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Will the Apple iPad Pro herald an era of "pro" use of tablets?
A look by RuggedPCReview's Editor-in-Chief Conrad Blickenstorfer at the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, what the extra size means for productivity, split-screen use, what to make of the Apple Pencil, and what impact the new big iPad might have on the future of tablets. [read more] -- Posted Friday, November 20, 2015 by chb

iOS and Android command 97.8% of all smartphone sales
Gartner reports that worldwide smartphone unit sales were 352 million for Q3/2015, up from 305 million Q3/2014. Samsung sold the most smartphones with 84 million, followed by Apple with 46 million and Huawei with 27 million. In terms of operating platforms, Android and iOS commanded 97.8% market share, with Microsoft fading from 3% to 1.7%. [See Gartner media release] -- Posted Thursday, November 19, 2015 by chb

RAM Mounts reveals new and improved website
RAM Mounts, the company that makes our preferred mounting solutions, has totally rebuilt its entire website and the result is extremely impressive. While we've seen a number of less than optimal website makeovers during the last year (usually on Wordpress), RAM's new site is terrific. [See new RAM Mounts site] -- Posted Thursday, November 19, 2015 by chb

Handheld Group reveals ultra-rugged Algiz RT7 Android tablet
Handheld Group announced the launch of its new Android tablet, the ultra-rugged Algiz RT7. Based on Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) and a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, the 1.44 pound Algiz RT7 has a 7-inch WSVGA capacitive multi-touch display, excellent onboard connectivity, and impressive ruggedness. [See description, analysis and specs of the Handheld Algiz RT7] -- Posted Wednesday, November 18, 2015 by chb

Xplore announces XSlate D10 rugged Android tablet
Xplore Technologies announced the XSlate D10, a much more powerful version of its compact, lightweight, and well-connected rugged Android tablet platform. The new 10.1-inch XSlate D10 runs Android 5.1 (Lollipop) on an Intel Bay Trail E3845 chip and replaces Xplore's older RangerX. The IP65-sealed XSlate D10, which starts at US$1,649, can handle 5-foot drops, offers broad expansion options (including NFC, HDMI-in, 1D/2D scanning, 4G LTE), and benefits from Android 5.1's enterprise-oriented security and device management features. [See description, analysis and specs of the Xplore XSlate D10] -- Posted Tuesday, November 10, 2015 by chb

Panasonic announces fully detachable rugged 2-in-1 Toughbook 20 as replacement of Toughbook 19 convertible
Panasonic announced the Toughbook 20, a 2-in-1 device that the company calls the world's first fully rugged detachable laptop. Powered by an Intel Core M "Skylake-Y" m5-6Y57 processor, the IP65-sealed Toughbook has a 1920 x 1200 pixel 10.1-inch glove-capable 800-nits procap display. The tablet part weighs 2.1 pounds, the (100%-scale) keyboard part, which can accommodate a second battery, another 1.8 pounds. The Toughbook 20 starts at US$3,099, will be available February 2016, and replaces the Toughbook CF19 convertible. [See description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook 20] -- Posted Monday, November 9, 2015 by chb

Digitimes Research forecasts Q4 2015 tablet shipments
According to Digitimes, 58.7 million tablets will ship globally in Q4 2015, decreasing 22.6% from Q4 2014. This breaks down to 14 million iPads, 24.5 million non-iPads and 20.2 million white-box units. Of 38.5 million non-white-box tablets, 30.3% will be 7-inch, 18.3% 7.9-inch, 5.3% 8.x-inch, 26.2% 9.x-inch, 10.6% 10.x-inch and 9.2% 11-inch and above. Android, iOS and Windows models will respectively take up 56.8%, 36.4% and 6.9% of the shipments. -- Posted Wednesday, November 4, 2015 by chb

Added: CipherLab 9700 Series
Businesses around the globe are still using a large number of legacy Windows CE/Windows Mobile applications that face uncertain and/or costly upgrade paths. Often, the solution is to just keep using them. But what if the old hardware fails or is no longer supported? That's what the folks at CipherLab created the 9700 Series of rugged scanner handhelds for. [See description, analysis and specs of the CipherLab 9700 Series] -- Posted Thursday, October 29, 2015 by chb

Los Angeles Department of Health Services selects Janam for inventory management solution
Janam Technologies, a provider of rugged mobile computers that scan barcodes and communicate wirelessly, announced that Los Angeles County’s Department of Health Services, which includes 19 health centers and four hospitals, will deploy Janam XG3 rugged mobile computers (see Janam XG3 on RuggedPCReview) for inventory management and tracking of medical equipment and supplies. Janam’s XG3 rugged mobile computers will provide staff with real-time location of medical equipment or prompt and efficient care delivery. The XG3 will also help to provide assurance that assets are safe and ready to use. [See Janam media release] -- Posted Thursday, October 29, 2015 by chb

Apple posts another huge quarter
Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter ended September 26, 2015. Apple sold 48 million iPhones, 9.9 million iPads and 5.7 million Macs. The company posted quarterly revenue of $51.5 billion and quarterly net profit of $11.1 billion. These results compare to revenue of $42.1 billion and net profit of $8.5 billion, in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 62% of the quarter’s revenue. Overall, fiscal 2015 was Apple’s most successful year ever, with revenue growing 28% to nearly $234 billion. [See Apple media release] -- Posted Thursday, October 29, 2015 by chb

Dell to include NEXT area fingerprint sensor in rugged notebooks and tablets
NEXT Biometrics announced that Dell has implemented NEXT fingerprint sensors in a range of their 2016 commercial and ruggedized market notebook and tablet products. Research shows that size is key to fingerprint sensor system performance, and NEXT's active thermal principle area fingerprint sensors are a cost-effective solution. -- Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2015 by chb

Datalogic preliminary Q3 2015 sales up 15.3%
Datalogic reports Q3 2015 revenues of €134 million, up 15.3% from Q3 2014. Datalogic's Automatic Data Capture division (which includes the former Datalogic Mobile) saw its revenues grow by 16.7% to €90.3 million compared to Q3 2014. Specifically, some major growth has been observed in the US and Asia Pacific in the Retail and T&L segments. For the first nine months of the year, preliminary sales revenues reflect the gradual improvement achieved by all divisions in Q3, and came in at €391.3 million, with a growth of 15.1% compared to the first nine months of 2014. [See Datalogic financials press release] -- Posted Friday, October 23, 2015 by chb

Free Winmate webinar on choosing warehouse technology
Winmate will hold a free webinar entitled "How to Choose the Right Warehouse Technology to Increase ROI" on November 5, 2015. Join WinMate’s Khalid Kidari to learn about advanced rugged, mobile technologies and how they’re being used to streamline warehouse operations. [Register for free Winmate webinar] -- Posted Thursday, October 22, 2015 by chb

Trimble releases the ultra-rugged, IP68-sealed Nomad 1050
The original Trimble Nomad was one of the first rugged handhelds we tested at RuggedPCReview. We even tested it underwater, on scuba. Trimble has been updating the Nomad over the years, and now released the Nomad 1050 with a faster processor, more storage, higher GPS accuracy, and new options. And it's now IP68-sealed. They tested it for an hour in 6.5 feet of water! [See description, analysis and specs of the Trimble Nomad 1050] -- Posted Thursday, October 22, 2015 by chb

Storage wars: Western Digital buys SanDisk
Western Digital announced it will acquire SanDisk for about US$19 billion in a move that further reduces the number of independent storage technology industry pioneers and leaders (Western Digital 45 years and roughly US$15 billion annual sales, SanDisk 27 years and roughly US$7 billion annual sales). The companies largely have complementary product lineups (Western Digital hard drives, SanDisk memory cards, USB and solid state drives). [See media release -- Posted Wednesday, October 21, 2015 by chb

Getac releases rugged IP65-sealed Core M-powered RX10 and RX10H tablets for healthcare and field deployments
Getac introduced the RX10 and RX10H twins, adding to its growing roster of rugged tablet computers for various enterprise, government and industrial markets. The two versions of the Intel Core M-powered 10.1-inch and IP65-sealed tablets are specially configured for their respective markets, the RX10H healthcare market version with an anti-microbial housing and RFID/NFC, the RX10 field version with a faster processor, larger storage, and 4G mobile broadband. Both have a super-bright 800 nits 1920 x 1200 pixel capacitive multi-touch display with wet and glove capability. [See full review of the Getac RX10 and RX10H] -- Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2015 by chb

