March 2010

Will industrial tablets benefit from the iPad?
On April 3rd, the Apple iPad tablet will be available in Apple stores. According to various reports, almost 300,000 iPads have been ordered before the device even became available. The hype is enormous, with experts falling all over themselves proclaiming why the iPad will succeed or fail. [... read more] -- Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2010 by chb

CIC announces new version of its e-siganture server
Communication Intelligence Corporation, once known to the pen computing community as the leading handwriting recognition supplier, is now heavily into electronic signature solutions for business process automation in the financial industry and into biometric signature verification. CIC just announced their SignatureOne Ceremony Server 2.0 with added functionality that extends CIC's competitive advantage for SaaS applications. Also check out the various informative CIC white papers on electronic signatures. -- Posted Wednesday, March 31, 2010 by chb

Datalogic announces Power3 system platform
While we're still digesting the various implications of the "Open Source Mobility" business model launched by Psion Teklogix a few weeks ago (see Psion's OSM press release), Datalogic Mobile announced their new Power3 System Platform. Power3 included C3 (capture, compute, communicate), F3 (form, feel, function), and D3 (develop, deploy, direct). The new platform, whose first product probably is the just-released Datalogic Elf, is described on Datalogic's website. It includes such interesting things as a parallel computing architecture that combine a PCA chip with a Cortex-M3 processor. -- Posted Tuesday, March 30, 2010 by chb

Group Mobile adds rugged NEXCOM tablets
Group Mobile, a Phoenix, Ariz. based online reseller of rugged computers has added NEXCOM's MRC 2100 and MRC 2300 rugged tablet PCs to its product offerings. NEXCOM is a Taiwanese technology firm that first introduced the tablets in 2008, and has been adding to the lineup ever since. The latest model, the rugged MRC 2300 tablet PC, is based on Intel's new Atom processor, the 1.6GHz N450. [See description and specs of the NEXCOM MRC 2300] -- Posted Wednesday, March 24, 2010 by chb

Palm Pre and Pixi now available from AT&T as well
Palm announced that the Palm Pre Plus and Palm Pixi Plus phones will be available on the AT&T 3G network for $149.99 and $49.99, respectively, with a two-year service agreement and after a $100 mail-in rebate. -- Posted Tuesday, March 23, 2010 by chb

Dr. Tim on the Motorola Droid
Our Dr. Tim takes a detailed look at the Motorola Droid. Not too terribly fond of the iPhone, the Doctor doesn't beat around the bush: "I would certainly rather have a Droid than an iPhone. Yes, there are some things I would like to see improved, but I think the collaboration of Verizon, Google, and Motorola is a winning combination that will benefit the consumer. What a powerhouse." [Read Dr. Tim's review of the Droid] -- Posted Saturday, March 20, 2010 by chb

Apple's unbecoming lawsuit against HTC
We love Apple, but their recent lawsuit against HTC over infringing on 20 Apple patents is a bit lame and embarrassing, though probably par for the course in an era where everyone sues everyone else over pretty much everything. As is, anyone familiar with the mobile industry knows that HTC, the OEM for such landmark devices as the Compaq iPAQ and the Treo 650 as well as the original Pocket PC Phone, has been a power and innovator behind the scenes for well over a decade (see HTC history). -- Posted Friday, March 19, 2010 by chb

InfoWorld: How Microsoft tried and failed to rule mobile
InfoWorld published an interesting and informative article/slidehow on Microsoft's involvement in mobile computing over the years, and author Josh Fruhlinger is spot-on. [See InfoWorld's How Microsoft tried and failed to rule mobile] -- Posted Friday, March 19, 2010 by chb

Added: Unitech HT680
Addressing a need for a small and handy (i.e. pocktable) data collection terminal rugged enough to be used almost anywhere, Unitech introduced the HT680 mobile computer. The HT680 weighs just 11 ounces, has a 2.7-inch QVGA touch display, includes Bluetooth and comes in four versions with permutations of 1D laser scanner or 2D imager, with or without WiFi. WWAN is optionally available, and the device can handle a 6-foot drop. [See description and specs of the Unitech HT680] -- Posted Friday, March 19, 2010 by chb

