradual change from "Nokia" to "Microsoft" in the Nokia websites, packaging and other areas. Most importantly, the Nokia Lumina smartphone brand will become the Microsoft Lumina. Microsoft, however, will continue to sell Nokia-branded, entry-level category of phones, such as the Nokia 130. [See announcement] -- Posted Saturday, October 25, 2014 by chb

Full review: The Handheld Group's handy, multi-talented Nautiz X1 rugged Android-based mobile computer
What the Handheld Group offers with the Android-based Nautiz X1 is an ultra-compact mobile computer that also provides most of the power, features and functionality of the leading consumer smartphones, but in a package that is much tougher than any of them. Equipped with a crisp WVGA 800 x 480 pixel 4.0-inch capacitive multi-touch display, the Nautiz X1 can reliably and efficiently perform data capture and data communication tasks out there in the field. And also serve as a smartphone that won't ever break. [See full review of the Handheld Group's Nautiz X1 -- Posted Wednesday, October 22, 2014 by chb

Motorola Solutions launches rugged Symbol TC70 Android-based Touch Computer with 4.7-inch auto-sense procap display
Motorola Solutions launched the Symbol TC70 Touch Computer, a rugged Android 4.4-based handheld with a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 pixel Gorilla Glass-protected auto-sense capacitive touch screen that offers both effortless multi-touch as well as glove touch and a precise capacitive stylus. IP67-sealed and able to handle 6-foot drops, the Symbol TC70 also offers industrial grade 1D/2D scanning, NFC, MSR, WorkForce Connect Push-To-Talk with three microphones and a very loud speaker, long battery life, as well as the company's Mx enterprise and security extensions to Android. [See Symbol TC70 product page and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Motorola Solutions Symbol TC70] -- Posted Tuesday, October 21, 2014 by chb

Doctor says mHealth apps useless
Health IT Outcomes quotes Australian health expert Dr. George Margelisas saying, “The health app world is still very immature, despite the plethora of apps out there," and "“There is a strong need for better education of developers and healthcare professionals on developing models of care that utilize the technology effectively.” Dr. Margelis explains that in order to create useful apps, designers must have a background in the medical field or at least some knowledge of the area they intend to design an app. [See Health IT Outcomes article] -- Posted Tuesday, October 21, 2014 by chb

GammaTech to display at IACP, Orlando, FL Oct 26-28
GammaTech Computer Corp. announced it will showcase its DURABOOK line of mobile rugged tablets, notebooks and convertible PCs during IACP 2014 — the 121st Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference and Law Enforcement Education and Technology Exposition — in booth 2230. The expo will take place from October 26-28, 2014 in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fl. GammaTech will display a variety of computing solutions with customizable features that meet the unique needs of today's public safety professionals. [See IACP Conference] -- Posted Saturday, October 18, 2014 by chb

Bsquare and Aava Mobile introduce MobileV reference design for rugged handhelds and tablets
Bsquare and Aava Mobile announced the release of MobileV, a complete hardware and software reference design for OEMs building durable and rugged class handhelds and industrial tablets. MobileV combines Microsoft Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Pro with Aava Mobile Intel board reference designs based on the quad-core Bay Trail Z3745 chip, along with Bsquare software. MobileV is sold as a package of production-ready reference designs and licenses. The reference design shown by bSquare had a 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 multi-touch screen with pen support, with IP67 sealing, 5-foot drop spec, GPS, NFC, LTE, 5 sensors, etc. [See press release, MobileV product page, and MobileV data sheet.]
-- Posted Wednesday, October 15, 2014 by chb

Juniper System announces next gen Allegro 2 rugged handheld
Juniper Systems announced the Allegro 2, a new and significantly enhanced and optimized generation of the company's long-running line of Allegro rugged handheld computers. According to Juniper Systems, the Allegro 2 was “designed for the data-intensive,” with special attention paid to engineering and design. The new Allegro 2 has a larger, higher resolution display, uses procap, is faster, has more storage, better GPS, faster WiFi, a new keyboard, much longer battery life, and it's now IP68 sealed. [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Juniper Allegro 2] -- Posted Monday, October 13, 2014 by chb

RuggedPCReview welcomes Cedar Tree Technologies as its newest industry sponsor
Cedar Tree Technologies has joined the RuggedPCReview industry sponsor family, thus helping us spread the word of the uses and benefits of ruggedized computing equipment, and generating the detailed product reviews our organization is known for. Launched by the founders of Juniper Systems, Cedar is where ultra-ruggedness and affordability meet. Cedar provides rugged handheld computers equipped with the power and versatility of Android to professionals in a wide variety of markets. Initial products include the CT7 tablet, CT4 handheld/phone, and CMP1 MiniPhone. -- Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2014 by chb

Touchscreen notebooks face weak demand
According to DigiTimes, demand for touchscreen notebooks is far weaker than expected and notebook vendors have stopped developing touch-enabled notebooks for the fourth quarter. Adding touch means extra cost and higher retail prices when most notebook users still prefer a mouse or trackpad, and touch on a notebook simply doesn't feel natural. That lesson should have been learned back in 2002 when Microsoft abruptly changed the emphasis from pure tablets to convertible notebooks during the development of the Tablet PC initiative. -- Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2014 by chb

F4 Tech announces easy-to-use mobile forest inventory solution
F4 Tech, which makes the Flint and Forge Echo lines of rugged mobile computers, announced the release of its newest software offering, SilvAssist Mobile software. The app presents foresters a simple work flow solution for field data collection and which the company feels is the easiest to use mobile Forest inventory solution on the market today. [See F4 Tech press release] -- Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2014 by chb

8 Ways to Automate Your Home with Your Phone
It can seem difficult to keep track of all the new apps and technologies that make your life easier. Fortunately, there are a variety of technologies and apps available for your home that can help you manage your manner remotely. Whether you are looking for convenience, safety or are looking out for the planet, there are a variety of ways to automate your home through your phone... [See 8 Ways to Automate Your Home with Your Phone] -- Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2014 by chb

Handheld launches the ultra-rugged capacitive touch 4.7-inch Nautiz X8 with Windows Embedded Handheld or Android 4.2.2
Handheld Group announced the launch of its Nautiz X8 rugged mobile computer, which features a large, bright 4.7-inch capacitive multi-touch display, IP67 sealing, a very wide operating temperature range, 12 hour battery life, and an extension cap expansion system. The Nautiz X8 is available both in Windows Embedded Handheld and Android 4.2.2 versions. [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Handheld Nautiz X8] -- Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2014 by chb

The unpredictable nature of screen sizes
It's a mad, mad, mad world as far as the screen size of mobile devices goes. Witness... For smartphones, 4.7 inches or so now seems the least customers will accept, and 5.5 inches or larger is better. When Apple introduced its iPhone 6 (4.7 inch) and iPhone 6+ (5.5 inch), the demand was such that both Apple's and AT&T's websites couldn't keep up. Dial back a couple of decades to the dawn of handhelds. The first Apple Newtons and Tandy/Casio Zoomers and such all had displays...[read more] -- Posted Monday, September 22, 2014 by chb

Sony falling on hard times
There was a time when Sony could do no wrong. It was the Apple of its era. But those days are long gone. While the PS4 gaming console pulled off a fairly clear win over Microsoft's Xbox One, Sony greatly struggles in smartphones, had sold off its PC business, US office building and even its Tokyo headquarters. With the clout of such brands as Walkman, Trinitron, etc., in the distant past, Sony now expects a US$2+ billion loss and won't pay a dividend for the first time. -- Posted Thursday, September 18, 2014 by chb