Honeywell AIDC white paper discusses where to go from Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5
Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 is getting very long in the tooth, and the absence of a clear migration path means that numerous enterprise operations are facing tough decisions. According to Gartner, a full half of all currently deployed mobile enterprise apps will have to be rewritten or replaced in the next two years. But what will it be? Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld? Windows 10? Android? iOS? Or just HTML 5? Honeywell AIDC created a helpful white paper on the issue. [See Strategic Insights into Selecting the Operating System that Best Meets Your Long-Term Business Vision] -- Posted Monday, October 19, 2015 by chb

After 20 years, the Toshiba dynaPad is back!
Toshiba's Digital Products Division announced the dynaPad, which the company calls the world's thinnest (6.9mm) and lightest (1.25 pounds) 12-inch Windows tablet. The picture above shows the 1994 Toshiba dynaPad T200 on the left and the 2015 Toshiba dynaPad on the right. As early as 1968, computer visionary Alan Kay had described the DynaBook as a "dynamic medium for creative thought, capable of synthesizing all media -- pictures, animation, sound, and text -- through the intimacy and responsiveness of the personal computer." Today, 47 years later, Toshiba's release says that "we are closer to achieving the vision: truly personal computers that act as a complete medium for learning and expression." There's been progress for sure. The new dynaPad weighs less than a third of the 1994 version, its larger display has 8 times as many pixels, and its processor probably runs at about 50 times the clock speed. But there's still the Wacom pen, and still the dream of the ultimate digital notebook. [See Toshiba dynaPad media release] -- Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2015 by chb

Ascent MIL-STD-810G-tested rugged solar power solution
Ascent Solar announced that its new rugged fully-integrated and IP67-sealed photovoltaic power solution, the MilPak E, has passed MIL-STD-810G testing. Weighing 8.5 pounds, the foldable photovoltaic blanket with an attached waterproof battery case provides 86.5 watt hours of power storage with battery management circuitry, a 55 watt 24 volt power circuit, and two high-current USB circuits. Clearly an interesting product for those who need extended power away from the grid. [See Ascent Solar media release] -- Posted Monday, October 12, 2015 by chb

PC market: stormy with a chance of sunshine
According to IDC and Gartner, the conventional PC market isn't doing well. In Q3/2015, worldwide shipments dropped roughly 10% compared to Q3/2014, and that's despite the new Windows 10. Bucking the trend is Apple, which roughly shipped as many Macs. Overall, about 74 million PCs were shipped, with Lenovo (20%), HP (18.5%) and Dell (14%) leading, and Apple, Acer and Asus all in the 7% range. Both research firms, however, were cautiously optimistic about stabilization and mild recovery. [See Gartner and IDC media releases] -- Posted Saturday, October 10, 2015 by chb

Xplore: Mobile workers take note of tablets' handwriting skills
Handwriting recognition was once supposed to be the feature that put tablets on the map. It didn't work out that way because recognizing cursive is very difficult. Handwriting recognition technology still exists, though, and is built into virtually every tablet (Microsoft bought many of the initial HWR systems). A new entry in Xplore's blog discusses this issue, and how it's high time to take another look at handwriting recognition. [See Xplore's "Mobile Workers Take Note of Tablets’ Handwriting Skills"] -- Posted Tuesday, October 6, 2015 by chb

AMREL adds slim, lightweight ROCKY DS11 tablet
AMREL introduced the Rocky DS11, a powerful rugged 10.1-inch tablet targeted at military and industrial deployments. Powered by an Intel "Ivy Bridge" Core processor, the DS11 weighs just over three pounds and is only 0.8 inches thick, yet includes plenty of onboard connectivity. The capacitive touch display offers 1,000 nits luminance and provides a "no light" or night vision option. [See description, analysis and specs of the AMREL Rocky DS11] -- Posted Saturday, October 3, 2015 by chb

Are we seeing Pen Computing 3.0?
A new article on Microsoft on Seeking Alpha on Microsoft highlighted Microsoft's strong position in Surface laptop/tablet hybrids. In their recent Q4 results, Microsoft's Surface tablet revenues grew 117% to $888 million, and full-year Surface sales rose 65% to exceed $3.6 billion. In fiscal 2014, Surface sales were $2.19 billion, up from 2013's less than $1 billion. That means that Microsoft's current year Surface revenue are almost as much as we estimate the entire worldwide rugged computing market -- handhelds, tablets and notebooks combined -- to be (about US$4 billion). Given that both Surface and the new iPad Pro emphasize the importance of the pen, are we seeing the emergence of Pen Computing 3.0, after Pen Computing 1.0 1991-1993 and Pen Computing 2.0 2001/2002? -- Posted Friday, October 2, 2015 by chb

Component costs to manufacture an iPhone
Research firm IHS reported the total cost to manufacture a 16GB iPhone 6S Plus, which has a retail price of US$749, to be US$236. The screen is the most expensive part at US$52.50. The 8mp camera is US$22.50, the new 3D pressure touch adds US$10, 16GB of RAM is just U$5.50.
-- Posted Thursday, October 1, 2015 by chb

Apple quietly adds a degree of water sealing to latest iPhones
Without drawing any attention to it, Apple has apparently made their new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus a little more rugged and considerably better sealed and protected. The folks at opened up the iPhone 6s and found a newly widened lip around the perimeter upon which sits a gasket. It's not exactly an advanced tongue-and-groove pressure seal like we see on rugged devices, but far better than nothing at all. ifixit also found that every cable connector is now protected by its own silicone seal. A YouTube video by Zach Straley shows the 6s and 6s Plus sitting in shallow bowls of water for an hour, and still working just fine afterwards. [See analysis and YouTube water test] -- Posted Wednesday, September 30, 2015 by chb

Las Vegas Metro PD takes delivery on Getac rugged tablets for use in cruisers and motor units
Getac announced that the Las Vegas (NV) Metro PD has ordered 898 Getac rugged tablets for its police force. The department ordered 778 Getac F110 rugged tablets to be installed in its cruisers. Another 120 Getac T800 rugged tablets will be deployed by the department’s Motor Division to support traffic control and citations. Las Vegas Metro PD selected the Getac F110 fully rugged tablet for its characteristics that include a sunlight-readable11.6-inch display, powerful processor, dual hot-swappable battery for extended field use, dedicated GPS and WWAN modules, and tri-pass-through antenna ports for simultaneous GPS, WWAN and WLAN connections via roof-mounted antennas. -- Posted Tuesday, September 29, 2015 by chb

JLT's new Rugged PCT capacitive touch technology
JLT Mobile Computer's Christian Funk explains how upgrading from resistive touch screen technology to capacitive can bring a whole host of benefits to industrial computers, but only if the screens can be ruggedized. He describes their solution, Rugged PCT, which combines extremely durable, reliable, rugged technology with water resistant properties, interference-proof design and compatibility with gloved use. [Read Ruggedizing Capacitive Touch for Industrial Computing]
-- Posted Wednesday, September 23, 2015 by chb

JLT Mobile Computers introduces Intel Bay Trail-powered rugged logistics panel computer with capacitive multi-touch
JLT Mobile Computers announced the 12-inch JLT1214P, a new logistics computer which features revolutionary Rugged Projective Capacitive Touch (PCT) display technology and, thanks to an Intel "Bay Trail" E3845 quad-core processor, additional computing power compared to previous product generations. [See description, analysis and specs of the JLT Mobile Computers JLT1214P -- Posted Wednesday, September 23, 2015 by chb

Handheld Group announces strategic enterprise mobility management alliance with SOTI
Handheld Group and SOTI, a major provider of Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), announced a strategic alliance extending SOTI MobiControl’s deep management capabilities to Handheld’s rugged mobile devices. Certification of Handheld’s devices within the SOTI OEM partner program enables Handheld’s reselling partners to offer SOTI’s technology to quickly provision devices, content and applications without end user intervention or downtime. Handheld chose SOTI based on the company’s vertical expertise and device control. [See Handheld Group media release] -- Posted Wednesday, September 23, 2015 by chb

Top three ways to mount a tablet in a forklift
If you are currently exploring the option of deploying forklift-mounted tablets, you may be wondering how exactly you should mount the devices. What will it look like? What is the best placement so it's not in the way of the operator? A new blog post on MobileDemand's Ruggedized Computing Blog gives a high level overview of the top three ways enterprises are mounting their devices. [See Top three ways to mount a tablet in a forklift] -- Posted Tuesday, September 22, 2015 by chb

Zebra introduces ET50/55 enterprise tablets in two sizes and with Windows or Android
Zebra introduced their next-generation ET50 and ET55 enterprise tablet computers. With these two new products, available available with a 8.3-inch or 10.1-inch display size and with either Windows 8.1 or Android 5.1, Zebra seeks to combine the best of consumer-styling with the kind of enterprise-class features required to increase workforce productivity. [See description, analysis and specs of the Zebra ET50/55] -- Posted Tuesday, September 22, 2015 by chb

