Motorola work out the Workabout pro!

Unless you’ve been sleeping the past year you’ll know that Psion Teklogix as a brand ended at the beginning of this year as part of it’s full integration into Motorola Solutions and with that of course there’ll be some overlap of devices. The Workabout Pro range however must be a tricky one to sort out as it’s so popular and lived such a long and rich life and it seems that Moto have decided to keep and update this rugged handheld.

A year after the buyout and the first ex-Psion rugged device is announced in the new updated Workabout Pro 4.

What’s new

Well not much for that matter! To look at the WAP 4 against a WAP G3 you wouldn’t be able to tell and indeed this is a a very sympathetic update and here’s what we have found:

  • Onboard RAM and storage flash ROM have had an update from 256MB/1GB to 512MB/4GB.
  • As has the old 624MHz XScale CPU which is replaced by the new Sitara aM37x ARM cortex a8 1GHz affair.
  • The operating systems have been brought up to date with Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 and CE6.0 now taking centre stage.
  • Along with this there are updated versions of Bluetooth, WiFi, 8MP camera, 3G and GPS to keep the WAp 4 fresh and new.
  • We asked if any of Motorola’s barcode scanner modules have found their way into the WAp 4 but we have so far not had an answer to that but the the spec sheets clearly show some changes there with 7+ options to now choose from.
  • There’s also some changes to the expansion options of the device with dedicated barcode scanner connector,
  • Lastly the battery options seem to have changed with the 3300mAh WA3006 being replaced by a smaller 2760mAh affair and the 4400mAh one staying.  Weird to me to cut the standard one down but that’s what’s currently on the accessory guide.

What we rate

  • Well the design of the WAP means that most of the legacy accessories will work with it which is a key benefit for long WAP users.  We’re waiting on specific backwards compatibility with older G2 models but it looks like most of the G3 kit will work.
  • They haven’t fiddled too much with a device that is a focussed one for users.

What’s 2000 and late!

  • The price has gone up!  Why? technology is cheaper and not an awful lot has changed here.
  • Add to that battery is no longer included in the price so watch out for that!
  • We lost that Grandfather of the PDA badge for good.  It reminds me of when HP rebadged all those Proliant servers when the bought Compaq! A sad day for a great piece of kit!!

So arguably this is a nice sympathetic update that users will embrace and it brings the Workabout Pro range into 2014, but it does bring some changes too with improved data capture features.  Some of the changes however are not so welcome like the battery and price but if Moto can embrace the spirit of Psion then there’s no doubt the WAP will continue to thrive.

www.ruggedandmobile.com

 

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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