Gen2Wave RP-1000 – RAMCert Submission

24 02 2011
Introducing the Gen2Wave RP-1000

Introducing the Gen2Wave RP-1000

The Rugged and Mobile test centre is where we do all our device testing and selection and it’s where our new certification system fits in to our new website.

This is the first one!  We have to start somewhere and today we’re taking a first look at the RP-1000 from Gen2Wave.  See a video overview on the previous post.

Why are we looking at the Gen2Wave RP-1000?

Uniqueness, Niche-ness and innovation:

This is firmly in the “Small Rugged PDA” class Its fully rugged but small with a PDA form factor and 3.5″ screen.  It’s very close in size to the semi-rugged PDA’s we sell like the Pidion BM-170 or Motorola ES400, unyet the RP-1000 has a barcode scanner option (options are non, 1D, 2D oir RFID) and it’s

Spec:

The spec has to catch our eye and WM6.5.3, XScale PXA320 806MHz CPU, 256MB RAM as std, certainly does.  The 3MP camera, barcode scanner, HSDPA, BT, WLan and 3.5″ VGA screen only help with this, it’s up there with the best specced devices we sell.

Ruggedness

IP64, 1.5m drop spec to concrete, rubber edging strip and protected LCD make for a promising level of ruggedness.

Apparent quality and first impressions:

It has the same feel as the BIP-6000 which is highly rugged but with a very pleasing to touch case.  It feels heavy and sturdy, the keys are all very clicky and solid, it has 3 scan buttons for left handed users and 1 hand operation and it has a protected LCD and rubber bounce strip.

It has a good accessory list

There are at least as many accessories for this as there are for many other rugged PDA’s but it also has the essentials like cradles, extended batteries and vehicle / cup accessories.  It seems to be very extendable.

Manufacturer, distribution Service:

All of these are sound with good service products, good open and honest UK distribution and decent manufacturer all make for a device we can commit to and work hard on for customers.  Feedback has already taken place with the manufacturer which is a good sign.

Value for Money:

Good in the box contents, low price for the spec and reseller project pricing back up what is a very good proposition.

Gen2Wave RP-1000 In the box (iphone not included!!)

Gen2Wave RP-1000 In the box (iPhone not included!!)

Remember this is the first impression, we have t to test the device first but all in all the RP-1000 has only got it to lose right now!

We provide the test results tomorrow with our conclusions and RAMCERT rating.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.





The Rugged and Mobile Test Centre Process

22 02 2011

We put honesty, ethics and transparency above everything here at Rugged and Mobile which sets us apart in this market.  We constantly look at new products with a view on adding to our general portfolio and spend a lot of time testing and checking new and old Rugged PDA’s, Tablets, Scanners and RFID Equipment to not only see if it’s any good, but to also understand the product and where it fits into our offering here.  We don’t just flog new stuff to customers because we can, we target devices and back this up with sound knowledge and judgement.  Choice is one thing but unless the choice we give our customers comes with some kind of expert advice, the choice will just become baffling.

We’re going to push this process onwards and upwards this week which means not only will you continue to see some exciting new devices on our website, but with us you’ll see the whole process of how and why we sell them.  In essence each new device will have its own story to tell and this is all aimed at helping you to understand which device will be a good choice for you.  It’s kind of like reality TV for how we select our devices.

We’re going to start this process this week with the Gen2Wave RP-1000 which is an impressive device at first glance with some fantastic unique and well implemented features.

We start with the Managing Directors reasons for entering the RP-1000 into this process below, an interesting video to watch!!

The Rugged and Mobile blog.





Baracoda RoadRunners Bluetooth Barcode Scanner

18 02 2011
The Baracoda RoadRunners tested

The Baracoda RoadRunners tested

Baracoda make Rugged Bluetooth Barcode Scanners, specifically designed to work with laptops, smartphones or Rugged PDA’s.  They’re often overlooked in the Rugged market because Rugged Handhelds tend to have barcode scanners built in but they still have a healthy market of smartphone and semi rugged pda growth to tap in to.

