May 2012

Full review: Winmate 9.7-inch rugged Windows tablet with capacitive multi-touch
With Windows 8 getting closer, all eyes are on tablets that run the Redmond OS while still providing the iPad experience, and in a tougher package that can handle bumps and rain. Winmate has one of these, the M970D rugged tablet, and we got an early example for a full review. It is based on the rather quick Intel Atom N2600 processor and has a superb 9.7-inch capacitive multi-touch screen. [Read full review of the Winmate M970D rugged tablet] -- Posted Thursday, May 31, 2012 by chb

Review: Samsung Galaxy Note
As phones get ever larger, wouldn't it be nice to also have a pen for doodling and taking handwritten notes? That's what Samsung thought when it created the Galaxy Note with its huge (for a phone) 5.3" screen. Dan Rasmus takes a detailed look at this "Phablet" with its Wacom technology pen. Does it make sense? Does it work? Who is it for? [See Dan Rasmus' review of the Samsung Galaxy Note] -- Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2012 by chb

Cisco Cius victim of market shift to employee-owned devices
95% of organizations in a Cisco IBSG Horizons Study on virtualization and BYOD allowed employee-owned devices and 36% provided full support for them. Cisco senior VP O. J. Winge said in a blog that this represents a market transition and that Cisco will no longer invest in its own Cisco Cius tablet, and no further enhancements will be made to the current Cius product. [See Cisco blog] -- Posted Monday, May 28, 2012 by chb

Jury: Google did not infringe on Oracle patents
While Android has become the #1 operating platform for smartphones and is also used in most media tablets competing with Apple's iPad, a patent infringement lawsuit by Oracle against Google had been hanging over it. Case 10-3561 was tried in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, and on May 23, 2012, the jury decided Google did not infringe on Oracle's patents (which Oracle came to own via its purchase of SUN Microsystems). [See Reuters news on the case, and the actual jury verdict (PDF)] -- Posted Thursday, May 24, 2012 by chb

DRS Tactical Systems announces two new lightweight 7-inch multi-touch tablets
DRS Technologies announced that its Tactical Systems division has expanded its portfolio with two new, thin, lightweight tablets. The new ARMOR X7ad and ARMOR X7et tablets look almost identical and both have 7-inch multi-touch displays, but they are actually quite different: the NVIDIA Tegra 2-based X7ad runs the Android OS that dominates the smartphone market and is making inroads in tablets, whereas the Intel Atom-based X7et is based on the enterprise-friendly Microsoft Windows 7 platform. [See's description and specs of the DRS ARMOR X7ad and DRS ARMOR X7et tablets] -- Posted Wednesday, May 23, 2012 by chb

MobileDemand rugged tablet now Gobi 3000 certified
MobileDemand announced that its xTablet T7000 rugged Tablet PC is now Gobi 3000 certified. Gobi is an embedded mobile broadband technology by Qualcomm that provides wireless technology and vendor independence by supporting multiple wireless standards. This way, users do not have to swap modem modules to access wireless networks provided by various wireless carriers. [See MobileDemand press release] -- Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2012 by chb

Juniper Systems partners with SDG to produce Android version of the Mesa Rugged Notepad
Juniper Systems announced a partnership with Pennsylvania-based SDG Systems. This partnership will bring to market a version of Juniper Systems' Mesa Rugged Notepad with Android 2.3, which will be distributed exclusively through SDG Systems. as the RAMPAGE 6. The Android version of the ultra-rugged Juniper Mesa Rugged Notepad with its 5.7-inch display and IP67 sealing will be available starting in Q3 of 2012 from SDG Systems. [See Juniper Systems press release and SDG's RAMPAGE page] -- Posted Tuesday, May 22, 2012 by chb

DLI 9000: rugged 9.7-inch capacitive touch POS tablet can run Windows or Android 4.0
DLI of LaPorte, Indiana, has announced the DLI 9000, an Intel Atom Z670-powered rugged tablet that can run either Windows or Android 4.0. With a 9.7-inch 1024 x 768 pixel capacitive touch screen and measurements only slighter larger than that of the iPad, the 2-lbs DLI 9000 tablet may well benefit from a market that has embraced the iPad by the tens of millions. Also interesting: an optional 5-in-1 module that adds a magstripe reader, a debit pin pad, contactless payment, EMV Smartcard reader, and 1D/2D CMOS barcode scanning. [See description and specs of the DLI 9000] -- Posted Monday, May 21, 2012 by chb