Camera module market to reach US$62 billion within 5 years
Grand View Research projects the market for camera modules to reach US$62 billion by 2022. Technological proliferation and the increasing demand for smartphones and tablet PC devices are expected to drive growth over the forecast period. Camera modules find extensive applications in medical and healthcare segments, smartphone & tablet PC devices, automotive industry, defense & aerospace, industrial & security applications, and consumer electronics. [See Grand View Research Media release] -- Posted Tuesday, September 22, 2015 by chb

What led to the Universal Stylus Initiative?
Capacitive multi-touch has taken the world by storm, but the technology is more suited for consumption than creation. For that, having an active pen is desirable for many reasons, but active pen technology is proprietary, adding to costs and limiting markets. The Universal Stylus Initiative seeks to change that. Here are our thoughts. [Read What led to the Universal Stylus Initiative] -- Posted Friday, September 18, 2015 by chb

Xplore launches powerful XSlate B10 rugged tablet
Xplore Technologies launched the XSlate B10 rugged tablet, an evolved and significantly more powerful version of its Bobcat tablet. The Intel "Broadwell" Core i5-based XSlate B10 weighs just 2.5 pounds, carries C1D2 and ATEX certification, has comprehensive onboard connectivity (including native serial and optional HDMI in), has glove and wet modes, a Wacom pen, and offers up to 20 hours of battery life. RuggedPCReview performed detailed testing of the new XSlate B10, including extreme temperature benchmarks. [See full review of the Xplore XSlate B10] -- Posted Tuesday, September 15, 2015 by chb

Review: MobileDemand xTablet T1600
Designed for on-the-go professionals, MobileDemand's xTablet T1600 is modern, sleek and elegant, but it's also rugged enough for serious outdoor work. RuggedPCReview performed a full test of the 11.6-inch xTablet T1600 with its frugal but powerful Intel "Haswell" Core i5-4200U processor and found it a state-of-the-art tablet that won't weigh you down, and won't break out there in the field, even under extreme conditions. [See full review of the MobileDemand xTablet T1600] -- Posted Friday, September 11, 2015 by chb

Janam adds extended-range scanning rugged handheld
Janam announced an additional version of the XG3. The XG3-ER version includes the Intermec EX25 near/far imager with auto-focus that offers a 6-inches to more than 50 feet barcode reading range that is 30% greater than competitive scanners. The XG3-ER provides accurate, motion-tolerant scanning when lighting conditions are dim or the barcodes are damaged, obscured or placed on high shelving. [See Janam media release] -- Posted Thursday, September 10, 2015 by chb

Apple introduces 12.9-inch super-high definition iPad Pro with active "Apple Pencil"
Apple introduced new iPhones (the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus), a new iPad mini (the mini 4), a new Apple TV, and, perhaps most importantly, a larger iPad geared towards business and enterprise use. Featuring a 12.9-inch display with 4:3 aspect ratio and "retina" level 2,732 x 2,048 pixel resolution (265 dpi), the new iPad Pro offers an optional active "Apple Pencil" whose dual tilt sensors allow shading and pressure effects like a conventional pencil. While the super-thin iPad Pro is fragile, its high resolution and active narrow-tip pen will undoubtedly have an impact on industrial and vertical market tablet devices. [See Apple iPad Pro] -- Posted Wednesday, September 9, 2015 by chb

IDTI: Touch panel market to reach US$31.9 billion by 2018
According to DigiTimes, touch panel manufacturer IDTI estimates the touch panel market to reach US$31.9 billion in 2018. The optimistic prediction is based on touch panels used in all-in-one (AIO) PCs and smartphones, in addition to newer applications such as vehicles and industrial applications. [See DigiTimes] -- Posted Wednesday, August 26, 2015 by chb

Getac wins hard-fought rugged laptop bid
Providing a rare insight into the often hotel contested bids for computing equipment procurement, the Gaston Gazette reports how the City Council of Gastonia in Gaston County, North Carolina, decided, in a tight split-decision to buy 160 new rugged laptops from Getac instead of Panasonic. The city's CIO said that Getac's "sterling reputation of service with the city" convinced him to recommend Getac. [See "City to spend $309,000 on new 'rugged' laptops for police"] -- Posted Tuesday, August 25, 2015 by chb

Gartner: iPhone up in worldwide smartphone growth slowdown
According to Gartner, worldwide smartphone sales had their lowest growth rate in Q2 2015 since 2013. A total of 330 million were sold, compared to 290 million in Q2 2014. Samsung's marketshare fell from 26.2 to 21.9%, Apple's rose from 12.1 to 14.6%. In terms of OS marketshare, Android fell from 83.8 to 92.2%, iOS rose from 12.2 to 14.6%, Windows fell from 2.8 to 2.5%. Once prominent smartphone vendors like Motorola and HTC were no longer in the top-10 of overall cellphone sellers. [See Gartner media release] -- Posted Friday, August 21, 2015 by chb

Panasonic launches ATEX-certified versions of its rugged 5-inch Toughpads
Panasonic announced ATEX certified versions of its fully rugged 5-inch Windows and Android handheld tablets designed for use in potentially hazardous industries such as oil and gas, mining, chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing. The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 ATEX and FZ-X1 ATEX tablets bring together the best of the handheld, smartphone and tablet market and have been certified for above ground, Zone 2 Working Space use in potentially explosive gas environments (Acetaldehyde, Gasoline, Ethylene). [See Panasonic Europe media release] -- Posted Tuesday, August 18, 2015 by chb

How Does Law Enforcement Use Tablets?
Law enforcement is increasingly using advanced computing and communications technology to perform its job. This means highly durable, rugged computing gear that's also flexible, customizable, highly mobile and, unfortunately, costly. MobileDemand just published a case study of how the Missouri town of Sullivan is going about it, and how they managed to satisfy both their budget as well as their functional requirements with rugged tablets. [See How Does Law Enforcement Use Tablets?] -- Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2015 by chb

Full review: JLT VERSO+ 10 vehicle computer
Fixed-mount vehicle computers must provide all the power and connectivity of a laptop or desktop, while being able to handle extreme temperatures and near constant shock and vibration. RuggedPCReview analyzed JLT Mobile Computer's VERSO+ 10, the company's latest addition to a line of rugged and highly configurable vehicle-mount and fixed-mount computers. Available with either a basic Atom chip but also a high-powered Intel Haswell Core i5, the very compact and exceptionally well-made VERSO+ 10 has a bright 10.4-inch capacitive multi-touch screen that even works with thick gloves. Verdict: a most impressive product indeed. [ See full review of the JLT Mobile VERSO+ 10] -- Posted Monday, August 10, 2015 by chb

New: Winmate adds M133W 13.3-inch full-HD procap Broadwell-powered rugged tablet
Winmate has added the large-screen M133W to its growing lineup of rugged tablet computers. The M133W has a full HD 1920 x 1080 glove/rain/stylus-capable capacitive multi-touch screen, substantial onboard connectivity, dual cameras, a full complement of sensors, and it's available with three CPU options, including an Intel "Broadwell" Core i5-4200U. The M133W has a wide operating temperature range, is IP65-sealed, and can accommodate two internal SSDs. [See description, analysis and specs of the Winmate M133W] -- Posted Monday, August 10, 2015 by chb

IDC: Worldwide tablet market continues to decline
According to IDC, the worldwide tablet market declined 7% on year in the second quarter of 2015 with shipments totaling 44.7 million units. Marked by little hardware innovation and limited vendor portfolio updates, the market also declined 3.9% compared to the first quarter of 2015. In terms of shipments, Apple remains first with a 2Q15 24.5% marketshare (2Q14 27.7%), Samsung is second with 17% (2Q14 18%), Lenovo third with 5.7% (2Q14 4.9%), Huawei 4th with 3.7% (2Q14 1.7%), tied with LG. -- Posted Friday, July 31, 2015 by chb

Thai-based home product center goes mobile with rugged Panasonic tablets
The Panasonic Solutions for Business Blog reports how Thailand's HomePro Centre chain was looking for mobility solutions to help employees more efficiently track inventory, pricing, promotions, and other in-store operations. Like many retailers, they experimented with supplying their sales team with consumer-grade tablets, but this proved to be an expensive proposition, and HomePro ended up going with the Toughpad, Panasonic’s enterprise-grade rugged tablet line. [See Thai-based home product center goes mobile with rugged Panasonic tablets] -- Posted Thursday, July 30, 2015 by chb

