August 2008

They-Got-Nerve department: Microsoft's "Ultimate Steal" program
After having killed pretty much the entire wordprocessing, spreadsheet, presentation and database industry by undercutting and buying up competitors, Microsoft is "re-introducing The Ultimate Steal program this school year, inviting students who are actively enrolled at educational institutions to purchase Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 at a low student price of $59.95." So they stole the market by initially giving away their software, and now it's a steal that students get to pay for it? Way to go, Microsoft. -- Posted Thursday, August 21, 2008 by chb

Elitebook 2730p: HP's Tablet PC convertible gets Centrino 2 upgrade and more
HP introduced the HP Elitebook 2730p, a Tablet PC convertible and successor to the earlier 2710p. The 2730p comes with Centrino 2 processor and chipset upgrades, and has a wide-format WXGA (1280 x 800 pixel) 12.1-inch display with antiglare coating and an LED backlight. A sunlight-viewable version is available. A gigabyte of fast 800MHz memory is standard, and you can bump it up to a full 8GB. Quick 5400rpm SATA disks are available with 80 or 120GB capacity, or you can opt for a Solid State Drive. The Elitebook 2730p is not a fully rugged machine but it is definitely durable thanks to a magnesium-alloy chassis, chemically-strengthened glass, and goodies like HP DuraKeys and 3D DriveGuard. [Read description and specs of the HP Elitebook 2730p] -- Posted Wednesday, August 20, 2008 by chb

Palm introduces unlocked WinMo 6.1-based Treo Pro
Palm introduced the unlocked Treo Pro, a smartphone for businesses that seek to simplify their IT infrastructures and reduce costs. With its streamlined design and Palm shortcuts layered on top of Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, the Treo Pro, powered by a 400MHz Qualcomm MSM7201 processor, supports HSDPA/UMTS/EDGE/GPRS/GSM and includes Wi-Fi and GPS capabilities, a 320 x 320 transflective touchscreen, a 2mp camera, and a microSDHC slot. See description and specs of the Palm Treo Pro. -- Posted Wednesday, August 20, 2008 by chb

Archos releases new internet tablets
Technology innovator Archos introduced the ARCHOS 5, the ARCHOS 5g and ARCHOS 7 "Internet Media Tablets." Featuring either a 5-inch (from US$349) or 7-inch (from US$449) WVGA (800 x 480 pixel) touchscreen, the slender ARM Cortex-powered tablets have hard disk storage capacities up to 320GB, and 802.11b/g WiFi to bring web browsing, media ad television to a small handheld device. The 30GB 5g model (US$549) has an internal 3.5G radio for fast internet access almost anywhere. Add the DVR station to turn your TV into a multimedia platform connected to the Web. [see the new ARCHOS Internet Media Tablets] -- Posted Wednesday, August 20, 2008 by chb

OQO may release Atom-powered device
According to InfoWorld, QOO demonstrated an Intel Atom-based device at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, suggesting a possible Intel design win in a space where VIA has been strong with its low-power C7 processor. The device, tentatively labelled as "OQO MID" looks like an updated version of the company's current slide-bodied UMPC models. -- Posted Wednesday, August 20, 2008 by chb

Xplore launches top-of-the-line ultra-rugged iX104C4 tablet
Xplore Technologies introduced the latest addition to the iX104 line of ultra-rugged tablet computers, the iX104C4. The new machine provides improved performance with a power-efficient Core Duo processor, new wireless technologies (including 802.11N), as well as enhancements to several technologies pioneered by Xplore. The company's AllVue sunlight-viewable display is now even brighter, the dual-mode RF/touch digitizer is standard on all models, and the machine can be ordered with an optional 32GB Solid State Drive. A TPM 1.2 module has been added for security, completing a smart technology update to what already was one of the best rugged Tablet PCs on the market. [Read description and specs of the Xplore Technologies iX104C4 ultra-rugged Tablet PC.] -- Posted Monday, August 18, 2008 by chb

RAM announces Tough-Box consoles
There are many solutions when it comes to mounting and securing computers in a vehicle, but it is almost impossible to find versatile, high quality vehicle consoles that easily integrate with computer mounts. National Products/RAM-Mounts has been working on an evolution of common police vehicle console products and has taken a huge leap forward with a line of Tough-Box™ consoles that are fully compatible with the industry-leading RAM one-inch and half-inch pedestal systems, as well as with AMPS and VESA hole patterns, ensuring endless mounting possibilities and the ultimate in versatility. [Read about RAM Tough-Box consoles] -- Posted Monday, August 18, 2008 by chb