DRS ARMOR X10gx and SafetyPAD software used at Hennepin County Medical Center
The StarTribune, a Minneapolis/St. Paul newspaper, ran a feature on the SafetyPad, which the paper described as a paramedic's constant companion at Hennepin County Medical Center. The system is used by HCMC's 25 ambulances and consists of OPEN Inc.'s SafetyPAD software. The hardware SafetyPAD runs on at HCMC seems to be DRS ARMOR X10gx tablets (see our review), which, the report points out, can be dropped from a height of 4 feet about 20 times. They also quote HCMC's operations supervisor as saying, "all of our ambulance tablets have been dropped more than that." [See StarTribune article] -- Posted Sunday, May 20, 2012 by chb

Perytons launches ZigBee protocol analyzer for Tablet PCs
Perytons Ltd. announced the release of its new Tablet PC analyzer models for analyzing 802.15.4, ZigBee and 6LoWPAN networks. The PeryTAB combines the Perytons Protocol Analyzer suite features with an optimized Tablet PC touch interface for a superior user experience. During the market introduction phase the PeryTAB will be provided together with a Tablet PC such as ACER Iconia W500 or Skytex Skytab S-series, running the Microsoft Windows 7 OS. -- Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2012 by chb

HCSS launches mobile apps that improve field entry and productivity
Construction software developer HCSS has introduced a suite of new mobile applications for collecting and reviewing data on construction field operations. These apps can be run anywhere using iPhones, iPads and Android-based phones and tablets. With just a few swipes on a mobile device, contractors can record an entire time card including diaries, photographs and cost-coded employee and equipment hours, as well as production quantities. [See HCSS mobile apps] -- Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2012 by chb

Free Motion Computing webinar: Empowering the Mobile Worker with the Right Tablet PC
On Thursday, May 17, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. CDT, Motion Computing and VDC Research will hold a free webinar that will outline the advantages of mobile field computing and discuss things to consider when deciding on the best purchase decision. [Free registration] -- Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2012 by chb

Foxconn scores US$34 billion sales in Q1 2012
It's stunning how big electronics contract manufacturing companies have gotten. Hardly anyone knows their name, but in terms of sales they pass and dwarf some of the world's most recognizable brands. Foxconn, for example, makes a lot of the electronics products sold by Apple, Sony, Microsoft and Amazon. The company just announced Q1 2012 revenues of US$34 billion, up almost 40% from Q1 2011. In annuals sales, Foxconn is bigger then IBM, Sony, Toshiba, Microsoft, Hyundai or BMW. -- Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2012 by chb

Thailand buys 400,000 educational tablets
According to Digital Trends, Thailand has signed the world's largest educational tablet purchase to-date. The US$33 million deal covers the first 400,000 tablets, with a second deal for over half a million more anticipated. The ScoPad SP0712 tablets are made by Shenzhen Scope Scientific Development Co. in China, and run Android 4.0 on a 1.5GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor. The 7-inch display features 1024 x 600 pixel resolution and capacitive multi-touch. While specs are modest, they'll certainly help speed Thailand's 6-8 year olds towards becoming Post PC-savvy. -- Posted Monday, May 14, 2012 by chb

NY Times blog on rugged Android tablets
"Companies May Accept Sturdier Android Tablets" is the title of an article in the New York Times Bits blog. In it, author Brian X. Chen argues that while the market for rugged handhelds is relatively small (about two million devices in 2011 according to IDC, expected to rise to 2.7 million by 2014), it's a valuable one, and one that Micrsoft could lose to Android. [See "Companies May Accept Sturdier Android Tablets"] -- Posted Thursday, May 10, 2012 by chb

