Motorola MC45 Rugged PDA is Launched

30 01 2013
Motorola MC45 - A proper Rugged PDA for the Budget Conscious Business

Motorola MC45 – A proper Rugged PDA for the Budget Conscious Business

I’m actually quite excited about the Motorola MC45 and after seeing it in action I think you will too!

Motorola typically exist at the upper end of the Rugged PDA market, but more recently have been reacting to the wave of cheaper devices coming from the far east as more and more new and different businesses adopt a mobile strategy and need new kit that doesn’t bust the bank.  The Motorola MC45 is just that, a rugged PDA for the budget conscious and we got our first full exposed look at the device this week.

So just what is a Rugged PDA for the “Budget conscious?” I hear you say!  Well actually it means different things to different Manufacturers.  In Motorola’s case the MC45 is still aiming to have a quality about it, something more MC65/67 but by removing or downgrading critical features of the device, Moto have managed to get the price down.  So, there you have it, a quality rugged PDA but at an affordable price.

The MC45 in a nutshell

The MC45 is a pretty cool looking, mid-sized Rugged PDA.  It’s rugged, with IP64 and drop spec of 1.5M, has a resistive touch 3.2″ screen and is powered by Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5.  It has 3G, phone, 1D scanner, Camera, a/b/g Wifi. Bluetooth, GPS and is Host USB capable, so all the normal features a business needs are there.

Add to this there’s 1 model only.  No tricky configs to contend with so you buy it and that’s that!  The same 3080mAh battery as the smaller ES400 comes in the box as does a USB charger and cable and it’s heart beats with a Qualcomm MSM7627 600MHz CPU, 256MB RAM and 1GB ROM.

So all in all not to shabby, but also nothing to write home about either.  So far the Motorola MC45 is exactly what it says on the tin!

Price

The pricing is going to be about the £600.  It’s not quite the same great value as a Dotel H300 for example but it’s going to turn your head as its close.

The Motorola MC45 has a full set of accessories

The Motorola MC45 has a full set of accessories

What to watch for

Motorola have openly cut corners on features, rather than quality to get the price down, this is what they did:

  • CPU – is not the best out there, it’s a workhorse CPU though and it’ll do the job for 90% out there.
  • 3.2″ QVGA LCD -  It makes the device small, in fact it has as much in common with an ES400 as an MC65, it’s bang on in the middle of the two.  The 3.2″ screen might be too small for some though and QVGA gives only 320×240 resolution.
  • 3.5G - is a bit old now, think iPhone 3GS, it’ll be way quick enough to do your emails, sync data (Even photos) and to browse the internet or run an HTML5 application.
  • 1D laser scanner - is the only option for the full bar code scanner.  Motorola say that their camera technology is good enough for occasional 2D scanning.  We’d agree with the occasional bit but the camera does have full support for the ScanWedge application and SDK so you can use it.
  • One keyboard option – The numeric one in the pictures is it other than for language variations.
  • Mini USB connector - It’s not rugged, it could be a risk for some.
  • No RFID – or NFC for that matter.

Worth a mention

The Motorola MC45 does however come with a well targeted range of accessories. There’s not a tonne to choose from but what there is, is well thought out and probably will cater for 90% of what is generally needed by customers.  Again we see here a reduced rnage of products so the costs can be kept down. You can judge form the phot here though that the accessories look pretty nice and well designed.

I also think in this class the battery will out perform most rivals, Motorola is also saying the MC45 will be more durable than the likes of the Intermec CS40 and Honeywell D6000.  Don’t forget that the MC45 is running a smaller LCD and a quarter of the pixels so the battery should stand up quite well.

The full gamut of “Service From the Start” products are available, judging from the list pricing on these they will also be very affordable.

What we think

There’s no doubt that the Motorola MC45 will sell in numbers.  The small screen will put it up against some stiff competition, but I think the quality and services that Motorola bring will mean it will fend off quite a lot of this.  It will be a little more expensive than a Pidion HM40 for example but for some the difference will be enough to shell out for the prestige brand and the quality advantage it will have over any far eastern brand in our experience.

