September 2014

Touchscreen notebooks face weak demand
According to DigiTimes, demand for touchscreen notebooks is far weaker than expected and notebook vendors have stopped developing touch-enabled notebooks for the fourth quarter. Adding touch means extra cost and higher retail prices when most notebook users still prefer a mouse or trackpad, and touch on a notebook simply doesn't feel natural. That lesson should have been learned back in 2002 when Microsoft abruptly changed the emphasis from pure tablets to convertible notebooks during the development of the Tablet PC initiative. -- Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2014 by chb

F4 Tech announces easy-to-use mobile forest inventory solution
F4 Tech, which makes the Flint and Forge Echo lines of rugged mobile computers, announced the release of its newest software offering, SilvAssist Mobile software. The app presents foresters a simple work flow solution for field data collection and which the company feels is the easiest to use mobile Forest inventory solution on the market today. [See F4 Tech press release] -- Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2014 by chb

8 Ways to Automate Your Home with Your Phone
It can seem difficult to keep track of all the new apps and technologies that make your life easier. Fortunately, there are a variety of technologies and apps available for your home that can help you manage your manner remotely. Whether you are looking for convenience, safety or are looking out for the planet, there are a variety of ways to automate your home through your phone... [See 8 Ways to Automate Your Home with Your Phone] -- Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2014 by chb

Handheld launches the ultra-rugged capacitive touch 4.7-inch Nautiz X8 with Windows Embedded Handheld or Android 4.2.2
Handheld Group announced the launch of its Nautiz X8 rugged mobile computer, which features a large, bright 4.7-inch capacitive multi-touch display, IP67 sealing, a very wide operating temperature range, 12 hour battery life, and an extension cap expansion system. The Nautiz X8 is available both in Windows Embedded Handheld and Android 4.2.2 versions. [See RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Handheld Nautiz X8] -- Posted Tuesday, September 23, 2014 by chb

The unpredictable nature of screen sizes
It's a mad, mad, mad world as far as the screen size of mobile devices goes. Witness... For smartphones, 4.7 inches or so now seems the least customers will accept, and 5.5 inches or larger is better. When Apple introduced its iPhone 6 (4.7 inch) and iPhone 6+ (5.5 inch), the demand was such that both Apple's and AT&T's websites couldn't keep up. Dial back a couple of decades to the dawn of handhelds. The first Apple Newtons and Tandy/Casio Zoomers and such all had displays...[read more] -- Posted Monday, September 22, 2014 by chb

Sony falling on hard times
There was a time when Sony could do no wrong. It was the Apple of its era. But those days are long gone. While the PS4 gaming console pulled off a fairly clear win over Microsoft's Xbox One, Sony greatly struggles in smartphones, had sold off its PC business, US office building and even its Tokyo headquarters. With the clout of such brands as Walkman, Trinitron, etc., in the distant past, Sony now expects a US$2+ billion loss and won't pay a dividend for the first time. -- Posted Thursday, September 18, 2014 by chb

Janam introduces rugged 5.9-inch Android tablet for enterprise and mobile workforce applications
Janam announced the launch of their Android-based rugged XT1, perhaps the handiest and lightest of currently available rugged tablet offerings. Powered by a 1.5GHz OMAP4470 processor, the XT1 has a 5.9-inch capacitive multi-touch screen and weighs just 13 ounces. The XT1 blends advanced consumer phone technology with enterprise-relevant key features such as ruggedness, sealing, industrial-grade barcode scanning and rapid battery recharging. [See Janam press release and RuggedPCReview's description, analysis and specs of the Janam XT1 ] -- Posted Thursday, September 18, 2014 by chb

Apple introduces new iPhones, Apple Pay, and Apple Watch
Apple introduced the iPhone 6 with a 1334 x 750 pixel 4.7-inch screen and the iPhone 6+ with a 1920 x 1080 pixel 5.5-inch screen. Powered by a new A8 chip and M8 co-processor and running iOS 8, the new 802.11ac and NFC-equipped iPhones, which can be pre-ordered on Sept. 12 and ship on Sept. 19, have powerful new cameras with optical image stabilization, will come in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB versions, and start at US$199 (4.7") and US$299 (5.5") with 2-year contract. Apple also announced Apple Pay for secure payments via finger touch and NFC. And Apple announced the US$349 Apple Watch, available early 2015, which has a novel crown and sensor driven user interface and works in conjunction with iPhone 5 and 6. Judging by Apple stock movement, Wall Street seemed excited over the new iPhones, very excited over Apple Pay, but not excited over the watch. -- Posted Tuesday, September 9, 2014 by chb

Winmate releases next-gen industrial Android PDA, now with replaceable, more powerful battery
Winmate's rugged 4.3-inch E430 Android handheld platform has been quite the success. The company is now following up with a 3rd generation, the E430RM2 that now has a replaceable battery with larger capacity, easier access to expansion card slots, and productivity-enhancing new accessories. [See description, analysis and specs of the Winmate E430RM2] -- Posted Monday, September 8, 2014 by chb

German Forest Service uses Juniper Systems' Mesa Rugged Notepad to manage sustainable forests
Junipr Systems announced that one of Europe's most influential forest services, the Hessen-Forst Enterprise in Hessen, Germany, recently purchased 580 of Juniper Systems' Mesa Geo Rugged Notepads to manage the nearly 1.7 million acres of forests in Hessen. Hessen forests are unique in that they are managed in a way that makes them completely sustainable. Trevor Brown, Natural Resources Market Manager at Juniper Systems, said, "With the level of detail with which they manage their forests, it is essential that they have a high-quality data collection tool that is easy to use and has reliable GPS performance under heavy tree canopy. The Mesa Geo fills that need perfectly for them. [See Juniper Systems press release and Data Management Keeping German Forests Sustainable blog entry]
-- Posted Friday, September 5, 2014 by chb

Added: ARBOR Gladius G1056
With their rugged Gladius G1056, ARBOR Technology took Intel's Mobile Clinical Assistant concept design with its integrated handle and optimized it for use in the field. That includes extra protection, four USB ports, RS232 serial, LAN, VGA and even DisplayPort. The Gladius G1056 is powered by a dual-core AMD G-Series APU, has a large 10.4-inch AFFS+ resistive touch screen plus active pen, and can be equipped with dual 5mp cameras, RFID, and 3.75G WWAN. [See description, analysis and specs of the ARBOR Gladius G1056] -- Posted Wednesday, September 3, 2014 by chb