July 2008

Speech-to-speech tablet for military applications
Rugged Portable Systems, a division of Santa Ana, Calif.-based Secure Communication Systems, offers the Lynx ruggedized mobile speech-to-speech translation system for military and other applications. The 4-pound package includes special array microphone and speaker for real-time two-way speech translation over a distance up to 12 feet using Two Way Speech-to-Speech software such as SRI International's IraqComm, BBN's TransTalk, IBM's STST, and others. [Read description and specs of the Secure Comm Lynx rugged speech translator tablet] -- Posted Thursday, July 31, 2008 by chb

The mighty Palms
Remember when Palm ruled the mobile world? Peruse Pen Computing's historic reviews of over 60 Palm devices from Palm, Sony, Handspring, TRG, Symbol, Kyocera, AlpaSmart and Samsung. -- Posted Tuesday, July 29, 2008 by chb

Palm: Two million Centros sold
Palm said it has sold its two-millionth Centro smartphone, confirming the $99 product's growing momentum with traditional mobile phone users who want to move up to a phone that offers more functionality. Palm is now offering Centro in more than 25 countries in North America, South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. [See what the Centro is all about.] -- Posted Tuesday, July 29, 2008 by chb

Full review: Palm Treo 800w
It has been quite some time since Palm has come to the table with a new Windows Mobile Professional device: enter the Treo 800W, WM 6.1. At first glance it doesn’t appear all that different than its predecessor, the Treo 750W. But there are some subtle and not so subtle differences. Read Tim Hillebrand's comprehensive review of the Palm Treo 800w. -- Posted Monday, July 28, 2008 by chb

Full Facebook on your Mobile Phone
Have you ever wished you could be notified automatically on your phone what’s happening on your Facebook site? Better yet, what if you could see what’s transpiring and be able to interact with Facebook on your phone just as you would on your desktop? A free application from Macrospecs, Inc. called FriendMobilizer makes this possible. [Read review of Friend Mobilizer] -- Posted Monday, July 28, 2008 by chb

Full review: RMT Duros rugged tablet
We reviewed the RMT Duros, a time- and field-tested rugged tablet computer made by one of the most respected manufacturers in the business. The compact tablet has a footprint of 10.2 x 7.8 inches and weighs just over four pounds. The body is made of aluminum and feels exceedingly solid and invulnerable. The bright 8.4" display has a responsive and very configurable touch screen. The Duros is a very rugged unit that is totally sealed against dust and can also handle water jets from all sides. It has a very wide operating temperature range (-4 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit) and you never have to worry about it getting damaged. [Read full review of the RMT Duros rugged tablet computer] -- Posted Thursday, July 17, 2008 by chb

Palm releases handy Windows Mobile-based Treo 800w
Palm introduced the Treo 800w, a Windows Mobile 6.1-based smartphone for the Sprint network. The new Palm Treo measures 4.4x2.2x0.7 inches and weighs five ounces. It has a small 2.5-inch 320 x 320 pixel display, integrated GPS, a thumb-type keyboard, a 2-megapixel camera that can do video and a microSD card slot. The 800w is larger than the Palm Centro, but smaller and handier than the old Palm Treo 700. [Read description of the Palm Treo 800w] -- Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2008 by chb

Pana migrates CF-52 and CF-74 to Centrino 2
Panasonic announced upgrades to its semi-rugged Toughbook CF-52 and Toughbook CF-74 including migration to the new Intel Centrino 2 processor technology, enhanced video and graphics capabilities, increased hard drive capacity (160GB) as well as expanded Wi-Fi performance with the addition of 802.11 Draft N. A CF-52 Value model will have an Intel Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26GHz, the CF-52 Premium an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 2.4GHz, and the CF-74 the 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 2.4GHz. Intel's Centrino 2 includes 45nm Core 2 Duo processors, the Mobile Intel 45 Express Chipset and Intel WiFi Link 5000, and represents an effort by Intel to sell chipsets and WiFi in addition to just processors, and to create the impression that a "Centrino 2 Inside" sticker represents a better computer. -- Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2008 by chb

Make space for Winterface
Vito Technology, one of the leading Windows Mobile developers, has just added an exciting new workhorse to its stable of finger-friendly iPhone-like applications. It’s called Winterface and functions as a program launcher, system monitor, and task manager. [Read Winterface review] -- Posted Monday, July 14, 2008 by chb