The waterproof, ultra-rugged Two Technologies Hydrus
Two Technologies has introduced the Hydrus, a PXA270/Windows CE 5.0 powered ultra-rugged handheld computer with stunning battery life in the 40-hour range. The 2.4 pound Hydrus carries IP68 sealing, which means it is totally waterproof. It can also handle extreme temperatures, and includes a 5-megapixel CMOS imager for pictures and barcode reading. The 55-key keypad is customizable and there is between 2GB and 32GB of Flash. [Read description and specs of the Two Technologies Hydrus] -- Posted Friday, August 15, 2008 by chb

Scanbuy launches 2D barcode app for Apple iPhone
Scanbuy, a leader in mobile marketing solutions, announced that its ScanLife 2D barcode application is now available for free on the iPhone App Store. Scanbuy's technology uses the phone's camera to give users an instant connection to information, without needing to search by keyword or type in a lengthy URL. Individuals can also create and scan Personal EZcodes to link to their blogs or networking sites by registering an account at www.scanlife.com. -- Posted Wednesday, August 13, 2008 by chb

Full review: Motion Computing F5 "Field Tool"
After Motion Computing, ever the pioneer in innovative tablet computers, introduced the Motion C5 Mobile Clinical Assistant in February of 2007, the response was overwhelmingly positive. The concept and execution of the lightweight tablet turned out to be so successful that the company decided to follow up with the Motion F5 "Field Tool" for mobile field workers. What's different about the F5, and how well does the handy tablet -- which includes a camera, scanner and optional RFID reader -- work in the field? [Read review of the Motion Computing F5] -- Posted Friday, August 8, 2008 by chb

Whatever happened to Transmeta?
You remember Transmeta, the chip company that promised lower cost and lower power consumption with its chips that did part of the work in software? That didn't work out so well, but Transmeta stayed in business licensing the innovative technologies and related intellectual property they had developed. They just granted NVIDIA a non-exclusive license to their Long Run and LongRun2 technologies for advanced power management, for a one-time, non-refundable license fee of US$25 million. It's a living.
-- Posted Thursday, August 7, 2008 by chb

Tablet PCs in academics
Several years ago, we published an article by Dr. Dave Berque of DePauw University on pen computing in education. Dr. Berque and several others involved in pen computing were then putting together the first Workshop on the Impact of Pen-based Technology on Education (WIPTE). Dr. Berque has since continued to be a firm supporter of Tablet PCs in education. Read "Prof. Dave Berque Discusses "Academic Possibilities" of Tablet PCs." -- Posted Wednesday, August 6, 2008 by chb

iPhone software update 2.01 hell
The iPhone 2.01 software update caused our iPhone to go into an indefinite backup/restore loop, creating useless backups. All data was lost from the iPhone. iTunes removed all purchased applications both from the phone and from its database, so we lost the applications we paid for. iTunes then downloaded music and photos from scratch. Not good. -- Posted Tuesday, August 5, 2008 by chb

Juniper Systems releases new version of the ultra-rugged Allegro Field PC
Juniper Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative field computer solutions for rugged applications, announced the new Allegro MX Field PC. Based on the company's Allegro CX but including many technology updates, the ultra-rugged Allegro features Windows Mobile 6.1, IP67 rating, a robust full keyboard, integrated Bluetooth and a Wi-Fi 802.11b/g option, long-term battery life, host and client USB, and large and highly outdoor-visible displays. The Allegro MX runs Microsoft® Windows Mobile® version 6.1 and is powered by the 624MHz version of the Marvell PXA270 processor. Durable in extreme environments, the Allegro is a premier choice for those who need a rugged field computer with a full keyboard. [See description and specs of the Juniper Systems Allegro MX Field PC] -- Posted Monday, August 4, 2008 by chb

RuggedPCReview.com underwater video makes a splash!
Within a short time, the underwater review of an xTablet rugged Tablet PC by MobileDemand conducted by our sister site RuggedPCReview.com is creating a big splash. It can be seen on some of the popular video clip sites and has been viewed almost 14,000 times. Click the image of an editor operating the device underwater to see the video on blip.tv. But remember: Those guys are trained professionals. Do not try this at home. -- Posted Monday, August 4, 2008 by chb