Trimble rugged handhelds being used for traumatic brain injury assessment system
The image on the right shows the Trimble Juno T41 rugged handheld computer, which is being used by a company called BrainScope, as it has developed assessment software for football concussion injuries directly on the field. BrainScope has been awarded more than $27 million of U.S. Department of Defense research contracts for the development of its TBI ( traumatic brain injury) and concussion assessment technology and has received significant funding from private investors to accelerate its development efforts. [See Brainscope media release and Trimble Juno T41 page] -- Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2015 by chb

HZO and Dell partner to protect the new Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet
HZO, Inc, which provides manufacturers and device makers with a nanotechnology solution that inoculate electronic components and devices from damage and failure caused by exposure to any kind of liquid, announced it has partnered with Dell to protect its new Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet. HZO says that the new rugged Dell tablet is one of the first devices with HZO Protection that is built to withstand long-term exposure to the harshest weather and industrial conditions. [See HZO media release] -- Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2015 by chb

Samwell releases speedy Intel Bay Trail-powered 10.4-inch RUGGEDBOOK 752 with excellent connectivity
A substantial tech upgrade from its predecessors, the Samwell Ruggedbook PC-752 provides full Windows functionality in a rugged tablet form factor. Of compact size and weighing just over three pounds, the PC-752 is considerably lighter than most full-size rugged tablets. Its 10.4-inch resistive touch screen with 1024 x 768 pixel XGA resolution offers plenty of space to run Windows comfortably (a 9.7-inch procap screen is also available). There is excellent wired connectivity on board, all the connectors are standard size, and there is a wealth of wireless functionality, and also dual integrated cameras. [See description, analysis and specs of the Samwell RUGGEDBOOK PC-752] -- Posted Monday, July 27, 2015 by chb

Full review: Getac V110 Gen 2 rugged convertible notebook
Getac's second generation V110 is a remarkably thin and light rugged convertible notebook computer that's been upgraded with Intel "Broadwell" 5th generation Core processors and a variety of functional and technology improvements. Benefitting from the latest version of its LumiBond display layer bonding process and a new glove-capable operating mode, we found the second gen V110 an impressive upgrade to an already compelling mobile computing solution for tough jobs. [See full review of the 2nd gen Getac V110] -- Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2015 by chb

Dell launches Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet
Dell announced the Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet to complement its line of rugged laptops and rugged convertible notebooks. The new tablet has a 11.6-inch capacitive multi-touch screen that can be operated with gloves, weighs 3.6 pounds, is IP65-sealed, and is available with ATEX and C1D2 certification for use in hazardous locations. Based on Intel's super-efficient Broadwell-M processors, the Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet has up to 12 hours battery life. Modular expansion can cover even unique interface requirements. Dell's new tablet starts at around US$1,600 and will be available by the end of July. [See description, analysis and specs of the Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet] -- Posted Tuesday, July 21, 2015 by chb

Panasonic explains the EMV/NFC relationship
Panasonic's Solutions For Business Blog explains how Magnetic Stripe Reader (MSR) technology has been the primary payment method for credit card carriers for decades. EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) and NFC (near-field communication) payment technologies have made their way onto the landscape and are becoming more integrated into mainstream payment methods. [Read about the EMV/NFC Relationship] -- Posted Monday, July 20, 2015 by chb

GammaTech to feature rugged tablets and notebooks at NAPO 2015
GammaTech announced it will showcase its latest mobile rugged tablet and PC options for the public safety industry at NAPO's (National Association of Police Organizations) 37th Annual Convention in Savannah, Georgia from July 19 to July 23. GammaTech will exhibit its popular models — the R11 rugged tablet (see our review), the R8300 fully rugged notebook (see our review), as well as the U12Ci convertible and SA14 semi-rugged notebook (see our review) — at its booth to leading public safety communications professionals. [See GammaTech site] -- Posted Friday, July 17, 2015 by chb

Finnair pilots use purpose-built Panasonic enterprise tablets
Panasonic's Solutions for Business Blog describes how Finnair pilots are using Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 rugged enterprise tablets for their electronic flight bags, or EFBs, to replace all-in-one user manuals for their aircraft. Finnair started with a review field of 20 different Windows 8 tablets before they decided on the Toughpad. [See Finnair Pilots Stay in the Air with Purpose-Built Enterprise Tablets] -- Posted Tuesday, July 14, 2015 by chb

Full review: ARBOR Gladius 8 compact rugged tablet
With the Gladius 8, ARBOR Technology presents an elegant, rugged and very compact 8-inch class Android tablet for IoT (Internet of Things) and numerous other applications. RuggedPCReview examined the 1.35-pound Gladius 8 in detail and found it to be a technologically advanced multi-purpose handheld tablet computer with industrial-grade scanning and NFC capabilities, a very good 12mp camera, IP65 sealing, excellent drop and temperature resistance, and a bright 7.85-inch capacitive multi-touch display. [See full review of the ARBOR Technology Gladius 8] -- Posted Monday, July 13, 2015 by chb

Digitimes voices concerns about tablet sales
In an article about supposed upcoming Apple products, Digitimes expressed general concerns about the tablet market: "With demand for tablets weakening a lot faster than expected, sales of iPad, white-box and brand tablets have all been seriously impacted recently. Strong popularity of smartphones with 5-inch and above displays plus the fact that [the] tablet is lacking new innovative applications are also major factors seriously undermining tablet sales." -- Posted Monday, July 13, 2015 by chb

10 things to love about Windows 10
In a new entry on their Ruggedized Computing Blog, Mobile Demand points out that the launch of Windows 10 is just 20 days away, and lists ten features of Microsoft's new operating system most users will love. The list starts with the Start Menu being back and ends with the fact that Windows 10 will be free for most users who have a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 license. [Read 10 Features of Windows 10 That You'll Love] -- Posted Friday, July 10, 2015 by chb

Microsoft announces restructuring of phone hardware business
Microsoft announced plans to restructure the company’s phone hardware business (i.e. the former Nokia Devices and Services business) to focus and align resources. This includes a reduction of up to 7,800 jobs, primarily in the phone business. The new layoffs are on top of the 18,000 layoffs Microsoft announced July 2014. [See Microsoft media release] -- Posted Wednesday, July 8, 2015 by chb

Janam introduces XM2-RFID UHF
Janam introduced the XM2-RFID UHF, a compact, rugged keyboard PDA with RFID reader and industrial-grade scanner. Based on Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5, Janam's new handheld RFID reader is designed to fill the need for a light, quick, and affordable device for the rapidly expanding deployment of EPCglobal Class 1 Gen 2, ISO18000-63 RFID data capture applications. [See description, analysis and specs of the Janam XM2-RFID UHF] -- Posted Monday, July 6, 2015 by chb

Article: 'Blue light' segments in transition — rugged computers a game-changer in critical field rescue situations
Handheld Group CEO Jerker Hellström explains how new advanced technological solutions — both hardware and software — are changing the security, public safety, and law enforcement sectors to the very core — and for the better. Advanced mobile applications and rugged mobile computers have greatly improved these professions' ability to perform in time-critical situations and in less than favorable environments. [Read 'Blue light' segments in transition] -- Posted Friday, July 3, 2015 by chb

Xplore reports record revenue and net income for fiscal 2015
Xplore Technologies reported financials for all of their fiscal 2015 that ended ended March 31, 2015. For the entire fiscal year 2015, Xplore reported record revenues of US$42.6 million, up from US$35.6 million for fiscal 2014. There was net income of US$0.25 million for the full year, compared with a net loss of US$1.76 million in 2014, attributable to increases in revenue and reduction in operating expenses. Note that these results do not include anything from the Motion Computing side, as Xplore only executed that acquisition on April 15. [See Xplore financials release] -- Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2015 by chb

8 reasons WHY the (Tablet) PC is thriving
In its blog, Xplore has been explaining why they believe tablets will be the PC form factor driving the predicted resurgence of the PC in the enterprise, as outlined in a recent InformationWeek article by Andrew Froehlich. In a new blog entry, Xplore's Bob Ashenbrenner shares eight reasons of his own for why the tablet PC is not only not dead, it's just as well positioned for growth in the coming year in many enterprise sectors as the traditional PC. [Read 8 reasons WHY the (Tablet) PC is thriving] -- Posted Tuesday, June 16, 2015 by chb

17 things to consider before buying a rugged handheld
People often ask us which rugged handheld to get. The answer is always "it depends." That's because every job and every project is different. Hardware that's perfect for one deployment may be completely unsuitable for another. The folks at Juniper Systems know that and just posted the "17 things to consider before buying a rugged handheld." -- Posted Friday, June 12, 2015 by chb

