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Xplore gets $1 million order from leading US utility company
Xplore Technologies announced it has been awarded a $1 million order for its Xplore XSLATE B10 fully-rugged tablet from one of the nation’s top 10 electric power and natural gas utility company. The continued deployment and additional orders for the XSLATE B10 tablet are to help the company achieve cost savings and increase mobility in the utility field service. [See Xplore media release -- Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2016 by chb

San Jose PD again chooses Getac B300 to refresh fleet
The San Jose Police Department (SJPD) has ordered an additional 400 Getac B300 G5 ultra rugged notebook computers to replenish its fleet of squad cars, after first purchasing in 2009. They chose the Getac B300 again because it has consistently reduced equipment downtime and maintenance costs while improving productivity in the field. SJPD has cars patrolling around the clock in a wide range of temperatures, so the Getac B300 G5 provides a much-needed upgrade to advanced technology, connectivity and durability. [See Getac media release] -- Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2016 by chb

Zebra Technologies study finds seven in ten decision makers to accelerate warehouse technology investment by 2020
Zebra Technologies announced the results of its latest Warehouse Vision Study, which compares input from 1,378 IT and operations warehouse professionals. It shows how responses shifted between 2013 and 2015, as well as on expectations in 2015 versus 2020. In essence, consumer expectations will drive increased investment in IT and operational functions in warehouses over the next four years as manufacturing and logistics companies continue to adjust to delivering directly to consumers. In 2013 that meant more warehouse locations, but in 2015 emphasis is on more items shipped, shorter delivery times, labor performance and order accuracy. This means moving to more modern, full-featured warehouse management systems, real-time location systems, bar code scanning, voice picking, tablets, and IoT projects. Mark Wheeler, director, Warehouse Solutions, Zebra Technologies, said, "We see this as an enormous area of opportunity: providing workers with the tools they need to do their jobs accurately and productively will help companies meet and exceed customer expectations for accuracy and on-time delivery." [See Zebra news release and Warehousing 2020 infographic] -- Posted Tuesday, April 26, 2016 by chb

Full review: Trimble's impressive Kenai 10-inch rugged tablet
While Trimble is best known for its GPS products and expertise, the company integrates all sorts of positioning technologies (GPS, laser, optical and inertial) with application software, wireless communications, and services to provide complete commercial solutions. With the Intel Bay Trail-powered Kenai, Trimble adds a rugged, versatile 10-inch class Windows 10 tablet with full 1920 x 1200 resolution and finger, stylus and glove capable capacitive touch. RuggedPCReview has now had the chance for a full, in-depth review of the Trimble Kenai. [See full review of the Trimble Kenai rugged tablet -- Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2016 by chb

Full review: Getac's brand-new Skylake-powered 14-inch semi-rugged notebook, lighter and slimmer
Getac announced its new 14-inch S410 semi-rugged notebook featuring extensive security features, custom configurability, and Intel Skylake performance for public safety, insurance, field service and other mobile professionals. The S410, which offers 1920 x 1080 resolution and capacitive multi-touch, is 29% thinner and 23% lighter than previous Getac semi-rugged laptops, and now offers hot-swappable battery design. [See RuggedPCReview full review of the Getac S410] -- Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2016 by chb

VDC Research: Panasonic has top global marketshare in rugged notebooks and tablets
Panasonic announced the company has been recognized as the global leader in rugged notebook and tablets sales for 2015, according to VDC Research. The new report, “Strategic Insights 2015: Enterprise Mobility Solutions,” revealed Panasonic leads both categories in revenue and units shipped globally and in all regions the report tracks – the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. Panasonic sold 58.9% of the rugged notebooks and 50.7% of the rugged tablets purchased globally in 2015. -- Posted Monday, April 11, 2016 by chb

Juniper's Windows 10 Mesa 2 tablet now shipping
Rugged data collection solution provider Juniper Systems announced that its new Mesa 2 Rugged Tablet is now shipping. As the first Windows 10 device produced by Juniper Systems and the only IP68-rated Windows tablet on the market, the Mesa 2 joins a new category of data collection solutions—one that provides users with greater processing power and capabilities. [See Juniper media release and our preview of the Juniper Mesa 2] -- Posted Friday, April 8, 2016 by chb

