June 2010

Cisco introduces Android-based Cius tablet
Cisco unveiled the Android-based Cisco Cius tablet, calling it a "virtual desktop integration" device. The Cius has a 7-inch touch display, weighs 1.15 pounds, has a front-mounted 720p HD video camera, a rear-facing 5mp camera, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, and runs 8 hours on a charge. The Cius can be used in conjunction with an alarmingly retro-looking base station with a big phone handset, and is said to become generally available Q1 of 2011. [See Cisco's Cius page] -- Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2010 by chb

Apple sells 1.7 million iPhones in 3 days
Apple said it has sold 1.7 million iPhone 4 smartphones during the new phone’s first three days of availability, even with some consumers being unable to get a phone due to a lack of supply. This makes the iPhone 4 launch Apple's most successful product launch ever. [Read Apple press release] -- Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2010 by chb

Summary for you: Apple iOS 4
Apple's latest version of the iPhone OS, iOS 4, adds a number of handy new features that should appeal to almost everyone. David MacNeill describes all new features and recommends the upgrade to anyone with an iPhone 3/3GS or second gen iPod touch. [Read Apple iOS 4 on iPhone 3GS] -- Posted Tuesday, June 29, 2010 by chb

Road & Track makes video accessible from print mags via bar codes
Everyone's trying to find the future of publishing, and one of our favorite car magazines, Road & Track, has come up with an interesting variant: The print mag will feature bar codes with stories that, when scanned with a smartphone via the Microsoft Tag Reader, run video accompanying the story on the smartphone. The reader is available for free for all major smartphone platforms. -- Posted Friday, June 25, 2010 by chb

AIS releases inexpensive Windows CE touch panel PC
American Industrial Systems Inc. (AIS) introduced a small, rugged 5.7-inch industrial Windows CE 5.0-based touchscreen computer intended for use as an IP64-sealed operator panel PC and graphic operator interface terminal. The VGA display features a bright 400 nits backlight and a resistive digitizer. Pricing for VARs starts at an exceptionally low US$399. [See description and specs of the AIS PM570M] -- Posted Friday, June 25, 2010 by chb

Psion creates website for "classic" Psion handhelds
Remember the old Psions that seemed like a decade ahead of their time? We do, too. Now Psion has set up a special section on their Ingenuity Working site dedicated to classic Psion devices. Check it out here! -- Posted Thursday, June 24, 2010 by chb

Full review: Motion's new J3500 tablet with capacitive dual touch
Motion Computing has introduced the rugged Motion J3500 tablet, a sleek, slender full-featured, full-power tablet computer featuring an approximately 40% overall performance increase compared to the predecessor model courtesy of an ultra low voltage Intel Core i7 processor that incurs no penalty in battery life. The new machine also offers Motion's new capacitive dual touch, automatically combining capacitive touch and a Wacom digitizer. Add Gobi2000, a high res camera, more memory and larger disks, and you have a very impressive tablet. [Read full review of the Motion Computing J3500] -- Posted Tuesday, June 22, 2010 by chb

News Corp. buys e-reading platform designer Skiff
Now that the iPad has shown that the public likes tablets, everyone's trying even harder to find the future of publishing. News Corp., the US$32 billion global media company, has bought Skiff, LLC, which has designed an e-reading platform for tablets, ebooks, smartphones and such. Skiff, of course, drew most attention for its proposed Skiff eReader, a wondrous slate with a 1200 x 1600 pixel 11.5-inch e-Paper touch display sitting on a flexible steel substrate. The reader, which isn't available yet, apparently isn't part of the sale. -- Posted Monday, June 21, 2010 by chb

Motorola introduces ES400 Enterprise Digital Assistant
The Enterprise Mobility Solutions division of Motorola introduced the ES400 Enterprise Digital Assistant. Fitting somewhere between a consumer smartphone and a ruggedized handheld, the ES400 is aimed squarely at enterprise users in field sales/service, retail, healthcare, etc. The ES400 runs Windows Mobile 6.5 with a custom front end, has WiFi, GPS, a 3.2mp camera that can also scan, and 3.5G WWAN for both the GSM and the CDMA side. With the iPhone having redefined expectations, the question is whether this sort of category-busting convergent device is what users want. [Read more...] -- Posted Friday, June 18, 2010 by chb

RuggedPCReview at the Handheld Group Business Partner Conference, Stockholm, Sweden, June 2-4, 2010
The Handheld Group had its annual Business Partner Conference June 2 through 4th, 2010, at the Elite Hotel Marina Tower in Stockholm, Sweden. The conference provided a venue to socialize with business partners and inform them on products, outlook and opportunities. RuggedPCReview.com was there, and here is our report. [read more...] -- Posted Friday, June 18, 2010 by chb

Waterproof case for the Amazon Kindle
For those who want to take their Kindle near or in water, M-Edge Accessories now offers the Kindle Guardian case. It's a nicely designed polycarbonate affair that comes in black, blue or red, runs US$79.99, and uses anti-reflective film to cut down on glare. Unfortunately, max depth is 1 meter, or just over three feet. So no Kindle reading during lengthy deco stops. [See Guardian Case for Amazon Kindle] -- Posted Thursday, June 17, 2010 by chb

iPad on the Road -- Part III
Right on the heels of my last European trip, the iPad accompanied me on a very different kind of journey, a five-day dive trip to the California Channel Islands. That meant eight hours on the road each way to and from Santa Barbara, and the three days on the good ship Conception, an 80-foot dive vessel. [read more...]
-- Posted Thursday, June 17, 2010 by chb

