March 2009

Parvus offers handsfree computing with the Zypad WR11XX
Wearable computers have been available for a while, but perhaps none as practical and useful as the rugged Parvus Zypad WR11XX. The device runs Linux on a PXA270 processor, has a large 3.5-inch sunlight-viewable touchscreen with full 640 x 480 VGA resolution, and has a flexible expansion system that can add GPS and GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS to onboard Bluetooth and WiFi. There's also fingerprint scanning, an accelerometer, and an optional electronic compass function. [See description and specs of the Parvus Zypad WR11XX -- Posted Monday, March 30, 2009 by chb

Otterbox expands into new building
OtterBox, makers of rugged and protective cases for handheld and mobile technology, is bucking downscaling trends by moving its growing staff of over 70 employees and three warehouses five miles down the road from its current Old Town office in Fort Collins, Colorado. Congrats, Otterbox gang, and keep those rugged, waterproof cases coming! [See our review of the Otterbox 7000 Series rugged notebook case for an example of their stuff] -- Posted Monday, March 30, 2009 by chb

Wacom unveils next-gen Intuous4 tablets
Wacom unveiled the Intuos4 professional pen tablet for photographers, designers and artists. The next generation Intuos emphasizes pen performance, is capable of capturing the slightest nuance of pen pressure against the tablet surface, as well as offering 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity.  There are workflow and productivity tool such as customizable shortcut and modifier keys with accompanying OLED displays, which allow users to see what the keys are currently set to. The Intuos4 comes in four sizes - small (US$229), medium (US$369), large (US$499) and extra large (US$789). -- Posted Wednesday, March 25, 2009 by chb

Twinhead/Gammatech also announce a Mobile Clinical Assistant
GammaTech Computer joined the growing number of companies offering medical slates based on Intel's mobile clinical assistant reference architecture. The GammaTech Durabook RT10 MCA, a Twinhead design, follows Intel's original proof of concept platform with its tablet form factor and integrated multi-purpose handle for easy carrying and use during a clinical environment work shift. See how the RT10 measures up. [Read description and specs of the GammaTech Durabook RT10 MCA] -- Posted Monday, March 23, 2009 by chb

Handheld U.S. Kenaz GPS for Recon rugged PDA
Anyone who bought their Recon handheld not only for its features and performance, but also for its exceptional ruggedness (4-foot drop spec, IP67 sealing), and who needs to retain this ruggedness even after adding a high-sensitivity GPS receiver should take a look at the rugged Kenaz offerd by Handheld U.S. [See detailed description and specs of the Handheld U.S. Kenaz GPS receiver ]Anyone who bought their Recon handheld not only for its features and performance, but also for its exceptional ruggedness (4-foot drop spec, IP67 sealing), and who needs to retain this ruggedness even after adding a high-sensitivity GPS receiver should take a look at the rugged Kenaz offerd by Handheld U.S. [See detailed description and specs of the Handheld U.S. Kenaz GPS receiver ] -- Posted Tuesday, March 17, 2009 by chb

GD-Itronix releases fully rugged GD8000
General Dynamics Itronix released the successor to its fully rugged XR-1. The new GD8000 was designed for maximum reliability under even the most extreme operating conditions and state-of-the-art electronics with increased emphasis on long battery life in the field. The machine sports IP64 sealing and can handle a 42-inch drop while operating. The larger 13.3-inch touch display uses the superb DynaVue outdoor viewable screen technology. Powered by a very efficient 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SL9400, the GD8000 runs up to eight hours on a charge. [Read description and specs of the General Dynamics Itronix GD8000 -- Posted Monday, March 16, 2009 by chb

Motion Computing introduces new J3400 Tablet PC
Motion Computing released the Motion J3400, a powerful, versatile semi-rugged Tablet PC with a superb and fully outdoor-viewable 12.1-inch wide-format display. Both performance and battery life are significantly improved over the prior generation platform. The J3400 can automatically geo-tag images with its integrated camera and GPS, use worldwide wireless services via GOBI Mobile Broadband, and is rugged enough to survive true point of service usage. [Read full review and specs of the Motion Computing J3400 Tablet PC] -- Posted Monday, March 16, 2009 by chb

Microsoft announces strategy for Windows Marketplace for Mobile
Microsoft announced the developer strategy for the next generation of Windows® Phones, which includes a number of key benefits for developers. [Check out the Windows Marketplace for Mobile developer strategy] -- Posted Thursday, March 12, 2009 by chb

Touch-free gesture control
Remember the touchless gestural interface in Steven Spielberg's film "Minority Report” where Tom Cruise manipulates computer displays with a ballet of hand gestures? Electronic perception technology pioneer Canesta of San Jose, CA, is making it possible with their CanestaVision chips and touch-free gesture control systems. [See how Canesta's technology works] -- Posted Thursday, March 12, 2009 by chb

Microsoft Notebook Cooling Base
While mobile users marvel at the cool-running low-power operation of Intel Atom devices, some notebook users aren't so lucky. Even with noisy fans, their high-powered notebooks are burning laps and knees! Microsoft to the rescue with the new US$29.95 Microsoft Notebook Cooling Base. -- Posted Thursday, March 12, 2009 by chb

