Pidion HM40 First Look

The Pidion HM40 has been round for a few months now but it’s only now it has become freely available and ready for the public so we thought we’d take a look and give you the low down.

Firstly the Pidion HM40 is aimed squarely at the “small rugged PDA” user and to put this in layman’s terms for you, these are rugged PDA’s that are everything you’d expect, but simply shrunk down  in size.

Positioning and line up

The HM40 is a new Rugged handheld PDA concept for Pidion and as such it doesn’t take over from any older model, but it will see an overlap with the semi rugged BM170, due to its price which is actually very close to the BM170 and sure to pinch sales from it.  more importantly the HM40 gives users a real alternative to the popular Motorola ES400 PDA and Pidion told us this is exactly why they’ve priced at this level.

There are currently 6 live products with a few more on the price list at the moment.  4 models have phone/3G and give you the option of either a 1D or 2D barcode scanner with a qwerty or numeric keypad.  There are 2 non phone/3G models, both come with numeric keypads, lose the GPS and offer 1D or 2D scanning.  the 1D model seems to also have a SUMMIT WiFi chip, but at this time we’ve not been able to work out if the other model does so we have to go by the spec list we get from Pidion.

Main features & Spec

You can download a spec right here: http://www.ruggedandmobile.com/ProductDownloads.aspx?PID=453, lets see what we can pick out!

What we rate…

  • Dual battery option, so there’s a nice big 3060 or 1530mAh option.
  • Android OS or Windows Mobile 6.5 ready, although the Android versions have still not been released at time of printing this.
  • Good general spec, with 1GHz CPU, 3.8G, AGPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, 5MP Camera and b/g/n/a WiFi.
  • Price is really great, it leaves no reason to buy a Motorola ES400 and you get a cradle and some accessories in the box for this price too.
  • Barcode scanners are great quality, you get a full laser scanner or the same 2D imager found in other Pidion models.

What we hate!…

We don’t hate anything here at RAM!! the Pidion HM40 does have some foibles in our opinion and here they are:

  • Micro USB.  OK, OK, so we seem to have lost the “USB’s not rugged battle” as it becomes ever more popular on rugged PDA’s.  It’s present here, it’s not rugged, so just use it only for adhoc charging and you’ll be OK.  The HM40 does however have its own connector too for stronger more durable charging so at least the USB is there for convenience only.
  • Android will take forever to come out, trust us on that one.  This is firmly a Windows Mobile 6.5 device until further notice!
  • It’s Rugged but for many not enough.  1.2M drop spec and IP54 is fine for most field worker scenarios and it’s definitely more durable than an ES400 or BM-170, however for some you will need something more rugged.
  • Fiddly and flimsy back case to change battery and SIM card.  Well once the battery is in it’s in but we’re not sure why there’s a second metal door housing?
  • No RFID, despite what some seem to be saying.  We opened our devices up to check!
  • Accessories aren’t as broad as many devices but what do you expect in this class! It’s a small rugged pda, charge with the USB charger and off you go!!

The Pidion HM40’s success will come from whether it’s been positioned right, and whether the price is right.  I think both are right but they also have to make sure the firmware is up to scratch.  Get that right from launch and this just could be a hit for Pidion.

Rugged Rescue Warranty+ and Service Complete is available on the Pidion HM40.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

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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