BARTEC partners with Winmate to innovate the HazLoc market with advanced technology
Winmate and BARTEC, a leading provider of industrial safety technology, announced a partnership to accelerate the introduction of mobile enterprise solutions in the hazardous locations (HazLoc) market. The partnership has already resulted in the release of a Class 1, Division 2/ATEX Zone 2, 4G/LTE multi-carriers certified Windows platform-based industry tablet PC. A much anticipated Class 1 Division 1/ATEX Zone 1 will follow later in 2016. [ -- Posted Tuesday, April 5, 2016 by chb

FBI certifies AMREL's XP7-ID rugged biometric smartphone
Fingerprint readers are on numerous devices these days, but when it comes to serious biometric verification, industrial-grade, FBI-approved technology and solutions are in order. And that's what AMREL's new XP7-ID ultra-rugged Android-based biometric smartphone offers. It combines a tough, waterproof 4-inch procap smartphone with a specialized "enrollment and verification" fingerprint sensor for defense, public safety, and industrial markets. [See description, analysis and specs of the AMREL XP7-ID biometric smartphone -- Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2016 by chb

Janam introduces smartphone-style rugged 5-inch Android Lollipop touch computer
Janam introduced the Janam XT2, a smartphone-style Android 5.1-based touch computer. The IP67-sealed XT2 has a 5-foot drop spec, a very wide -4° to 140°F operating temperature range, yet its footprint is no larger than that of an iPhone 6 Plus. The XT2 has a 5-inch 1280 x 720 pixel procap display, dual cameras, MSR, RFID/NFC, and an integrated industrial-grade Zebra SE4710 1D/2D imager. [See Janam media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Janam XT2] -- Posted Wednesday, March 30, 2016 by chb

50 years of Intel innovations
In light of the recent passing of former Intel CEO Andy Grove, and the 40th anniversary of the microprocessor, TechRepublic ran a fascinating look back at Intel's top contributions to the field. [See 50 years of Intel innovations] -- Posted Tuesday, March 29, 2016 by chb

Xplore Technologies launches new integrated website
Xplore Technologies announced it has launched a new fully integrated website that showcases the combined strengths and product offerings of Xplore and Motion Computing. The new Xplore website serves as a central resource for partners and customers, reflecting the integrated product portfolio and future of Xplore. "It has been an exciting year of bringing the Motion Computing product line together with Xplore under one corporate brand and product umbrella,” said Peter Poulin, chief marketing officer at Xplore Technologies. “Feedback from our customers on how best to address the global rugged tablet market was a critical factor in the design, and content, of our new integrated website. We are confident our customers will find the right rugged tablet platform to meet their industry and business requirements.” [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2016 by chb

Full review: Janam XT1 5.9-inch Android rugged mini-tablet
What if you seek a light and handy data collection and communication device with a larger screen than virtually any other handheld computer, but one that comes in a package that's smaller than even compact tablets and offers integrated industrial grade scanning? Then it's time to look at Janam's Android-based 5.9-inch XT1 "mini-tablet." [See full review of the Janam XT1 mini-tablet] -- Posted Tuesday, March 22, 2016 by chb

Handheld signs framework agreement with Saab
Handheld Group announced that its Nordic subsidiary Handheld Scandinavia has signed a strategic agreement with Saab – a global defense and security solution provider. The 2-year agreement includes ultra-rugged tablets for Saab's military, aerospace and emergency services solutions and covers Handheld's existing range of tablets as well as future products. Saab has integrated Handheld’s Algiz 10X rugged tablet with Paratus, Saab’s modular information system for emergency care. The system has been deployed in ambulances throughout Sweden. Most recently, Saab deployed Algiz 10X rugged tablets equipped with SITHS smart card readers. SITHS (Secure IT for health care) is based on a two-factor electronic authentication protocol and is the current standard for all National Quality Registries in Sweden. [See Handheld Group news release] -- Posted Monday, March 21, 2016 by chb

Juniper Systems on freezing and baking rugged handhelds
We love ruggedness testing "torture chambers." It's where rugged gear can be tested before shipping to customers, and it's also where manufacturers learn just how much their products can take. Juniper Systems' illustrated blog article "Yep, we bake and freeze our rugged handhelds" shows how they are testing their rugged handhelds and tablets. -- Posted Tuesday, March 15, 2016 by chb

