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Device Profile: AML M5900(i) handheld data terminal

Sep 6, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 8 views

AML is shipping a pair of new handheld data terminals based on embedded Linux. The basic M5900 and ruggedized M5900i for industrial applications target batch data collection applications, including inventory control, factory floor management, price verification, shipping/receiving, and asset tracking.

The M5900i (left) and M5900 (right)

As “batch” portable data terminals, the M5900 devices are designed to gather information that is then uploaded to a PC, cash register, or other computing device via an RS-232 serial port or via USB. AML also offers wireless portable data terminals such as the Linux-based M7100, as well as programmable fixed terminals, such as the Linux-based M7140.

Both M5900 models are available with a choice of integrated bar code scanners. Available scanner options include a standard laser, long range laser, advanced long range laser, or long range CCD (charge-coupled device).

The rugged M5900i model is designed to withstand the rigors of manufacturing and industrial environments, including 5-foot drops onto concrete, AML says. The industrial model is also IP51-rated for dust and water drips, and features an integral pistol grip.

The basic M5900, meanwhile, is suitable for in-store, office, or light industrial applications, according to the company.

What's under the hood?

The M5900(i) is based on an ARM9 processor clocked at 200MHz. It has 32MB of RAM, plus 16MB of flash memory, of which 10MB is available for user programs.

The M5900(i) has a monochromatic, backlit graphical display with a pixel resolution of 160 x 160, and a character resolution of 20 x 20. The device includes a 55-key alphanumeric keypad.

Both M5900 models measure 8.875 x 3.5 x 2.25 inches (225 x 89 x 57 mm). The standard M5900 model weighs 16 ounces (454 gm), while the ruggedized M5900i weights 25 ounces (709 gm).

Both M5900 models are powered by a 7.2-Volt, 2200 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery, for “everyday, all-day” use, AML says. An optional in-line RS-232 charger is available. Or, customers can choose an optional single-slot docking and communication cradle capable of charging the M5900 and a spare battery, while downloading data to an attached PC via serial or USB connections.

On the software side, the M5900(i) comes with an “AML M5900 Program Generator” aimed at helping users quickly develop custom data collection applications. Additionally, the device comes preloaded with an SQLite database engine, and six standard data collection applications, for tasks such as scanning bar codes, AML says.

Teresa Stone, marketing director at AML, stated, “Packed with big business functionality at a small business price, the AML M5900 portable data terminal can help streamline and improve business operations, while keeping IT costs low — no matter the size of the business.”


The M5900 is available now, priced between $800 and $1,300, depending on the choice of scanners and other options. The M5900i is also available, priced from $900 to $1,400. Holsters and extended warranties are also available for both models.

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