Full review: Logic Instrument FieldBook
In a phenomenon that caught the computer industry by surprise, consumers have been buying tens of millions of "netbooks." They did that because netbooks are smaller, lighter, handier and less expensive than full-size notebooks. We're starting to see a similar trend in the mobile rugged computing industry with the introduction of smaller, lighter and handier tablet computers that weigh three pounds or less, yet provide performance that's more than adequate for many jobs. RuggedPCReview.com has just completed a full review of the Logic Instrument FieldBook. [See full review of the Logic Instrument FieldBook] -- Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2010 by chb

Ocular's new Crystal Touch website
Ocular, which makes the Crystal Touch line of projected capacitive touch screens that are well suited for harsh environment multi-touch applications, has unveiled an attractive and informative new website at OcularLCD.com. Also check out their See White Paper on capacitive touch screen technology] -- Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2010 by chb

Team Garmin versions of the Edge 500 and nüvi
Garmin announced new limited-edition color schemes for the aerodynamic Edge 500 and nüvi navigation devices, unveiling argyle designs inspired by the iconic orange and blue patterns of professional cycling’s Team Garmin-Transitions. The argyle Edge 500 and a new neutral Edge 500 in black and white will be launched at the Tour of California, included in unique team promotions and also made available at many local cycling specialty retailers. -- Posted Wednesday, March 17, 2010 by chb

Another move towards digital content
The board of the Audit Bureau of Circulations modified its definition of a digital magazine in the U.S. and Canada to accommodate new reading devices such as the Apple iPad. The new standards state that a replica digital edition must include a print edition's full editorial content and advertising, but it no longer needs to be presented in a layout identical to the print version. Replica digital editions will continue to be included in a magazine's circulation guarantee, or rate base. -- Posted Tuesday, March 16, 2010 by chb

Xplore introduces Clean Room version of its rugged iX104C4 tablet
Xplore Technologies, struggling to survive and become profitable in a tough economy, has been staying in the news with a succession of special-purpose version of its flagship iX104C4 rugged tablet computer. The latest one is a special "Clean Room" model for use in environments designed to avoid any sort of contamination in the manufacturing process (such as chip making or the pharmaceutical industry). 500 of the tightly sealed iX104C4CR computers are currently being used in clean room settings. [See Xplore iX104C4 Clean Room brochure] -- Posted Wednesday, March 10, 2010 by chb

What will the impact of the Apple iPad be?
In a couple of days, people can start ordering the Apple iPad. Its success or failure will undoubtedly have an impact on mobile computing for years to come. And everyone wonders whether the iPad will indeed fill the niche between smartphone and full notebook or desktop, or whether Apple made the right decision by scaling up the iPhone rather than scaling down a notebook. [Read "Will the iPad replace my iPhone?]" -- Posted Wednesday, March 10, 2010 by chb

Chuck Thacker wins Turing Award
Chuck Thacker received the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) A. M. Turing Award for "for his pioneering design and realization of the Alto, the first modern personal computer, and the prototype for networked personal computers" which includes a US$250,000 cash prize. Thacker, whose work directly involved many of the essential technologies we take for granted today, was also instrumental in the development of tablet computer concepts and technologies. [See ACM release] -- Posted Wednesday, March 10, 2010 by chb

Palm announces webOS Plug-in Development Kit beta
Palm announced that a public beta version of the Palm webOS Plug-in Development Kit (PDK) is now available at the Palm Developer Center. -- Posted Tuesday, March 9, 2010 by chb