Android KitKat and Lollipop now on almost 3/4 of all devices
Google has published the latest Android version marketshare. Starting with oldest first, Gingerbread (2.3.x) still has 2.6%, Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.x) 2.3%, Jelly Bean (4.1, 4.2, 4.3) 22.3%, KitKat (4.4) 34.3%, Lollipop (5.x) 36.1%, and Marshmallow (6.0) 2.3%. [See source] -- Posted Monday, March 14, 2016 by chb

Full review: RuggON VM-521 vehicle-mount computer
With the VM-521, RuggON Corporation provides an elegant, meticulously designed and finished ultra-rugged vehicle mount computer for use in a very wide variety of deployments that require a solid, fixed-mount system. With a compact footprint that allows mounting almost anywhere, the very solid all-metal VM-521 addresses the needs of customers who require tablet computer power and functionality, but in a much more substantial package. [See full review of the RuggON VM-521 vehicle-mount computer] -- Posted Thursday, March 3, 2016 by chb

GammaTech partners with En-Net Services to bring its rugged computers to government agencies
GammaTech announced its newest partnership with En-Net, an information technology solutions supplier to public sector and government entities throughout the US. This partnership gives all En-Net customers access to GammaTech’s entire Durabook line of rugged mobile computing solutions. [See GammaTech media release] -- Posted Wednesday, March 2, 2016 by chb

Case study: Rugged Nautiz X4 handhelds improve logistics and cargo monitoring for a Scandinavian transport company
Handheld Group reports that Scandic Trans, a transport provider in Finland, has chosen Handheld's Nautiz X4 rugged handheld computers to meet their needs of logistical management, full communication capabilities and real-time cargo monitoring in every environmental condition. The Nautiz X4 also makes their jobs easier while saving time and increasing efficiency. [See case study] -- Posted Tuesday, March 1, 2016 by chb

Getac adds 1080p-capable rugged camera to Veretos
Getac announced its new 1080p-capable Veretos Body Worn Camera for law enforcement officers walking the beat or patrolling in their cruisers. The body worn camera joins Getac’s Veretos Video System, which includes an in-car mobile video recording system engineered for use in law enforcement vehicles to capture all activities in and around the vehicle as they happen. When combined with the recently introduced Veretos Cloud secure evidence management and file storage technology, the Veretos system becomes a comprehensive law enforcement solution for mobile, wearable, and building surveillance video and audio capture. [See Getac Veretos system>/a>] -- Posted Wednesday, February 24, 2016 by chb

Cat S60 — IP68-sealed rugged Android smartphone with integrated thermal imaging camera
Caterpillar — yes, Caterpillar — introduced the Cat S60, which the company calls "the world's first thermal imaging smartphone." The Snapdragon 617 octa-core powered Android Marshmallow phone has a bright 540 nits 4.7-inch procap display that can handle wetness and gloves. Ruggedness specs are quite impressive with a 6-foot drop, and what appears to be IP68 sealing. The Cat S60 is said to be waterproof down to 17 feet for an hour, and its 13mp documentation camera can supposedly be used underwater. And it has a built-in FLIR Lepton module. So you get thermal imaging built right into your rugged smartphone. [see Catphones media release and our lengthy assessment at Cat S60 — More than the naked eye can see] -- Posted Tuesday, February 23, 2016 by chb

Panasonic announces two more fully rugged handheld tablets
Panasonic announced that it is complementing its growing handheld tablet lineup with fully rugged 4.7-inch IP67-sealed handhelds available either with Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise or Android 5.1.1. Powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, the Toughpad FZ-F1 (Windows) and FZ-N1 (Android) offer glove-touch and rain-sensing procap displays with optional active pen, up to 500 nits brightness, integrated ergonomically angled scanner, 5mp/8mp cameras, and a 6-foot drop spec. Pricing starts at US$1,500. [See description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook FZ-F1 and Toughbook FZ-N1] -- Posted Monday, February 22, 2016 by chb

