February 2007

Motion releases C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant
Motion Computing, the company that specializes on Tablet PC slates and nothing else, has introduced a handy mobile slate designed specifically for healthcare environments. It's a handy 10 x 10 inch device less than an inch thick and weighing just over three pounds. It's powerful enough with an Intel Core Solo processor to run Vista. It has excellent ergonomics, superior onboard security, communication and even RFID and barcode scanning. There's a 2-megapixel digital camera and the whole device is made so it can be easily cleaned and desinfected. Finally, there's an easy-mount dock that fits almost anywhere. [Read our preview of the Motion C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant] -- Posted Tuesday, February 20, 2007 by chb

Itronix' General Dynamics XR-1 wins Laptop Mag Editor's Choice
Itronix Corporation, a General Dynamics company, announced that the GoBook XR-1 laptop has earned the highly coveted Editor's Choice designation from LAPTOP Magazine in the rugged computing category. The computer, which received a 4-star rating, is featured in the March 2007 issue of LAPTOP (see our detailed review of the XR-1)) -- Posted Tuesday, February 20, 2007 by chb

Additions and updates
The rugged computer market is ever-changing and so we're constantly adding machines and updating specifications. The latest batch includes the Panasonic Toughbook T5, Toughbook W5, Toughbook Y5, Toughbook 74; the AMREL ROCKY Apex rugged tablet and its military sibling, the ROCKY DR7-M. We also updated the Kontron lineup now that all (well, most) of the former Dolch models have been integrated: Kontron NotePAC, MilPAC Plus, and FW8600. -- Posted Friday, February 16, 2007 by chb

Windows Mobile 6
Indicating the increasing importance of smartphones in its mobile strategy, Microsoft chose the 3GSM congress in Barcelona to unveil Windows Mobile 6, the newest version of its mobile software platform. WinMo 6 improves usability and adds support for Microsoft Office features previously available only on PCs, attemtping to deliver to the small screen more of the familiar Windows experience. Mobile versions of Outlook, Word, Excel and PowerPoint have all added capabilities once available only on the PC versions. All WinMo 6 devices include Direct Push Technology for up-to-date email delivery and automatic synchronization of Outlook calendars, tasks and contacts through Microsoft Exchange Server. There is improved device security and the capability to remotely wipe all data from a device should it be lost or stolen. We'll do a detailed overview. For now, check Microsoft's press release on Windows Mobile 6 -- Posted Thursday, February 15, 2007 by chb

Slimmest Blackberry yet goes mainstream
Not to be left out in the flurry of new smartphone announcements, RIM introduced the quad-band GS/GPRS and EDGE Blackberry 8800, the slimmest one yet at just 0.55 inches, and also the first that abandons the ingenious scroll wheel on the side for a little trackball in the front. There's Bluetooth and a GPS receiver that alows location-based services and even mapping navigation. The nice color display has 320x240 pixel resolution, there's a microSD slot and despite this being a business device, it's also a music and media player supporting MPEG4 and H.263 files. It'll be available for about US$300 on the AT&T network. Our take: Nice device, but we sort of regret that they're all starting to look the same. Will we soon all be using The Generic Smartphone? -- Posted Wednesday, February 14, 2007 by chb

Syware adds WinMo smartphone support
Syware announced a beta release of Visual CE that supports Windows Mobile devices without touchscreens, such as the Motorola Q and Samsung BlackJack. Smartphone-supporting beta releases of Visual CE are now available for free to most registered users of Visual CE 10.x. Contact sales@syware.com to request a copy. Final releases will be available in about sixty days. Visual CE Personal Edition, with full forms design, relational database, and synchronization capabilities, is $129. Visual CE Professional Edition, which includes all the features of the Personal Edition as well as royalty-free distribution rights, is $399. -- Posted Wednesday, February 14, 2007 by chb

Review: HP iPAQ rx5900 Travel Companion
Tim Hillebrand takes a detailed look at HP's other recent iPAQ, the rx5900 Travel Companion. -- Posted Tuesday, February 13, 2007 by chb