Five highlights of the new Microsoft Windows 10
MobileDemand's Ruggedized Computing Blog reports on highlights of the upcoming Microsoft Windows 10, which will be released July 29. MobileDemand summarizes Redmond's latest as "the Windows you know, only better" and comments on some other important areas of the new OS. [Read MobileDemand's Ruggedized Computing Blog: 5 Highlights of the New Microsoft Windows 10] -- Posted Monday, June 8, 2015 by chb

New: DT Research DT311 Series of rugged 11.6-inch tablets
DT Research also introduced the new 11.6-inch DT311 Series of rugged tablets that are available with either an Intel 5th generation "Broadwell" 2.4GHz Core i7 processor or a 1.5GHz Intel Celeron. Both versions come with 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and optional 4G LTE mobile broadband. The DT311's capacitive touch display offers 1920 x 1080 resolution, the battery is hot-swappable, and the IP65-sealed tablet weighs well under 3 pounds. [See description, analysis and specs of the DT Research DT311 Series] -- Posted Monday, June 8, 2015 by chb

New: DT Research DT398 rugged 9.7-inch Broadwell tablet
DT Research has introduced an updated version of its 9.7-inch DT398 rugged tablet. The new DT398H is based on an Intel 5th generation "Broadwell" 2.4GHz Core i7 processor, and also gets speedy 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and optional 3G/4G LTE mobile broadband. Unlike the still available DT398B, the new version uses capacitive touch. [See description, analysis and specs of the DT Research DT398H] -- Posted Monday, June 8, 2015 by chb

Wearable market remained strong in the first quarter despite the pending debut of the Apple Watch, says IDC
According to IDC, the worldwide wearable market recorded its eighth consecutive quarter of growth in 1Q15. Vendors shipped a total of 11.4 million wearables in 1Q15, a 200.0% increase from the 3.8 million units shipped in 1Q14. In terms of marketshare, Fitbit, Xiaomi, Garmin, Samsung, and Jawbone were the top 5. While current devices primarily cover health and fitness, functionality is certain to soon include numerous other applications. [See IDC release] -- Posted Thursday, June 4, 2015 by chb

IMG database of thousands of cloud-hosted keyboard layouts
With rugged tablets being used in more and more applications, there's often a need for specialized, customized on-screen keyboards. IMG has been offering just that with their My-T-Soft keyboards, panels and boards for the past two decades. The company also offers a variety of powerful pen and touch utilities that can greatly improve the productivity of tablet-based applications. [See IMG's Build-A-Board board browser page] -- Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2015 by chb

Motorola Solutions announces LEX L10 mission-critical Handheld purpose-built for public safety deployments
Public safety personnel need state-of-the-art handheld technology, but their requirements are very different from what standard consumer smartphone can provide. Motorola Solutions' LEX L10 is an advanced, rugged IP67-sealed Android 4.4.4 handheld with a 4.7-inch multi-touch display, comprehensive wireless broadband and radio connectivity, superior voice capabilities, and Motorola's specially developed PSX ("Public Safety Experience") interface. [See description, analysis and specs of the Motorola Solutions LEX L10] -- Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2015 by chb

Zebra releases Symbol TC75 ultra-rugged Android handheld
As part of their announcement of its "Mobility DNA" (a set of enterprise mobility software solutions), Zebra Technologies introduced the Symbol TC75 ultra-rugged Android handheld. The TC75, which has a 4.7-inch glove-capable dual-mode capacitive touchscreen, is based on the company's TC70, but adds 4G LTE mobile broadband wireless capabilities for deployments in the field. [See description, analysis and specs of the Zebra Symbol TC75] -- Posted Saturday, May 16, 2015 by chb

JLT Mobile Computers announces significant upgrade to wireless connectivity across product range
JLT Mobile Computers, the Swedish developer and manufacturer of rugged computers for demanding environments, has announced a significant technology leap for its range of rugged panel and vehicle computers by upgrading their wireless connectivity. Available now are dual-band 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0 + EDR, as well as 4G LTW WWAN mobile broadband with assisted GPS/GLONASS support. All of JLT’s computers also come with built-in high-sensitivity Planar Inverted-F Antenna (PIFA) technology for both WiFi and Bluetooth radio, delivering higher coverage in environments that offer poor RF coverage. [See media release] -- Posted Wednesday, May 13, 2015 by chb

AOL got mail: Verizon bought it
How the mighty have fallen. Email and internet access were once almost synonymous with AOL, the company that easily passed pioneer Prodigy in the early 1990s with its customer-friendly demeanor and truly world-wide access. In 2000, the deal between Time Warner and AOL was worth US$162 billion. Now Verizon picked up AOL for just US$4.4 billion. No one had a map for THAT. [Read Verizon news release] -- Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2015 by chb

RAM Mounts now has No-Drill mount for the new Ford F150
Ford's F-Series trucks have not only been the overall best-selling vehicles in the US for many years, the new 2015 Ford F150 revolutionized the industry by saving as much as 700 pounds through extensive use of aluminum. RAM Mounts equally revolutionized their industry with its no-drill vehicle laptop mounting system, and it's now available for the new F150. [See RAM Mounts RAM No-Drill mount for Ford F-150] -- Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2015 by chb

Zebra introduces Mobility DNA Suite
Zebra Technologies, which now includes the former enterprise business of Motorola Solutions, launched Mobility DNA, a set of enterprise mobility software solutions designed to enhance efficiencies and productivity for businesses, mobile workers and channel partners. New solutions include SimulScan Document Capture, Workforce Connect Push-To-Talk (PTT) Pro, AppGallery, Swipe Assist and All-Touch Terminal Emulation. Previously announced tools such as RhoMobile, Mobility Extensions (Mx), Enterprise Browser and EMDK for Android are also part of the Mobility DNA suite. [See Zebra news release] -- Posted Tuesday, May 12, 2015 by chb

Full review: GammaTech Durabook R11
GammaTech views their Durabook R11 as part of a new class of fully rugged high-performance tablets for use in the field and in harsh environments, one that is lightweight, versatile, has a large display, and represents state-of-the-art technology. Can this elegant 11.6-inch, Haswell Core i5-powered Windows tablet that looks just as sleek and slick as a consumer tablet deliver? [See full review of the GammaTech Durabook R11] -- Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2015 by chb

Janam introduces pistol-grip rugged lightweight mobile computer with industrial scanning options
Janam introduced the Janam XG3 mobile computer, a rugged gun-style Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 device that offers scanning options, compact size, and low weight. Offering the choice of two industrial grade scanners, a laser from Zebra/Motorola and an imager from Honeywell, the 22 ounce, ARM Cortex-A8-powered XG3 can handle six-foot drops, carries IP65 sealing and has a -4 to 140F temperature range. The hot-swappable Li-Ion battery is good enough for full-shift operation. [See press release and description, analysis and specs of the Janam XG3] -- Posted Tuesday, May 5, 2015 by chb

Microsoft buys N-trig "technology and talent"
For a very long time, anyone wanting an active pen on a tablet essentially had their choice of either Wacom or N-trig, which is based in Israel, with the Wacom pen having the advantage of not needing a battery. Microsoft, however, had switched from Wacom to N-trig for their Surface 3 tablets. In February 2015, Reuters reported that Microsoft was buying privately held N-trig, which was gearing up for a public offering, for at least $200 million. Apparently that didn't happen, but now the Wall Street Journal says Microsoft is buying N-trig's assets for just $30 million. Microsoft has a history of buying pen related technology, such as aha! Inkwriter that became Microsoft Journal, and the Paragraph recognition engine, parts of which live on within Windows. [See Microsoft Surface Blog] -- Posted Saturday, May 2, 2015 by chb

Honeywell releases Dolphin 75e rugged handheld with either Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld or Android 4.4
Honeywell Scanning & Mobility released the Dolphin 75e rugged handheld as the first of a next-generation of products running either Windows Embedded 8.1/10 Handheld or Android 4.4/5.0. Based on the powerful 2.26GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, the Dolphin 75e uses capacitive multi-touch on its 4.3 inch display, has five sensors, a dedicated 1D/2D imager, fast 802.11ac WiFi, dual high-res cameras, and Voice over IP. [See description, analysis and specs of the Honeywell Dolphin 75e] -- Posted Thursday, April 30, 2015 by chb

