Honeywell are definitely going in a certain direction with their rugged PDA’s and the Dolphin 99EX certainly doesn’t buck this trend. The 99EX is another “Warehousy” looking device that is trying to do the whole thing from warehouse to field mobile.
You can see the form factor in the images is clearly derived from the warehouse market and will make the devices a little fiddly for the field mobile crew who need good numeric style or qwerty keyboards in a certain config.
Honeywell’s President states “…with the introduction of the 99EX, we have reinvented the performance standards that should be expected of the entire data capture industry…” So we explored what is new about this device.
The long life battery (You have to purchase the extended one on top) has been around for years and Intermec with their CN70 series have this currently sewn up in our view with some really fascinating and innovative tech apparently getting the best battery life in the market. Software definable radios have been seen in Motorola’s new devices already and we still can’t understand how this is any benefit to most UK based businesses we sell to.
IP67 rating and drop specs of 6ft are not unique and whilst this device will have a degree of ruggedness known to Honeywell devices, there’s nothing new about this at all. You can also argue why you would need an IP67 device above an IP65 one? Whats the point unless you work by swimming pools in by the sea!?
Light and proximity sensors are bundled in, that’s because they are on new mainboards anyway, it’s a bit like saying it has WLan built in so it will largely depend on how the Dolphin 99EX actually uses these sensors that will make the offering unique. A demo app showing the X,Y,Z axis/yaw is getting pretty boring on all these new devices to be honest!
It does have a 3.7″ LCD, this is the same size used on the Psion IKON and it’s hardly noticeable at this size but with the NIT rating it could be touted as the largest, brightest screen on the market in this style of Rugged PDA..
It is the first device in the rugged market to tout Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 (The new version of Windows Mobile to you and me) but this is just a timing thing really.
The only thing we can see is that the Adaptus 6 scanner will be seen for the first time in this device. The Adaptus scanner is good, the Motorola Blockbuster is now better in our opinion and the newer Intermec scanners are also very good but not officially tested just yet. It won’t be long though before we see the Adpatus 6 OEM’d in all the cheaper Rugged PDA’s though no doubt.
Overall, a nice device but it really does very little to stir my passion at all which was lost long ago with Honeywell devices if I’m being honest. What Honeywell needs to do is launch something fab and innovative into this market. Battery life, ruggedness and service/support are being done better by everyone else these days.
The Rugged and Mobile blog.