September 2008

Unlocked Palm Treo Pro now available in the US
Palm announced that the unlocked Treo Pro smartphone is now available in the United States. The Windows Mobile-based Treo Pro is unlocked, giving end users the flexibility to simply insert their existing active SIM card and immediately start using their Treo Pro anywhere there is GSM coverage, without a new contract. Worldwide travelers using the Treo Pro can cut costs on international roaming charges by popping in a local country SIM card wherever they go. -- Posted Friday, September 26, 2008 by chb

Lenovo reveals new ThinkPad X200t Tablet PC
The original IBM ThinkPad, all the way back in 1992 or so, was a pen computer, and a tablet at that. Consumer tastes dictated a switch to a notebook convertible format, and then for a good while there were no IBM Tablet PCs at all. When the ThinkPad line became part of Lenovo, that changed again. Lenovo now introduced an update to its X61 Tablet PC, the ThinkPad X200t. It gets the full Centrino 2 treatment, switches to a wide-format screen, includes WLAN and even wireless USB. And you can get one with ten hour battery life. [Read description and specs of the Lenovo ThinkPad X200t] -- Posted Thursday, September 25, 2008 by chb

New: Panasonic Toughbook F8
Panasonic announced the Toughbook F8, an ultralight with the looks and design of Panasonic's rugged line of Toughbooks, down to the handle Toughbooks are famous for. The new machine sports a wide-format 14.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel WXGA display and, despite its small size and low weight of just 3.7 pounds, comes with an integrated dual-layer DVD Multi drive. Unlike most ultralights, the F8 packs serious performance with a 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SP9300 processor while still delivering six hours of battery life. What's not to like? [Read description and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook F8] -- Posted Thursday, September 25, 2008 by chb

Panasonic announces T8 and W8 business-rugged ultralights
In keeping with the tradition of offering frequent technological and other updates, Panasonic introduced new versions of its T and W series of business-rugged ultralights. Both models receive the Centrino 2 treatment with 1.2GHz Core 2 Duo SU9300 processors, new chipsets, and the Intel WiFi Link 5100 that supports draft-N. Hard disk size and maximum RAM have been increased, and the machines are optionally available with integrated Gobi 3G global mobile internet (WWAN). Both the touchscreen-equipped T8 and the W8 with its integrated DVD writer weigh less than four pounds and have exceptional battery life. [Read description and specs of the Toughbook T8 and Toughbook W8] -- Posted Thursday, September 25, 2008 by chb

Microsoft copies Apple, again.
After the ill-fated TV commercial campaign featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld, Microsoft now unveiled a new campaign in which it copies Apple's long-running "I'm a PC" campaign. Strange tactics for a company that has a near monopoly. -- Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2008 by chb

Mobile phone barcode position paper
As more and more consumers are equipped with camera phones that are technically capable of reading barcodes, the global supply chain standards organisation GS1 released a position paper advising businesses to focus on standard barcodes for mobile applications. The aim is to prevent fragmentation in the current market for reading barcodes with cameraphones. [Read the GS1 position paper on camera phone bar codes] -- Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2008 by chb

Psion Teklogix introduces NEO
Psion Teklogix introduced the compact and handy NEO rugged terminal for retail and light industrial applications. The Windows CE 5.0-based NEO uses a 312MHz version of the Marvell PXA270, has a 2.7-inch QVGA sunlight-readable display with LED backlight, can be ordered with a numeric or alphanumeric keypad as well as with Bluetooth, WiFi and either a imager or laser scanner. The NEO can be use din extreme temperatures, survives 4-foot drop and carries IP54 sealing. [Read decription and specs of the Psion Teklogix NEO] -- Posted Monday, September 22, 2008 by chb

Microsoft shifts away from Gates/Seinfeld ads
According to CNET, Microsoft's US$300 million ad campaign to help restore Microsoft's image is shifting away from the Bill Gates/Jerry Seinfeld ads that have gotten a negative reaction. They should have used a tiny bit of that money to support Smartphone Magazine so it did not have to defect to Apple. -- Posted Thursday, September 18, 2008 by chb

Handango names iambic Palm OS developer of the year
iambic announced that Handango, the world's leading provider of smartphone content, has named iambic "Developer of the Year" for Palm OS. The award was bestowed during Handango's eighth annual partner summit, the "Handango Future Forum," which took place last week in San Francisco. iambic's portfolio of Palm OS products includes Agendus, a fully-integrated, personal information manager (PIM) that has been optimized for Centro/Treo smartphones, YourCall, a comprehensive, multi-faceted solution for Centro/Treo call management, that provides a selection of actions that can be taken before, during and after a call, and Vehicle Manager, for proactively tracking and managing car-related vitals (gas fill-ups, services performed, etc.). -- Posted Wednesday, September 17, 2008 by chb