IDC: Samsung reasserts global smartphone shipment lead with focus on lower-cost models in 1Q2015
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), vendors shipped a total of 336.5 million smartphones worldwide in 1Q2015, up 16.7% from the 288.5 million units in 1Q14 but down by 10.9% from 377.5 million in 4Q14. In the overall mobile phone market (smartphones plus feature phones), vendors shipped 458.9 million units worldwide, flat from the 459.3 million units shipped in 1Q14. Samsung led in smartphone markets share with 24.5%, followed by Apple with 18.2%. Lenovo, Huawei and LG Electronics fill the top 5, each with about 5% share. [See IDC media release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 29, 2015 by chb

Full review: innovative, affordable MobileDemand xTablet Flex 8
With their new xTablet Flex 8 8-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 mini 3! Yet, the 1.6 pound tablet's specs are impressive. Quad-core Z3775 CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, 10-point capacitive multi-touch, and a 1280 x 800 pixel IPS display. [See full review of the MobileDemand xTablet Flex 8] -- Posted Tuesday, April 28, 2015 by chb

Scottish ambulance service to use 1200 Getac T800 rugged tablets for emergency operations
Getac reports that the Scottish Ambulance Service has signed a deal with leading ICT supplier Terrafix to use Getac’s T800 fully rugged thin and light Windows 8.1 tablets within its fleet of emergency vehicles. Each ambulance will be equipped with two tablets - one for use in the front of the vehicle for mobilisation and routing, and the other positioned in the rear of the vehicle, but remaining portable to be used as a method of recording Electronic Patient Report Forms. [See media release] -- Posted Wednesday, April 22, 2015 by chb

Xplore Technologies acquires Motion -- How it came about
Today I listened to the full Investor Call broadcast Xplore held on April 16 about its acquisition of Motion Computing, and a lot of things are clearer now (listen to it here). So here's a more complete picture of what happened. [ more] -- Posted Friday, April 17, 2015 by chb

Xplore Technologies to acquire Motion Computing
Two pioneers in rugged mobile tablet computing are joining forces as Xplore Technologies announced it has agreed to acquire Motion Computing. Xplore has been a driving force in ultra-rugged tablets since 1996, Motion burst on the market in 2001 as a primary provider of enterprise and healthcare market tablets. Both have recently expanded their offerings with complementary tablet products. Xplore (fiscal 2014 revenues of $36 million) and Motion (unaudited fiscal 2014 revenues of $83 million) are both headquartered in Austin, Texas, within ten miles of each other. “Nearly fifty percent of Motion revenue comes from outside the United States,” said Mark Holleran, president and COO of Xplore. “Leveraging the mature distribution channels that Motion has developed over the last 10 years, Xplore will significantly expand its international reach. “Motion is excited about what this combination brings to its customers and business partners,” said Peter Poulin, CEO of Motion. “The capital backing of Xplore supports a robust product pipeline and customer service capabilities that are critical to enterprises with whom Motion has had long standing relationships.” RuggedPCReview wishes the combined companies luck and success. [See press release] -- Posted Thursday, April 16, 2015 by chb

Xplore Technologies acquires Motion -- What it means
On April 16, 2015, Xplore Technologies and Motion Computing announced that Xplore was acquiring Motion. This was not a total surprise as both companies are in the rugged tablet computer market, both are pioneers in tablets, and both are located within ten miles from each other in Austin, Texas. And yet, the announcement came as a surprise to me. [... read more] -- Posted Thursday, April 16, 2015 by chb

Panasonic 4K Toughpad receives updates, much lower price
While most users consider 10-inch tablets the norm, Panasonic's Toughpad 4K tablet, initially launched in 2013, has a 20-inch screen. That means four times the display real estate. Better yet, the display offers 4k resolution, 3840 x 2560 pixel! But while everyone loved the razor-sharp display, few liked the $5,999 price tag. That's changed now. Panasonic introduced a much appreciated update that includes a switch from 3rd gen to 5th gen Core processors, HDMI 2.0, and, best of all, a much lower price. The updated Panasonic Toughpad 4k, which has a magnesium alloy frame enclosed in a reinforced glass fiber case, will cost US$2,999 when it becomes available in July. [See Panasonic media release] -- Posted Monday, April 13, 2015 by chb

Full review: 2nd generation Handheld Group Algiz 10X
The Handheld Group gave its ultra-rugged 10.1-inch Algiz 10X Windows tablet a significant technology upgrade that includes a quad-core Intel Celeron N2930 processor with integrated Intel HD Graphics and ancillary technology, much faster wireless, USB 3.0, and a much better display. RuggedPCReview tested the 2nd gen Algiz 10X and found an overall 2X performance improvement as well as better battery life. [See full review of the Handheld Group Algiz 10X] -- Posted Saturday, April 11, 2015 by chb

Windows 7 still leads by a very wide margin
According to Net Applications, Windows 7 continues to rule the desktop with a 58% marketshare. In second place, surprisingly, remains the by now ancient Windows XP with 17%, solidly ahead of Windows 8.1 with 10.6%. No other major Windows or Mac OS release even reached 4%. [See Net Applications Desktop OS Market Share] -- Posted Thursday, April 2, 2015 by chb

SDG Systems enhances EPX Barcode Framework for Android, adding Honeywell and Intermec driver support
SDG Systems, a leader in system and application software integration for Android on enterprise platforms, has enhanced the EPX-Barcode (EPX-B) software in its Enterprise Platform eXtension Framework software solution for Android. SDG has created EPX-B hardware drivers to support Honeywell and Intermec barcode scanning engines on Android. With EPX-B, Android OEMs and ODMs can select from an increasing number of scan engines meet their system requirements. [See SDG Systems EPX-B Barcode Scanning for Android page] -- Posted Tuesday, March 31, 2015 by chb

AMREL releases rugged 5.3-inch multi-purpose Android handheld
AMREL introduced the APEX AH53, a handheld that represents a meld between a modern big-screen Android smartphone and a tough, durable mobile computer with industrial-grade features and components. IP67 sealing, a wide operating temperature range, a 5-foot drop spec, NFC, 3.75G WWAN, and the availability of a dedicated 1D/2D barcode reader mean that the AH53 can be used for any number of field data collection, communication and computing assignments even under the most trying conditions. [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the AMREL APEX AH53] -- Posted Saturday, March 28, 2015 by chb

Cypress's TrueTouch touchscreen solution helps rugged Kyocera DuraForce smartphone handle harsh environments
Cypress Semiconductor announced that Kyocera has selected Cypress's TrueTouch capacitive touchscreen solution for its new, rugged DuraForce smartphone. DuraForce is designed for operation it in harsh environments where water, dust and other hazards are present. The Cypress-enabled, 4.5-inch touchscreen display allows users to make calls, check messages and email, take pictures and use other key features even if they are wearing thick gloves or the screen is wet. [See Cypress media release] -- Posted Friday, March 20, 2015 by chb

Full review: Winmate M101H rugged tablet PC
RuggedPCReview conducted a full examination of the thin-and-light Winmate M101H 10.1-inch rugged tablet. We found a compelling combination of a bright, super-high resolution capacitive multitouch display, very good performance thanks to an Intel 4th gen "Haswell" Core processor, attractive design, and full-shift battery life, all in a light but sufficiently hardened package for numerous applications that require Windows in the field, but don't need the extra protection (and weight and cost) of a fully rugged device. [See full review of the Winmate M101H rugged tablet] -- Posted Wednesday, March 18, 2015 by chb

Full review: Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme
There are only a few fully rugged convertible laptops, and the Dell Latitude 12 RuggedExtreme is one of them. Equipped with a unique flip-hinge, the device can be turned from conventional laptop to tablet in a couple of seconds. The Dell convertible is based on ultra-low voltage Intel Haswell processors, has a bright 11.6-inch resistive multi-touch display that works with gloves and in the rain, and offers excellent outdoor view ability. There's ample onboard connectivity, and the machine is tough enough to be used just about anywhere. [See full review of the Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Extreme] -- Posted Friday, March 6, 2015 by chb

Next-gen Intel Atom chips will come in 3/5/7 varieties
Intel announced that starting with the next generation of Atom processors, chip branding will employ the same good/better/best 3/5/7 naming system as has been used in Intel's high-end Core processors for several years. There will be entry-level X3 (codenamed "SoFIA") 28nm chips that support both Windows and Android, and "Cherry Trail" 14nm Atom X5 and X7 processors on the higher end. The latter with include somewhat wing-clipped versions of the powerful Broadwell-class graphics. All are SoCs (Systems on Chip), and just as Core processors, the upcoming Atom X chips will come with various levels and degrees of a very large variety of technologies and Intel features. No word on whether this will be the end of using the Celeron and Pentium brand names, as is the case under the current Bay Trail series. [See Introducing Brand Levels for the Intel Atom Processor] -- Posted Monday, March 2, 2015 by chb