The MC45 will compliment a growing range of Motorola Rugged PDA’s and it will give many businesses a decent option at an affordable price.

The MC45 is available and shipping now, please come and ask about lead times or if you want more information.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.





Android Dropped By Pidion!

28 01 2013
Piidon drop Android on their BM170, BIP-6000 and HM50 Rugged PDA's

Piidon drop Android on their BM170, BIP-6000 and HM50 Rugged PDA’s

We gave Pidion the title of “First Rugged Android PDA” some months ago now but it seems Pidion have decided to remove their Android Pidion BIP-6000 and Android Pidion BM170 and Pidion HM50 from sale in a shock and sudden move.  You only need to go to the Pidion website itself and you’ll find that Android has been largely stripped from their offering which confirms this news.  To be honest Android on Pidion’s has been a lot of hard work, we have had nothing but conflicting advice, poor communication and changing dates and so in a way we’re kind of relieved that the mess can at least now be cleared away.

So we wanted to put the record straight here for anyone who has or was hoping for Android on their Pidion BM170′s, BIP-6000′s or HM50′s, by answering the questions we have received so far and by letting you know what we know.

Have Pidion responded to our questions or made a statement about this?

in a word…No.  Their management haven’t even graced us or anyone else for that matter as far as we know with anything at all on this decision.  We have also spoke to distributors and other resellers last week to try to shed some light on this and nothing…zip, nada my friends!  Being the number 1 reseller of Pidion in the UK does not seem to make any difference right now.  If you know anything, then please post a comment up!

What does it mean for people who bought Pidion BM-170′s or BIP-6000′s and were hoping to upgrade them?

Well actually Pidion never actually developed Android themselves, choosing a partner to do that for them.  The Android they have developed is still very available, it’s actually better than anything Pidion delivered anyway and we have already got a great relationship with them so we can supply Android on your devices.  Just come and ask and we’ll help you out.

Will Android be coming back to the BM170 or Pidion BIP-6000?

We don’t know!  I would find it extremely unlikely though.

Will Android still be available on the new devices Pidion are selling?

We asked that too!  The website seems to have pulled everything, including the much-anticipated HM50 from their Android offering, other than the HM40 and tablets.

Are we peeved at this?

You can bet your life we are.  You only need to read this blog to see how Rugged and Mobile and others have believed in, committed to and helped Pidion develop so it’s really disappointing to hear 3rd hand about this and have the cloak and dagger treatment from their management when it was so core to Pidion’s and our strategy.  We’ll get any news or updates out as soon as we get them.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.





Rugged Mobile trends for 2013 – Trend 10 – Windows Mobile Dies!

25 01 2013
Is Windows Mobile walking on thin ice?

Is Windows Mobile walking on thin ice?

OK, OK, so a top 10 mobile predictions from Rugged and mobile wouldn’t be the same without a few shock statements and we all really discussed whether we should publish this one but the truth is the statement does have some real smoke.  Don’t forget that we also all grew up here on Microsoft and still all love the technology but lets see why we think this could be true…

1. Windows Mobile 7 was taken removed form the developer line.  It’s true!  It was there, now it isn’t, nothing replaced it and with support officially ending in 2014 where’s the replacement?

2. Visual Studio 2008 Sucks! You have to use VS2008 to develop WM solutions and quite frankly it’s just too old and we’re sick of it here!  CSS3, HTML5 and JavaScript/jQuery are ill supported so the projects (despite being well written) look like they have bugs all the way through them, VS2008 is really ol in its look and feel and quite frankly and it makes WM projects expensive, time-consuming and complex to produce well, especially when compared to the new range of IOS, Android and hybrid HTML5 based apps that are where it’s all happening right now.

