September 2011

Socket Mobile ships 50,000th SoMo handheld
Socket Mobile announced it has shipped its 50,000th SoMo 650 handheld computer. Sales are being driven by the needs of the hospitality and healthcare market segments for a durable and lightweight device and continue to show growth. -- Posted Friday, September 30, 2011 by chb

BSQUARE's DragonBoard for Android now available
Interested in testing the waters in Android hardware and software development? BSQUARE now offers their DragonBoard, a full Android development platform based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor that allows the exploring, testing and developing required to get products to market faster and with less risk. [See BSQUARE DragonBoard page]. -- Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2011 by chb

The Handheld Group's Algiz XRW rugged netbook now comes with a touch screen
Handheld Group announced that its Algiz XRW rugged notebook is now available with a touchscreen. RuggedPCReview.com recently conducted a full review of the Algiz XRW, and found it to be just what a large number of users have been looking for: a tough and heavily ruggedized high-performance netbook (see full review of the Algiz XRW). The addition of a touch screen makes the device even more versatile and easy to use. -- Posted Tuesday, September 27, 2011 by chb

Hot Hardware preview: Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet
Hot Hardware ran a nice hands-on preview of the business-class Android-based Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet [See Hot Hardware preview of the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet] -- Posted Monday, September 26, 2011 by chb

Apotheker out, Whitman in at Hewlett Packard
After shutting down WebOS and plans to jettison its entire world-leading PC business in favor of becoming a software and service company didn't go over well with analysts and Wall Street, HP's board did another knee-jerk reaction by replacing beleaguered CEO Leo Apotheker with former eBay CEO and recent unsuccessful candidate for California's governorship, Meg Whitman. Let's hope things will settle down at HP so the company can return to be the rock-solid technology powerhouse it once was. -- Posted Thursday, September 22, 2011 by chb

Archos to release two new Android 3.2 G9 Series tablets
Archos is introducing its G9 series of Android 3.2-based tablets, consisting of the 80 G9 (8-inch 1024 x 768 display) and the 101 G9 (10.1-inch 1280 x 800 display). Specs for both models are very similar (1-1.5GHz TI OMAP chip, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, mini HDMI, micro USB, microSD card, 720p front camera) and the units will be available with either 8 or 16GB of Flash, or a 250GB hard drive. Pricing will be US$299 to 369 for the 8-inch model and US$399 to 469 for the 10.1-inch model. -- Posted Monday, September 19, 2011 by chb

Media Tablets 2011 table: updated
It took well over a year for the industry to come up with serious competitors to Apple's iPad, but now customers increasingly have vendor/platform/features options when it comes to selecting media tablets. We've compiled a spec table of the major media tablets, almost 40 in all, and will keep adding to the list, so check back frequently. [View updated 2011 Media Tablet Spec Table] -- Posted Sunday, September 18, 2011 by chb

Microsoft's Android license deals: bad PR
Microsoft's questionable practice of demanding license agreements from companies selling Android-based mobile systems even though Microsoft has nothing to do with Android at all may be backfiring, at least in the PR area: headlines describing Microsoft license deals routinely include terms like "nab," "wring," "milk" to describe the practice. -- Posted Thursday, September 15, 2011 by chb

Seton Hall University adds 400 Android-based Lenovo ThinkPad tablets
Seton Hall University announced it is the first higher education institution in the U.S. to use Lenovo's ThinkPad Tablet PC, with more than 400 tablets now circulating amongst students and faculty in the Sciences, Honors and School of Business Leadership Programs. The University is making the 1280 x 800 pixel 10.1-inch, Android 3.1 tablets a central part of its Mobile Computing Program as well as an essential teaching device. [See press release] -- Posted Thursday, September 15, 2011 by chb

BSQUARE acquires MPC Data Ltd.
BSQUARE announced the acquisition of MPC Data Ltd., a U.K. based provider of embedded software engineering services and products for OEMs, semiconductor companies and high performance application developers. The acquisition is part of BSQUARE's overall growth strategy and is designed to capitalize on the growing market for smart, connected devices by expanding both the breadth of services offered and the geographies served by BSQUARE. -- Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2011 by chb

