November 2011

DisplaySearch forecasts much higher resolution in tablets
The NPD DisplaySearch shipment forecast indicates that the average resolution of tablet PC displays will grow to more than 200 pixels per inch (ppi) in Q2'12. Expect the launch of higher resolution displays in tablets, such as 10.1' 1920 × 1200 and 9.7' 2048 × 1536. -- Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 by chb

Burns & McDonnell implements mobility solutions for increased productivity and efficiency at the Point-of-Service
Motion Computing announced that Kansas City-based Burns & McDonnell, a full-service engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting services firm, is utilizing Motion F5v Tablet PCs for increased time savings, productivity and efficiency at the point of service. "When factoring in price, performance, features and usability, the F5 was the complete package," said Bryan Claxton, associate project manager, Burns & McDonnell. [See Motion case study on Burns & McDonnell deployment] -- Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2011 by chb

Grapevine Push-to-Talk now on Panasonic Toughbook U1 tablet
DecisionPoint Systems, which provides field-based workforce automation solutions, announced that its Grapevine cloud-based Push-to-Talk software is now certified on the Panasonic Toughbook U1 ultra mobile rugged PC. Grapevine Push-to-Talk is a worldwide communication system that is "always on," enabling instant voice communication over a range of mobile devices and PCs. -- Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2011 by chb

Autodesk ForceEffect app for iPad
Autodesk announced the Autodesk ForceEffect iPad app. ForceEffect allows engineers to quickly simulate design options during the conceptual phase by tapping objects to select, move, rotate and scale for immediate feedback on the performance of a design. ForceEffect, which is free, is one of Autodesk's growing collection of very inexpensive or even free tablet apps. Our take: ForceEffect is also an example of software companies using the large media tablet market to cleverly and inexpensively promote their brands with limited but very useful products that can lead to sales of their primary products. [See ForceEffect on iTunes] -- Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2011 by chb

Next gen of Microsoft Surface available for pre-order
Samsung and Microsoft announced that the next generation of Microsoft Surface is now available for pre-order through Samsung resellers via the Samsung Electronics website. Initially unveiled earlier in 2011, the Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface features PixelSense technology that allows LCD panels to see without the use of cameras. The SUR40 looks like a 40-inch HDTV with four legs to make it a table and, in conjunction with Microsoft Surface, is intended to allow users to manipulate screen content with hands and gestures. -- Posted Saturday, November 19, 2011 by chb

iData Partners with Audatex to supply Motion Tablet PCs
iData Distribution, a distributor of automated ID and mobile technologies for the reseller market in southern Africa, reports it has supplied Audatex (the world's leading supplier of vehicle repair data) with 160 Motion Computing Tablet PCs. The Motion "Audapad" tablets are loaded with the Abuntex motor vehicle assessing software and deployed for accurate customer information gathering on the road, simplified results tracking and reporting, while eliminating duplicate efforts, such as re-keying data. [See iData press release] -- Posted Saturday, November 19, 2011 by chb

Qualcomm unveils next-gen Snapdragon S4 processors
Qualcomm announced the expansion of its Snapdragon S4 class of next-generation mobile processors (and enhancements to its Snapdragon S1 for entry-level smartphones). The new S4s, using Qualcomm's Krait CPU micro architecture, seek to lower design, engineering and inventory costs while bringing leading-edge 3G/4G connection speeds to next-gen mobile devices from smartphones to tablets. Qualcomm announced several new S4 chipsets, including the MSM8660A, MSM8260A, MSM8630, MSM8230, MSM8627, MSM8227, APQ8060A and APQ8030. These are in addition to the previously announced MSM8960, MSM8930 and APQ8064. [See Snapdragon S4 Processors white paper (PDF)] -- Posted Thursday, November 17, 2011 by chb

Fujitsu UK & Becrypt launch ultra-secure tablet for public sector
Fujitsu UK and Ireland reports that it has joined forces with data protection expert Becrypt to offer the first comprehensively secure tablet PC for UK government deployment. Becrypt's DISK Protect Baseline full disk encryption software has been developed and modified for use on the Fujitsu Stylistic Q550, delivering peace of mind for customers handling sensitive data. The Becrypt software will be CESG(1)-accredited to protect information and files saved locally up to Impact Level 3 (restricted access). [See Fujitsu press release] -- Posted Wednesday, November 16, 2011 by chb