WinMo 6.1 to be on 25 smartphones by holidays
Six months after the launch of its Windows Mobile 6.1 operating system, Microsoft announced that more than 25 phones powered by the platform are expected in market by holiday 2008 with many available today. Offering form factors ranging from touchscreens and QWERTY keyboards to dual sliders, the diverse spectrum of smartphones will be available from a wide range of device makers and mobile operators. -- Posted Thursday, September 11, 2008 by chb

Intermec introduces CK3 rugged mobile computer
Intermec added a new rugged mobile computer to its growing lineup of mobile data capture and communications handhelds. The CK3 is a rugged, multi-purpose flashlight-style device designed for warehousing and retail markets. The compact and handy CK3 weighs about a pound, is based on Windows Mobile 6.1, can accommodate 1D and 2D scanners, an RFID reader, as well as a variety of wireless communications methods and keypads. [See description and specs of the Intermec CK3 rugged mobile computer] -- Posted Thursday, September 11, 2008 by chb

iPhone Life Magazine premieres on newsstands!
Now on newsstands and in bookstores is the premiere issue of iPhone Life, a glossy, perfect-bound 100-page magazine chock-full of the best iPhone coverage anywhere. iPhone Life comes courtesy of Thaddeus, one of the original, and most dedicated, publishers in the mobile enthusiast space. What's Apple's gain is Microsoft's loss as Thaddeus was forced to suspend publication of its excellent Smartphone Magazine due to lack of Microsoft, TelCo and OEM support and interest. Check out the iPhone Life Table of Contents and show your support by subscribing to iPhone Life. -- Posted Thursday, September 11, 2008 by chb

deCarta launches deCarta Mobile for LBS apps
deCarta, a supplier of software and services for the Location-Based Services (LBS) industry, launched deCarta Mobile, a location platform supporting location-enabled application deployment on mobile devices. deCarta Mobile is a client/server architecture with an easy-to-use J2ME client application programming interface (API) that provides a framework for rapid development of mobile mapping applications. Beta versions of deCarta Mobile are available on deCarta's devZone or from -- Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2008 by chb

DEMOfall 08 kicks off
DEMOfall 08 kicked off this morning without a glitch as Chris Shipley, emerging technology analyst and DEMO executive producer, noted that the technology industry is moving into a new cycle. "In this next phase, we take the community of Web 2.0 and hone it into a sharper weapon. One that supports collaboration for a purpose, be it business or social. One that delivers information in anticipation of interests and needs. One that reaches beyond the elite early adopters to capture the imaginations and fulfill the desires of people whose lives are focused on the every day takes of work and family, of information and entertainment," Shipley said to a packed audience of more than 900. [View info on DEMO] -- Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2008 by chb

GETAC upgrades V100 with superbright display
GETAC upgraded its Core 2 Duo U7600 powered V100 rugged notebook convertible by including its Sunlight Readable Technology (SRT) that combines a superbright 1,200 nits LED backlight with circular polarization anti-reflectivity coatings for superb sunlight viewability. This is the technology GETAC pioneered in its B300 rugged notebook (see our GETAC B300 review). With the new display, the versatile V100 is a state-of-the-art solution for outdoor computing under all lighting conditions, even direct sunlight. [See review of the GETAC V100 rugged convertible notebook.] -- Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2008 by chb

Mio Technology to use Microsoft NavReady 2009
Microsoft announced that Mio Technology Corp., a producer of portable navigation devices with integrated GPS, expanded its support of the Windows Embedded offerings and will be shipping its next-generation PNDs on the Windows Embedded NavReady 2009 platform. Among NavReady 2009 advantages are quicker time to market, seamless connectivity, and a richer user experience via enabling of MSN Direct technologies. -- Posted Monday, September 8, 2008 by chb

Motion updates LE1700 semi-rugged tablets
Motion Computing announced an update to its successful line of LE1700 semi-rugged Tablet PC slates. As before, there is a performance and an economy version, but both now use Core 2 Duo processors. For demanding applications, there is now an optional 60GB Samsung solid state disk. The biggest news is the availability of an incredibly sharp SXGA+ 1400 x 1050 pixel display. It has a 170 degree viewing angle in all directions and can be ordered in a highly effective sunlight-viewable "UltraView Anywhere" version. Read a full review of the updated semi-rugged Motion Computing LE1700. -- Posted Wednesday, September 3, 2008 by chb

MIL-STD-810F 509.4 and thoughts on salt water exposure
MIL-STD-810F 509.4 (Salt Fog) is one the less-often cited testing methods described by the United States Department of Defense. Yet, salt water and fog can be absolutely deadly to computing equipment. Any rugged machine intended to be used in a marine environment should therefore be built with salt fog exposure in mind. [Read more on salt water exposure] -- Posted Tuesday, September 2, 2008 by chb