Microsoft previews Windows 8 at BUILD conference
At its developer-focused BUILD conference in LA, Microsoft did a preview of the next major release of Windows, code-named Windows 8. Windows 8 is supposed to have "the best of Windows 7, only better," support ARM chips, and will be compatible with "the devices and programs you use today on Windows 7, without compromise." Microsoft says Windows 8 will enable new ultrathin PCs and tablets that "turn on instantly, run all day on a single charge and stay connected to the Internet." Windows 8 will have a "Metro" interface that is built for touch, but works just as well with mouse and keyboard. Metro-style apps will be full-screen and communicate with one another. There will be a Windows Store for apps. -- Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2011 by chb

Atmel's maXTouch/mXT1386 touch system used in the Samsung Windows Developer Preview PC.
Atmel announced that its Atmel maXTouch mXT1386 is the first touch controller to enable touch performance with Microsoft's touch-centric Metro interface in the previewed Windows 8. The mXT1386 controller is used in the Samsung Windows Developer Preview PC. Leveraging Atmel's proven maXTouch technology, the mXT1386 is the first device in Atmel's maXTouch family that will support Windows 8 for touchscreens in a variety of sizes. [See press release and Atmel mXT1386 product page] -- Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2011 by chb

Qualcomm Gobi and Snapdragon to power upcoming Win 8 hardware
Qualcomm announced that it is collaborating with Microsoft to enable Qualcomm's Snapdragon family of mobile processors to power the first generation of Windows 8-based PCs. In addition, Qualcomm's Gobi mobile Internet connectivity solutions will provide Windows 8-based PCs with wireless 3G/4G connectivity to deliver an always-connected experience. [See Qualcomm powers Windows 8] -- Posted Tuesday, September 13, 2011 by chb

Current Analysis launches Tablet Tracker
Current Analysis announced the launch of its new Tablet Tracker designed to provide vendors, carriers, and retailers with detailed insight into the competitive landscape for consumer tablets on a monthly basis. -- Posted Monday, September 12, 2011 by chb

Trimble Nomad 900 now IP68 rated
Trimble announced that its Nomad 900 handheld computer has received an IP68 rating (up from IP67), which is the highest rating for protection against dust and moisture. In addition, five new languages options have been added. IP68 means the device is completely dustproof and also protected against continuous immersion (but under conditions defined by the manufacturer). We're not surprised; we tested the almost identical Nomad 800 four years ago and took it scuba diving! [See RuggedPCReview video of Nomad on scuba] -- Posted Monday, September 12, 2011 by chb

Back to College Essentials
It's that time of the year again, and Pen Computing contributing editor Dan Rasmus has compiled a list of the most useful Back to College Essentials. [Read Back to College Essentials] -- Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 by chb

Lowe's to deploy 42,000 iPhones to staff
According to Bloomberg, home improvement chain Lowe's is outfitting their employees with 42,000 Apple iPhone 4s to answer customer questions and ring up purchases in an effort to catch up with larger rival Home Depot that issued thousands of Motorola Solutions handhelds to its employees in 2010 to let them spend more time helping customers. The iPhone deployment is another indication that consumer smartphones are increasingly winning large contracts that used to go to more ruggedized vertical market devices. -- Posted Thursday, September 8, 2011 by chb

Sony reveals specs, release date of 9.4-inch Tablet S
A while ago, Sony announced two tablets, the Sony Tablet S and the Sony Tablet P, without revealing specs other than the somewhat unique concept of each device. Sony has now finally revealed specs for the Nvidia Tegra 2-powered Tablet S, a folded-book 9.4-inch design with a thicker booklike spine, 1280 x 800 resolution, Android 3.2, SD Card, dual cameras, 16 or 32GB of storage, and a weight of just 1.22 pounds. Both Sony Tablet devices come complete with access to a full suite of Sony's network entertainment services. The Sony Tablet S will cost US$499/599 and will be available in the US starting around September 16. [See Sony Tablet S in Sony store] -- Posted Friday, September 2, 2011 by chb

Wacom introduces "Inkling" pen
Wacom introduced Inkling, a digital sketch pen that captures a digital representation of things sketched with its ballpoint tip on any sketchbook or standard piece of paper. Designed for rough concepting and creative brainstorming, Inkling bridges the gap between paper sketching and digital drawing by giving users at the front end of the creative process a way to rough-out ideas with real ink on paper and capture their concepts digitally so that they can be later refined on their computer. [See Wacom's Inkling page] -- Posted Thursday, September 1, 2011 by chb