We have been looking a lot at the Opticon OPN 2002 this week but as we had a Baracoda RoadRunners here this week too so I thought i’d do another test on this one.

Models

There are 4 models in the RoadRunners range all sporting the same rugged case and general spec but all with slightly different scanning options.  In order of how good we feel these are:

  • The RoadRunners EVO 1D comes with an OEM Motorola SE950 Laser scanner.  Its one of the best 1D scanners on the market in our opinion.
  • The Evo 2D comes with the OEM Honeywell Adaptus 5 SF imager that is a great scanner for all barcodes.
  • The Evo 1D comes with an OEM Intermec EV10 LED scanner.  Which is the one we’re testing here.  Its not the greatest scanner in the world being Intermecs budget option.
  • There’s also the DualRunners which can have either of the above scan engines but with an additional contact HF RFID reader built in too.
Baracoda RoadRunners 1D - In the box

Baracoda RoadRunners 1D – In the box

Accessories and in the Box

Everything you need is in the box which we really like to see and we have an image below to show you the parts.  However there are a lot of accessories you can also buy for the RoadRunners

Unique Features

If you need a rugged solution then this is it.  We also love the little snap on stylus which means you can scan and tap with one hand.  Having 4 models options is great with a scanning engine to suit your needs and I this is the only 2D scanner Bluetooth Barcode Scanner in this class on the market.  It’s also the only fully rugged one that we know of too.

Size

The RoadRunners is not small, in fact if you can remember the old Nokia 6100 series phone (I loved that phone!!) from the 90’s then it’s almost identical in size to that, a little larger if anything.  However the larger size does come with benefits as we found the scanner easy to hold and use, especially in gloves, the battery could be larger and the case is of course properly rugged which does demand a degree of size in the design.  Despite it’s size the scanner is still light.

Accessories for the RoadRunners Range

Accessories for the RoadRunners Range

Performance

There’s nothing wrong with the unit and decoding speed, but the scanner is not great and along with price, this is the main reason why this scanner sits 5th in our top Bluetooth Barcode Scanner list at the moment.  The LED scanner is certainly not good for any kind of intensive scanning and for the price the OPN 2002 or Ciperlab 1660 make for a far less awkward overall scanning pace.  Our videos on our main product page show this well.  The scanner was more susceptible to light interference and the speed and distance weren’t as good as others we have tested.  Annoyingly the button on our scanner, despite being almost new, sticks too.

However if you opt for the Laser or 2D version of the RoadRunners then this will be markedly different.  However the price goes up further for these versions.

Battery Performance

The battery is big by Smartphone standards, let alone Bluetooth Barcode Scanner ones.  At 2200mAh if this Li-ion one doesn’t last you then you’re in trouble and its good for at least 30,000 scans, between charges.

Software, Configuration and programmability

Again the theme here is that setting up the scanner was slightly awkward.  Firstly The scanner’s aren’t HID compatible so they won’t work with an iPhone, they do not work with Android either and rather than taking the HID approach where the built in keyboard drivers on the device are used, Baracoda use a more classic software and driver approach for each OS they support.

The cons of this are that you have to find the right software for your OS and device, there are updates and versions to contend with and we genuinely put the wrong software on our devices when we first tried to set one of these up and we’re Windows Mobile and Phone experts here!!

Having said that, once you do get things installed everything seems pretty damn stable, especially the BT hookup so even if you somehow manage to walk outside of the 100m range the device re-connects seamlessly.  You can configure the scanner and scan output on the device too which is a good feature.  It’s a rugged solution and all rugged solutions tend to be a little bit awkward.