Janam introduces rugged 5.9-inch Android tablet for enterprise and mobile workforce applications
Janam announced the launch of their Android-based rugged XT1, perhaps the handiest and lightest of currently available rugged tablet offerings. Powered by a 1.5GHz OMAP4470 processor, the XT1 has a 5.9-inch capacitive multi-touch screen and weighs just 13 ounces. The XT1 blends advanced consumer phone technology with enterprise-relevant key features such as ruggedness, sealing, industrial-grade barcode scanning and rapid battery recharging. [See Janam press release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Janam XT1 ] -- Posted Thursday, September 18, 2014 by chb

Apple introduces new iPhones, Apple Pay, and Apple Watch
Apple introduced the iPhone 6 with a 1334 x 750 pixel 4.7-inch screen and the iPhone 6+ with a 1920 x 1080 pixel 5.5-inch screen. Powered by a new A8 chip and M8 co-processor and running iOS 8, the new 802.11ac and NFC-equipped iPhones, which can be pre-ordered on Sept. 12 and ship on Sept. 19, have powerful new cameras with optical image stabilization, will come in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB versions, and start at US$199 (4.7") and US$299 (5.5") with 2-year contract. Apple also announced Apple Pay for secure payments via finger touch and NFC. And Apple announced the US$349 Apple Watch, available early 2015, which has a novel crown and sensor driven user interface and works in conjunction with iPhone 5 and 6. Judging by Apple stock movement, Wall Street seemed excited over the new iPhones, very excited over Apple Pay, but not excited over the watch. -- Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2014 by chb

Winmate releases next-gen industrial Android PDA, now with replaceable, more powerful battery
Winmate's rugged 4.3-inch E430 Android handheld platform has been quite the success. The company is now following up with a 3rd generation, the E430RM2 that now has a replaceable battery with larger capacity, easier access to expansion card slots, and productivity-enhancing new accessories. [See description, analysis and specs of the Winmate E430RM2] -- Posted Monday, September 8, 2014 by chb

German Forest Service uses Juniper Systems' Mesa Rugged Notepad to manage sustainable forests
Junipr Systems announced that one of Europe's most influential forest services, the Hessen-Forst Enterprise in Hessen, Germany, recently purchased 580 of Juniper Systems' Mesa Geo Rugged Notepads to manage the nearly 1.7 million acres of forests in Hessen. Hessen forests are unique in that they are managed in a way that makes them completely sustainable. Trevor Brown, Natural Resources Market Manager at Juniper Systems, said, "With the level of detail with which they manage their forests, it is essential that they have a high-quality data collection tool that is easy to use and has reliable GPS performance under heavy tree canopy. The Mesa Geo fills that need perfectly for them.” [See Juniper Systems press release and Data Management Keeping German Forests Sustainable blog entry]
-- Posted Friday, September 5, 2014 by chb

Added: ARBOR Gladius G1056
With their rugged Gladius G1056, ARBOR Technology took Intel's Mobile Clinical Assistant concept design with its integrated handle and optimized it for use in the field. That includes extra protection, four USB ports, RS232 serial, LAN, VGA and even DisplayPort. The Gladius G1056 is powered by a dual-core AMD G-Series APU, has a large 10.4-inch AFFS+ resistive touch screen plus active pen, and can be equipped with dual 5mp cameras, RFID, and 3.75G WWAN. [See description, analysis and specs of the ARBOR Gladius G1056] -- Posted Wednesday, September 3, 2014 by chb

Microsoft cleans up Windows app store
Customers of Apple's AppStore can pretty much rely on knowing what they get in an app, and that it won't be against any of Apple's rather stringent rules. That's not always the case with other app stores where apps have been known to be badly mislabeled/misleading at best, and entirely inappropriate at worst. Microsoft has now announced in its blog that Windows Store requirements have been modified and that more than 1,500 apps have been removed. [See Microsoft blog "How we’re addressing misleading apps in Windows Store"] -- Posted Friday, August 29, 2014 by chb

IDC: Smartphone market strong and still growing, with emphasis on emerging markets
IDC reports that smartphone outlook remains strong, with over 1.25 billion smartphones to be shipped worldwide in 2014, and 1.8 billion in 2018. Considering that smartphones are really PDAs, John Sculley's 1990s' prediction that this will be a trillion dollar market no longer looks foolish at all. Note that according to IDC smartphone mature market share in 2014 is just 26.5% and will drop to 20.5% by 2018, which means the challenge for phone makers will be to maintain a (profitable) presence in high-margin mature markets while also compete in the much higher volume low-margin emerging markets. -- Posted Thursday, August 28, 2014 by chb

Microsoft One Note for Android now with handwriting/inking support for improved tablet experience
Millions are using Microsoft One Note, but Android users didn't get handwriting on it, which makes the app less useful for many. That's now changed as Microsoft introduced One Note for Android with handwriting/inking support to provide a fuller tablet experience. With current advances in truly useful capacitive pens for tablets, annotation capability will become increasingly more important. [See One Note for Android] -- Posted Friday, August 22, 2014 by chb

Western Digital celebrates 10th anniversary of its external drive
Western Digital is commemorating the 10th anniversary of its My Passport line of portable external hard drives. More than 60 million My Passport drives have been sold in the past 10 years, providing approximately 42,000 petabytes of storage. To celebrate, they're issuing the elegant metal-clad My Passport Ultra - Anniversary Edition drive in limited numbers (1 TB $89.00 and 2 TB $139.00). [See Western Digital My Passport Anniversary drives -- Posted Thursday, August 21, 2014 by chb

MobileDemand xTablet Flex 10 for less than an iPad Air
MobileDemand announced its second thin and light tablet of the year, the xTablet Flex 10. It's an Intel Bay Trail-powered Windows 8.1 tablet with a 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 pixel IPS capacitive multi-touch display. Inside its specially selected dual-layer protective case and behind a special protective screen cover, the Flex 10 can handle four-foot drops onto concrete and steel balls falling on its display. And it costs just US$695 with 64GB of storage, less than a 64GB WiFi iPad Air. [See description, analysis and specs of the MobleDemand xTablet Flex 10] -- Posted Thursday, August 14, 2014 by chb

Opticon releases rugged Android enterprise terminal
Opticon has added the Opticon H27 rugged Android enterprise terminal to its lineup of handhelds, scanners and data collectors. The Snapdragon MSM8960-powered H27 runs Android 4.2.2 on a bright 800 x 480 pixel capacitive touch screen measuring 4.3 inches diagonally. Equipped with an industrial grade 1D scanner or 2D imager, GPS, NFC, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, the H27 weighs just 8.5 ounces, but can handle extreme temperatures, survive 5-foot drops and carries IP65 sealing. [See description, analysis and specs of the Opticon H27] -- Posted Thursday, August 14, 2014 by chb

Smartphone sales pass 300 million Q2 2014, Android dominates
According to IDC, the worldwide smartphone market reached 301.3 million a new milestone in Q2 of 2014, up 25.3% from the 240.5 million units shipped in Q2 of 2013. Android and Apple's iOS, saw their combined market share swell to 96.4% for the quarter, leaving little space for competitors. In fact, Android alone accounted for 255 million devices, dwarfing even Apple's 35 million. Windows Phone marketshare was 2.5%, down from 3.4% Q2 2013. "With many of its OEM partners focusing on the sub-$200 segments, Android has been reaping huge gains within emerging markets," said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager at IDC. [See IDC press release] -- Posted Thursday, August 14, 2014 by chb

An easier way to port Windows Mobile apps to Android?
With Android dominating consumer phones, many enterprises contemplate porting Windows Mobile applications to Android. That's never easy. An alternate solution to direct porting might be using the Xamarin Mobile Platform for iOS and Android app development since Xamarin includes a subset of the .NET framework and a C# compiler. Motorola Solutions' Brian Reed examines the issue in "Porting Obstacles: 5 Considerations With Xamarin Android" -- Posted Monday, August 11, 2014 by chb