Reality check: where does leading edge mobile hardware stand?
When assessing how a particular area or niche of the overall computing market compares to the absolute leading edge, one only has to look at the latest in consumer smartphones. Case in point: Hothardware.com's assessment of the Huawei Mate 8, a 6-inch smartphone with 8mp front and 16mp rear camera with optical image stabilization, eight sensors, and 11.5 hour battery life. Hothardware.com was underwhelmed by its mere "mainstream" 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixel) resolution but quite intrigued by the device's octal-core 64-bit, 16nm, ARM Cortex A72-based Kirin 950 processor made by Huawei's own semiconductor design house called HiSilicon that beat all competition in most major benchmark scores. [See HotHardWare's review of the Huawei Mate 8] -- Posted Wednesday, February 17, 2016 by chb

Keeping an eye on the level of technology offered in consumer tech: Dell Venue 8
With the massive global reach of smartphones and tablets, what consumers expect from their personal gear has a direct impact of what they expect from rugged gear. With that in mind, we bought a Dell Venue 8 Series 7000 tablet so we could examine it in detail. What can Dell's 8.4-inch consumer/business Android tablet do? What's the technology inside the US$399 list device? How does it feel and handle? And what can rugged mobile computing manufacturers learn from it? [Read Keeping an eye on the level of technology offered in consumer tech: Dell Venue 8] -- Posted Monday, February 15, 2016 by chb

Xplore reports 64% increase in revenue for their fiscal Q3 2016
For Q4 of 2015 (which is actually Q3 of its fiscal year 2016), Xplore Technologies reported revenue of US$27.02 million, compared to US$16.44 million for the same quarter a year ago. For the nine months ended December 31, 2015, revenue was US$79.92 million, compared to the nine months ended December 31, 2014 revenue of $27.24 million, an increase of 148%. Xplore reported net income for the quarter of $786,000 compared to net income of $2,401,000 for the three months ended December 31, 2014, and a net income for the nine months ended December 31, 2015 of $2,039,000 compared to net income of $683,000 for the nine months ended December 31, 2014. The increase in revenue was due to revenue associated with the product line Xplore acquired in the April 17, 2015 acquisition of certain assets of Motion Computing. [See Xplore financials] -- Posted Friday, February 12, 2016 by chb

Added: Bluebird EF500
Korean rugged handheld manufacturer Bluebird announced the Bluebird EF500 for those who want a modern smartphone-style handheld, but one that's a lot tougher and has industrial-grade scanning capability. The 5-inch EF500 is available in a standard and a rugged version, both IP67-sealed, but the EF500R able to withstand 8-foot drops. The platform comes with either Windows Embedded Handheld 8.1 or Android 5.1 Lollipop. [See description, analysis and specs of the Bluebird EF500] -- Posted Thursday, February 11, 2016 by chb

Full review: MobileDemand's remarkably affordable xTablet T8500 with IP67 sealing and integrated scanner option
Tablets are being used in more and more enterprise, government and industrial applications, but the high price of fully rugged devices often stands in the way. MobileDemand addresses this challenge with the affordably priced (starting at US$845) xTablet T8500, a rugged Intel Bay Trail-powered Windows 10 tablet with a 1280 x 800 pixel 8-inch capacitive touch display, 8-hour battery life, and full IP67 sealing. [See full review of the MobileDemand xTablet T8500] -- Posted Wednesday, February 10, 2016 by chb

ARBOR launches rugged enterprise-grade 5-inch Gladius GT-500 Android handheld
ARBOR announced the GT-500 as an addition to its Gladius Series of rugged handheld devices. The IP67-rated Gladius GT-500 runs Android version 5.1 “Lollipop” on a MediaTek MT6735 64-bit quad-core processor, has a bright, high-res 5-inch display, an integrated 1D/2D barcode reader, dual cameras (2mp and 13mp), and supports voice and multiple data connectivity including NFC, Bluetooth, 3G, and 4G LTE. [See ARBOR Gladius GT-500] -- Posted Friday, February 5, 2016 by chb

Xplore secures $1 million contract from global logistics leader
X​plore Technologies announced it has received $1 million in orders from a global leader in logistics. The Motion F5m by Xplore Windows-based tablets will be deployed to crews to verify, certify, and analyze delivery routes. Utilizing the 4G XLTE mobile broadband connectivity and u-blox GPS of the F5m, the logistics customer is able to increase efficiency and productivity of route driver. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Wednesday, February 3, 2016 by chb

