Replacing Your HTC P6500 – The Options

26 02 2010

So your P6500 estate got a rude awakening last month and as all “shiny” devices end up, it was abruptly taken out of service.  We’re getting a lot of customers trying to replace their P6500 estate and I thought I’d share some of the common questions here.

I want a direct replacement with the large screen being paramount to my needs, what are the options?

Well 3.5″ screen, durable, there are currently only 2 or 3.  Firstly the Pidion BM150RV is the probably the most like-for-like replacement.  It’s in fact a better device with a drop spec making it a “semi-rugged PDA” and it has a 2 year full support contract available.  A fair amount of accessories, with WM5/6 options, an HSDPA version and all around the £500 mark.  You can also get this in GSM/GPRS-less version cutting the price down by about £100.

Secondly the Trimble Juno is a durable device with a nice big battery but whilst it has an HSDPA data option, it does not have phone capabilities.  It retails about £670 but it is a very  nice device from a very nice manufacturer if your engineers don’t use it for phone calls.

I need a properly rugged device but my budget is £500 what’s out there?

Only 1 device really, the GaneData GX8010.  This is a superbly built very rugged PDA, with a great battery and WM6.1.  The drawbacks?  Well it only has a 2.8″ screen, but that might be ideal for some.  Its 64/128MB memory configuration is limiting for some users with hefty software to run on it and the 400MHz Samsung processor, whilst seen in many other devices, is still a little bit on the slow side these days.  It retails for around the £550 mark though with a box full of accessories and the best Adaptus 2D barcode scanner included in the price making it fantastic value for money.

OK, its time to go for a rugged device, what can I get that my business can really rely on?

Motorola’s MC55 is the obvious choice.  All the short comings of the original device have been addressed with a great battery, small size for a rugged PDA but with lots of radio, keyboard and scanner options.  The accessory list is as long as your arm, if a little bit on the expensive side but you simply cannot fault what is the most popular Rugged PDA on the market today.  speak to us now for qty orders because we can really do well with this device for serious orders.

I would also have to recommend the Opticon H19.  Its small, again with a 2.8″ screen.  but it has a 1 or 2D barcode scanner option and lots of accessories.  It does suffer from the same memory and processor constraints as the GX8010 does but for £660 you can;t complain and it’s popularity means it should be fine for most applications.

Anything new worth waiting for?

Well yes there is!  Firsty the GaneData GSmart is nearly here and it is a fantastically powerful and fully featured Rugged PDA we feel will sell very well for around the £700 mark.  Its small with a 2.8″ screen but it packs a powerful punch.

Secondly there are rumours about that Motorola have a replacement for the much-loved MC35 ear-marked for the end of this year.  It is rumoured to be more rugged, more stable but at a very competitive price.  We’ll have to wait and see!!

Pidion are releasing the BM170 in the next 4-6 weeks too which is kind of iPhone looking durable PDA, same as the BM150, more powerful and a little sexier looking!

Of course there are many more devices.  The Janam range offer unrivalled value if you need something without GSM/GPRS capability.  Honeywell are also revamping their whole range and the Dolphin 9700 is a fine device, if a little expensive at around £1300 and All the manufacturers on our website have many offerings and we’re have the experts to help you through your decision, getting the right device for you.

Give me a call or email if you need to know more


The Rugged and Mobile blog.

iPAD, will it change the EPOS market?

26 02 2010

OK, OK, so this is another article about the Apple iPAD but this one looks at it from a very different perspective.  We have a range of EPOS based Windows CE or WM touch screen terminals that are used for “Hospitality” type applications or you can run EPOS software on them literally turning the terminal into a cash register with the addition of a few USB peripherals, such as a barcode scanner.  Thats about it though, try using the terminal for anything else and they’re pretty useless.

We see the iPAD though as something that could really engage users and be the vehicle that provides the vision into new and exciting applications in the EPOS and data capture markets.  People are going to use the iPAD everywhere like never before and it’ll only be a short time before we see it being used as something stuck on a kitchen cupboard door, or as a hospitality style tablet.  Whilst many people are looking at ways of porting their apps onto it, we’re looking at ways we can provide EPOS and data capture on them because I think the iPAD has the potential to open up this market like nothing before.


The Rugged and Mobile blog.