Microsoft loss from Surface tablets estimated at US$1.7 billion
InfoWorld reports that Microsoft has lost US$1.7 billion on its Surface tablets since their launch in 2012. While that's just a drop in the bucket of Microsoft's overall financials, CEO Nadella's statement that "we are not in the hardware for hardware sake, and the first-party device portfolio will be aligned to our strategic direction as the productivity and platform company," probably means that much will rely on Surface Pro 3 sales performance. [Read InfoWorld article "Surface damage mounts at Microsoft as red ink reaches $1.7 billion"] -- Posted Tuesday, August 5, 2014 by chb

HP unveils the first Android-powered laptop
Though Android dominates the smartphone market and has a very strong position in tablets, until now Google's OS platform was not available for desktops and conventional notebooks (the Chromebook with its limited offline functionality doesn't really count). That has now changed with the new HP SlateBook, a full-function, quad-core Tegra 4-powered notebook with a 14-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel 10-point multi-touch screen, and running Android 4.3. The Slatebook weighs 3.7 pounds, offers up to 9 hours of battery life from its 32 WHr battery, has USB 3.0 and HDMI, 16GB of eMMC storage, a full-size keyboard, and starts at US$429. Android availability on desktops and laptops may change everything. [See HP SlateBook page and spec sheet] -- Posted Thursday, July 31, 2014 by chb

Advances in capacitive touch and passive capacitive pens
RuggedPCReview.com just finished reviewing the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1, and we ended up calling it a "milestone product" because of its novel and unique passive capacitive stylus that can greatly increase productivity because it allows for far greater precision when using the Windows desktop than touch alone or earlier capacitive pens. This article describes the past and current situation of touch in rugged tablet computers, and why the technology employed by Panasonic in the FZ-M1 is so relevant. [Read Advances in capacitive touch and passive capacitive pens] -- Posted Saturday, July 26, 2014 by chb

Compass Intelligence US Smartphone Forecast
Dr. J. Gerry Purdy reported that Compass Intelligence has just completed its annual five-year smartphone forecast. Compass estimates 175 million smartphone shipments and 278 million subscribers in the US in 2018. Smartphones now represent 89% of all new phone sales, and 69% of all active subscriber phones. Apple and Samsung have 70% of all shipments. Android currently has 53.1% share and iOS 34.5%. Consumers represent 65% of the market, business 35%. The majority of new phones have 5" or larger screens. Compass research subscribers get a copy of the full smartphone forecast report including all the detailed market share breakouts and explanations. -- Posted Thursday, July 24, 2014 by chb

Neonode and Magneti Marelli jointly develop automotive HMI solutions
Neonode, the company that once launched the pioneering (yet overlooked in the market) N1 and N2 smartphones with optical touch screens, announced it started a collaboration with automotive systems supplier Magneti Marelli in Human Machine Interfaces for the automotive sector. These optical touch-based HMIs will present new methods of interacting with in-car infotainment, telematics and control systems, with focus on intuitive use, speed, and safety. [See Neonode press release] -- Posted Thursday, July 24, 2014 by chb

Review: Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1
Panasonic's Toughpad FZ-M1 is a fully rugged Intel Core i5-based Windows tablet with a 1280 x 800 pixel 7-inch IPS capacitive multi-touch display that can handle gloves and liquids. Highly configurable via a bolt-on I/O module, the 1.25-pound Toughpad delivers impressive performance with its Y-Series Haswell chip, and its novel capacitive pen completely redefines the state-of-the-art. [See full review of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1] -- Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2014 by chb

Juniper Archer 2 Torture Video -- A behind-the-scenes look
Those nice, friendly people at Juniper Systems in Logan, Utah, can be really mean and twisted when it comes to testing their own rugged handhelds. And they even document their cruel and unusual treatment of their fine technology that surely deserves better than beaten up, clubbed, stepped on, scratched, tossed and run over. For a behind the scenes look at how they abused an Archer 2 handheld for a YouTube video, see Behind-the-Scenes Look – Archer 2 Torture Video. -- Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2014 by chb

Microsoft to cut 18,000 jobs, mostly at Nokia
Microsoft announced a restructuring plan to simplify its organization and align the recently acquired Nokia Devices and Services business with the company’s overall strategy. These steps will result in the elimination of up to 18,000 positions over the next year. Of the total, about 12,500 professional and factory positions will be eliminated through synergies and strategic alignment of the Nokia Devices and Services business acquired by Microsoft on April 25. [See Microsoft press release] -- Posted Thursday, July 17, 2014 by chb

Case study: Winmate rugged tablets in vehicle diagnostics
Almost all of our automotive systems are being controlled and monitored by computers. To improve the quality and reduce errors in these systems, Automotive OEMs and suppliers are requiring good diagnostic tools to detect and discover any failures which appear in automotive systems. When Daimler was looking to upgrade their vehicle diagnostic equipment. Winmate’s next generation 8.4” tablet running Windows 7 was the perfect tool for the job. [See Winmate rugged tablets in vehicle diagnostics] -- Posted Thursday, July 17, 2014 by chb

Added: Data Ltd. DLI 9008
With the DLI 9008, Data Ltd offers a remarkably light and handy, yet still rugged, Intel Bay Trail-powered tablet computer primarily intended for retail and hospitality deployment. The DLI 9008 has a 8-inch indoor/outdoor 1024 x 768 XGA display with projected capacitive touch. Note the innovative 5-in-1 module that attaches to the back of the tablet and offers scanning, RFID, MSR, keypad, and smart card reading. [See description, analysis and specs of the Data Ltd DLI 9008] -- Posted Friday, July 11, 2014 by chb

Panasonic updates Toughpad FZ-G1 10-inch rugged Windows tablet with Haswell and complementary technology
Panasonic announced upgrades to the Toughpad FZ-G1 fully-rugged 10-inch tablet. They include a move to a quicker 4th gen Intel "Haswell" Core i5, Windows 8.1 Pro, better battery life (up to 10 hours), an optional bridge battery, improved multi-touch that can handle rain and gloves, optional self-encrypting drives, a much higher resolution camera (8mp vs. 3mp), faster WiFi, optional UHF RFID and contactless smart card reader. The original FZ-G1 scored some of the best benchmark numbers we'd seen, and these tech upgrades make it even quicker. [See Panasonic press release and our updated FZ-G1 review] -- Posted Tuesday, July 8, 2014 by chb

Added: Panasonic rugged 5-inch Toughpads FZ-E1 and FZ-X1
Added: description, specs and analysis of Panasonic's new rugged 5-inch enterprise-class handheld tablet platform available in both Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld (the Toughpad FZ-E1) and Android 4.2.2 (the Toughpad FZ-X1) versions. Externally virtually identical but with slightly different electronics, both versions have 14-hour hot-swappable batteries, FIPS 140-2 Level 1 security, and sunlight-readable HD capacitive 1280 x 720 pixel touchscreens that work with gloves. The devices can survive drops up to ten feet, are IP65/IP68 sealed, and can handle extreme temperatures. There's 802.11ac WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, dual cameras, optional 4G LTE, barcode scanner, MSR and more. Pricing starts at US$1,799 for the Android version and US$1,899 for the WEH 8.1 version. [See description, specs and analysis of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 and Toughpad FZ-X1] -- Posted Monday, July 7, 2014 by chb

Doyle Security successfully implements Mi-Corporation Mi-Forms mobile e-forms
Mi-Corporation, which is best known for its enterprise-class e-forms, announced that Doyle Security Systems is realizing significant expense control and productivity gains following the first four months using its new digital sales order entry system. Doyle Security Systems had successfully moved its entire paper-based sales order entry system to a digital system using Mi-Forms mobile forms software on iPads. [See Mi-Co video customer testimonial] -- Posted Wednesday, July 2, 2014 by chb

7-inch tablet prices keep dropping
Digitimes reports that the lowest price point for a 7-inch tablet dropped to below US$80 in June 2014. And unlike earlier low-cost tablets that didn't measure up, even inexpensive tablets now offer almost the same specs as top-of-the-line models. This puts increasing pressure on high-end, premium-priced tablets from the likes of Samsung. (And it also makes you wonder if a decent smartphone really should cost US$700...). -- Posted Monday, June 30, 2014 by chb

OLED Tablet Display Technology Shoot-Out
DisplayMate — which is an industry standard for optimizing, calibrating, testing, evaluating and comparing all types of displays — published a very detailed analysis of the 2560 x 1600 pixel OLED displays used in Samsung's new Tab S tablets, and called them "best performing tablet display that we have ever tested." Ultra-high resolutions will eventually find their way into rugged products as well, where they will be much appreciated for GIS/GPS and other deployments that require the highest display resolutions possible. [See OLED Tablet Display Technology Shoot-Out] -- Posted Monday, June 30, 2014 by chb

Keep an eye on IoT — the Internet of Things
ABI Research estimates that the number of developers involved in Internet of Things (IoT) activities will reach 1.7 million globally by the end of 2014. The size of the ecosystem is expected to exceed 3 million developers in 2019, approximately 10% of all software developers. This is certain to have a massive impact on the rugged computing and embedded systems markets. [See ABI Research release] -- Posted Monday, June 30, 2014 by chb

Motorola Solutions unveils rugged MC3200 handheld available with either Windows Embedded Compact or Android
Motorola Solutions introduced the third generation of one of the industry's most successful mid-range rugged mobile computers. The new enterprise-class MC3200 retains the MC3000 Series flexibility with three form factors and three keypads, but is now based on new dual-core OMAP4 processors and is available either Windows Embedded Compact 7.0 or with Android 4.1 with Moto's Mx extensions that add enterprise security and support. The new models retain complete accessory compatibility from any MC3000 Series handheld. -- Posted Monday, June 23, 2014 by chb

Panasonic introduces two 5-inch rugged Toughpads
Panasonic introduced new rugged 5-inch enterprise-class handheld tablet platform available in both Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld (the Toughpad FZ-E1) and Android 4.2.2 (the Toughpad FZ-X1) versions. Externally virtually identical but with slightly different electronics, both versions have 14-hour hot-swappable batteries, FIPS 140-2 Level 1 security, and sunlight-readable HD capacitive 1280 x 720 pixel touchscreens that work with gloves. The devices can survive drops up to ten feet, are IP65/IP68 sealed, and can handle extreme temperatures. There's 802.11ac WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, dual cameras, optional 4G LTE, barcode scanner, MSR and more. Pricing starts at US$1,799 for the Android version and US$1,899 for the WEH 8.1 version. Our detailed descriptions and analysis to follow soon. -- Posted Monday, June 23, 2014 by chb

Full review: GammaTech Durabook S15H
The Gammatech Durabook S15H, successor to the company's earlier Durabook S15C, is a 6.6-pound notebook computer designed to be tougher and more durable than standard consumer notebooks, but without the extra size, weight and cost of a fully rugged design. It's a very solid, trust-inspiring machine with a large 15.6-inch wide-format display, good connectivity, and good day-to-day functionality. We put an Intel Haswell Core i5-4300M version through its paces and came away impressed. [See full review of the GammaTech Durabook S15H] -- Posted Tuesday, June 17, 2014 by chb

Cool and useful gear: StarTech's 7-port USB charger
Every now and then we need to mention some of the truly useful gadgets that come into our lab, that we end up using all the time, and that a lot of our readers out there could probably use, too. One such gadget is StarTech's 7-port USB charger. It's amazing how nice it is to charge all your gear at once and use only one wall outlet. [See StarTech 7-Port USB Charging Station] -- Posted Monday, June 16, 2014 by chb

Smith Micro delivers Android and Windows 8.1 connectivity and security solutions for enterprise and public sector
Smith Micro announced the release of two new QuickLink Mobility solutions targeted for enterprises and public safety agencies. QuickLink Mobile VPN for Android and QuickLink Unified Connection & Security Manager for Windows 8.1 provide flexibility and control to expand mobile security and connectivity to a variety of mobile devices beyond legacy Windows-based platforms. Smith Micro said that in many industries where field equipment must be ruggedized, demand for smaller form factors is driving rapid replacement of larger laptops to ruggedized Windows 8.1 and Android tablets and smartphones. [See press release] -- Posted Friday, June 13, 2014 by chb

Technology achievement: RAM Mounts IP65-sealed 2.5-pound composite docking station
It's always been our belief that docks should be just as rugged and well-sealed as the devices they are being used for. That's what RAM Mounts offers with their new RAM docking station for the Harris RF-3590 rugged Android tablet. Weighing just 2.5 pounds, the dock carries an IP65 ingress protection rating and can be mounted in numerous ways. [See description and analysis of the RAM IP65 sealed dock and the RAM IP65 product page] -- Posted Wednesday, June 11, 2014 by chb

Magellan celebrates 25th anniversary of the first commercial handheld GPS, the NAV 1000
It's hard to imagine life without GPS. GPS is everywhere, but few people probably know that the consumer handheld GPS just celebrated its 25th anniversary. The Magellan NAV 1000 shipped in May 1989 and revolutionized marine navigation with its handy size, portability, price and low power consumption. There weren't high-res maps that you could zoom and pan back then; the NAV 1000 just provided the user with an LCD readout of latitude and longitude expressed in degrees and minutes. For a great article on all this, check Commerical GPS Turns 25: How the Unwanted Military Tech Found Its True Calling by maskable.com. [See Magellan press release] -- Posted Monday, June 9, 2014 by chb

Full review: Two Technologies' Samsung Galaxy Note II-based ultra-rugged, waterproof, MSR-equipped and quite amazing N4
Hundreds of millions of tablets and smartphones have spoiled users who now want sleek state-of-the-art consumer technology out there in the field as well. That's what Two Technologies offers with their Samsung Galaxy Note II-based N4 handheld. We examined the N4 in detail and found it to be much more than just a tablet in a case. [See full review of the Two Technologies N4] -- Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2014 by chb

Datalogic secures logistics and tracking for automotive safety systems leader, Autoliv, with the installation of over 600 mobile computers
Datalogic announced it has deployed more than 600 Datalogic mobile computers for automotive safety systems manufacturer, Autoliv, across their European plants. As Autoliv aims to reduce traffic accidents and injuries with their products and systems, the company needed to optimize efficiency in production line and warehouse operations with state-of-the-art technology, fast operation, ease of use and robustness. In order to achieve this, Autoliv chose to deploy Datalogic Falcon X3, Skorpio X3 and Memor mobile computers to work with the new SAP system. [See press release and video that explains the projects] -- Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2014 by chb

Metaio demonstrates thermal touch interface
Metaio, which is into augmented reality software and solutions, released a video illustrating potential applications of their "Thermal Touch" interface technology along with current examples of the working prototype. The technology works by registering the heat signature left by a person's finger when touching a surface, then supplementing it with augmented reality constructs to create user interaction with digital content in all-new tactile way. [See Metaio Thermal Touch video and read Metaio blog on thermal touch] -- Posted Sunday, May 25, 2014 by chb

Digitimes on Innel China subsidies and Taiwan struggles with automation
Digitimes reports that Intel offered incentives to select China-based white-box vendors such as Ramos to adopt Intel platforms for tablets, and has extended the offers to additional China-based white-box vendors in an attempt to reach total shipments of 40 million Intel platform-based tablets in 2014, according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers. Digitimes also reports that Taiwan electronics companies operating in China struggle automating their factories to reduce the impact of ongoing wage hikes. The problem is that standard automation equipment cannot easily be modified for specialized electronics manufacturing processes. -- Posted Friday, May 23, 2014 by chb

