December 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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