Netbook market still booming
According to DisplaySearch, the total revenue for netbooks for Q1/2010 was US$3.51 billion, up by 56% from Q1/2009. DisplaySearch also said that In Q1 2010, Apple shipped almost 700K iPads into the channel, and in the first two months of Q2’10, the company sold more than two million iPads. -- Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010 by chb

HP completes purchase of Phoenix's Linux-based quick-boot OS
Phoenix Technologies has sold its HyperSpace, HyperCore and Phoenix Flip instant-on technology to HP for US$12 million. Phoenix had developed the Linux-based system for people who were tired of waiting for Windows to boot. Instead, HyperCore allowed almost instant start-up and access to browsing and other core functions, while also running Windows. Phoenix apparently wasn't able to get traction with it, but HP, with aspirations in the emerging tablet market, may be able to build on the technology. [See Phoenix release] -- Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010 by chb

Altek releases 3.5G phone with 14mp CCD camera
Taiwanese Altek Corporation announced the launch of the Leo, a combination of 14-megapixel camera with a true 1/2.3-inch CCD imager (virtually all cameras in phones use CMOS imagers) with a 3.5G (HSDPA) smartphone based on the Android OS. The Leo has WiFi, a 480 x 800 pixel optically treated 3.2-inch multi-touch LCD, Xenon flash, LED illuminator, a 3X optical zoom that starts at 36mm equivalent, and can do 720p HD video with H.264 compression. According to Altek, the camera uses their own "Sunny 9" processor. Available later this year, products like the Altek Leo will face one big question: do consumers want a full-function camera in their phone, or will they continue to uses separate devices. [Read Altek press release and description] -- Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2010 by chb

Apple unveils iPhone 4
As expected, at WWDC10 in San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone 4. It's a very handsome stainless steel/glass affair barely more than a third of an inch thick. Its display has four times the resolution of the iPhone 3GS (640 x 960 vs 320 x 480), the main camera is now 5-megapixel, there's a front-facing VGA second camera for video conferencing (via WiFi only for now), there's HD video recording, the same speedy Apple A4 processor as in the iPad, and a LED flash. The addition of a 3-axis gyro adds to the iPhone 4's awareness of motion and direction, and the battery is good for 7 hours of 3G talk, 6 hours of 3G browsing, 10 hours of WiFi browsing, 10 hours of video. The 16GB model will cost US$199, the 32GB version US$299. Pre-ordering will start June 15. Oh, and Apple now calls the iPhone OS iOS, and no word on relief from AT&T's monopoly or on their latest rate plan atrocities. [See iPhone 3 vs 4 comparison] -- Posted Monday, June 7, 2010 by chb

Wall Street Journal interviews Steve Jobs on the iPad
The Wall Street Journal ran an interesting article in the form of a Q&A session between the Journal's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, and Steve Jobs. In it, Jobs talks about his approach to tablets, how it relates to Microsoft's, and how the tablet actually began before the iPhone. [Read article at the WSJ] -- Posted Monday, June 7, 2010 by chb

2010 Computex Taiwan: Tablet deja-vue all over again
In late 2001 I walked around Computex in Taipei and there were dozens of tablets. Later, I had meetings with all the major Taiwanese OEMs, and they all showed me tablets. That, of course, was all fueled by Microsoft's 2001/2002 Tablet PC initiative that turned out less successful than it could have been. Now, at Computex 2010, it's deja-vue all over again. Tablets galore, from everyone. Then as now, most are hedge-your-bets concepts and nowhere near ready for prime time. That's because no one has a crystal ball. The Apple iPad is a big hit. Else, no one knows if the challenge will come from Microsoft, from the Android camp, or not at all. -- Posted Monday, June 7, 2010 by chb

iPad on the Road - Part II
Back from a 3-1/2-day intercontinental trip that included a 17-hour trip to and a 22-hour trip back from Stockholm, Sweden. I checked what I'd usually consider a carry-on (the airlines don't charge for a checked bag on international routes, yet) and simply took along a shoulder bag just large enough for my MacBook Pro, a camera, the usual assortment of cables and chargers, and my iPad. How did that go? [...more] -- Posted Monday, June 7, 2010 by chb

iPad on the road - Part I
The editor takes his iPad 3G on the road, all the way to Sweden. So can the iPad replace the MacBook that came along as a backup? Can it handle full-blown presentations? Be ready for email and browsing whenever and wherever? Find out. [...more] -- Posted Tuesday, June 1, 2010 by chb

Microsoft announces Windows Embedded Compact 7
During a keynote address at Computex Taipei, Microsoft announced Windows Embedded Compact 7. It's just a "public community technology preview" for now, but this will be the next version of Windows CE (now called Windows Embedded CE), designed to allow OEMs to create specialized devices. Microsoft stressed a major update to Internet Explorer, support for Adobe Flash 10.1 and seamless integration with Windows 7. The emphasis clearly seems to be on full integration into the massive existing Microsoft infrastructure. [See Windows Embedded Compact 7 page] -- Posted Tuesday, June 1, 2010 by chb