Smartphone market share 2009
According to Gartner, the 2009 smartphone sales unit market was as follows (2008 percentage in parentheses): Symbian 46.9% (54.2%), RIM 19.9% (16.6%), iPhone 14.4% (8.2%), Windows Mobile 8.7% (11.8%), Linux 4.7% (7.6%), Android 3.9% (0.5%), Palm WebOS 0.7% (NA). -- Posted Friday, March 5, 2010 by chb

Mobile computing to pull PC industry out of slump
According to market research firm Gartner, the PC industry will be overwhelmingly driven by mobile PCs, thanks to strong home growth in both emerging and mature markets. "We expect mobile PCs to drive 90% of PC growth over the next three years," said Mr. Shiffler. "In 2009, mobile PCs accounted for 55% of all PC shipments; by 2012, we expect mobile PCs to account for nearly 70 percent of shipments." Worldwide PC shipments are projected to total 366.1 million units in 2010, a 19.7% increase from 305.8 million units shipped in 2009, according to the latest forecast by Gartner. [read Gartner press release] -- Posted Friday, March 5, 2010 by chb

Psion Teklogix introduces WorkAbout Pro 3
Psion Teklogix introduced the WorkAbout Pro 3 rugged handheld terminal that represents a technology, ergonomics, and versatility upgrade of the company's line of WorkAbout handhelds. The new model is quicker, tougher and more versatile, and adheres to Psion Teklogix's new "Open Source Mobility" philosophy that emphasizes a modular product platforms that allow sharing of common components and tools with developers, resellers and clients. [See description and specs of the Psion Teklogix WorkAbout Pro 3] -- Posted Thursday, March 4, 2010 by chb

New: Panasonic Toughbook C1
Panasonic introduced the Toughbook C1, an ultra-light "business-rugged" notebook convertible with Intel's latest 2010 Core processor technology. The dual input (digitizer/capacitive multi-touch) C1 is the first Panasonic ultralight that uses a convertible tablet PC design, therefore bringing this versatile form factor to those who do not need the ruggedness and weight of the company's Toughbook CF-19 that uses the same approach. It is also the first keyboard-based Panasonic Toughbook that incorporates innovations pioneered in Panasonic's Toughbook H1 tablet, such as dual hot-swappable batteries and an integrated strap for easy holding and carrying. [Read full description and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook C1] -- Posted Wednesday, March 3, 2010 by chb

Does Palm suffer from a lack of image?
Are Palm's lackluster sales the result of not having an image? After all, "Image is everything," as tennis great Andre Agassi once said in a canon commercial (he later said he had never agreed to the campaign). Well, PC World is outlining how Palm is missing out on the image thing by analyzing what the competition is doing in the image department. [See PC World's image analysis] -- Posted Monday, March 1, 2010 by chb

HP Elitebook 2740p: a tech update of the 2730p
HP has also updated its elegant and durable Tablet PC convertible to the new generation of Intel Core processors. The HP Elitebook 2740p is a technology update to the earlier HP 2730p with Core i3/i5 processors, more and faster memory, larger disks, multi-touch and optional Gobi/GPS. [See description and specs of the HP Elitebook 2740p] -- Posted Monday, March 1, 2010 by chb

Haleron iLet Mini -- A US$199 iPad killer?
Whenever a major player announces or introduces a ground-breaking product, there will then quickly be imitators that will be described as potential killers of said product. Halon Technologies' iLet Mini HAL (now there's a name!) is a prime example. It's a sleek little tablet that costs only US$199. So it costs less than the iPad and, unlike the iPad, it also has a SD Card slot. And two USB ports. The 7-inch display has 480 x 800 pixel resolution, the battery is said to last 16 hours, and you can get the iLet Mini HAL, which is said to ship as of March 1, 2010, with either Android or, for a small extra charge, Windows CE 6.0. Interesting product? Yes, but not an iPad competitor. Haleron's iLet 10 Extreme 3G with its 10-inch multi-touch display comes closer, but it is really a tablet version of an Atom N270-powered netbook and costs US$699. [See Haleron's tablets] -- Posted Monday, March 1, 2010 by chb