Xplore blog on why a tablet alone doesn't a solution make
Excellent new article by Bob Ashenbrenner on Xplore Technologies' blog. It discusses how there's still significant room for improvement in mobile technology utilization. That's because while a growing number of enterprises are leveraging mobile devices in some capacity, many are still striving for greater use and acceptance of mobile devices on a daily basis. Ashenbrenner points out that rugged tablets are a “necessary, but not sufficient” component of smart and successful mobility strategies. "Simply having a rugged tablet at their disposal doesn’t mean they have an effective rugged mobile computing solution. At least not at first," Ashenbrenner says. You need not only the right device, but also the right partner and the right solution for your exact job. [See Converting Mobile Workers into Devout Mobile PC Users] -- Posted Monday, February 1, 2016 by chb

MobileDemand launches impressive new website
MobileDemand has launched its new website. It's an innovative, mobile-friendly design that features a clean, modern layout with secure, integrated shopping. The site is designed to educate visitors about choosing the right tablet for the job no matter what their industry or application may be, and then allow them to purchase online, through a certified partner or directly from a MobileDemand sales expert. We're impressed. At a time where we're seeing too many sites simply be converted to a limited and often confusing WordPress template, MobileDemand nailed it. The image shows how the site dynamically adjusts to phones (left) or full-size monitors (right). [See the new MobileDemand website] -- Posted Monday, February 1, 2016 by chb

Stealth.com releases two new procap panelmount monitors
Stealth.com, which provides industrial computers and peripherals market, has released two new projected capacitive multi-touch Panelmount LCD Monitors in 17.3" and 21.5" sizes with 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080) in widescreen 16:9 format. They are shock and vibration tested and well equipped with VGA/HD15, DVI-D, Composite and S-Video video input connectors, and will easily integrate into an enclosure, cabinet, console, wall, kiosks or other applications. [See Stealth media release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 26, 2016 by chb

It's Smart-Ex now.
Sometimes you have a great brand that you worked hard on, and then something happens and the name isn't so great anymore. That's what happened to iSiS-Ex, the company that's been oil and gas industry HMI specialists, building intrinsically safe computing gear for over 20 years. So they changed their name to Smart-Ex. [See Smart-Ex media release] -- Posted Monday, January 25, 2016 by chb

Did Apple get the Pencil right?
Having professionally worked with, examined, and reviewed pens, pen-based, and touch-based mobile computing systems since 1993, we here at RuggedPCReview have an opinion or two on the matter. So did Apple get their highly promoted Pencil right? Umm... no. Why? Read our Follow-up on iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. -- Posted Sunday, January 24, 2016 by chb

Review: ultra-rugged Broadwell-powered RuggON Rextorm PX-501 with dual-mode input and excellent hi-res display
RuggON is a relatively new Taiwanese manufacturer of rugged tablets and vehicle-mounts with a growing lineup of impressive hardened mobile computing products. RuggedPCReview has had a chance to examine the company's flagship tablet, the Intel Broadwell-powered Rextorm PX-501, in detail and found a compelling modern tablet solution with dual-mode input and a terrific, super-bright 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 display. [See full review of the RuggON Rextorm PX-501] -- Posted Thursday, January 21, 2016 by chb

Xplore Technologies takes top spot in America’s rugged tablet market share for second quarter in a row
Xplore Technologies announced it has secured the number one market share in rugged tablets in the Americas for the second quarter in a row, according to VDC Research. Reported in the 'Enterprise & Government Mobility Hardware Report on Rugged Mobile Quarterly Shipments', Xplore recorded significant Q3 2015 market leadership growth, growing from 28.3 percent to 37.1 percent market share. In addition to strong growth in the Americas, Xplore also grew its markets share in APAC to almost 11 percent. [See Xplore media release] -- Posted Wednesday, January 20, 2016 by chb