Garmin releases Oregon series of waterproof touchscreen GPS devices
Garmin introduced the Oregon series of handheld GPS devices for outdoor, marine and general applications, combining a touchscreen, rugged design and a variety of preloaded mapping options. The waterproof (IPx7 sealing) Oregon models weigh less than seven ounces, have a microSD card slot, barometric altimeter and electronic compass, and run 16 hours on two AA batteries. The Oregon 400t has 3D U.S. topographic maps. The 400i offers shoreline details, depth contours and boat ramps for U.S. inland lakes and rivers. The 400c provides charts for the coastal U.S. and Bahamas. The Oregon 300 has a worldwide basemap with shaded relief, and the Oregon 200 a basemap that can be supplemented with additional mapping. These new devices seem ideal to supplement rugged applications. Click for a full product comparison table] -- Posted Thursday, July 10, 2008 by chb

iPhone 3G: initial reviews
According to news.com, the first few reviews on the iPhone 3G are in. Here are the findings: 1) Battery life no better or less, perhaps due to higher power demand of 3G; 2) GPS reception and performance unexpectedly good; 3) dramatically improved audio quality; 4) $360 extra service costs for basic service over the 2-year contract negates hardware savings; 5) data speeds 3-5 times faster. For initial reviews click: Walt Mossberg, David Pogue. -- Posted Wednesday, July 9, 2008 by chb

Extreme testing -- we're taking a Tablet PC underwater
Rugged computers are usually tested in accordance with stringent military procedures. But what do these environmental specifications mean in the real world? What happens when you spill more than a soda onto a computer? For example, could you take an IP54-rated rugged Tablet PC underwater? Rugged Tablet PC vendor MobileDemand encouraged us to find out. Click on the video window to see what happened, or view a larger version on blip.tv. -- Posted Monday, July 7, 2008 by chb

3G iPhone: In-store activation only
Thinking of getting an iPhone 3G when it goes on sale Friday, July 11? Better prepare for a long wait and some hassle as this time you must have it activated in the store. Apple and AT&T probably decided to do it this way to cut down on unlocking and reselling iPhones. For us regular folks, it's just more hassle and further proof that the phone companies now own the market and even companies like Apple have sold out to them. -- Posted Monday, July 7, 2008 by chb

InterKey Keyboard for Windows Mobile
There is a proliferation of SIP keyboards for Windows Mobile touch screen devices lately. A longtime favorite is Tengo because it uses only six keys to get the basic job done. Some other new arrivals include TouchPal and ZoomBoard, both interesting choices to consider as well. InterKey derives its name from its International aspect by supporting 36 languages and 60 keyboard layouts: “Inter” for international and “key” for keyboard=InterKey. [Read review of the InterKey keyboard] -- Posted Sunday, July 6, 2008 by chb

Filing made easy with SimplyFile
It is probably safe to say that most of the world uses Outlook. As Windows Mobilers, we use it on our handhelds as well. So, what happens on the desktop usually carries over to the handset. Accordingly, I would like to tell you about an application that I recently discovered that I think will make your life easie It’s called SimplyFile. [Read review of SimplyFile] -- Posted Saturday, July 5, 2008 by chb

Honeywell announces Dolphin 9900 Series
Hand Held Products, now part of Honeywell's Imaging and Mobility group, announced the Dolphin 9900 Series of ruggedized data collection and communications terminals. The 9900 runs Windows Mobile 6.0 on a 624MHz Marvell PXA270 processor, has 256MB of RAM and a full gigabyte of Flash. It can scan 1D and 2D symbologies, and supports WiFi, WWAN and GPS. There's a choice of two shifted and full alphanumeric keyboards and the battery lasts for over ten hours. [Read description and specs of the Honeywell Dolphin 9900 Series] -- Posted Thursday, July 3, 2008 by chb

AT&T jacks up rates for new iPhone 3G
The good news is that the new Apple iPhone, which will become available on July 11, goes for US$199 (8MB version) and US$299 (16GB version). The bad news is that AT&T is jacking up the rates. Whereas basic service (450 minutes + unlimited data) used to be US$59.99 including 200 SMS messages, the new basic rate is US$69.99, without any SMS messages included. 200 SMS messages are US$5, so AT&T jacked up the rates by 25% for a comparable individual service plan. -- Posted Tuesday, July 1, 2008 by chb

Full review: Advantech MARS-1031N rugged handheld
Rugged Windows CE-based handheld terminals are used in tough jobs around the world by the hundreds of thousands. The Advantech MARS-1031N is a prime example of an ultra-rugged yet compact and lightweight handheld computer for a large variety of field service, logistics, and data capture applications. Based on field-proven technology (Windows CE 5.0 running on a Marvell PXA 27x processor), the MARS-1031 is a highly configurable workhorse that can handle data and voice communications and 1D/2D scanning in addition to conventional data capture. The availability of two different keyboards (16 and 44 keys) helps in customizing the unit for a given task. [Read full review of the Advantech MARS-1031N] -- Posted Tuesday, July 1, 2008 by chb