November 2008

Review: DT Research WebDT 520 fixed-mount panel computer
There is an increasing demand for rugged fixed-mount/panel computers for use in forklifts, emergency vehicles, warehousing, marine and many other applications. We reviewed the very compact WebDT520 by DT Research. It is a cost-efficient rugged panel computer with a bright 12.1-inch touch screen, touch-optimized operation, good performance and excellent connectivity and expansion options. [See full review of the DT Research WebDT 520 rugged panel computer] -- Posted Monday, November 24, 2008 by chb

Fujitsu unveils its own Mobile Clinical Assistant
Shortly after Panasonic announced its mobile clinical assistant, Fujitsu-Siemens unveiled its own MCA, the Esprimo MA. Like Motion Computing's pioneering C5, the Esprimo MA is based on Intel's MCA reference platform that prescribes a 10.4-inch display in a light and handy tablet with an integrated handle. The Atom Z530-powered Esprimo has an integrate camera, dual SmardCard reader, touch and digitizer, as well as optional 1D/2D barcode reader and RFID. The hot-swappable battery lasts four hours and the device weighs less than three pounds. [See description and specs of the Fujitsu-Siemens Esprimo MA] -- Posted Friday, November 21, 2008 by chb

Final issue of Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine
We just received the 2009 Smartphone & Pocket PC Super Resource Guide, an awesome compilation of anything and everything dealing with the Windows Mobile platform. Due to lack of support, it is also the final issue of Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine. That is a crying shame. [Read Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine -- the shortsightedness of letting an incredible resource die] -- Posted Friday, November 21, 2008 by chb

Socket cordless scanners now support BlackBerry
Socket Mobile announced the compatibility of Socket data capture solutions with the BlackBerry Bold, Pearl and Curve, and soon the newly released BlackBerry Storm as well. The Socket Cordless Hand Scanner (available with CMOS imager or Class 1 or 2 laser) connected to a BlackBerry through application or SocketScan software can be used for various enterprise bar code scanning functions, such as inventory and asset management and field service. -- Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2008 by chb

PCMCIA announces release 2.0 of ExpressCard standard
PCMCIA, the trade association for PC Card and ExpressCard technology, announced the release of the ExpressCard Standard 2.0. This version has been significantly updated to accommodate the faster speeds increasingly demanded by today's high-performance mobile technologies. ExpressCard technology is the next-generation PC Card technology for high-performance expansion of desktop and mobile systems. ExpressCard and PC Card slots can be found in more than 95% of notebook computers. -- Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2008 by chb

Full review: RMT SwitchBack rugged UMPC
The RMT SwitchBack is a fully rugged Ultra-Mobile PC with a very compact footprint of 7.4 x 5.9 inches and weighing just over three pounds. A modular "BackPack" system adds almost unlimited connectivity and expansion. What sets the SwitchBack apart is a unique processor architecture where a standard Intel processor is a peripheral to a Xilinx Virtex 5 FPGA platform that, with special programming, can perform complex, sophisticated tasks at record speed. Those who harness this power will find in the SwitchBack a compact, rugged machine of unparalleled flexibility. [Read full review of the RMT SwitchBack rugged UMPC] -- Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2008 by chb

PhatWare judged Best in Notes and Handwriting Recognition
PhatWare Corporation has again claimed "Best of Category" honors in Smartphone & Pocket PC Magazine's Best Software Awards competition. The company has earned the top spot in two different categories: PhatWare's PhatNotes won twice in the "Utilities-Notes" category for both Pocket PC and Smartphone platforms, while the company's CalliGrapher handwriting recognition software took top honors in the "Utilities-Handwriting" category. -- Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2008 by chb

Dual-core Atom 330: worth waiting for?
Intel's Atom processors with their super-low thermal design power seem a perfect fit not only for netbooks, but also for rugged mobile systems that need maximum battery life. has benchmarked the popular Atom N270, but many may hold out for the dual-core Atom 330 chip. Is it worth waiting for? PCPro ran benchmarks on an early system, and the results are mixed. [See PCPro's Atom 330 benchmarks] -- Posted Friday, November 14, 2008 by chb

BlackBerry Storm to be available from Verizon Nov. 21
The much anticipated BlackBerry Storm will be available from Verizon Wireless starting November 21 for US$199.99 with the obligatory 2-year service contract. See our full preview of the BlackBerry Storm and Verizon's Storm page. -- Posted Thursday, November 13, 2008 by chb

Review: SPBís new WinMo keyboard
Our Dr. Tim has probably reviewed all of the on-screen keyboards for Windows Mobile devices by now. However, he is always glad to see a brand new one. SPBís new keyboard is a welcome addition to the stable of inputting workhorses. [Read review of the new SPB keyboard for Windows Mobile] -- Posted Wednesday, November 12, 2008 by chb

Benchmarking: How does the Atom N270 compare with chips commonly used in rugged systems?
Intel's Atom chips have unbelievably low power consumption even at fairly high clock speeds. Does that mean they are the perfect solution for rugged mobile systems that require both performance AND long battery life? To find out, ran benchmarks on a Atom N270-equipped computer and compared the results to machines using the A110 and ultra-low voltage Core Solo and Core Duo chips. How did the Atom do? To find out how the Atom N270 measures up, click here. -- Posted Monday, November 10, 2008 by chb

Apple passes RIM in smartphone race
According to Canalysis, Apple shipped 17.3% of all smartphones worldwide in Q3 of 2008, passing RIM's 15.2% and second only to market leader Nokia (38.9%). J.D. Power, in the meantime, reports the iPhone getting by far the highest customer satisfaction among business customers, well ahead of RIM (see ranking). -- Posted Friday, November 7, 2008 by chb

Dr. Tim on the XM/Sirius satellite radio merger
What happens when the two big satellite radio companies merge? Not much to be happy about, says Dr. Tim. [Read XM/Sirius Merger Sucks Seriously]
-- Posted Monday, November 3, 2008 by chb

Full review: RMT DAP CE8640B
RMT DAP Technologies' C8640B may look like a ruggedized UMPC, but it's not. It is a super-rugged Windows CE 5.0-powered handheld PC merging a 640 x 240 half-VGA touchscreen and a compact QWERTY keyboard into a handy and eminently useful package for a wide range of field-based applications where small size, total reliability, near endless battery life, and invincible toughness matter. [Read full review of the RMT DAP CE8640B] -- Posted Monday, November 3, 2008 by chb

Review: Sandisk Sansa Clip MP3 Player
The SanDisk Sansa Clip is one of the smallest MP3 players available. Itís array of colors make it an attractive choice and a good value for the money with its convenient clip attachment system. Our only wish would be that it have an expansion slot. [Read Tim Hillebrand's review of the anDisk Sansa Clip] -- Posted Saturday, November 1, 2008 by chb