3. HTML5 support is non-existent and is actually being supported by manufacturers rather than Microsoft.  This turns a hybrid app into a native one in our view but more worryingly why isn’t Microsoft supporting the OS?

4. Manufacturers are telling us that Windows Mobile is gone and Windows 8 will be its replacement.  Either Microsoft is planning a “Data Capture” version of W8 or it’s hoping we’ll all just revert to the smartphone OS.  It wouldn’t be a poor strategy but it would indicate that they are aggressively pursing the BYOD mentality rather than the Mission Critical one of yesterday.

5. No-one knows anything about the replacement for WM6.5.  No one!  Manufacturers are all focussing on Android, we’re all moving on and adopting IOS and Android and in the absence of decent developer support for WM and communication about the road map, there may not be anyone listening by the time there is!  Why would you develop for 2% of the market anyway is the attitude of many suppliers like us.

So plenty to think about.  We think this will be a critical year for Windows Mobile and how the resellers of rugged Kit operate in the years to come so hopefully I’m proved wrong.  I don’t think I will be though!

The Rugged and Mobile blog.





Rugged Mobile trends for 2013 – Trend 9 – The Year Mobile Payments Take Off…Really this time!

23 01 2013
We'll all love mobile payments a lot more by the end of 2013

We’ll all love mobile payments a lot more by the end of 2013

Admittedly this was a trend we perhaps got wrong last year!  However if at first you don’t succeed, make the same mistake again!  I think last year mobile payments got a lot of bad press, it also had a lot of opposition who managed to get a while manner of scare mongering stories out in the open and add to this, the technology and process used for mobile payments was probably a bit shaky.

This year however I think the chances are far greater that we’ll see this take off.  Done right, mobile payments are far more secure than having £100 in notes in your back pocket and with the rise of more and more mobile apps venturing into the issue of “how do we get paid for that” I think Mobile EPOS solutions will really get some traction this year.  We work a lot of with NFC here too.  We use it for our own socially connected “Sociality” solution and we also understand how 2 phones talk to each other over NFC and it’s just a whole new world of mouth-watering solutions just waiting to be developed!!

I also think a lot more people have NFC enabled credit cards, the banking service has been advertising and pushing their payments well and attitudes are on the tipping point.

2013 will be the year I think people really start to trust mobile payments and also start to understand them and how they can benefit them rather than create risk.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.





Rugged Mobile trends for 2013 – Trend 8 – The Great Tablet War Gets Hotter!

21 01 2013
Tablets, Rugged or not the war is far from over!

Tablets, Rugged or not the war is far from over!

A lot of people say that Android, despite their hardware dominance, has far from won the war that they are really fighting, that is to understand and own the end user and as the end users trend is to do more and more on the mobile device, we’ll see this war heat up hugely in 2013, spearheaded by the tablet market.

We said in a previous here that the lines between devices are getting blurred but I think 1 thing is for sure, the tablet, in its classic 7″ or 10″ guide will be a tool that sells in way more numbers than ever before.  Why do we think this?  Well tablets are replacing Desktops and Laptops.  They allow for the next generation of truly mobile solutions that allow users to use, report from and administer their solutions whilst in the field themselves and they offer a far more usable experience than any laptop can.  The traditional model of “Manager” of a solution is dying and at the same time the smartphone or Rugged PDA will only ever deliver a so-so user experience when it comes to more complex mobile solution usage.

The undisputed king of the desktop, Microsoft, is also going to drive their traditional model into the mobile arena with vigour this year and with it an acceptance that the “power of the PC” desktop driven culture is now going to have to be remembered fondly as the good old days of £200 Operating systems and £800 Office solutions!  The world has changed and with the key players in the computing market now all changing we’ll see tablets take the central role in the whole computing sphere.

They’ll always be things a tablet won’t do well but thing is there’s usually a tool for that these days.  Bluetooth bar code scanners, bespoke waterproof cases and all kinds of other accessories ensure that the tablet is used where it should be and business models are supported, using the best solution available.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.








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