New Rugged Handhelds, Tablets Hit the Market

May 22, 2012  - By

Photo: Juniper Systems Several new rugged GPS-enabled devices were announced this week.

Juniper Systems has partnered with Pennsylvania-based SDG Systems to market the Mesa Rugged Notepad with Android (AOSP) 2.3 operating system, a rugged handheld computer known as the RAMPAGE 6 and distributed through SDG Systems. Availability of the RAMPAGE 6 is scheduled for the third quarter of 2012 and its first public presentation will be at the Esri International User Conference in San Diego, July 23–27, 2012.

The Android (AOSP) 2.3 operating system on the RAMPAGE 6 offers many advantages for data collection, including easy multi-tasking, a modern user interface, rich programming environment, multi-platform development, abundant application data storage, open source flexibility, and the opportunity for a custom Android interface developed by SDG Systems, according to Juniper Systems. Additionally, its optional kiosk mode allows only certain applications to be accessible by the user, creating a single-purpose device without distractions, Juniper Systems said.

The RAMPAGE 6 will have the same features as the Mesa Rugged Notepad, including a large 5.7-inch viewing display, IP67 ingress protection rating for water and dust, integrated 2–5 meter GPS receiver, optional integration of a 1D/2D barcode scanner, and optional Class I, Division 2 certification for use in hazardous locations.

Meanwhile, DRS Technologies, Inc., announced today that its Tactical Systems division has expanded its product portfolio with three new ARMOR rugged tablets. The ARMOR X7et and the ARMOR X7ad are thin, lightweight tablets based on customers requesting even more portable computers from ARMOR, the company said. “The 7-inch multi-touch tablets shatter the perception of bulky, rugged computing, and offer field service workforces the ability to choose between the fast-growing Android OS and the enterprise-friendly Microsoft Windows platform,” The company said. Additionally, DRS is now offering a new light convertible tablet, the ARMOR X12kb, that meets MIL-STD-810G. All three follow introduction of the ARMOR X7 compact rugged tablet launched in 2011.

The ARMOR X7et is a Windows-based tablet that weighs less than 1.5 pounds and provides six hours of battery life. It features an Intel Atom Z670 processor and runs Microsoft Windows 7 Professional. Its Android counterpart, the ARMOR X7ad, weighs 1.3 pounds and operates for up to eight hours. It features a NVIDIA Tegra 2, 1.0-Ghz dual-core processor, and operates on Android v3.2. Both lightweight tablets feature a 7-inch outdoor-readable multi-touch screen display. They are certified to MIL-STD 810G for extremes in temperature, vibration, shock, and four-foot drops and have an IP65 rating for ingress protection, which means they are fully protected against dust and can withstand low pressure jets of water from all directions.

Weighing 5.5 pounds, the ARMOR X12kb features a 12.1-inch sunlight-readable swivel touchscreen that incorporates polarized LCD glass and anti-reflective technology. The ARMOR X12kb offers the Intel Core i5-560UMCPU processor and runs Microsoft Windows 7 Professional. It has a long battery life, operating for up to eight hours, as well as a spill-proof keyboard and touchpad. Additionally, the one-click stealth mode operation disables all emitting light and sounds, a feature designed for the unique applications of covert operations.

The three new ARMOR mobile computers include connectivity options including Gobi Wireless Broadband, integrated GPS, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth wireless. They are designed to make it easier for workers to use mobile computing in rugged environments, as this product video shows: