June 2009

Touch screens likely coming to netbooks
According to DigiTimes, touch panel makers predict that netbooks will be the first in adopting touch panels to take advantage of Windows 7 functions. The cost of a projective capacitive touch panel, however, is about US$30 in netbook sizes, so it looks to us like the industry will either have to come up with compelling reasons to buy a touch screen model, or subsidize the cost until the panels catch on. -- Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009 by chb

Motion J3400 tablet now available with new Intel SU9600 CPU
Motion Computing has a long history of always quickly making the latest processors available to their customers. They did it again by offering the just released 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9600 in their flagship J3400 tablet (see full review of the J3400). The new processor, which has the same low 10 watt thermal design power of the 1.4GHz SU9400 that remains available, should make the already quick J3400 tablet even faster with little or no impact on battery life. [Read press release] -- Posted Tuesday, June 30, 2009 by chb

Updating to the iPhone 3GS
With the editor's 2-year AT&T contract up, he qualified for the US$199 price of the new 16GB iPhone 3GS. Compared to the original iPhone, that means more memory, more speed, GPS, voice control, a higher res camera, video, an electronic compass and more. Here's how the upgrade/activation went, and what difference you can expect to see. [Read Switching to the iPhone 3GS] -- Posted Monday, June 29, 2009 by chb

NVIDIA Tegra -- Days of Future Past?
Roughly a decade after the likes of IBM, HP, NEC, Compaq unveiled netbooks with 800 x 600 pixel displays based on Microsoft's H/PC Pro operating platform, NVIDIA proclaimed that "The Future of Mobile Computing is happening Now!" That future is built on NVIDIA's Tegra computer-on-a-chip and soon to be available in a slew of Windows CE-powered netbooks from Pegatron (Vivid), MobiNova (Mabo and Elan), Wistorn (M5), CCI (CN88), ICD (Ultra), and Inventec (Rainbow). NVIDIA stresses displays of at least 1024 x 1280, up to 1080p video playback, and up to five times the battery life of conventional netbooks. It should be interesting to see if this catches on. All prior large form factor CE efforts failed because they were not really Windows. [See NVIDIA's Tegra devices page] -- Posted Tuesday, June 16, 2009 by chb

Full review: Getac PS535F
The GETAC PS535F rugged handheld complements the company's lineup of rugged notebook and tablet computers. It is a compact, handy device that offers a well-balanced combination of Windows Mobile/Pocket PC convenience and targeted professional features such as integrated high-accuracy GPS, a full 480 x 640 pixel VGA display, e-Compass, altimeter, and 3-megapixel camera. [Read review of the GETAC PS535F rugged handheld] -- Posted Saturday, June 13, 2009 by chb

Palm and Windows Mobile and how the iPhone really changed everything
We've covered mobile computing since 1993, and so with all the hoopla over the much anticipated release of the Palm Pre in early June of 2009, here are some thoughts about the ever-changing fortunes of the mobile platforms in our industry [... more] -- Posted Friday, June 12, 2009 by chb

Palm's Ed Colligan steps down after 16 years of leadership
It seems like only yesterday that Ed Colligan showed us the prototype of a new handheld at the A&R Partners offices and asked us what we thought of it. That handheld, the original Palm Pilot, went on to become the foundation of one of the great success stories in mobile computing. As its leader, Ed guided Palm through good times and bad, and now he's passing on the torch of a rejuvenated Palm to Jon Rubinstein. Thanks for all you did, Ed. -- Posted Wednesday, June 10, 2009 by chb

New iPhone 3GS -- mostly incremental improvements
Apple announced the iPhone 3GS ("S" for "Speed"), which is an incremental improvement over the iPhone 3G. The new model looks and measures the same, but comes with 16 (US$199) or 32GB (US$299) of memory, more speed via an unspecified new processor, a 3 megapixel camera with autofocus and macro mode that can also do VGA video, a digital compass, a new fingerprint-resistant coating, and, of course, the new iPhone OS 3.0 with cut & paste, MMA, and many other goodies. The iPhone 3GS will be available June 19 and the new OS 3.0 on June 17. -- Posted Monday, June 8, 2009 by chb

