March 2012

Blast from the past: Scriptel
Scriptel, a global provider of electronic pen and sensor technology, announced the launch of the ST1501 LCD Electronic Signature Pad for Web Environments. The name Scriptel also brought back memories of the ScripTel WriteTouch digitizer of the mid-1990s that was briefly used in Xplore GeneSys rugged tablets. In the meantime, Scriptel apparently has an installed base of almost 3 million units. -- Posted Saturday, March 31, 2012 by chb

IDC: Android to pass Windows platform
According to IDC, the Windows/X86 platform will slip from a leading 35.9% share in 2011 down to 25.1% in 2016, losing the OS lead to Android-based devices running on ARM CPUs. IF, that is, you count smartphones and media tablets as computers. Looking at it that way, of the almost one billion of "smart connected devices" (i.e. PCs, tablets and smartphones) sold in 2011, about half were smartphones. By 2016, IDC expects almost 1.9 billion smart connected devices, and over 60% will be smartphones. Interestingly, IDC's graphs show tablets remaining well behind conventional PCs. [See IDC press release] -- Posted Friday, March 30, 2012 by chb

Garmin launches iOS/Android Garmin Pilot aviation app
Garmin announced Garmin Pilot, a new aviation app for iOS and Android-based mobile devices. The app brings Garmin's aviation features to tablets and smart phones, offering pilots complete navigation, trip planning, DUAT(S) filing, weather and electronic flight bag capabilities. It's free for 30 days, then pilots can pay $9.99/month or an annual subscription of $99.99. Geo-referenced FliteCharts are available for an additional $49.99 annually. Geo-referenced SafeTaxi diagrams are available for an additional $29.99 annually.[See Garmin Pilot product page] -- Posted Thursday, March 29, 2012 by chb

Solar-powered rugged case for the iPad
Solawerks announced that the company is developing a version of its Solapad iPad cover with space age "hard rubber" type material so that the fragile iPad can be used in rugged environments. -- Posted Thursday, March 29, 2012 by chb

Mobile processor market to reach almost 2 billion by 2016
According to a new research report by NPD In-Stat, for 2011 ARM is the dominant processor architecture with over 73% of all units shipped and is growing. Thanks to the iPhone and iPad, Apple is second place for the entire mobile processor market just behind industry leader Intel, and in 2012, Apple will likely capture the top spot in terms of unit shipments. In-Stat also says that the release of Windows 8 later this year will be a pivotal point in the competition between the ARM and x86 processor architectures. -- Posted Wednesday, March 28, 2012 by chb

Fujitsu offers faster Stylistic Q550
Fujitsu is now offering a top-of-the-line model of the Stylistic Q550 Slate PC with a 1.7GHz Intel Atom Z690 instead of the original 1.5GHz Z670. This model, which starts at US$999, also comes standard with a Gobi3000 technology and carrier-independent WWAN module (available as an option in lesser versions). [See latest Fujitsu Q550 specs] -- Posted Monday, March 26, 2012 by chb

Hillcrest Labs unveils next "movement" for smartphones and tablets
Hillcrest Labs announced that its natural motion control technology, Freespace, is now available for manufacturers and component suppliers of smartphones and tablets. Hillcrest's new Freespace MotionEngine for Mobile is an embedded software solution that manages and enhances the performance of motion sensors found in smartphones and tablets -- accelerometers, magnetometers, and gyroscopes -- to enable today's motion-based applications and provide the foundation for next-generation user experiences. -- Posted Monday, March 26, 2012 by chb

Apple sells 3 million new iPads in 3 days!
Apple announced it has sold three million new iPads in the first three days of its official release on March 16, 2012. That's roughly ten times as many as Apple sold of the original iPad during its first few days. [See Apple press release] -- Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2012 by chb

Poundland boosts warehouse productivity with Motion Tablet PCs
Motion Computing reports that Europe's biggest single price discount retailer, Poundland, has gone live with a deployment of Motion F5 Tablet PCs in two warehouse hubs in the Midlands. The tablets replace legacy data collection equipment and improve the productivity of Poundland QA teams in both locations and ensure Poundland's supply chain keeps pace with demand. -- Posted Monday, March 19, 2012 by chb

The new iPad -- First impressions
On Friday, March 16, 2012, at 9:30AM, Fedex delivered our two new iPads. The Fedex guy actually gave us three packages by mistake. We get a lot of stuff via Fedex, but since all three looked the same, I checked and saw that this was probably a third iPad. I called after the departing Fedex guy. "You saved me life," he told me as I handed him the third package back. [read more] -- Posted Sunday, March 18, 2012 by chb

Socket Mobile launches Apple-certified 1D barcode scanner
Socket Mobile announced that the Socket Bluetooth Cordless Hand Scanner (CHS) 7Ci barcode scanner has been certified by Apple for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The pocket-size, lightweight CHS 7Ci uses long-range Bluetooth to connect to the Apple devices, creating a general purpose data collection solution for the mobile workforce. [See 7Ci scanner product page] -- Posted Sunday, March 18, 2012 by chb

