October 2015

Added: CipherLab 9700 Series
Businesses around the globe are still using a large number of legacy Windows CE/Windows Mobile applications that face uncertain and/or costly upgrade paths. Often, the solution is to just keep using them. But what if the old hardware fails or is no longer supported? That's what the folks at CipherLab created the 9700 Series of rugged scanner handhelds for. [See description, analysis and specs of the CipherLab 9700 Series] -- Posted Thursday, October 29, 2015 by chb

Los Angeles Department of Health Services selects Janam for inventory management solution
Janam Technologies, a provider of rugged mobile computers that scan barcodes and communicate wirelessly, announced that Los Angeles County’s Department of Health Services, which includes 19 health centers and four hospitals, will deploy Janam XG3 rugged mobile computers (see Janam XG3 on RuggedPCReview) for inventory management and tracking of medical equipment and supplies. Janam’s XG3 rugged mobile computers will provide staff with real-time location of medical equipment or prompt and efficient care delivery. The XG3 will also help to provide assurance that assets are safe and ready to use. [See Janam media release] -- Posted Thursday, October 29, 2015 by chb

Apple posts another huge quarter
Apple announced financial results for its fiscal 2015 fourth quarter ended September 26, 2015. Apple sold 48 million iPhones, 9.9 million iPads and 5.7 million Macs. The company posted quarterly revenue of $51.5 billion and quarterly net profit of $11.1 billion. These results compare to revenue of $42.1 billion and net profit of $8.5 billion, in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 62% of the quarter’s revenue. Overall, fiscal 2015 was Apple’s most successful year ever, with revenue growing 28% to nearly $234 billion. [See Apple media release] -- Posted Thursday, October 29, 2015 by chb

Dell to include NEXT area fingerprint sensor in rugged notebooks and tablets
NEXT Biometrics announced that Dell has implemented NEXT fingerprint sensors in a range of their 2016 commercial and ruggedized market notebook and tablet products. Research shows that size is key to fingerprint sensor system performance, and NEXT's active thermal principle area fingerprint sensors are a cost-effective solution. -- Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2015 by chb

Datalogic preliminary Q3 2015 sales up 15.3%
Datalogic reports Q3 2015 revenues of €134 million, up 15.3% from Q3 2014. Datalogic's Automatic Data Capture division (which includes the former Datalogic Mobile) saw its revenues grow by 16.7% to €90.3 million compared to Q3 2014. Specifically, some major growth has been observed in the US and Asia Pacific in the Retail and T&L segments. For the first nine months of the year, preliminary sales revenues reflect the gradual improvement achieved by all divisions in Q3, and came in at €391.3 million, with a growth of 15.1% compared to the first nine months of 2014. [See Datalogic financials press release] -- Posted Friday, October 23, 2015 by chb

Free Winmate webinar on choosing warehouse technology
Winmate will hold a free webinar entitled "How to Choose the Right Warehouse Technology to Increase ROI" on November 5, 2015. Join WinMate’s Khalid Kidari to learn about advanced rugged, mobile technologies and how they’re being used to streamline warehouse operations. [Register for free Winmate webinar] -- Posted Thursday, October 22, 2015 by chb

Trimble releases the ultra-rugged, IP68-sealed Nomad 1050
The original Trimble Nomad was one of the first rugged handhelds we tested at RuggedPCReview. We even tested it underwater, on scuba. Trimble has been updating the Nomad over the years, and now released the Nomad 1050 with a faster processor, more storage, higher GPS accuracy, and new options. And it's now IP68-sealed. They tested it for an hour in 6.5 feet of water! [See description, analysis and specs of the Trimble Nomad 1050] -- Posted Thursday, October 22, 2015 by chb

Storage wars: Western Digital buys SanDisk
Western Digital announced it will acquire SanDisk for about US$19 billion in a move that further reduces the number of independent storage technology industry pioneers and leaders (Western Digital 45 years and roughly US$15 billion annual sales, SanDisk 27 years and roughly US$7 billion annual sales). The companies largely have complementary product lineups (Western Digital hard drives, SanDisk memory cards, USB and solid state drives). [See media release -- Posted Wednesday, October 21, 2015 by chb

Getac releases rugged IP65-sealed Core M-powered RX10 and RX10H tablets for healthcare and field deployments
Getac introduced the RX10 and RX10H twins, adding to its growing roster of rugged tablet computers for various enterprise, government and industrial markets. The two versions of the Intel Core M-powered 10.1-inch and IP65-sealed tablets are specially configured for their respective markets, the RX10H healthcare market version with an anti-microbial housing and RFID/NFC, the RX10 field version with a faster processor, larger storage, and 4G mobile broadband. Both have a super-bright 800 nits 1920 x 1200 pixel capacitive multi-touch display with wet and glove capability. [See full review of the Getac RX10 and RX10H] -- Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2015 by chb