Trimble Kenai — positioning experts deliver a sensible, state-of-the art 10-inch class tablet suitable for almost any job
While Trimble is best known for its GPS products and expertise, the company integrates all sorts of positioning technologies (GPS, laser, optical and inertial) with application software, wireless communications, and services to provide complete commercial solutions. With the Intel Bay Trail-powered Kenai, Trimble adds a rugged, versatile 10-inch class Windows 10 tablet with full 1920 x 1200 resolution and finger, stylus and glove capable capacitive touch. [See description, analysis and specs of the Trimble Kenai] -- Posted Tuesday, January 19, 2016 by chb

Juniper releases fully rugged IP68-rated 7" Windows 10 tablet
Juniper Systems introduced the Mesa 2, the company's first ever handheld device to run full Windows. The Intel Bay Trail-powered Mesa 2 has a 1280 x 800 pixel 7-inch glove- and wet-capable capacitive multi-touch display with Dragontrail protective glass, runs Windows 10, and weighs just 1.5 pounds. Available with battery life up to 15 hours, the Mesa 2 is the only rugged Windows tablet with an IP68 rating, meaning it's totally waterproof. Juniper offers special GEO, barcode and RFID reader versions. [See media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Juniper Mesa 2] -- Posted Monday, January 18, 2016 by chb

Panasonic Toughbook continues sponsorship with NASCAR's Hendrick Motorsports, now with Kasey Kahne's #5
Panasonic announced that Panasonic Toughbook will become a primary sponsor of the No. 5 Chevrolet SS team of driver Kasey Kahne in 2016, continuing its nearly decade-long relationship with 11-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions Hendrick Motorsports. [See Panasonic press release] -- Posted Saturday, January 16, 2016 by chb

Unitech launches ultra-rugged keypad PDA
Unitech introduced the PA820, a Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5-based keypad PDA designed specifically for work in the most challenging environments imaginable. The PA820 can handle 6-foot drops, has a very wide -4 to 140 degree Fahrenheit operating range, and IP66 sealing. It includes a full-VGA capacitive touch display, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth and 3.75G WWAN, as well as GPS and camera and laser scanner. [See description, analysis and specs of the Unitech PA820] -- Posted Thursday, January 14, 2016 by chb

VDC Research: global rugged hardware market over US$1 billion Q3/2015 thanks to strong rugged handheld sales
VDC Research reports that in Q3 2015, the total rugged mobile hardware market grossed just over US$1 billion in revenue shipments. Global year-to-date (YTD) revenue shipments totaled $3.2 billion and YTD unit shipments totaled over $3.1 million units across the globe. Q3 also showed a market with weakened global demand for rugged notebooks, but strong revenue shipments for handheld devices. Overall, the rugged hardware market continued to maintain a strong global presence, even in spite of some areas of weakness and additional competition from consumer-grade technologies. VDC Research addresses these issues and more in Rugged Mobile Quarterly Shipments Q3 2015. -- Posted Friday, January 8, 2016 by chb

Zebra introduces innovative TC8000 mobile computer
Zebra Technologies introduced the enterprise-class Android-based TC8000 mobile computer whose novel, innovative design the company says can save an hour per worker per shift. Completely re-architected compared to standard pistol-grip handhelds, the 17-ounce, IP65-sealed TC8000 has a 4-inch 800 x 480 pixel multi-touch display, comes with either a Zebra SE965 laser or SE4750 imager, as well as All-touch TE software that transforms legacy "green screen" applications into all touch HTML 5-based apps without coding. [See Zebra press release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Zebra TC8000] -- Posted Thursday, January 7, 2016 by chb

Handheld Group's January 2016 newsletter
Handheld Group's latest newsletter highlights the Algiz 10X. The rugged tablet that saved countless worker hours for coal miners (see case study) and provided powerful all-day data collection for storm researchers (see case study) is now available with even better specs — and a lower price. Handheld also reports on Swiss motorcyclist Mike Biedermann who's traveling the world with his bike and an Algiz 7 rugged tablet. Biedermann is using the Algiz 7 for daily navigation tasks and to post trip updates on his blog (see here). [See Handheld Group January newsletter] -- Posted Wednesday, January 6, 2016 by chb