The first iPAQ smartphone
HP introduced the latest iPAQ at the 3GSM conference, Spain. It's an iPAQ like none we've ever seen, a sleek and small smartphone. Hewlett Packard calls the new 51X line "Voice Messengers." The iPAQ 5000 Series is appropriately svelte so it can compete in this space. We're talking 4.23 x 1.84 x 0.64 inches and a weight of 3.95 ounces. It runs the Windows Mobile 6.0 - Phone Edition platform on a 200 MHz TI OMAP processor, has 64MB of RAM, 128MB of Flash ROM, a microSD slot, and has a micro-reflective 2.0-inch TFT display with 176 x 220 pixels. Attractions, in addition to WinMo 6.0, include Voice over IP capabilities (yes, it has both WiFi and Bluetooth) and a beefy battery that provides up to six hours of talk time. [Read our detailed overview of the iPAQ 500 Series] -- Posted Monday, February 12, 2007 by chb

Neonode reveals N2

After a rather lengthy gestation, Neonode finally revealed the N2 at the 3GSM congress in Barcelona. As insiders know, Nenode has been using a unique "zForce" touch screen technology based on a grid of IR beams for years. Operating the phone is via a simple, intuitive set of finger swipes using what Neonode calls the Neno user interface, sitting on top of Windows CE (for a detailed explanation how Neno works, read our Neonode N1 review), so you can use ActiveSync with it. The 3.05 x 1.85 x 0.58 inch device weighs just 2.5 ounces. It has a 2-inch 176 x 220 pixel 65k color display, a 2 megapixel camera, MPEG4 playback. The phone is a GSM quadband 850/900/1800/1900 with GPRS for data. Storage is via a MiniSD card. The N2 contains most of the standard apps expected from a modern smartphone, and there's also a Web Radio Recorder, providing access to the half million or so web radio channels out there. Comms uses Bluetooth and USB. The N1 used the NeoMagic MiMagic 6 application processor and the N2 is based on the MiMagic 6+ processor capable of simultaneously handling H.264 video decoding, audio decoding and high-speed 3D graphics (see Pen Computing report on NewMagic), but at this point we're not sure what it's based on. The N2 offers a lot. It is smaller and lighter than the other iPhone wannabes and, unlike them, it actually developed and pioneered the enabling technologies. It's also much more attractive and contemporary than its predecessor, and it is unlocked. However, it doesn't appear that the N2 is a broadband device designed for mobile television and other next gen apps. Now that would have packed a punch into David's slingshot against the iPhone Goliath.
-- Posted Monday, February 12, 2007 by chb

iPhone wannabe from Samsung
Suddently it's cool for smartphones to have a touchscreen and various "experts" tout it as the next big thing. So expect a flurry of "me-too" iPhone wannabes. Samsung just revealed one, the Smart F700. Not quite sure if the touchscreen will fly, Samsung installed a slide-away QWERTY keyboard. The F700 has a widescreen 2.8-inch 440 x 2.40 pixel display, a 5 megapixel camera, measures 4.0 x 1.96 x 0.66 inches, has a microSD card slot. Unlike the iPhone, and we're sure everyone will pounce on that weakness, the F700 has 3G capabilities, supporting the emerging 7.2Mbps HSDPA high-speed network as well as EDGE. Nicely borrowing from Neonode, the F700 uses "VibeTonz" that makes virtual buttons vibrate. Bluetooth is there, but no WiFi. -- Posted Friday, February 9, 2007 by chb

MobileDemand xMount system
Mounting computers in vehicles without too much of a hassle is becoming a big thing, and so we're taking a detailed look at an superbly executed solution, MobileDemand's xMount and printer system designed for their xTablet series of rugged slate computers. The xMount is an very sturdy and cleverly engineered vehicle mount that installs easily and can even accommodate a full box of fanfold paper for large print jobs. [see MobileDemand xMount system] -- Posted Thursday, February 8, 2007 by chb

Panasonic updates two popular Toughbooks
We added descriptions and specs for two updated Panasonic Toughbooks. The very compact Tablet PC-convertible CF-19 replaces the CF-18, and the CF-30 replaces the flagship CF-29. Both models have received tech makeovers and additional high-speed wieless radio options. -- Posted Monday, February 5, 2007 by chb

Dr. Hillebrand goes to Vegas
Noted gadget and Windows Mobile columnist Tim Hillebrand went to Las Vegas to the 2007 CES. While he wasn't totally thrilled, he came back with a list of his six favorite new items. Read about Tim Hillebrand's six favorite new items at the 2007 CES. -- Posted Friday, February 2, 2007 by chb

Neonode's weird underground marketing blog
If you thought Microsoft's viral underground marketing site for the UMPC a year ago was sort of weird, check out the production hinting at Neonode's upcoming N2 phone, the one the company hopes will steal some of Apple's iPhone thunder. It's called Pregnant man blog -- Posted Friday, February 2, 2007 by chb