Honeywell AIDC white paper discusses where to go from Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5
Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 is getting very long in the tooth, and the absence of a clear migration path means that numerous enterprise operations are facing tough decisions. According to Gartner, a full half of all currently deployed mobile enterprise apps will have to be rewritten or replaced in the next two years. But what will it be? Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld? Windows 10? Android? iOS? Or just HTML 5? Honeywell AIDC created a helpful white paper on the issue. [See Strategic Insights into Selecting the Operating System that Best Meets Your Long-Term Business Vision] -- Posted Monday, October 19, 2015 by chb

After 20 years, the Toshiba dynaPad is back!
Toshiba's Digital Products Division announced the dynaPad, which the company calls the world's thinnest (6.9mm) and lightest (1.25 pounds) 12-inch Windows tablet. The picture above shows the 1994 Toshiba dynaPad T200 on the left and the 2015 Toshiba dynaPad on the right. As early as 1968, computer visionary Alan Kay had described the DynaBook as a "dynamic medium for creative thought, capable of synthesizing all media -- pictures, animation, sound, and text -- through the intimacy and responsiveness of the personal computer." Today, 47 years later, Toshiba's release says that "we are closer to achieving the vision: truly personal computers that act as a complete medium for learning and expression." There's been progress for sure. The new dynaPad weighs less than a third of the 1994 version, its larger display has 8 times as many pixels, and its processor probably runs at about 50 times the clock speed. But there's still the Wacom pen, and still the dream of the ultimate digital notebook. [See Toshiba dynaPad media release] -- Posted Tuesday, October 13, 2015 by chb

Ascent MIL-STD-810G-tested rugged solar power solution
Ascent Solar announced that its new rugged fully-integrated and IP67-sealed photovoltaic power solution, the MilPak E, has passed MIL-STD-810G testing. Weighing 8.5 pounds, the foldable photovoltaic blanket with an attached waterproof battery case provides 86.5 watt hours of power storage with battery management circuitry, a 55 watt 24 volt power circuit, and two high-current USB circuits. Clearly an interesting product for those who need extended power away from the grid. [See Ascent Solar media release] -- Posted Monday, October 12, 2015 by chb

PC market: stormy with a chance of sunshine
According to IDC and Gartner, the conventional PC market isn't doing well. In Q3/2015, worldwide shipments dropped roughly 10% compared to Q3/2014, and that's despite the new Windows 10. Bucking the trend is Apple, which roughly shipped as many Macs. Overall, about 74 million PCs were shipped, with Lenovo (20%), HP (18.5%) and Dell (14%) leading, and Apple, Acer and Asus all in the 7% range. Both research firms, however, were cautiously optimistic about stabilization and mild recovery. [See Gartner and IDC media releases] -- Posted Saturday, October 10, 2015 by chb

Xplore: Mobile workers take note of tablets' handwriting skills
Handwriting recognition was once supposed to be the feature that put tablets on the map. It didn't work out that way because recognizing cursive is very difficult. Handwriting recognition technology still exists, though, and is built into virtually every tablet (Microsoft bought many of the initial HWR systems). A new entry in Xplore's blog discusses this issue, and how it's high time to take another look at handwriting recognition. [See Xplore's "Mobile Workers Take Note of Tablets’ Handwriting Skills"] -- Posted Tuesday, October 6, 2015 by chb

AMREL adds slim, lightweight ROCKY DS11 tablet
AMREL introduced the Rocky DS11, a powerful rugged 10.1-inch tablet targeted at military and industrial deployments. Powered by an Intel "Ivy Bridge" Core processor, the DS11 weighs just over three pounds and is only 0.8 inches thick, yet includes plenty of onboard connectivity. The capacitive touch display offers 1,000 nits luminance and provides a "no light" or night vision option. [See description, analysis and specs of the AMREL Rocky DS11] -- Posted Saturday, October 3, 2015 by chb

Are we seeing Pen Computing 3.0?
A new article on Microsoft on Seeking Alpha on Microsoft highlighted Microsoft's strong position in Surface laptop/tablet hybrids. In their recent Q4 results, Microsoft's Surface tablet revenues grew 117% to $888 million, and full-year Surface sales rose 65% to exceed $3.6 billion. In fiscal 2014, Surface sales were $2.19 billion, up from 2013's less than $1 billion. That means that Microsoft's current year Surface revenue are almost as much as we estimate the entire worldwide rugged computing market -- handhelds, tablets and notebooks combined -- to be (about US$4 billion). Given that both Surface and the new iPad Pro emphasize the importance of the pen, are we seeing the emergence of Pen Computing 3.0, after Pen Computing 1.0 1991-1993 and Pen Computing 2.0 2001/2002? -- Posted Friday, October 2, 2015 by chb

Component costs to manufacture an iPhone
Research firm IHS reported the total cost to manufacture a 16GB iPhone 6S Plus, which has a retail price of US$749, to be US$236. The screen is the most expensive part at US$52.50. The 8mp camera is US$22.50, the new 3D pressure touch adds US$10, 16GB of RAM is just U$5.50.
-- Posted Thursday, October 1, 2015 by chb