Panasonic launches affordable, semi-rugged 12.5-inch Toughpad FZ-Q1 Windows tablet
Panasonic introduced the 12.5-inch Toughpad FZ-Q1 as the newest member of its Toughpad family of enterprise-grade rugged tablet computers. The FZ-Q1 addresses the emerging demand for larger-screen tablets, and it does so in a cleanly designed, versatile package that's reasonably priced. We also like the availability of two distinctly different performance levels, and the thought Panasonic put into creating a product that's tough enough for use away from the office, but not weighed down by the price and weight of a fully rugged design. [See description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q1] -- Posted Tuesday, January 5, 2016 by chb

Review: Octa-core powered rugged ARBOR Gladius 10
As tablets are becoming ever more popular in the workforce, there's an increasing need for products that are slim and light, but also tough enough for work in the field. One such tablet is ARBOR's fanless Android-based octa-core powered Gladius 10 that includes an industrial-grade scanner, excellent cameras, mini-HDMI, and IP65 sealing. [See full review of the ARBOR Gladius 10] -- Posted Wednesday, December 16, 2015 by chb

Juniper blog: creating specialized solutions based on Juniper Systems rugged handheld hardware
In an example of how rugged handhelds can be customized for specific deployments and then rebranded, Juniper Systems worked with partner E.H. Wachs to create the specialized HC-100 handheld. The HC-100 acts as a controller and a data collection device for their trailer and vehicle-mounted valve exercisers. [Read Juniper blog on creating the E.H. Wachs’ Valve Maintenance Controller] -- Posted Saturday, December 12, 2015 by chb

Janam's flagship line of rugged mobile computers now offers dual-OS support
Janam announced an addition to its XM series of rugged mobile handhelds. The new XM70, while retaining the form factor of the company's popular XM66, offers dual OS support. Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 remains available, but the XM70 also supports Android Jelly Bean. This allows customers to hedge their bets, examine migration possibilities, while benefitting from full peripheral compatibility with the XM66. The XM70 also brings substantial tech upgrades and doubles performance. [See Janam media release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Janam XM70] -- Posted Wednesday, December 9, 2015 by chb

An assessment of the Apple Pencil
A few weeks after the Apple iPad Pro began shipping, the Apple Pencil is now available also. Steve Jobs was adamantly opposed to pens, but 5-1/2 years after the iPad was first introduced, the Apple Pencil is here, at least for the big iPad Pro. It's expensive (US$99), but it may well change what users expect from a tablet. How well does the Apple Pencil work, and has Apple learned from history? [Read our assessment of the Apple pencil] -- Posted Monday, December 7, 2015 by chb

MobileDemand reveals two new rugged Windows 10 tablets with barcode scanning
MobileDemand announced the addition of two new powerful yet affordable Windows Professional devices with barcoding scanning capabilities. The 10.1-inch xTablet T1500 and the 8-inch xTablet T8500 are engineered specifically for the mobile workforce, where productivity is priority and device downtime is not an option. [See description, analysis and spec of the MobileDemand xTablet T8500] -- Posted Friday, December 4, 2015 by chb

Digitizes sees move to larger size tablets
DigiTimes predicts that Apple's iPad Pro and Microsoft's Surface 2-in-1 devices will boost demand for large-size tablets (more than 30 million units in 2016), partly offsetting shipment declines in small-size segments. This will result in global tablet shipments dropping only 4.8% on year to reach 196 million units in 2016. DigiTimes also sees China-based white-box players gradually forced out the tablet market as profit margins decline due to lack of differentiation. -- Posted Tuesday, December 1, 2015 by chb

Strategy Analytics: Windows gaining on tablets
Strategy Analytics projects that Windows will gain significant market share in tablets as enterprise tablet adoption and the demand for a premium OS on tablets grows. Strategy Analytics sees Windows tablet market share grow from the current 10% to 18% by 2019, mostly at the cost of Android which will fall from 68% to 58%, with iOS share staying at around 23%. [See Strategy Analytics media release] -- Posted Sunday, November 29, 2015 by chb

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

News managed by NewsPro.

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RuggedPCReview.com
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Pen Computing Advice
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Here at Pen Computing and RuggedPCReview.com, how serious are we about analyzing the ruggedness of review machines? Very. Click on the pic below for a demonstration of a MobileDemand xTablet T8600 taking a brutal punishment!
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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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