Wacom unveils the Cintiq 13HD tablet
Tablets are everywhere and some also have pens, but when maximum precision matters, a dedicated graphics tablet may be the answer. For that, Wacom announced the US$799 Cintiq 13HD touch, a 13-inch tablet that can display 16.7 million colors, has a perfect viewing angle, full 1920 x 1080 HD resolution, senses 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity as well as tilt recognition. Wacom's goal with this new Cintiq tablet is to provide a digital workflow that emulates drawing or painting on paper or canvas. [See Wacom Cintiq 13HD]
-- Posted Monday, March 2, 2015 by chb

Illustrated report: Getac V110 used at Cirque du Soleil Kurios

It's always nice to see rugged mobile technology in action. A particularly impressive application is the use of a Getac V110 convertible notebook computer at the Cirque du Soleil Kurios touring production. The V110 runs the show's automation software, all of their inspection systems, operational and safety documentation, virtual sign-off processing, document management for all the schematics of all systems and every single connection and datapoint in the system. [See RuggedPCReview's detailed illustrated coverage of Getac V110 at Cirque du Soleil Kurios]
-- Posted Friday, February 20, 2015 by chb

Microsoft announces first Windows 10 Technical Preview for Phones
On their blog, Microsoft announced that the first build of Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones is available now for Windows Insiders. Microsoft says the preview is still very much under development and those installing it will see some rough edges. Fo now, the build is limited to a number of Lumina phones (630, 635, 636, 638, 730 and 830). [See Microsoft blog] -- Posted Friday, February 13, 2015 by chb

Panasonic releases Toughbook 54, a lighter, thinner and state-of-the-art semi-rugged laptop computer
Panasonic introduced the Toughbook 54, a semi-rugged notebook that emphasizes light weight and a slim profile while providing high performance with a 5th generation Intel Core i5 processors as well as very good battery life (up to 18 hours with two batteries,). The new Toughbook is designed to a highly portable tool for mobile professionals who need durability, power and feature sets beyond what a standard consumer laptop can offer. [See description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook 54] -- Posted Friday, February 13, 2015 by chb

AMREL announces new rugged night vision computing solutions
AMREL reports it now offers a full line of turn-key night vision solutions, fully compliant with MIL-STD 3009 and CECOM (CSLP) standards. The widespread use of night vision goggles has necessitated the adoption of light restricting filters for mobile computers. AMREL’s Night Vision Computing Solutions virtually eliminate all infrared emissions completely, which is important, since night vision goggles usually work in that part of the spectrum. AMREL Night Vision Computing Solutions are available for their ROCKY RS11 13.3-inch laptop, ROCKY DK10 12.1inch tablet, as well as their ROCKY DB6 handheld. [See AMREL media release -- Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2015 by chb

Corning plans to add sapphire-like scratch resistance to Gorilla Glass concept
At the annual investor meeting of Gorilla Glass manufacturer Corning, Corning Glass Technologies president James P. Clappin noted that the cover glass market is expected to grow, in part due to more and growing smartphones, and increasing business in emerging markets. Clappin also said “we have developed a new product that will provide sapphire-like scratch resistance while maintaining the legendary toughness and break resistance of Gorilla Glass.” The new glass is supposed to become available later in 2015.[ See Corning press release] -- Posted Monday, February 9, 2015 by chb

Motion releases Broadwell-based C5m and F5m rugged tablets
Motion Computing unveiled the next generation of its popular F5 and C5 rugged tablets. Both get a substantial performance increase with a switch to Intel "Broadwell" 5th generation Core processors (i3, i5, and i7 versions available), ultra-fast Gobi 4G XLTE WWAN, 802.11ac WiFi, m.2 instead of mSATA solid state disks, twice the base and maximum RAM, a higher resolution user-facing camera, and optional self-encrypting drives. The big news is the two generation processor leap, from Ivy Bridge to Broadwell, bringing higher processor performance, much more powerful graphics, and a 40% increase in battery life. [See Motion press release] and Motion CEO Poulin's blog] -- Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2015 by chb

iPhone 6 Plus isn't so big after all
Blast-from-the-past department: while Apple's iPhone 6 Plus is considered huge, it is actually dwarfed by Apple's Newton MessagePad 2000, which was introduced in 1997. Equipped with two full-size PC Cards and four AA batteries, the MP2000, which was considered small and handy at the time, weighs 1.48 pounds, almost four times as much as the sleek iPhone 6 Plus. Also of note: last used in 1998, the MP2000 came right up upon inserting four new AAs, all data intact. Will the 6 Plus do that in the year 2032? -- Posted Tuesday, February 3, 2015 by chb

Handheld Group strengthens product management
The Handheld Group announced it has strengthened its product management department with two new appointments: Johan He'd (left) is the company’s new Director Product Management and joins Handheld’s management team, while Johan Sätterman (right) is appointed Handheld’s new Product Manager. The new appointments are part of Handheld’s increased focus on product development and product management. [See Handheld press release] -- Posted Monday, February 2, 2015 by chb

Panasonic Toughbook CF31 now with Intel Broadwell power
Panasonic has not seen a need to physically redesign its long-running Toughbook CF31 in many years. The company, however, has kept its flagship rugged notebook computer meticulously current with periodic technology updates. The latest upgrade brings an Intel 5th generation ("Broadwell") Core i5-5300U (see here) processor that also includes Intel HD5500 graphics. The latest CF31 also supports high-speed 802.11ac WiFi and Panasonic states improved battery life of up to 18 hours on the main battery alone. Pricing starts at US$3,699. [See Panasonic press release] -- Posted Thursday, January 29, 2015 by chb

They had wireless handhelds back in '94? They did.
Dusting off stuff in the RuggedPCReview archives we came across a bunch of old product review pics for our old Pen Computing print magazine from the dawn of mobile computing. The two little handhelds in the picture are the Motorola Marco and the Motorola Envoy back in 1994. One ran Apple's Newton Intelligence OS, the other General Magic's Magic Cap. Both communicated wirelessly. See our Facebook page for more handheld and tablet pics from 1994 (and like us while you're there!). -- Posted Wednesday, January 28, 2015 by chb

Microsoft reports promising smartphone and tablet financials
While it doesn't have a direct impact on rugged mobile computing markets, it's interesting to monitor the fortunes of Microsoft's smartphones and Surface tablets, as their success or failure can has an impact on rugged markets that have remained with Microsoft software more than mobile consumer markets. As is, Microsoft reported that for their quarter ending December 31, 2014, they had phone hardware revenue of $2.3 billion, with 10.5 million Lumia units sold driven by growth in affordable smartphones (i.e. low-end ones, not the ones with the super-high res cameras), and that they had Surface revenue of $1.1 billion, up 24%, driven by Surface Pro 3 and accessories. [See Microsoft release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 27, 2015 by chb

Janam introduces rugged handheld with multi-OS support
Janam Technologies introduced the XM5, a rugged handheld weighing just ten ounces. The IP65-sealed XM5, which has a 600 nit 3.5-inch full VGA display and a choice of two different keyboards, combines legacy functionality with current trends by being capable of running both Microsoft Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 or Android 4.2. The XM5 has embedded RFID and NFC reading capabilities and is available with integrated industrial-grade imagers and scanners. [See description, analysis and secs of the Janam XM5] -- Posted Wednesday, January 21, 2015 by chb

RAM's new GDS Technology with IntelliSkin can truly be The Last Dock You'll Ever Need
With tablets and handhelds becoming ever more popular in the workplace, there's an ever greater need to have those devices communicate with desktops and other backend systems. Which usually means numerous docks and cables. RAM Mounts addresses this problem with their new GDS Technology with IntelliSkin. Billed as "The Last Dock You'll Ever Need," GDS sets a new standard in tablet and smartphone docking, mounting and protection. IntelliSkin is custom designed to fit all popular models of tablets and smartphones and features a molded integrated connector making it compatible with any GDS dock. [See RAM's GDS Technology with IntelliSkin] -- Posted Sunday, January 18, 2015 by chb

96% of retailers are ready for the Internet-of-Things, according to Zebra Technologies' commissioned survey
Zebra Technologies Corporation, which now includes the former Motorola Solutions Enterprise Business, released survey results that revealed nearly all retailers are ready to make the changes required to adopt the Internet of Things (IoT). The survey, conducted in October 2014 by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Zebra Technologies, also showed that a majority of retailers believe IoT will be the most important technological initiative of the decade. [Read Internet-of-Things Solution Deployment Gains Momentum Among Firms Globally] -- Posted Sunday, January 18, 2015 by chb

