January 2012

Review: Advantech UTC-515 ubiquitous touch terminal
Businesses the world over are seeking new and innovative ways to automate and improve service, and the application potential for smart touch terminals seems endless. RuggedPCReview.com took a detailed look at the Advantech UTC-515 15.6-inch Intel Atom-D510/525 based "ubiquitous touch computer" that runs Windows Embedded Standard. It's an elegant, very solid and very expandable design that is also small enough (also looks good enough) to fit anywhere. [See review of the Advantech UTC-515 touch terminal] -- Posted Thursday, January 26, 2012 by chb

Apple posts record results
Apple's Q4 2011 financials may well go down in history. Apple's stock is at US$450 (as of January 25, 2012), Apple's market value is US$420 billion, highest in the world. Q4 2011 revenue was at US$46.3 billion, with a record profit of US$13.06 billion. Apple sold 37 million iPhones, up 128% from a year ago. Apple also sold 15.4 million iPads, up 111%, and Mac sales also rose 26% to 5.2 million units. On top, Apple has no debts and almost US$98 billion in cash. -- Posted Wednesday, January 25, 2012 by chb

Full review: Winmate G570Z 5.7-inch rugged handheld device
The Winmate G570Z may look like a large PDA, but it's actually a small Windows tablet. With a very bright 5.7-inch resistive touch screen and running embedded Windows XP on an Intel Atom Z510 processor, the 8 x 4.7 inch G570 weighs around two pounds, considerably less than larger rugged tablets. The device is highly configurable (1D/2D scanner, RFID, 3.5G WWAN), runs a full shift on dual batteries, and with a 4-foot drop spec and IP65 sealing can be deployed almost anywhere. [See review of the Winmate G570Z rugged tablet] -- Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2012 by chb

NDP DisplaySearch: Wide viewing angle LCDs on the move
We've been preaching the virtues of wide viewing angle displays for many years and marveled at the fantastic viewing experiences on Hydis and other IPS (in-plane switching) and FFS (fringe-field switching) displays (HP used Hydis displays already in their 2003/2004 TC1100 Tablet PC). Well, according to NDP DisplaySearch, with the increasing use of tablet PCs and smart phones to view and share video, wide viewing angle performance is finally becoming a requirement in TFT LCDs. In our opinion, wide viewing angle displays are so much better as to make them virtually mandatory on most mobile computing devices. [See NDP DisplaySearch release on wide viewing angle LCD technologies] -- Posted Thursday, January 19, 2012 by chb

Fujitsu releases advanced POS touch terminal
While we haven't heard much from Fujitsu in terms of mobile tablets as of late, the company is very active in the point-of-sale area where its TeamPoS all-in-one touch terminals represent the state of the art. The latest addition is the TeamPoS 7000, which Brian Yates, Director of Retail Product Marketing at Fujitsu America, described as follows: "The TeamPoS 7000 AIO terminal is a key building block for creating the retailing environment of the future. This vision starts with multiple in-store touch-points sitting atop an open architecture with remote system management. We then integrate CRM, multimedia and social media, and leverage cloud integration and mobile commerce solutions to provide customers with a holistic and interactive retail experience that will increase loyalty and drive powerful new marketing programs." [See Fujitsu press release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 17, 2012 by chb

Review: Acer Iconia Tab A500
Contributing editor Dan Rasmus felt it was a little strange to be writing a review of a shipping tablet just as CES 2012 is over. But unlike much of the gear touted in blogs, endless television coverage and various radio shows, the Acer Iconia Tab A500 is shipping, and at a reasonable price. [See Dan Rasmus' review of the Acer Iconia Tab A500] -- Posted Friday, January 13, 2012 by chb

Staples media tablet stats
Staples, from a variety of statistical sources, compiled the following tablet statistics: The average tablet user spends 90 minutes per day on their tablet. 88% use their tablet on the road. 54% of tablet users are 34 or older. The most common tablet display size is 10 inches. The average tablet user spends US$34 on apps. 80% of tablet users say tablets have improved their work/life balance. [See Staples tablet stats summary] -- Posted Thursday, January 12, 2012 by chb

Synaptics announces single ASIC large touchscreen ClearPad solution for tablets
Synaptics announced the latest addition to its single ASIC ClearPad Series 7 touchscreen family, the single ASIC ClearPad 7300 solution. Supporting up to 12-inch touchscreens with tracking of 10 or more fingers, the ClearPad 7300 is designed for the tablet market. [See ClearPad Series 7 Product Brief (PDF)] -- Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012 by chb

RIM previews BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 at CES
RIM is previewing the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 at CES in Las Vegas. The software upgrade, which will be available for free download to all BlackBerry Playbook users in February, includes a large number of enhancements to make the OS more integrated and connected. [See RIM press release] -- Posted Tuesday, January 10, 2012 by chb

Atmel announces next-gen maXTouch S Series
Touch technology specialist Atmel Corporation announced the availability of its new maXTouch S Series family of touchscreen controllers, the next gen of their unlimited touch plus stylus technology with systems supporting touch screens from 3.5 inches all the way to 17 inches. The S Series facilitates thinner and lighter devices without sacrificing responsiveness, touch fidelity or battery life. [See maXTouch S Series YouTube video and white paper] -- Posted Monday, January 9, 2012 by chb

TI to demo Windows 8 on OMAP 4 platform at C ES
Texas Instruments will be showing an OMAP4470 processor-based tablet running on a pre-release version of Windows 8 at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, demonstrating how the latest OMAP 4 platform supports Microsoft's upcoming next version of its operating system. [See TI press release] -- Posted Monday, January 9, 2012 by chb

Growing influence of tablets
According to NPD DisplaySearch, the tablet category expanded its role in the mobile PC market, with shipments of 72.7 million units, accounting for 25.5% of mobile PC shipments in 2011. By 2017, notebook PC shipments are forecast to reach 432 million units, and tablet shipments are projected to reach 383.3 million units. DisplaySearch also projects that of the 432 million notebooks, ultrabooks, with their sleek design and convenience like instant-on and long battery life, will contribute about 40%. -- Posted Thursday, January 5, 2012 by chb

Neonode announces single chip optical touch controller
Neonode is the company that offered touch and swipe-controlled smartphones years before Apple, but simply was ahead of its time (see our review of the Neonode N2) and the phones are long gone. Neonode, however, marched on as a provider and licensor of its innovative optical touch technology that uses an infrared grid to detect the position of the finger or pen. Now they announced what they claim is the world's first ultra-low power single-chip optical touch controller, developed in conjunction with Texas Instruments. Suitable for handheld and small to midsize devices, Neonode's touch technology combines elements of resistive and capacitive digitizers, and the new single chip solution makes for a lower chip count and lower cost. The technology has some issues, but is attractive and usable enough to score a number of high-profile licensees. -- Posted Wednesday, January 4, 2012 by chb

Rugged tablets used by motorcycle riders in Taiwan
There are a lot of motor scooters in Taiwan. In fact, every second citizen has one. However, due to the nature of Taiwanese traffic laws, there are hardly any larger bikes. Well, the laws have changed now and big bikes are suddenly quite popular. Given Taiwan's expertise in mobile electronics, it's not surprising to see rugged mobile computers integrated into big bikes, where they serve as big-screen GPS, information centers, and for weather forecasts, traffic reports, and more. The image shows a Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR820 tabled mounted on a Honda. The Intel Atom-powered, 2.9 pound SR820 with its magnesium alloy chassis and housing and a 8.9-inch WSVGA touch display (see our review) seems well suited for the task. [See Rugged tablets used by motorcycle riders in Taiwan] -- Posted Monday, January 2, 2012 by chb