Entertaining Intel site helps with picking the right Core processor
While Intel kind of designates its Core i3/i5/i7 processors as "good," "better," "best," it's notoriously difficult to make the case for one processor line over the other, unless there are very specific requirements (such as the use of some specific Intel technology that may be available in one line but not the others). Apparently Intel is aware of this confusion and predicament and has created a special multimedia website where users can figure out which Core processor is right for them. It's not very scientific, but quite entertaining. [See the visibly smart Intel Core processor family site] -- Posted Tuesday, November 15, 2011 by chb

Panasonic launches the Toughpad at Dallas Cowboy Stadium
With the stated goal of providing the first tablet designed for business, Panasonic introduced their new Toughpad in grand style at Dallas Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Available early 2012, the 10.1-inch Marvell/Android-based Toughpad A1 offers IP65 sealing, a 4-foot drop spec, dual cameras, 10 hour battery life, daylight viewability, and enterprise level security. A smaller 7-inch B1 version will be available later in 2012. [See full coverage of the Panasonic Toughpad launch event] -- Posted Friday, November 11, 2011 by chb

Xplore gets US$14+ million rugged tablet order
Xplore Technologies announced it has received purchase orders from one of the world’s largest utility companies for more than 4,000 of its newly launched iX104C5 rugged tablet PCs, representing over $14 million in aggregate sales orders. These C5 tablets are expected to be delivered during the first half of calendar 2012 and will be used to improve the productivity of the customer’s field service operations. [See Xplore press release] -- Posted Thursday, November 10, 2011 by chb

Amazon orders 5 million Kindle Fire tablets
According to Digitimes, Amazon has increased its Kindle Fire tablet order to a cool five million, based on strong pre-orders of the 7-inch US$199 device that comes with 8GB of storage, WiFi, measures 7.5 x 4.7 x 0.45 inches, and weighs less than a pound. -- Posted Thursday, November 10, 2011 by chb

Windows 8: a bit of fear, uncertainty and doubt
In mid-September 2011, Microsoft showcased a preview of the next release of Windows at the BUILD developer conference. After reading up on it, I wrote down my impressions in the days following the preview, but held off putting it in the RuggedPCReview blog until I had a bit more time to let it sink in and contemplate the likely impact on rugged mobile computing manufacturers and users. My thinking hasn't changed, so below is pretty much what were my first impressions about Windows 8 and what it will mean for mobile computing... [Read more] -- Posted Thursday, November 10, 2011 by chb

Analysis: Fujitsu Lifebook T731 and Styistic Q550
What should you get if you want business-class tablet functionality? A pure tablet? Or a notebook that can be converted into a tablet? Dan Rasmus analyzes two Windows 7-based devices from Fujitsu, the Intel Core i5 or i7 powered Lifebook T731 and the light and sleek Stylistic Q550. [See analysis of the Fujitsu Lifebook T731 and Stylistic Q550] -- Posted Friday, November 4, 2011 by chb

GameStop now selling several media tablets with games pre-installed
GameStop is now selling media tablets as well, and they all come with six free games already installed. Initial tablets sold are the Acer Iconia (US$325), the Asus Eee Pad Transformer (US$399) and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 (US$499). GameStop now also issues store credit to customers who trade in their iPod, iPhone or iPad. GameStop's move doesn't necessarily signal the end of dedicated consoles, but many gamers may start balking at expensive console games (usually US$60) in favor of less expensive downloadable games. [See GameStop tablet offers] -- Posted Friday, November 4, 2011 by chb

HP announces Windows 7-based Slate 2
HP introduced the HP Slate 2, which is very much like the unloved HP Slate 500 except for a switch from an 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 to a 1.5GHz Atom Z670 processor and a few minor changes. Microsoft's preview of Windows 8, however, makes the HP Slate 2 a more attractive proposition, but for now it's Windows 7 on a 8.9-inch multitouch/pen display with first-gen netbook resolution (1024 x 600). Pricing is US$699 for a WiFi-enabled 32GB version and US$799 for a 64GB version. [See HP Slate 2 on HP website] -- Posted Thursday, November 3, 2011 by chb

New Norton Tablet Security protects Android tablets against loss, theft and online threats
Symantec released Norton Tablet Security and new updates for Norton Mobile Security, including a new "Scream" feature that helps users find a lost or stolen phone quickly. Both offerings for the Android platform further support the Norton Everywhere initiative, which extends Norton's security expertise and technologies to protect consumers everywhere they go, regardless of device or platform. -- Posted Wednesday, November 2, 2011 by chb