Moprise announces new version of Coaxion
Moprise, a provider of mobile software for accessing and organizing enterprise documents from mobile devices, announced its newest version of Coaxion with a re-designed user interface is available for download from iTunes for iPads and iPhones. Coaxion, allows seamless navigation between enterprise-hosted and personal document storage, and organizes documents related to specific meetings. Mobile users can view and share Office documents in their original form on iPads - including embedded charts, graphics, annotations, and security watermarks - features that consumer document reader applications are unable to support. -- Posted Tuesday, May 8, 2012 by chb

Evernote buys Penultimate
Evernote, the company whose very popular software lets you take and archive notes, has bought the Penultimate digital handwriting app for the iPad. The Evernote blog describes the transaction and how everyone feels about it. Evernote, which has just raised another US$70 million, is clearly thinking big. Now if they could only come up with a stylus that really works on projected capacitive screens, and apps that include palm rejection smarts. -- Posted Monday, May 7, 2012 by chb

Rugged Computing Industry Discussion -- Part 2
Rugged Tablet PC company executives answer RuggedPCReview's questions about opportunities in the rugged and semi-rugged tablet market as a result of the iPad's popularity. In Part 2, the Handheld Group and Motion Computing answer the questions. [Read Rugged Computing Industry Discussion - Part 2] -- Posted Monday, May 7, 2012 by chb

Who makes the most tablets?
Well, Apple, of course, and then Amazon and Samsung. But the picture looks quite different in terms of who actually builds those tablets. iPads are made by Foxconn, and the Taiwan Economic News just reported that Quanta will be the leader among non-iPad tablets in 2012. That's because Quanta scored a number of new contracts to build Android tablets, over six million this year. [See article] -- Posted Monday, May 7, 2012 by chb

IDC on Q1/2012 tablet sales: Apple shines, Android struggles
According to IDC, a steep drop in Android-based tablet shipments offset a strong quarter by Apple. A total of 17.4 million media tablets were sold worldwide in Q1 2012, 1.2 million below IDC's estimates. Of those 17.4 million, Apple shipped 11.8 million, for a 68% marketshare, up from 54.7% in Q4, 2011. Amazon, which had sold 4.8 million tablets in Q4, 2011, fell sharply and is now in 3rd place behind Samsung. Our take: Given Android's stellar performance in smartphones, the platform's struggle in tablets clearly represents a missed opportunity. Android's platform fragmentation seems a much bigger issue in tablets than in smartphones. And soon there will be further fragmentation when Windows 8/RT arrives. [See IDC release] -- Posted Friday, May 4, 2012 by chb

Diversity to add to growth in tablet market
Shipments of tablet PCs are expected to grow from 81.6 million units in 2011 to 424.9 million units by 2017, according to the latest NPD DisplaySearch Tablet Quarterly report. The forecast for 2013 shipments has increased from 168.9 million to 184.2 million. This forecast estimates that in 2016 more tablet PCs will be shipped than notebook PCs. A growing diversity of operating systems is driving the increase in demand for tablets, as well as rapidly evolving features. At the same time, the capacity of component manufacturing is being increased to meet new market demand. [See NPD DisplaySearch release] -- Posted Thursday, May 3, 2012 by chb

MobileDemand on rugged Tablet PC systems used in aerospace and defense
MobileDemand posted a brief description and analysis of rugged Tablet PCs used in aerospace and defense applications in its Ruggedized Computing Blog. The entry lists the capabilities those two fields require from device manufacturers. [See Rugged Tablet PC Systems Used in Aerospace and Defense] -- Posted Wednesday, May 2, 2012 by chb

United Flower Growers increases accuracy by 90% with Motion Tablet PCs
British Columbia-based United Flower Growers is a Dutch-style auction that sells over 50 million stems of flowers and more than a million potted plants per year. Each morning, truckloads of flowers and plants arrive at UFG's 26 loading bays where they are visually inspected for quality. Sales data is scanned into custom software using Motion Computing F5v Tablet PCs, dramatically reducing manual input errors by 90%, which translates to a considerable cost savings. Motion Tablet PCs are also starting to be used in other areas of the operation, where UFG expects to increase efficiency by up to 40%. [See Motion Computing press release] -- Posted Wednesday, May 2, 2012 by chb