Video: Motion Tablet PCs for Mobile Audio Mixing
Western-swing, boogie and roots-music band Asleep at the Wheel has been around for nearly 40 years, turning out 25+ albums while playing a tough, relentless schedule. The band prides itself on continuous reinvention, and exploring new avenues and sounds. One thing they never have to worry about is ensuring optimal sound quality for everyone in the audience thanks to road manager Jim Finney and his Motion Computing J3500 Tablet PC that he uses for mobile audio mixing. Motion put up a great video on YouTube where Finney explains the project and use of the tablet. [See Motion Tablet PCs for Mobile Audio Mixing] -- Posted Thursday, March 15, 2012 by chb

When our new iPads shipped
We ordered two new iPads (one black, one white, both 64k and AT&T) on March 7, 2012, the day the new iPad was announced. The black one shipped March 10 and the white one on March 12, both marked for delivery on March 16. -- Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2012 by chb

Edelman PR refuses review
Edelman PR refuses to let us review Adobe Lightroom. Talk about alienating the media. -- Posted Monday, March 12, 2012 by chb

Getac Europe announces Android-based rugged Z710 tablet
Getac's European operations have issued press releases inviting Getac customers to try out their new rugged and Android-based Getac Z710 tablet. The ruggedized Z710 has a 7-inch capacitive touch screen, measures 8.8 x 5.75 inches, runs up to 10 hours on a charge, has dual cameras and 16GB of onboard storage (expandable via microSD), and can be equipped with RFID, scanners and WWLAN. A 10-inch Android model will also be available. [See description and specs of the Getac Z710 tablet] -- Posted Thursday, March 8, 2012 by chb

Motion hosts free webinar on optimizing clinical workflows with tablet computers
Healthcare organizations are looking to gain the mobility benefits of tablets but still have questions about what kind of device to choose. On Wednesday, March 14, 2012 11:00 am PST Motion Computing hosts a free webinar to explore the key questions to ask when considering a mobility initiative built on tablet PCs. [See Event Information: Tablet PCs: Optimizing Clinical Workflows] -- Posted Thursday, March 8, 2012 by chb

New Apple iPad: dual/quad-core, retina display, 4G, 1080p video, iSight cameras, voice dictation
Apple announced the new iPad with a 2048 x 1536 pixel "retina" display, a A5X quad-core processor, iSight camera technology similar to the iPhone 4s, 1080p video, voice dictation, Bluetooth 4.0, and 4G LTE. The new iPad looks very much like current models, but weighs a bit more than the iPad 2 (1.4 lbs). Battery life will remain at 10 hours for general use and, amazingly, 9 hours on 4G. Pricing remains at the same level (i.e. US$499 ($629 with 4G) for 16GB models; US$599 ($729 with 4G) for 16GB models; and US$699 ($829 with 4G) for 64GB models). The iPad 2 remans available with lowered prices. Apple also introduced iPhoto for iPad and a new 1080p-capable Apple TV (US$99). -- Posted Wednesday, March 7, 2012 by chb

Over 1,000 GameStop stores now sell refurbished iPods, iPhones and iPads
GameStop reports that it sells refurbished iPods, iPhones or iPads in more than 1,000 U.S. stores and online at In 2011, GameStop began providing immediate in-store credit and cash for trade-ins of the popular Apple products. [See GameStop's refurbished iPod, iPhone and iPad page] -- Posted Monday, March 5, 2012 by chb

Toshiba to deliver Excite 10 LE tablet
Toshiba Digital Products Division announced that heir Excite 10 LE tablet is now available in the US. Previously introduced as the Excite X10, the Excite 10 LE Toshiba describes the Excite 10 LE as the world's thinnest (0.3 inches) and lightest (1.18 pounds) 10-inch tablet. The Excite tablet has micro-USB, HDMI, a micro-SD card slot, WiFi, Bluetooth, dual speakers, dual cameras for video chat (2,p) and 1080p HD video recording (5mp), and 1280 x 800 pixel resolution on its Gorilla Glass protected screen. The Excite is powered by a 1.2GHz TI OMAP 4430 processor, comes with either 16GB (US$529) or 32GB (US$599), and runs Android 3.2. No mention of WWAN, though. [See Toshiba Excite 10 LE YouTube video] -- Posted Saturday, March 3, 2012 by chb

Wacom introduces multi-touch Intuos5 tablets
Wacom announced Intuos5, the next generation of pen tablets for professional photographers, designers and artists. New features include multi-touch gesture support, Express View to quickly see settings, a multi-function touch ring, programmable keys, a more ergonomic design, the possibility to connect the tablet wirelessly, and an even better pressure-sensitive (2,048 levels) pen. The Intuos5 comes in small (active area 6.2 x 3.9 inches, US$229), medium (8.8 x 5.5, US$349), and large (12.8 x 8, US$469). [See Wacom Intuos5 tablets overview]
-- Posted Thursday, March 1, 2012 by chb