Microsoft introduces 12-inch Haswell-powered Surface Pro 3
Microsoft introduced the Surface Pro 3. The Intel Haswell Core i3/i5/i7 powered new tablet is just 0.36 inches thick, weighs 1.76 pounds, and has a 2,160 x 1,440 pixel 12-inch display, and dual cameras (5mp and 1080p HD). It comes with either 4 or 8GB of RAM, and up to 512GB of SSD storage. There's USB 3.0, a microSD card reader, mini DisplayPort, and a cover that's also a keyboard. The Surface Pro 3, which starts at US$799 (but goes as high as US$1,949 for a loaded model) has a pen which, interestingly, is from N-Trig and not Wacom (N-trig also replaces Atmel for the Surface 3's touch capabilities). [See Microsoft press release, and the transcript of press event introduction and -- Posted Tuesday, May 20, 2014 by chb

Otterbox goes after counterfeit cases
OtterBox, which makes rugged cases for smartphones and tablets, reports that the company continues its fight against intellectual property theft. In the last six months, with the assistance of law enforcement and government agencies, OtterBox has raided 162 retail stores worldwide and seized approximately 30,000 counterfeit cases. [See Otterbox press release] -- Posted Tuesday, May 20, 2014 by chb

Digitimes on Q2/2014 tablet shipments
Digitimes predicts that in the second quarter of 2014, 61.4 million tablets will be shipped globally, increasing 4.9% on quarter and 30.9% on year. The shipments will consist of 13.5 million iPads, 24.6 million non-Apple tablets and 23.3 million white-box units, Digitimes Research indicated. Apple will be the largest vendor accounting for 22% of sQ2shipments, followed by Samsung with 20%, Asustek 6.3%, Lenovo 6.1% and Acer 1.7%. Android models will account for 58.9% of branded tablet shipments, iOS 35.4% and Windows 5.7%. -- Posted Saturday, May 17, 2014 by chb

MobileDemand xTablet T1400 product page available now
Full description, analysis and specs of the MobileDemand xTablet T1400 now available on RuggedPCReview. [See MobileDemand xTablet T1400 product page] -- Posted Monday, May 12, 2014 by chb

MobileDemand announces new thin and rugged Windows tablet
MobileDemand announced it is launching a series of tablet innovations for the mobile workforce. The new xTablet T1400 rugged tablet is a thin and light device capable of running standard enterprise Windows (8.1 and 7) applications while withstanding harsh operating environments, at a new price point. The fanless T1400 is based on a "Bay Trail" 1.86GHz quad-core Intel N2920 processor, features a superb 10.1-inch 700-nits IPS projected capacitive touch screen with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, has dual cameras (5mp and 2mp), 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, a full complement of sensors, and optional 1D/2D barcode reader, HF-RFID and 4G LTE. The T1400 weighs 2.4 pounds, has IP65 sealing and can handle 4-foot drops. [See MobileDemand press release and T1400 product sheet] -- Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 by chb

Almost 200 TB storage on a tape cartridge?
With data storage requirements skyrocketing, commonly available storage media seems to run out of steam. DVDs are slow and only hold a few gigs, Blue-ray writing is poorly supported, SSDs are limited in capacity, and conventional hard disks are often not rugged enough. In what seems like a blast from the past, Sony announced a new magnetic tape technology with the potential of recording over 185 terabyte onto a single LTO-standard tape cartridge (which up to now maxed out at 2.5TB). While tape-based storage may or may not have a practical future, it shows that there's still a lot of headroom in higher storage densities. [See Sony press release] -- Posted Monday, May 5, 2014 by chb

N-trig announces pen/touch solution optimized for tablets
N-trig, which makes the DuoSense integrated active pen and touch controllers, announced an optimized solution for the growing tablet segment. The new controllers, in conjunction with the company’s DuoSense Pen2, provide intuitive pen-on-paper handwriting and painting experience for tablets of all sizes. N-trig says that as consumers increasingly demand better functionality than just simple media consumption, the pen has become a common requirement in tablets. By delivering a precise pen with superior palm rejection, hover capabilities, programmable buttons and a variety of tip friction options, the DuoSense Pen technology offers clear advantages for tablet users. [See N-trig press release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 29, 2014 by chb

Farewell Nokia
Excellent CNET article on the rise and fall of Nokia. -- Posted Friday, April 25, 2014 by chb

Full review: Xplore's 6th generation of the ultra-rugged iX104 tablet brings state-of-the-art technology and blistering performance into the field
Xplore Technologies announced the release of the XC6 series, the 6th generation of its iX104 ultra-rugged tablet computer platform. The new series has been upgraded from an original Intel Core processor all the way to a choice of 4th generation "Haswell" Core CPUs, plus all the related ancillary tech improvements. This results in a massive performance increase. Display brightness is up to 1,300 nits, there's multi-touch that works with gloves, and we saw battery life of 10+ hours in our full review. [Read comprehensive review of the Xplore iX104 XC6 ultra-rugged tablet computer] -- Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014 by chb

Getac launches rugged T800 8.1-inch Bay Trail Windows tablet
Getac announced a new rugged and very compact 8.1-inch tablet. Running Windows and powered by a "Bay Trail" 2.16GHz quad-core Intel N3530 processor, the Getac T800 has a sunlight-readable "LumiBond" projected capacitive touch screen with 1280 x 800 pixel resolution, weighs 2.1 pounds, has dual cameras (5mp and HD), 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, dedicated GPS and 4G LTE. "SnapBack" add-ons can provide a Smart Card reader plus either 13.56MHz RFID or a magstripe reader. The Getac T800 has IP65 sealing and can handle 6-foot drops. [See description, analysis and specs of the Getac T800 rugged tablet] -- Posted Wednesday, April 16, 2014 by chb

Winmate releases rugged Bay Trail-based 10.1" Windows tablet with 1920 x 1200 pixel procap display
Winmate has announced their new rugged 10.1-inch M101B Windows Tablet PC. The fanless M101B is based on a "Bay Trail" 1.86GHz quad-core Intel N2920 processor, features a superb 10.1-inch 700-nits IPS projected capacitive touch screen with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, has dual cameras (5mp and 2mp), 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, a full complement of sensors, and optional 1D/2D barcode reader, HF-RFID and 4G LTE. The M101B weighs 2.4 pounds, has IP65 sealing and can handle 4-foot drops. [See description, analysis and specs of the Winmate M101B rugged tablet] -- Posted Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by chb

Wearables market finally taking off, but not as envisioned by pioneers
Wearable computing is finally taking off, but it's not the way pioneers envisioned it. Instead of miniature PCs, the emerging wave of wearables are, according to IDC, "stylish lifestyle accessories that are making their way onto the pages of GQ and Shape as well as Computerworld and Wired." IDC projects that shipments will exceed 19 million units in 2014, more than tripling last year's sales, with sales well over 100 million by 2018. The wearable market currently splits into accessories to smartphones and tablets, and autonomous wearabels such as Google Glass. [See IDC press release] -- Posted Friday, April 11, 2014 by chb

Digitimes: Taiwan ODMs losing business to China
Digitimes reported that Taiwan's ODMs are losing business as PC brand vendors turn to China. Our take: While this trend, for now, is primarily evident in tablet orders, this development should come as now surprise to Taiwan's OEMs. For many years, US PC companies had their desktop PCs, notebooks and handhelds made by a number of highly skilled Taiwanese OEMs (such as Quanta, Wistron, FIC, etc.) due to lower cost and an excellent reputation for quality. Then the Taiwanese began outsourcing to China. It should have been obvious from the start that the US companies would eventually cut out the middlemen. -- Posted Monday, April 7, 2014 by chb

Dell launches Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme convertible notebook
Dell also introduced the Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme, a fully rugged convertible notebook computer with a 11.6-inch resistive multi-touch display, IP65 sealing and full MIL-STD-810G testing. The new rugged Dell convertible is also powered by Intel "Haswell" 4th generation i3, i5, and i7 Core processors, uses solid state disks, as well as 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 4G LTE, and is even dock-compatible with the larger Latitude 14 Rugged Extreme. Replacing the former Latitude XT2 XFR, the Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme takes on the Getac V110 and the Panasonic CF19. [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Dell Latitude Rugged Extreme 12] -- Posted Thursday, April 3, 2014 by chb

Juniper Systems explains resistive vs. capacitive touch screens
Capacitive touch was popularized by the iPhone and is now on the vast majority of consumer smartphones and tablets. Resistive touch, however, is still prevalent in industrial handhelds. Juniper Systems, which went with capacitive touch for its new Archer 2 mobile computer, explains the differences and pros/cons of the two touch technologies in detail. [See Juniper Systems Resistive vs. Capacitive Touchscreens] -- Posted Tuesday, April 1, 2014 by chb

Motion launches sleek, lightweight Haswell-powered 12.5-inch full 1080p tablet with dual-mode input and a wealth of accessories
Tablet pioneer Motion Computing announced the latest offering in their mobile technology portfolio, the rugged Motion R12 tablet computer. The Intel Haswell-powered R12 has a 12.5-inch multi-touch screen with full 1080p 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution as well as a Wacom pen and Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The rugged R12 is just 0.65 inches thick, weighs under three pounds, has dual cameras (2mp and 8mp), 9+ hour battery life, can handle 4-foot drops and is IP54 sealed. There's Wireless-AC plus Bluetooth 4.0, integrated or dedicated GPS, as well as optional 4G LTE, 1D/2D scanner, HF RFID, and desktop and vehicle docks. [See description, analysis, and specs of the Motion R12 rugged tablet] -- Posted Tuesday, March 25, 2014 by chb

CDW and leading developers deliver enterprise mobile apps via new App Marketplace
Business-oriented technology solutions provider CDW announced its new App Marketplace — a single, online destination that connects its customers with leading developers and enterprise mobile apps across multiple business functions. Unlike apps designed for individual users, the App Marketplace provides customized enterprise apps created by developers with proven and relevant experience. These include Avnet, Canvas, IBM, Lextech, SAP, Symphony Teleca and WillowTree, with more being added. [See CDW's App Maketplace] -- Posted Monday, March 24, 2014 by chb

Full review: Getac V110 rugged convertible notebook
With the V110, Getac gives a vote of confidence to the concept of the convertible notebook that can also be used as a tablet. The V110, however, is thinner and lighter than earlier rugged convertibles, and its 4th gen Intel Core processors can do more with less. The multi-touch screen is easy to operate; there's an active pen option for precision operations, capacitive replaces resistive touch; Haswell offers excellent performance, better graphics, and lower power draw; communications are updated to the latest standards (802.11ac, BT 4.0, Gobi 4G), and there is a full-scale keyboard. The Getac V110 is a fresh, new iteration of a time-proven design concept that, for now, leaves the primary competition behind. [See full review of the Getac V110 rugged convertible notebook] -- Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 by chb

Motorola Solutions launches 4th generation of the versatile, rugged, modular Psion Workabout Pro
Motorola Solutions announced the Workabout Pro 4 rugged mobile computer, the latest generation of Psion's Workabout line that sold over 400,000. Including a major tech update, the Workabout Pro 4 forms the centerpiece of a versatile modular system that allows adding all sorts of wireless, data acquisition and other features and options to the device via back cover and/or end cap modules. [See Motorola press release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Workabout Pro 4] -- Posted Monday, March 17, 2014 by chb

MobileDemand offers forklift-mounted rugged tablet special at MODEX 2014 supply chain expo in Atlanta
MobileDemand announced a forklift-mounted rugged tablet 10%-off special at MODEX 2014 supply chain trade show and expo at the Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, March 17-20, 2014. Included in the forklift bundle is a rugged tablet, mounting hardware, power converter, Wavelink Terminal Emulation and Avalanche, and MobileDemand's 3-year comprehensive xProtect warranty. MobileDemand invites you to visit them at MODEX in booth #2428 where they'll also be giving away a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet! [See Forklift-Mounted Rugged Tablet Special Only at MODEX 2014] -- Posted Tuesday, March 11, 2014 by chb

JLT announces Atom-powered 1214N logistics panel computer
JLT Mobile Computers announced the JLT 1214N rugged fixed-mount panel computer for warehouse and logistics applications. Able to run a variety of Microsoft full and embedded operating systems, the compact 7.7-pound sealed panel has a bright 12.1-inch XGA resistive touch display, plenty of onboard connectivity, and it is now powered by a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom D2550 processor—a significant upgrade from the Atom N270-powered JLT 1214S predecessor. The 1214N offers numerous mounting options and also allows sealing at the cable instead of connector level. [See description, analysis and specs of the JLT Mobile 1214N] -- Posted Thursday, March 6, 2014 by chb

noax releases 21.5-inch full 1080p industrial touch panel PC
noax Technologies has added the noax C21 to its lineup of compact industrial panel PCs. The C21 has a 21.5-inch touch screen with full 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, making it suitable for deployments that benefit from a larger display and higher resolution. The fanless C21 carries IP65 sealing, has a cast aluminum enclosure, and offers various PCI/PCIe expansion slot options for customization and configuration. [See description, analysis and specs of the noax C21 industrial panel computer] -- Posted Thursday, March 6, 2014 by chb

Class 1 Division 2 rugged tablets available from MobileDemand
MobileDemand announced that its popular xTablet T7200 and xTablet T1200 are now available as C1D2-certified rugged tablets. The certification covers usage in areas where combustible gases such as Acetylene, Hydrogen, Ethylene, and Propane (Groups A-D) are present abnormally. So if an accidental discharge happens, you can rest assured that our C1D2 tablets will not emit any electrical arcs or sparks, nor have any hot surfaces that will cause those gases to explode. [See product pages for the xTablet T1200 C1D2 and xTablet T1200 C1D2. -- Posted Tuesday, March 4, 2014 by chb

Compact, rugged Trimble Juno T41 R Series adds UHF RFID
Trimble's smartphone-inspired rugged Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 or Android 4.1 mobile computer with 4.3-inch projected capacitive multi-touch gets Ultra-High Frequency RFID versions in a remarkably compact form factor. Available with either IP65 or IP68 sealing, the EPCglobal Gen 2 compatible T41 R is location aware for use in different regions across the globe, and is available with full voice/data phone capability as well as enhanced high-accuracy GPS. [See description, analysis and specs of the Trimble Juno T41 RFID] -- Posted Thursday, February 27, 2014 by chb

US Dept. of Transportation to use Mi-Co forms with handwriting recognition for vehicle crash investigations
Mi-Co, which specializes in data capture software forms that include handwriting recognition, announced it was awarded the contract to provide the US Department of Transportation (DoT) with a functional field data collection system with its Mi-Forms mobile forms software. Field staff will conduct multiple interviews on a weekly basis with motor vehicle crash participants. During these interviews, field data collectors will use natural handwriting within the mobile forms to capture data presented in an aural manner in a rapid fashion. [See Mi-Co press release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 26, 2014 by chb