Baracoda RoadRunners Plus Points

  • The battery is superb.
  • The ruggedness is unrivalled in this class
  • It has decent accessories.
  • The size will be personal preference but the overall design is nice to use for extended periods and it has the OPN 2002 (Our current No1) beat on all of these features.
  • We also like the techie nature of the Manufacturer.  You can just tell they’ve been around for years, spec sheets and software are plentiful and as long as you have a techie your side, you’ll be very happy.

The Cons of the RoadRunners

  • Its price is the worst feature.  We know its rugged but for a comparable scan engine it’s well over double the price and nearing some Rugged PDA pricing with the same scan engines built in to them!
  • We’d also stay away from the EV10 LED 1D scanner unless you know you’re only going to be scanning periodically.  Baracoda do position this model as such so just be careful.
  • The software set-up will not be easy for some, there’s no HID compatibility and Android and iPhone OS’s are not supported at this time.
  • Distributor and service support is not well geared for the UK market and be prepared for faceless help unless you find a good reseller who can help you through.  Its better than Opticons but thats not saying too much really!

Take away the price and ignore the LED version and Baracoda’s RoadRunners becomes one awesome product.  However the scanner we tested just wasn’t up to the performance we like to see at the price they ask for it.  If Rugged is what you need then you don’t need to look any further though.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.





Social Business and Social funding – The TikTok Lunatik Project

16 02 2011
Lunatik Tiktok

Lunatik Tiktok

OK, they tell you to blog about something completely off the wall once in a while so here it is.

Rugged and Mobile have a very philanthropic view on business, in fact it’s deeply rooted in everyone here.  I personally give business advice to start-ups, especially in disadvantaged areas and we also find small start-up projects and invest in many of these.  They often include all manner of African and Indian projects as but also anything we feel is rather cool and will become a success or change the planet in how things are done.  We really should shout more about what we do as a company!

One project we helped fund through Kickstarter is the Lunatik watch project which is a really cool watch assembly for the new iPod nano.  As you’ll see from the pictures it really is very cool, kind of rugged (OK I am stretching that a bit here!!) but also it’s a great piece of kit for those joggers amongst us and it has really got people talking when they see it for the first time.  THe word here is “Quality”, with machined aircraft grade aluminium and the strap is made from very good quality silicon.  The project was founded by Scott Wilson, the man behind the Nike Presto Watch so it has some great credentials to build on.

OK, so the product is cool but this isn’t what we bought in to or the point I want to make here.  What we bought in to was the social way in which this was funded and the transparent manner by which the whole project was run.  Not only was this a $1M project that was funded completely by businesses wanting to chip in (It took about 30 days to do that by the way!), but the whole project history from inception to manufacturer was published, shared and discussed on their website all the way through.  We’re seeing this in the way we borrow money where social lending is the fastest growing business on the planet right now and I think this represents the changing face of how business will be done in the future.  I just can’t see Dell or HP managing in this world and I certainly can’t see Tesco’s, banks or Oil companies doing it.

The trust is gone and we’re starting to place it into each other……  Where it should be placed.

Our TikTok - In Rugged and Mobile team colours!

Our TikTok – In Rugged and Mobile team colours!

When it comes to brand these days is it really that little apple shape that’s going to win out or what I have bought into with the Lunatik?  I know where my money will be going next!!

Tomorrow, we’ll be back to good old Rugged PDA’s again, with a fabulous scoop on the Pidion BIP-7000 where we have got our mitts on the first one in the UK.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.





iPhone Bluetooth Barcode Scanner Set-up

14 02 2011

Today we turn to Video and we “steal” a Quick Tip video from our Opticon OPN 2002 support pages.

This blog is a quicky to show you how to connect and use the Opticon OPN 2002 bluetooth barcode scanner, specifically using the iPhone.  The OPN 2002 is the smallest bluetooth barcode scanner on the market and its great friends with the iPhone making it probably the best iPhone barcode scanner on the market.

We show you a few tips and tricks in the following video of how to connect and use the scanner.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.








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