Just a quick product update this morning, we’ve held back on presenting the Honeywell Dolphin 6000 small rugged PDA a little bit simply because we’ve just not been sure what Honeywell have been up to the past 12 months.  Honeywell bought out both Metrologic and more importantly Hand Held Products about 18 months ago and whilst the range has suffered in my view whilst trimming down of the new company seemed be the priority, I have to say that some of the new HHP products are looking good again.  To be fair we have 4 new devices in this class too and we’ve been waiting to present them in a group test too.

We’re doing a full feature in small rugged PDA’s next week but for now the Honeywell Dolphin 6000 is something we wanted to present as it does have some USP’s that are going to make it a very flexible device.

Dolphin 6000 Price

Firstly the price is absolutely superb, at a £340 or £380 price point you get either the Windows Mobile 6.5 or Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 version (See our blog on WIndows versions to learn more about that).  For that you get everything you need:

The MTK CPU

This is where a lot of the price has been shaved off as the Dolphin 6000 not only uses an MTK CPU, it’s a slow one at that too.  For those who don’t know, MTK are a chinese company who have basically copied the Qualcomm and Xscale chips, then providing these at a far less cost.  They tend to run less spec which is why 3G is missing from this device.  We’ve got plenty of devices we use to test with these chips in them and we think they perform really well.  Whether customers will be able to get over the branding issue on this is another matter but we’ll benchmark the CPU next week.

Dolphin 6000 Highlights

  • 256MB RAM / 512MB ROM
  • 2.8″ LCD
  • 3MP Camera
  • A-GPS
  • b/g WLan
  • BT
  • GSM with Edge
  • USB 2.0 interface
  • In the box is a std battery and door

Dolphin 6000 Low Lights

  • 1D scanner option only.
  • Qwerty keyboard option, wont be missed ona device this size in my view.
  • Edge only device
  • MTK CPU might not have quite enough power for some – We’ll test this next week though.

Perhaps the device’s Achilles heel is that it uses Edge (2.5G) for data.  Its class 12 so it will be handy and quick but not up to 3G, HSDPA or the HSUPA speeds of more expensive rival devices.  I don’t think this will be an issue for most customers.

It’s odd that the Adaptus 5 2D scanner engine is missing considering every other budget PDA uses this decent Honeywell OEM scanner.

Motorola ES400 Alternative?

We’ve been looking for a small rugged PDA’s to give customers a true alternative to the semi rugged PDA in the right scenario.  With the Dolphin 6000, on paper, it’s going to be far more suitable than the ES400 or BM170, in fact there may now be no reason to buy the Motorola ES400 at all.  We need to test out the device which we will be doing next week for its performance but I think this could be a great alternative to the ES400 for people looking for true barcode scanning ability in a fully rugged package.

Check back soon for more.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

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