Samsung Galaxy S5: impressive tech and now even waterproof
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung revealed the Galaxy S5, its new flagship smartphone. While after all those years of ever-smaller and handier phones the wisdom of giant phones is debatable, the specs and capabilities of the new Galaxy S5 are most impressive. Android "KitKat" 4.4.2, 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU, 5.1-inch 1920 x 1080 Super AMOLED screen, dual cameras (16mp camera, 2mp, 4K video), USB 3.0, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, BT 4.0, NFC, 2GB RAM, 16/32GB storage, 10-12 hours battery life, fingerprint scanner, pulse sensor, 5.6 x 2.9 x 0.32 inches, 5.1 ounces. And it is IP67-sealed. -- Posted Tuesday, February 25, 2014 by chb

SOTI MobiControl Android+ technology enables more than 35 OEMs to overcome Android in the enterprise hurdle
SOTI, the major provider of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy management, announced that it has significantly expanded its Android OEM partnerships to encompass more than 35 of the leading Android device manufacturers globally. [See SOTI press release] -- Posted Monday, February 24, 2014 by chb

N-trig's DuoSense multi-touch & active pen solution selected by Intel for its Education Tablet
As most pen enthusiasts know, Wacom has historically been considered the leading active pen technology vendor, but now N-trig claims that the latest build of their pen actually surpasses Wacom in terms of accuracy, pressure sensitivity, continuity, linearity and overall user experience. We haven't checked N-trig's solutions lately, but they did just claim a big win when Intel implemented the N-trig DuoSense controller chipset into its Intel Education Tablet. [See N-trig press release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 19, 2014 by chb

Handheld Group introduces Nautiz X4 rugged mobile computer
Handheld Group introduced the rugged Nautiz X4, a multi-purpose data collection mobile computer with integrated keypad and industrial-grade scanner options. The IP65-sealed Nautiz X4 has a 3.5-inch 640 x 480 pixel resistive touch screen, runs Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 for easy integration into existing enterprise infrastructures, weighs under 12 ounces, and includes GPS, WWAN, camera and a microSD card slot. [See description, analysis, and specs of the Handheld Group Nautiz X4] -- Posted Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by chb

ZDNet contributor has had it with Windows Phone
On ZDNet, Matthew Miller presented five reasons why he was done with Windows Phone, after having used it (increasingly less) over the past 3.5 years. Miller's reasons coincide with the shortcomings we have long lamented on Windows Phone and on the Metro interface on Windows tablets: it's just not nearly as useful as it should be. [See Five reasons I am done with Windows Phone after 3.5 years] -- Posted Monday, February 17, 2014 by chb

Will Windows Phone 8 make it after all?
Microsoft has all but vanished from the mobile space, and Windows Phone is almost a non-factor behind Android and the iOS. Or is it? PC Mag just published an absolutely glowing review of the new Nokia Lumina Icon with its 5-inch 1080p OLED screen, 20-megapixel camera, 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, and sleek brushed metal/polycarbonate design. [See PC Mag's Editor's Choice review of the Nokia Lumina Icon] -- Posted Thursday, February 13, 2014 by chb

Not mincing words -- Paul Thurrott on Windows 8
In a blog entry entitled "What the Heck is Happening to Windows?" Paul Thurrott does not mince words. "Windows 8 is a disaster in every sense of the word. This is not open to debate, is not part of some cute imaginary world where everyone's opinion is equally valid or whatever. Windows 8 is a disaster. Period." Thurrott, one of the most highly esteemed technology bloggers, blames Microsoft's fatal tendency of trying to be all things to all people, a tendency Pen Computing Magazine lamented every time Microsoft tried to somehow shoehorn pen and touch support into Windows proper... [See Paul Thurotte blog] -- Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 by chb

Sony sells VAIO PC business, concentrates on smartphones and tablets
Sony is leaving the PC and laptop business in order to concentrate its mobile product lineup on smartphones and tablets. The VAIO PC business is transferred to a new company established by Japan Industrial Partners Inc. Sony's decision came upon analysis of factors, including the drastic changes in the global PC industry, Sony's overall business strategy, the need for support of Sony's VAIO customers, and some job preservation for VAIO personnel. [See Sony release] -- Posted Thursday, February 6, 2014 by chb

Satya Nadella new Microsoft CEO, John Thompson new Chairman
The media won't have Steve Ballmer to kick around anymore. Microsoft announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Satya Nadella (in picture) as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors effective immediately. Nadella, who joined Microsoft in 1992, previously was Executive VP of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. Microsoft also announced that John Thompson will be Chairman of the Board, and that prior Chairman Bill Gates will remain on the Board as Founder and Technology Advisor. [See Microsoft press release] -- Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 by chb

HP offers touch for just a buck extra
In the past, one giant obstacle for pen computing, and especially for notebooks, was always the extra cost of the pen and digitizer. Hewlett Packard apparently remembers that, and advertises that (albeit just for a limited time) touch for its HP ENVY 15t Quad is available for just $1 more. Honestly, even without touch US800 for a sleek, 15-inch, Haswell Core i7-powered would be a great bargain. The extra buck for touch is just icing on the cake. [See HP ENVY TouchSmart 15t] -- Posted Monday, February 3, 2014 by chb

Review: DAP Technologies M9020 — ultra-rugged, highly configurable QWERTY 7-inch Windows tablet
Tablets are in, but there are tasks where an integrated keyboard comes in handy. That's what DAP Technologies created the fully-rugged DAP M9020 tablet for. Powered by an Intel Atom N2600, the M9020 runs Windows 7 on a 7-inch WSVGA resistive touch display. The M9020 supports Bluetooth v4.0, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Gobi 5000 4G LTE, u-blox 6 GPS, micro SD card expansion, dual cameras, RFID, and a 1D/2D barcode scanner. The tablet can survive multiple 6-foot drops and carries IP67 sealing. [See full review of the DAP M9020 rugged tablet] -- Posted Monday, January 27, 2014 by chb

DRS ARMOR gone
Sorry for being late on reporting this, but it seems that DRS Tactical Systems pulled the plug on all DRS ARMOR tablets. Early summer last year we had been told all ARMOR products were current, but an October inquiry went unanswered. We just now came across an October 18, 2013 release by DRS Technologies, informing that all ARMOR products were End of Life (see release). Once known as WalkAbout Computer, tablet pioneers and makers of the rugged Hammerhead computers, the company had been sold to DRS Technologies in 2005, and DRS then to Italian Finmeccanica in 2008. As is, DRS Technologies still sells a variety of military rugged computers, but the last of the WalkAbout DNA seems gone now. -- Posted Tuesday, January 21, 2014 by chb

Original Microsoft Surface Pro blow-out
Microsoft seems to be clearing out inventory of the original Surface Pro tablets. Those on Microsoft's mailing list received offers for US$300 off the the Surface Pro. That brings the price of a 128GB Surface Pro down to US$599 (w/o the keyboard, though). That's not bad for an Intel 3rd gen Core I5-powered tablet with a full 10.6-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel screen, both capacitive touch and an active pen, dual cameras, etc. The Surface Pro 2, of course, is that much better with a Haswell chip and all sorts of improvements, but the equivalent model starts at US$999. [See Surface Pro offer] -- Posted Friday, January 17, 2014 by chb

Panasonic announces future product expansion with Microsoft Windows Embedded 8 Handheld at NRF2014 EXPO
Today at the 2014 2014 National Retain Federation industry show, Panasonic announced that it’s working closely with Microsoft to deliver future enterprise-class mobile devices based on the Windows Embedded 8 Handheld platform. The collaboration will enable Panasonic to expand its rugged mobile computing portfolio with innovative new handheld devices bringing Windows Phone 8 technologies to enterprise customers. -- Posted Monday, January 13, 2014 by chb

Datalogic to preview the next-gen Memor X3 handheld
Datalogic announced that at the 2014 National Retain Federation show, which takes place January 12-15, 2014 in New York City, the company will debut the Memor X3, the next generation of its very small and handy mobile handheld computer. The Memor X3 will be faster, have twice the storage, longer battery life, a larger screen, and numerous other improvements. -- Posted Saturday, January 11, 2014 by chb