Palm and Sprint hold Webinar on the Palm Pre
Palm and Sprint presented a one-hour webinar on the upcoming Palm Pre with its always connected WebOS, 320x480 display, 3mp camera, slide-out keyboard and inductive charging. Palm's Matt Crowley did a demo, but no update on pricing and product release, which is still "first half of 2009." The Palm OS is ended, but Palm will continue developing WinMo devices. The webinar was a bit of a Sprint infomercial and light on Palm info, and our question whether Palm founder Jeff Hawkins was involved in the Pre went unanswered. -- Posted Thursday, March 12, 2009 by chb

Dell reveals rugged Latitude E6400 XFR
Almost exactly a year after Dell introduced the Latitude XFR D630, the company unveiled the Latitude E6400 XFR. This Latitude E-Series-based new machine represents another step in Dell's efforts to make an entry in the increasingly competitive and important rugged notebook market. The E6400 XFR, which starts at US$4,299, sports impressive IP65 sealing. [See description and specs of the Dell Latitude E6400 XFR] -- Posted Thursday, March 12, 2009 by chb

Full review: Panasonic H1 Mobile Clinical Assistant
The Toughbook CF-H1 is Panasonic's entry into the potentially very lucrative medical patient record market. The cleanly designed and executed Atom-powered tablet benefits from Panasonic's expertise in rugged and semi-rugged mobile computing equipment, has excellent battery life, a sunlight-viewable display with dual auto-sensing digitizers, and a wealth of data capture features (RFID, barcode, camera). [Read full review of the Panasonic Toughbook H1 Mobile Clinical Assistant] -- Posted Wednesday, March 11, 2009 by chb

Motorola adds mid-range enterprise digital assistants
Bridging the gap between consumer PDAs and industrial devices, Motorola's new MC55 "Enterprise Digital Assistant" combines PDA, phone, walkie-talkie, data communication, GPS, and scanning all into one handy 12-ounce device. The MC55 comes in an "indoor" version with a keypad, and a GPS and WWAN-equipped "outdoor" version with a QWERTY thumbtype keyboard. Both are based on Windows Mobile, have a 2-megapixel camera, a large 3.5-inch display and can survive 4-foot drops. Choose between 1D laser scanner or 2D imager. [Read description and specs of the Motorola MC55 EDA] -- Posted Monday, March 9, 2009 by chb

TabletKiosk enters Medical Clinical Assistant market
TabletKiosk joined the growing number of companies offering medical slates based on Intel's mobile clinical assistant reference architecture with the Core 2 Solo-powered MediSlate MCA i1040XT. Integrated RFID reader, barcode scanner, camera and a 10.4-inch touch screen facilitate data capture. Described as semi-rugged, the i1040XT has IP54 sealing and a 4-foot drop spec. [Read description and specs of the TabletKiosk MediSlate MCA i1040XT] -- Posted Saturday, March 7, 2009 by chb

How will BlackBerry App World work?
With Apple's iPhone App Store such a megahit, RIM is now revealing details on their BlackBerry App World store. To be able to use App World you'll need a BlackBerry Bold, Storm, Pearl, Curve or 8800 Series running OS version 4.1.0 or higher. And here is how it'll all work: BlackBerry App World FAQ -- Posted Friday, March 6, 2009 by chb

Treo Pro available with Sprint March 15
Palm announced the upcoming availability of the sleek Windows Mobile 6.1-based Palm Treo Pro smartphone for the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network on March 15. Treo Pro will be available through all Sprint retail channels for $199.99 with most two-year subscriber agreements. It also will be available through the Palm Store and Palm's B2B sales organization.
-- Posted Friday, March 6, 2009 by chb

iPhone eBook Readers Still Stone Tablets
While the rest of the world lauds the iPhone, our Dr. Tim is not convinced. A couple of days before Amazon's Kindle iPhone app went public, he took inventory of eBook technology on the iPhone platform and came away unimpressed. Read iPhone eBook Readers Still Stone Tablets. -- Posted Friday, March 6, 2009 by chb

GETAC releases powerful hi-res rugged GPS PDA
Getac announced the latest addition to its comprehensive line of rugged mobile computing solutions. The GETAC PS535F handheld computer is the company's next generation, fully rugged GPS-enabled PDA with a 3-megapixel camera, e-compass, VGA display and altimeter. The PS535F is a significant technology and upgrade to the PS535E model that has been on duty at the RuggedPCReview.com offices for a few months. [See description and specs of the GETAC PS535F rugged GPS PDA] -- Posted Sunday, March 1, 2009 by chb

Review: Atom-powered Winmate IA80 rugged Tablet PC
Intel's ultra low power Atom processors continue to gather momentum, and we're starting to see them in rugged mobile computers. One example is Winmate's line of IA80 rugged tablet computers, available in versions with 8.4, 10.4 and 12.1-inch displays. The IA80 is based on the same Atom N270 processor used in millions of netbooks. It's a tough, no-nonsense tool for demanding jobs. [Read full review of the Atom-powered Winmate IA80 rugged Tablet PC] -- Posted Sunday, March 1, 2009 by chb