November 2012

Windows 8 off to slow start
According the the NPD Group's Weekly Tracking Service, the consumer Windows PC and tablet market didn't get the boost it needed from the launch of Windows 8 in the U.S. Since the Windows 8 launch on October 26, Windows device sales have fallen 21% compared to the same period last year. Windows 8 tablet sales have been almost non-existent, with unit sales representing less than 1% of all Windows 8 device sales to date. That's quite disconcerting given that Windows 8 was designed to be touch and tablet-centric. NPD noted, however, "The strong performance of Windows 8 notebooks with touchscreens, where Windows 8 truly shines, offers some reason for optimism. These products accounted for 6% of Windows 8 notebook sales at an average price of US$867 helping to re-establish a premium segment to the Windows consumer notebook market." [See NPD press release] -- Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 by chb

China itself buys mostly iPads
While inexpensive Made-in-China "Whitebox" tablets are seemingly everywhere, Analysys International reports that just 2.6 million tablets were sold in China itself in the third quarter of 2012, and of those, 71.4% were Apple iPads. Lenovo was a distant second with 10.5%. -- Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 by chb

Windows RT: how suitable is it for vertical markets? (Part II)
I had planned a quick follow-up on my first impressions of the Microsoft Surface RT tablet and Windows RT in general (see Part I). But now it's almost a month later, so why the hesitation? It's not because of Microsoft's hardware. I am as impressed with the Surface RT tablet as I was when I first took it out of its box. [... read more] -- Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2012 by chb

And Winmate also offers an Android version
Following the recent trend of offering hardware platforms with a choice of operating systems, Winmate Communication is offering their new rugged 7-inch tablet with Android 4.0 as well. The Winmate M700DT4 has the same 7-inch 1024 x 600 pixel wide-format screen with capacitive multi-touch as the Windows version, but uses a 1GHz TI OMAP 4430, only weighs 1.45 pounds and includes all the sensors and communication needed for the full Android experience. It, too, has IP65 sealing, a 4-foot drop spec, and a very wide operating temperature range. [See description and specs of the Winmate M700DT4] -- Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2012 by chb

New: Winmate M700D highly configurable rugged Windows tablet
Taiwanese Winmate Communication is fleshing out its roster of rugged handhelds and tablets with the new Winmate M700D. It's a rugged Windows tablet with a 7-inch 1024 x 600 pixel wide-format screen with capacitive multi-touch. Powered by a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N2600, the 1.7-pound tablet can accommodate SSDs up to 128GB, has IP65 sealing, a 4-foot drop spec, and can be configured for a wide range of applications and deployments. [See description and specs of the Winmate M700D] -- Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2012 by chb

Added: Panasonic Toughbook C2, optimized for Windows 8
Panasonic added the Toughbook C2 to its lineup. It's a semi-rugged 4-pound convertible notebook with a speedy Intel 3rd gen i5 chip, a bright 12.5-inch wide-format display with capacitive touch and an active pen, and up to 15 hours of battery life. It's also Panasonic's first Toughbook model specifically optimized for Windows 8. [See description, analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook C2] -- Posted Tuesday, November 13, 2012 by chb

TabletKiosk offers free memory and SSD upgrades on select business Tablet PCs
TabletKiosk announced that until the end of the year, customers who purchase select Sahara Slate PC i500 Tablet PCs with a capacitive touch screen will receive a free memory upgrade to 8GB RAM and a free upgrade to a Solid State Drive (SSD). [See press release] -- Posted Tuesday, November 13, 2012 by chb

Full review: MobileDemand xTablet T1200
Need a high-performance, fully rugged tablet computer that can also run Windows 8? The MobileDemand xTablet 1200 fits the bill with a 10.4-inch 1000 nits AFFS+ resistive multi-touch display, Intel third gen Core-i5 power, very long battery life, and extensive onboard connectivity ranging from legacy RS232 to USB 3.0 to 3G and 4G LTE WWAN. [Read our full review of the MobileDemand xTablet T1200] -- Posted Monday, November 12, 2012 by chb

Review: DAP Technologies MT1010 rugged Windows tablet
DAP Technologies introduced the MT1010 rugged Windows tablet on October 30, 2012. analyzed a pre-production version of the 2.9-pound tablet which has a 10.1-inch wide-format 1280 x 800 pixel display with capacitive multi-touch, uses an Intel Atom N2600 processor, offers plenty of onboard I/O and data capture options, and is equipped with accelerometer, magnetometer, light sensor, and a vibration motor for advanced apps. For ruggedness, there's a wide operating temperature range (-4 to 122F), a 6-foot drop spec, and IP65 sealing. [See review of the DAP Technologies MT1010] -- Posted Monday, November 5, 2012 by chb

Microsoft sued over live tiles
And.... Microsoft is already being sued for the use of live tiles in Windows 8. Portland-based SurfCast claims they infringe on one of its patents. In part, the abstract of the patent in question says, "the present invention comprises a graphical user interface which organizes content from a variety of information sources into a grid of tiles, each of which can refresh its content independently of the others." That should keep a good number of lawyers busy for a while. [See Surfcast patent] -- Posted Thursday, November 1, 2012 by chb