N-trig pen technology used in new Sony VAIO Flip 11
N-trig reports that its active pen and touch technology has been implemented in a new device announced by Sony at the 2013 CES conference in Las Vegas. The new Sony VAIO Flip 11 is an 11-inch/2.82-lb convertible that will have the same hinge design as the others in the Flip series, allowing users to effortlessly convert the device from a traditional laptop into a tablet. The device will go on sale in February, starting at $799. -- Posted Wednesday, January 8, 2014 by chb

Android leads OS U.S. sales, as LG and Nokia see resurgence
Daddi Brand Communications reports that in the 3 months ending November 2013, Android maintained its lead of smartphone sales in the U.S., capturing 50.3% of the smartphone market. iOS follows with 43.1% of smartphone sales, an increase month on month, however, down 9.9% versus the same period a year ago. Windows Phone, the third largest OS in the U.S, was at nearly 5%, up 2.1% points from the previous year. As with the previous period, Verizon maintained its lead as the top smartphone carrier, with just under a third of sales (31.7%). AT&T, in second, had 28.3%, passing Sprint as the third largest carrier with 13.3% of sales. -- Posted Monday, January 6, 2014 by chb

How it all began: The Birth of Pen Windows
Haverzine published a nice article on the beginnings of pen computing and the origins of Pen Windows. Certainly brought back memories to the editors of Pen Computing Magazine who were there and lived through the humble beginnings of handhelds and tablets. [See Microsoft & Mobile, Part 1: The Birth of Pen Windows] -- Posted Tuesday, December 31, 2013 by chb

Does your Pentium have an Atom engine?
There was a time in the very distant computing past where, when buying a computer, the sole decision you needed to make was whether to use the Intel 386/33 or save a few bucks and get the slightly slower 386/25. Today, if you use Intel's handy ARK app that lists every product available from Intel, there's a staggering 1,874 different processors listed... [Read more] -- Posted Saturday, December 28, 2013 by chb

Ubiqconn's two new versatile, rugged Intel Atom N2600-powered Windows tablets
Ubiqconn of Taiwan, a spin-off from well-known First International Computer, has introduced two fully rugged Intel Atom N2600-powered tablet computers, the T70C (7-inch 1280 x 800 pixel) and the T10C (10.4-inch 1024 x 768 pixel). Both carry IP65 sealing, have very wide operating temperature ranges, have been MIL-STD-810G tested, have extensive wired and wireless connectivity, hot-swappable dual batteries, and can be equipped with various snap-on modules. [See description, analysis and specs of the Ubiqconn T70C and Ubiqconn T10C rugged tablets] -- Posted Monday, December 23, 2013 by chb

BlackBerry to try iOS, Android?
According to InfoWorld, BlackBerry's new CEO John Chen is considering making the company's security and enterprise productivity features available on iOS and Android (see article). Our take: Palm tried that approach, albeit in reverse, when they put Windows CE onto their hardware. It didn't work. -- Posted Friday, December 20, 2013 by chb

Handheld's Nautiz X1 ultra-rugged smartphone now shipping
Handheld Group announced that their highly anticipated Nautiz X1 rugged enterprise smartphone is shipping now. Part of Handheld's Nautiz product family of rugged and ultra-rugged PDAs and smartphones, the fully dust- and waterproof Nautiz X1 has a 4-inch 800 x 480 pixel Gorilla Glass-protected procap display, u-bloc GPS, 5mp camera, -4 to 140F temperature range, can be ordered with either Android 4.x or Windows Embedded Handheld, and runs on both GSM and CDMA networks. "This is the toughest smartphone ever built," says Jerker Hellström, CEO of Handheld Group. "We see a huge demand for truly rugged smartphones among field professionals and outdoor enthusiasts who want to be constantly connected." [See Handheld press release] -- Posted Thursday, December 19, 2013 by chb

Rapid change in wearable computing
For years, wearable computing was the next big thing. Now it may finally be here, but not in the way most expected. Digitimes expects smart wearable shipments to grow dramatically in 2014, driven by products like Samsung's Galaxy Gear and other smart bands that communicate with smartphones. And, disconcertingly for the pioneers of rugged wearables, Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine's respected editor-in-chief John Keller writes that the military wearable computing landscape has flipped 180 degrees, with current military requirements calling for COTS smartphones, tablets and hybrids from commercial providers such as Samsung. Keller quotes an Elbit Systems representative as saying, "It looks like the military wearable computer is definitely commercial, so there is no place for us." [See Rapid pace of commercial technology complicates Army plans for wearable computing] -- Posted Wednesday, December 18, 2013 by chb

Getac begins shipping new F110 rugged tablet
Getac announced it has begun shipping its new F110 rugged tablet, which Getac says is the thinnest and lightest large-screen rugged tablet ever built. The company says that pre-orders of the new rugged tablet is the most of any product Getac has ever introduced and production has been ramped-up to meet the high demand. [See RuggedPCReview's assessment of the new Getac F110] -- Posted Saturday, December 14, 2013 by chb

Michael Dell's keynote at Dell World 2013: reaching for the cloud
One big problem with being a public company is that every three months it's imperative not to disappoint analysts and investors. Dell won't have to worry about that anymore because it returned to being a private company. That means Dell can now take the longer look, pursue the bigger picture, and no longer suffer from the infliction of short term thinking, as Michael Dell so eloquently put it in his keynote address at the 2013 Dell World conference in Austin, Texas. [read more...] -- Posted Friday, December 13, 2013 by chb

Xplore secures multi-million dollar RangerX order
Xplore Technologies announced it has received its first major purchase order for its RangerX rugged Android tablet (see RuggedPCReview report on RangerX). The order of approximately US$4 million from a major U.S. telecommunications provider includes tablets and accessories and is expected to ship this month. "This multi-million dollar order is a great testament to how the RangerX caters to the telecommunications industry unlike any other rugged device on the market," Mark Holleran, president and chief operating officer for Xplore Technologies, said. [See Xplore press release] -- Posted Wednesday, December 11, 2013 by chb

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Why did Apple kill the Newton?
View all 34 issues of David MacNeill's Newton Notes column covering the Apple Newton MessagePad between 1993 and 1999.
Pen Computing has a special section on Sharp's competent, yet ill-fated US Zaurus K-PDA experiment plus news on the new SL-5000.
Yes, our Magic Cap section is still online!
And so is our old Psion section!
In early 1995, our intrepid vertical market editor, Dom Giangrasso, wrote this essay on his personal love affair with pen computers.
Archives of some older issues of Pen Computing Magazine are online.

2003 Pen Computing Editor's Choice Awards!
Pen Review Oldies: Mid 1990s
AMS MediaPro (1995)
Casio PA-100A (1995)
WalkAbout Hammerhead 586 (1995)
IBM ThinkPad 360PE (1995)
IBM ThinkPad 730TE (1995)
Panasonic JT-900PT (1995)
Badger GT-486N (1996)
Casio DT-900 (1995)
Texas Micro Hardbody PC (1996)
IBM Sure Point (1996)
Inforite Phoenix (1995)
Motorola Forte (1995)
PenRight! for Windows (1995)
Motorola Forte (1995)
Telxon PTC-1134 (1995)
Zenith CruisePad (1995)
Bandai Pippin (1996)
Epson EHT-400 (1996)
Husky FC-486 (1995)
Itronix X-C 6000 (1996)
M3i PCMOBILE 486 (1996)
Norand Pen*Key 6100/6600 (1995)
Symbol PPT-4600 (1995)
The TelePad 3 Approach (1995)
Recognition by Papyrus (1996)
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