Rugged PDA’s and the Windows Mobile 7.0 Conundrum

24 02 2010

So with an announcement of Windows Mobile 7.0 finally giving us an insite into how the new Mobile OS will look, what does it mean for Rugged PDA users?

Firstly let’s get the naming straight here. Windows Mobile 7.0 is going to be known as Windows Phone, partly in an effort to accept that there probably shouldn’t be too much difference in desktop, netbook and mobile OS’s in the future (Just see how Apple are doing it!!).  Secondly it’s because they are now going to call Windows Mobile 6.x, Windows Mobile Classic.  Not to be confused with WM 6.x Classic edition, this is a clear statement that WM6.x will be around for a while yet.

What this means for Rugged PDA’s

I already get asked frequently about WM7.0 upgrades, whether WM6.5 is worth getting and the response is that there are pretty much only 3 or 4 Rugged PDA’s with WM6.5.  It pretty much has no major differences under the hood than WM6.x and even the changes it brought are pretty basic in my view.  I think it will become the lost OS in the consumer market but in the Rugged PDA market it could hang around like a bad smell for a while.

I spoke to quite a few manufacturers over the past few weeks about their strategy for WM in 2010, especially accounting for WM7.0 and the answer was the same from all of them.  Nothing was scheduled for WM7.0, anything new would have WM6.1 or 6,5, depending on the licensing they could get and they are mostly trying to drop C.E. like a hot rock.

On one hand, on a Kiosked device the OS almost doesn’t matter as long as you have good performance in a rugged, capable device that won;t let your business down.  However on the other hand, No-one wants an old OS, and as WM7.0 becomes prevalent in the consumer market people will demand it in the Rugged Market.  However how this will be addressed by the manufacturers who have genuine 5-8 year roadmaps for their devices will remain to be seen.

The trends we’re still seeing are a dramatic increase in iPhone development in the Enterprise market, and we feel the iPad will be akin to throwing fuel onto this and we continue to hear rumours of Android based rugged PDA’s.  The old argument of both these OS’s not having enough development community to attack the business/rugged end of the mobile market is starting to wear thin and we just hope there’s something left when WM 7.0 finally launches.


The Rugged and Mobile blog.

Dave is a Microsoft .NET consultant, specialising in mobile and data capture.

GaneData GX8010 becomes more connected

17 02 2010

GaneData provide small Rugged PDA’s and are a great company and they listen to and respond to their customers intently.

We just word that from Mid-March all GaneData GX8010 rugged PDA’s will come with both Bluetooth and WiFi as standard.  This means that not only do you no longer have to choose between the 2 but the Bluetooth is also fully compatible headset compatible.

The update should not impact cost which means that GaneData GX8010 is still the only fully Rugged PDA with an IP65 rating, a 1.5m drop spec that customers can buy for less than £500.

More later

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

1D Barcode Scanning Speeds Vs 2D Barcode Reading

15 02 2010

In my last article about the 1D Barcodes Vs 2D Barcode scenario, one thing I did miss out (thank-you people for your comments and questions!) was whether 2D barcode  technology is good enough for scanning applications where barcode scanning speed and intensity are the main issues.

The short answer is that I feel in scenarios where barcode scanning throughput is still a major element of the process, you need a 1D barcode scanner.  I’d say anything in the supermarket where you’re reading UPC barcodes with a barcode scanner of some nature would fall firmly in this category.  In fact, unless you really do have a need to scan 2D Barcodes or are hellbent on keeping your barcode equipment future proof , then stay with a 1D barcode scanner.  most barcode scanner applications are still using 1D technology in the retail environment.

In the Rugged PDA scenario however I think there are various 2D scanners that are more than adequate to scan, say 50 parcels onto a van all in one go and to then allow a light scan intensity during the daily workflow.  Look out for anything with a Motorola 2D scan engine in it for starters.  The SE4400 is a pretty good scanner these days and is highly configurable, making it extremely versatile and fast if set-up correctly.  The Adaptus scanner, found in anything from its own Honeywell products, Janam and GaneData’s is still one of the best scanners on the market in our view.

We recently pitted up the GaneData GX8010 against the Opticon H19B and it wiped the floor with it on scanning accuracy and reading speed.  We’ll let you see the video soon!

So, although 2D barcode scanners are getting better and better all the time, be wary when buying one if scan speed is paramount.  if in doubt get in touch and I’ll help you choose the right one.


The Rugged and Mobile blog.

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