November 2011

DisplaySearch forecasts much higher resolution in tablets
The NPD DisplaySearch shipment forecast indicates that the average resolution of tablet PC displays will grow to more than 200 pixels per inch (ppi) in Q2'12. Expect the launch of higher resolution displays in tablets, such as 10.1' 1920 1200 and 9.7' 2048 1536. -- Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 by chb

Autodesk ForceEffect app for iPad
Autodesk announced the Autodesk ForceEffect iPad app. ForceEffect allows engineers to quickly simulate design options during the conceptual phase by tapping objects to select, move, rotate and scale for immediate feedback on the performance of a design. ForceEffect, which is free, is one of Autodesk's growing collection of very inexpensive or even free tablet apps. Our take: ForceEffect is also an example of software companies using the large media tablet market to cleverly and inexpensively promote their brands with limited but very useful products that can lead to sales of their primary products. [See ForceEffect on iTunes] -- Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2011 by chb

Ruggedized Android Devices -- Status and Outlook
As far as operating system platforms go, the rugged mobile computing industry is in a bit of a holding pattern these days. Thanks to the massive success of the iPhone and iPad there is a big opportunity for more durable handhelds and tablets that can handle a drop and a bit of rain, yet are as handy and easy to use as an iPhone or iPad-style media tablet. So why don't we see more Android-based handhelds and tablets? RuggedPCReview analyzed the situation. [... read more] -- Posted Monday, November 21, 2011 by chb

Qualcomm unveils next-gen Snapdragon S4 processors
Qualcomm announced the expansion of its Snapdragon S4 class of next-generation mobile processors (and enhancements to its Snapdragon S1 for entry-level smartphones). The new S4s, using Qualcomm's Krait CPU micro architecture, seek to lower design, engineering and inventory costs while bringing leading-edge 3G/4G connection speeds to next-gen mobile devices from smartphones to tablets. Qualcomm announced several new S4 chipsets, including the MSM8660A, MSM8260A, MSM8630, MSM8230, MSM8627, MSM8227, APQ8060A and APQ8030. These are in addition to the previously announced MSM8960, MSM8930 and APQ8064. [See Snapdragon S4 Processors white paper (PDF)] -- Posted Monday, November 21, 2011 by chb

Added: Adlink TIOT Windows CE and Android rugged handhelds
Adlink Technology offers two rugged handhelds that at first sight look identical, the TIOT2000 and the TIOT9000. They are conventional, albeit well equipped, handhelds with 3.5-inch QVGA resistive displays, IP65 sealing, a 5-foot drop spec, and plenty of data capture functionality (1D/2D scanning, RFID, cameras, etc.). What's interesting is that one runs Windows CE 6.0 R3 whereas the other runs Andrid 2.3, with slight but significant differences in underlying technology and specs. [See Adlink TIOT2000 (Android) and TIOT9000 (Windows CE)] -- Posted Sunday, November 20, 2011 by chb

Next gen of Microsoft Surface available for pre-order
Samsung and Microsoft announced that the next generation of Microsoft Surface is now available for pre-order through Samsung resellers via the Samsung Electronics website. Initially unveiled earlier in 2011, the Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface features PixelSense technology that allows LCD panels to see without the use of cameras. The SUR40 looks like a 40-inch HDTV with four legs to make it a table and, in conjunction with Microsoft Surface, is intended to allow users to manipulate screen content with hands and gestures. -- Posted Saturday, November 19, 2011 by chb

iData Partners with Audatex to supply Motion Tablet PCs
iData Distribution, a distributor of automated ID and mobile technologies for the reseller market in southern Africa, reports it has supplied Audatex (the world's leading supplier of vehicle repair data) with 160 Motion Computing Tablet PCs. The Motion "Audapad" tablets are loaded with the Abuntex motor vehicle assessing software and deployed for accurate customer information gathering on the road, simplified results tracking and reporting, while eliminating duplicate efforts, such as re-keying data. [See iData press release] -- Posted Saturday, November 19, 2011 by chb

Wacom introduces signature capture solution for business
Wacom announced sign&save and sign & safe mobile, plug-and-play signature capture solutions for small to medium size businesses that are seeking to implement or improve customer-facing digital transaction processes. The baseline US$299 sign&save features the STU-500 LCD signature tablet with sign | pro PDF software whereas sign&save | mobile combines a the smaller US$229 STU-300 LCD signature tablet with sign | pro PDF software, creating the ideal solution for people on-the-go. -- Posted Saturday, November 19, 2011 by chb

Entertaining Intel site helps with picking the right Core processor
While Intel kind of designates its Core i3/i5/i7 processors as "good," "better," "best," it's notoriously difficult to make the case for one processor line over the other, unless there are very specific requirements (such as the use of some specific Intel technology that may be available in one line but not the others). Apparently Intel is aware of this confusion and predicament and has created a special multimedia website where users can figure out which Core processor is right for them. It's not very scientific, but quite entertaining. [See the visibly smart Intel Core processor family site] -- Posted Tuesday, November 15, 2011 by chb

Panasonic launches the Toughpad at Dallas Cowboy Stadium
With the stated goal of providing the first tablet designed for business, Panasonic introduced their new Toughpad in grand style at Dallas Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Available early 2012, the 10.1-inch Marvell/Android-based Toughpad A1 offers IP65 sealing, a 4-foot drop spec, dual cameras, 10 hour battery life, daylight viewability, and enterprise level security. A smaller 7-inch B1 version will be available later in 2012. [See full coverage of the Panasonic Toughpad launch event] -- Posted Friday, November 11, 2011 by chb

Amazon orders 5 million Kindle Fire tablets
According to Digitimes, Amazon has increased its Kindle Fire tablet order to a cool five million, based on strong pre-orders of the 7-inch US$199 device that comes with 8GB of storage, WiFi, measures 7.5 x 4.7 x 0.45 inches, and weighs less than a pound. -- Posted Thursday, November 10, 2011 by chb

Windows 8: a bit of fear, uncertainty and doubt
In mid-September 2011, Microsoft showcased a preview of the next release of Windows at the BUILD developer conference. After reading up on it, I wrote down my impressions in the days following the preview, but held off putting it in the RuggedPCReview blog until I had a bit more time to let it sink in and contemplate the likely impact on rugged mobile computing manufacturers and users. My thinking hasn't changed, so below is pretty much what were my first impressions about Windows 8 and what it will mean for mobile computing... [Read more] -- Posted Thursday, November 10, 2011 by chb

Analysis: Fujitsu Lifebook T731 and Styistic Q550
What should you get if you want business-class tablet functionality? A pure tablet? Or a notebook that can be converted into a tablet? Dan Rasmus analyzes two Windows 7-based devices from Fujitsu, the Intel Core i5 or i7 powered Lifebook T731 and the light and sleek Stylistic Q550. [See analysis of the Fujitsu Lifebook T731 and Stylistic Q550] -- Posted Friday, November 4, 2011 by chb

GameStop now selling several media tablets with games pre-installed
GameStop is now selling media tablets as well, and they all come with six free games already installed. Initial tablets sold are the Acer Iconia (US$325), the Asus Eee Pad Transformer (US$399) and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (US$499). GameStop now also issues store credit to customers who trade in their iPod, iPhone or iPad. GameStop's move doesn't necessarily signal the end of dedicated consoles, but many gamers may start balking at expensive console games (usually US$60) in favor of less expensive downloadable games. [See GameStop tablet offers] -- Posted Friday, November 4, 2011 by chb

ARM acquires IC design software company Prolific, Inc.
ARM has acquired privately-owned, California-based Prolific, a developer of IC design optimization software, to address the increasing complexity of 20nm and below process technologies needed for the implementation of highly integrated, low-power system-on-chip solutions. [See press release] -- Posted Friday, November 4, 2011 by chb

HP announces Windows 7-based Slate 2
HP introduced the HP Slate 2, which is very much like the unloved HP Slate 500 except for a switch from an 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 to a 1.5GHz Atom Z670 processor and a few minor changes. Microsoft's preview of Windows 8, however, makes the HP Slate 2 a more attractive proposition, but for now it's Windows 7 on a 8.9-inch multitouch/pen display with first-gen netbook resolution (1024 x 600). Pricing is US$699 for a WiFi-enabled 32GB version and US$799 for a 64GB version. [See HP Slate 2 on HP website] -- Posted Thursday, November 3, 2011 by chb

Datalogic releases new rugged 10.4-inch vehicle-mount panel computer
Datalogic Mobile launched the Datalogic Rhino 10, a rugged Microsoft Windows Embedded 6.0 R3-powered Vehicle Mount Computer designed for warehousing management in distribution centers, warehouses and manufacturing shop floors. The IP65-sealed panel has a bright 10.4-inch VGA touch screen, good connectivity, and can be ordered with an extended -22 to 140F temperature range. [See description and specs of the Datalogic Rhino 10] -- Posted Wednesday, November 2, 2011 by chb

New Norton Tablet Security protects Android tablets against loss, theft and online threats
Symantec released Norton Tablet Security and new updates for Norton Mobile Security, including a new "Scream" feature that helps users find a lost or stolen phone quickly. Both offerings for the Android platform further support the Norton Everywhere initiative, which extends Norton's security expertise and technologies to protect consumers everywhere they go, regardless of device or platform. -- Posted Wednesday, November 2, 2011 by chb

TI introduces low-cost Sitara AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 processors
We're increasingly seeing Texas Instruments Sitara chips in products, and now TI introduced the new Sitara AM335x line of low cost but high performance ARM Cortex-A8 chips. The new line was designed specifically to provide low power consumption and reduced heat emissions to enable portable, pocket-sized, fanless applications. [See TI Sitara AN335x page -- Posted Tuesday, November 1, 2011 by chb