American Airlines expands PDA/smartphone boarding pass program
American Airlines customers departing from Las Vegas McCarran International (LAS), Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) and Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP) can now choose to receive boarding passes electronically on their mobile phones or PDAs - saving the time it takes to print out and present a paper boarding pass at the airport. As of today passengers departing on domestic flights from these three new airports can choose to use mobile boarding passes, including flights that connect through any of the participating airports. -- Posted Thursday, June 4, 2009 by chb

RAM Mount solutions for Netbooks
There are millions of Netbooks out there, and they are being used in all sorts of commercial, industrial and professional applications. When used in vehicles, airplanes or boats, a good mounting solution is required, and that is where RAM Mounts' new lineup of RAM Mounts for Netbooks comes in. Based on the Tough Tray II, there is an almost endless variety of mounting possibilities with suction cups, vertical and horizontal arms, no-drill solutions and even special aircraft seat rails. [See Ram Mount solutions for Netbooks] -- Posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009 by chb

Kingston Technology makes SSD upgrades affordable and easy
Kingston Technology, Inc., announced the release of the SSDNow V Series solid-state drive (SSD) 64GB and 128GB upgrade bundles, designed to be low-cost, value-driven SSD solutions to increase performance on existing desktops and notebooks. "Based on our internal suite of benchmark tests, users can expect to see an overall drive improvement of approximately 50% over existing 7200RPM and 5400RPM hard-disk drives," said Louis Kaneshiro, senior technology manager, Kingston. The notebook bundles include Acronis True Image cloning software and cost US$149 and US$263, respectively. [See Kingston SSDNow V Series]
-- Posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009 by chb

New: Intermec CN50 3.5/3.75G wireless multi-function handheld
Intermec introduced the Windows Mobile 6.1-based CN50 mobile computer that provides 3.5G/3.75G wireless support in a small and handy, yet quite rugged, package that weighs just 12 ounces, but includes 1D/2D barcode scanning, a 3.1-megapixel camera, GPS and digital compass, and an accelerometer for automatic display orientation. "Flexible network" technology allows using either CDMA or UMTS networks, and the device supports Intermec's new eDMI (enhanced mobile document imaging). [See description and specs of the Intermec CN50] -- Posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009 by chb

New: Intermec CN4 Series with 3.5G wireless support
At a time where adherence to security standards, customer satisfaction and total cost of ownership matter more than ever, Intermec introduced the CN4 and CN4e rugged mobile computers that build on the company's CN3 platform. The new Windows Mobile 6.1-powered devices support advanced 3.5G wireless WAN, Intermec's new eDMI (enhanced mobile document imaging) and they are even more rugged than the CN3 line (IP64, 6-foot drop, -4 to 140F). See description and specs of the Intermec CN4 and CN4e] -- Posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009 by chb

GETAC's V100 now faster, more powerful
GETAC announced a substantial technology update to its rugged, versatile V100 Tablet PC convertible. The machine is now powered by a 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400 processor, can be ordered with more RAM (up to 4GB), larger hard disks (up to 320GB), and UL1604 certification for operation in potentially explosive environments. WiFi now supports 802.11 draft-n, and there's a ExpressCard slot. RuggedPCReview expects a 25-50% performance increase at the same or better battery life compared to the predecessor model. [See full review of the GETAC V100 rugged Tablet PC convertible] -- Posted Tuesday, June 2, 2009 by chb

Synaptics releases new, customizable touchpads
Synaptics unveiled its new ClickPad solution. ClickPad is a larger-size touchpad that allows a variety of multi-finger gestures that can eliminate the need for physical buttons. All Synaptics ClickPads and Touchpads incorporate the latest gestures previously announced in the Synaptics Gesture Suite (SGS) 9.1: two-finger scrolling, PinchZoom, and pivot rotate, as well as three-finger flick and press. In addition, the Synaptics DualMode TouchPad is now available to support “under plastic” designs and provides OEMs with differentiation via custom 0D buttons and 1D scrolling support directly on the TouchPad surface, enhancing functionality and enabling new features. [See Synaptics press release] -- Posted Tuesday, June 2, 2009 by chb

Psion Teklogix gives up rights to term "netbook"
As longtime followers of the mobile market know, it was Psion that first used the term Netbook for its formidable, albeit commercially not very successful, compact clamshell computer. Psion had a trademark on the term "Netbook" that looked quite valid to us, but Psion Teklogix has now voluntarily withdrawn its trademark registrations. [See Psion Teklogix release and our report on the Psion netBook in 2000] -- Posted Monday, June 1, 2009 by chb