Panasonic introduces robust enterprise-class 7-inch Windows mobile POS tablet with full EMV reader capabilities
Panasonic took the occasion of the 104th annual National Retail Federation Big Show to launch the Toughpad FZ-R1 with integrated EMV reader, billed by the company as the industry's first 7-inch all-in-one mobile POS tablet running Windows 8.1 for retail environments. The Intel Bay Trail N2807-powered tablet also includes MSR, a capacitive ATM-style pad, NFC, and enterprise-class security and management capabilities. [See description, analysts and specs of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-R1] -- Posted Tuesday, January 13, 2015 by chb

Peter M. Poulin appointed CEO of Motion Computing
Motion Computing announced it has appointed Peter M. Poulin, who has served as Motion’s vice president of marketing since July 2012, as its Chief Executive Officer. With more than 25 years of sales, marketing and general management experience in the public and private sectors, Mr. Poulin will capitalize on the company’s deep mobility expertise to expand Motion’s reach within target vertical markets. Our deep domain expertise radically reduces deployment risks, and users are able to complete their work more efficiently, accurately, and safely. Companies benefit by lowering their operational costs, preserving their existing investments in IT infrastructure, and improving customer service levels.” Poulin said. [See Motion press release] -- Posted Monday, January 12, 2015 by chb

Full review: 5.5-inch ARBOR Gladius rugged Android handheld
With the Android-powered Gladius 5, ARBOR Technology provides an interesting, elegant-but-rugged 5.5-inch/270 dpi "phablet" handheld suitable for emerging Internet of Things projects, but also as a technologically advanced multi-purpose dual-SIM handheld for numerous warehousing, transportation, healthcare, mPOS and general industrial and enterprise deployments. And its starting price is no higher than that of an iPhone 6 Plus. [See full review of the ARBOR Gladius 5] -- Posted Thursday, January 8, 2015 by chb

Intel unveils 5th gen "Broadwell" U-Series processors
Intel announced the 5th gen of Core processors for notebooks and similar. Codenamed "Broadwell" and using 14nm process technology, the initial lineup includes 14 mobile processors with 15 and 28 watt watt TDPs. Sold as "U Series" processors (as opposed to the already announced "Y" Series for tablets and ultrabooks), Broadwell-U has 1/3 more transistors on a die that over 1/3 smaller. Compared to Haswell, graphics can be up to 25% faster, video conversion up to 50% faster, and there's lower power draw. Integrated GPUs are now Intel HD Graphics 5500, HD Graphics 6000, and Iris Graphics 6200, the latter having EDRAM (embedded DRAM) and increased 3D performance. These enable 4K Ultra HD display, enhanced decode support for VP8, VP9 and HEVC, and support for DX 11.2, OpenCL 2.0 and OpenGL 4.3. Initial Broadwell-U chips come in dual-core/quad-thread i3/i5/i7 as well as dual core/dual thread Celeron and Pentium levels. Two new differentiations are i5 vPro and i7 vPro. [See Intel 5th gen fact sheet] -- Posted Thursday, January 8, 2015 by chb

TCI to relaunch Palm as Silicon Valley company
Chinese electronics giant TCL announced that it has purchased the Palm trademark from HP and intends to relaunch Palm in the form of a US-based subsidiary. What that means, exactly, is unclear. TCL has smartphone expertise (they sell Alcatel OneTouch phones), but many of Palm's patents and technologies are now either gone or rest with different companies. Simply reusing the name of a once great brand doesn't necessarily guarantee success, but the prospect of a new Palm is at least intriguing. -- Posted Wednesday, January 7, 2015 by chb

Full review: Ultra-rugged Winmate IH83 tablet PC
The boxy, no-nonsense Winmate IH83 provides full Windows functionality in a classic ultra-rugged tablet form factor. Powered by an Intel "Haswell" processor, this latest version of Winmate's classic ultra-rugged provides four to five times the performance of earlier versions, and it does so without the need of a fan. It gets up to 7 hours of battery life, feels nearly indestructible and overall offers a significantly updated version of Winmate's tough, non-nonsense workhorse tablet platform that's now technologically state-of-the without losing its legacy support, simplicity, and straightforward design. [See full review of the Winmate IH83 Ultra-Rugged Tablet PC] -- Posted Thursday, January 1, 2015 by chb

Full review: Motion Computing's 12.5-inch Haswell-powered, highly configurable dual-mode input rugged R12 tablet
The uniquely designed R12 from Motion Computing is the sleeker, lighter, and faster successor of the company's J3600 tablet. The Intel Haswell-based R12 is a rugged, modern and highly configurable Windows tablet with strong performance and a bright, sharp 12.5-inch capacitive multi-touch display large enough for complex applications. Enterprise and business customers will appreciate its excellent connectivity and and integrated 8-megapixel documentation camera as well as the ability to add scanners, RFID, and even a legacy serial port through its optional "SlateMate" bolt-on modules. [See full review of the Motion R12] -- Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014 by chb

Chromebooks passing iPads in US schools
According to PC World, Chromebook shipments to U.S. schools passed iPad shipments in Q3 of 2014 and are nearing 50% of the educational market. PC World attributes that to the high cost of iPads combined with a lack of a keyboard and multi-user support. Google’s Chromebooks, on the other hand, offer the keyboard, low prices, simple management, and support for easily passing Chromebooks among students. -- Posted Tuesday, December 23, 2014 by chb

Honeywell buys DataMax-O'Neil
Honeywell announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Datamax-O’Neil, a global manufacturer of fixed and mobile printers used in a variety of retail, warehouse and distribution, and health care applications, for $185 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2015. Interesting situation: for the past few years, both Honeywell and Motorola were on rugged company acquisition sprees. Now, Honeywell buys one of the two largest mobile printer companies, whereas Motorola Solutions was bought by another large mobile printer company (Zebra). [See Honeywell press release and DataMax-O'Neil press release] -- Posted Saturday, December 20, 2014 by chb

Fujitsu launches two new Stylistic enterprise tablets
There was a time when Fujitsu dominated the tablet scene with its various semi-rugged and rugged Stylistic models, but over the past several years Fujitsu tablets were less visible. Now, Fujitsu announced the launch of its next-generation tablets, the Fujitsu STYLISTIC Q555 and STYLISTIC Q335. The Q335 is an 8-inch 1280 x 800 pixel Intel Atom quad-core Z3735F powered Windows tablet ideal for business users requiring enhanced portability, the 1.47-pound 10-inch 1920 x 1200 Q555 a semi-rugged 2-in-1 with enterprise-grade security. [See Fujitsu press release] -- Posted Wednesday, December 17, 2014 by chb

Xplore Technologies extends contract with large airline
Xplore Technologies announced additional orders for its XC6 Windows tablet PCs by one of the world's largest and most well-known airlines. The new order extends the previously announced multi-million dollar project, arming the airline's ground crews with ultra-rugged tablets at airports across the U.S. [See Xplore press release] -- Posted Thursday, December 11, 2014 by chb

Full review: Motion Computing CL920
Motion's CL-series was among the first serious enterprise market Windows tablets with capacitive multi-touch when the platform was launched in early 2011. Now in its third generation, the new Motion CL920 is much faster and much more powerful thanks to its Intel Bay Trail Pentium N3540 processor. Ancillary technology (WiFi, BT, USB, WLAN, GPS, cameras, etc.) was updated as well, and there's now a superb new display with Gorilla Glass 3. [Read full review of the Motion Computing CL920] -- Posted Wednesday, December 10, 2014 by chb

IDC: Worldwide tablet growth slows to 7.2% in 2014
According to IDC, worldwide tablet market growth slowed to 7.2% in 2014 as device lifecycles for tablets have continued to lengthen, increasingly resembling those of PCs more than smartphones. Of OS platforms, the worldwide marketshare in tablets and 2-in-1 devices saw Android in the lead with 67.7% (159.5 million devices), then Apple's iOS with 27.5% (65 million), and Windows with 10.9% (10.9 million). IDC expects Windows' marketshare to grow to 11.4% by 2018, at equal expense of Android and Apple. [See IDC press release] -- Posted Wednesday, November 26, 2014 by chb

News managed by NewsPro.

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AMS MediaPro (1995)
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WalkAbout Hammerhead 586 (1995)
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Texas Micro Hardbody PC (1996)
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Inforite Phoenix (1995)
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PenRight! for Windows (1995)
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Telxon PTC-1134 (1995)
Zenith CruisePad (1995)
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