Tools - May 2010

By  Susan Nunziata — April 29, 2010

New products for mobile workers.

Indoor, Outdoor Toughbooks
Panasonic has two new Toughbook models, the H1 Field handheld tablet (above) and the C1 convertible tablet. The H1, released in March, is designed for field sales personnel, first responders, supervisors, inspectors, and maintenance workers and other mobile professionals in extreme environments. It meets IP65 and MIL-STD-810G ruggedness ratings and has a six foot drop rating. Options include SmartCard, RFID, and barcode readers, camera, GPS and Qualcomm's new Gobi2000 mobile broadband chips. Connectivity choices include 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1. It uses the Windows 7 OS and features a 1.86 GHz Intel Atom processor. The C1, due in June, is a 3.2 lb., 12.1-inch convertible tablet powered by the Intel Core i5 520M vPro. Aimed at medical professionals, its multi-touch screen allows users to operate it with a finger, gesture or electronic stylus pen. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 and optional Gobi2000. Wi-Fi, WiMAX and 3G mobile broadband modules can be embedded in the C1. The H1 and C1 are certified for use on the Sprint and Verizon Wireless networks, with other carriers to be announced soon. Prices: H1, $3,379; C1, $2,499.


Palm Multi-Tasker
AT&T is offering the Palm Pre Plus and the Palm Pixi Plus, the only Palm webOS devices in the U.S. to support simultaneous voice and data while running multiple applications at once. The Palm Synergy feature in webOS keeps email, contacts and calendars up to date with integration to Yahoo!, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Microsoft Office Outlook all in one view. The devices feature built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, and AT&T customers can access more than 20,000 hotspots in the U.S. as part of their unlimited data plan. Prices: Pre Plus, $150; Pixi Plus, $50; both with two-year contracts.


Atomic Netbook
T-Mobile offers the Dell Inspiron Mini 10 netbook equipped with the Intel Atom processor N450 and Windows 7 OS. The 3 lb. device features built-in access to T-Mobile's 3G network and comes pre-loaded with T-Mobile's webConnect Manager software so users can manage their usage and connections. Its integrated six-cell battery provides up to eight hours of continuous usage. Price: $200 with two-year contract and webConnect data plan.



Rugged Tablet
The Handheld Algiz 7 is a rugged 7-inch PDA with Microsoft Windows 7 OS. It features an Intel Atom 1.6 GHz processor with 64 GB Solid State hard drive and 2 GB of DDR2 RAM. It comes standard with Bluetooth, WLAN and GPS. Optional 3G cellular is available for GSM/UMTS/EVDO data transmission. The Algiz 7 is ready for Gobi 2000 technology. It's rated IP65 and meets MIL-STD-810G military standards. Price: $2,699-$2,949.



Mighty Elf
Datalogic's rugged Elf PDA with WinMo 6.5 is aimed at field service, field sales, delivery, retail and logistics. It has an integrated laser barcode reader and 2D imager. Connectivity options: UMTS HSDPA, 802.11 a/b/g with CCX V4 certification, and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR. Price: $2,115-$2,870.



Get Testy
Fluke's AirCheck rugged handheld Wi-Fi tester enables users to monitor and troubleshoot 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity, channel utilization and security settings. Users can find rogue access points (APs), see overloaded networks and channels, and validate security settings. Price: $1,995.



PTT Android
This summer, Sprint launches a push-to-talk (PTT) rugged smartphone with Android 1.5 OS. The Motorola i1 iDEN has a 3.1-inch touchscreen and meets military specs for protection against dust, shock, vibration and blowing rain. Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g and Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR are integrated. Price: Unavailable at press time.



Next-Gen MC75
The Motorola MC75A is designed for retail, manufacturing, healthcare, government, field service, field sales and transportation/logistics. Options include cellular 3.5G HSDPA or CDMA EVDO Rev A, and WLAN 802.11a/b/g. Price: $2,095-$3,035.



Flexible Tablet
The WebDT 390 combines an 8.9-inch touch display with a 1.6GHz Intel processor. It's designed for use in point-of-service and point-of-sale applications in retail, healthcare, hospitality, gaming, entertainment, field service, and manufacturing. It offers a choice of operating systems, including Microsoft Windows and Windows Embedded. Integrated options include a magnetic stripe reader, barcode and imaging scanners, and 3-megapixel camera. Connectivity options include 3G wireless WAN with GPS and optional RFID. The 390 is IP54-rated for water and dust resistance. Price: $2,067.



Branch in The Cloud
Aruba's Virtual Branch Networking (VBN) 2.0 has cloud-based Application Acceleration Service (AAS) and Content Security Service (CSS), eliminating the need to deploy branch appliances. AAS is designed to accelerate the performance of e-mail, Web browsing, and file sharing. CSS provides real-time content filtering, intrusion prevention, anti-virus/anti-spam protection, and load balancing of outbound traffic. A free Virtual Intranet Access (VIA) client provides secure mobile access for Windows-based devices. Prices: AAS, $255 per remote access point; CSS, starting at $45 per user per year.



iPad Connects
Apple launched its iPad multi-touch tablet in the U.S. on April 3, 2010. iPad is 0.5 inches thick and weighs 1.5 lbs, delivering up to 10 hours of battery life. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and 3G. The device comes in 16 GB, 32GB and 64GB versions. The touchscreen features a near-full-sized "soft" keyboard. As with other Apple products such as the iPhone and iPod, apps for the device must be downloaded from the Apple Store. Price: $500 - $830.



Economical Edge
Lenovo launched the Thinkpad Edge series of laptops in 13-, 14-, and 15-inch versions. Options include a choice of Intel Core i5 Series, i3 Series or Celeron processors. VoIP features include high resolution cameras and an HD LED screen. Choices of wireless technologies including 4G, 3G and WiFi. AT&T's 3G service is available on optional built-in mobile broadband modules that are enabled for AT&T LaptopConnect. Lenovo also includes its ThinkVantage Technologies (TVT) productivity tools, such as Rescue and Recovery to help recover lost or corrupted files, and Access Connections designed so that users can easily connect and manage Internet connections. Price: starting at $599.



Hardy Cellphone
Verizon Wireless is offering the Casio G'zOne Brigade, a rugged cellphone with Push-To-Talk designed for tough environments such as construction, public safety and utilities. It features a QWERTY keyboard; an HTML browser; and Document Viewer for reviewing Microsoft Office docs and PDFs. The device is capable of running Verizon's Field Force Manager. Price: $250 plus two year plan and data package.



On-Premise Mobility
Honeywell's Dolphin 6500 is designed for in-premise workers in retail, supply chain and light industrial environments. It has two keypad options -- a 28-key numeric keypad and a 52-key alphanumeric keypad. Adaptus Imaging Technology is included for linear and 2D bar codes, digital image capture, and signature capture. It runs Microsoft Windows Embedded CE 5.0 OS. Connectivity includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Price: $1,395-$1,495.


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