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Giant battery comes with rugged PDA

Jan 20, 2009 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Rugged handheld specialist AML has unveiled a Linux and Windows CE-ready PDA targeting retail and hospitality applications, entertainment venues, and trade show events. Boasting a far larger battery than most laptops, the AML M8050 has a built-in MSR (magnetic stripe reader), WiFi, and barcode scanner.

(Click for larger view of the M8050's MSR in use)

AML unveiled the M8050 at the NFR (National Retail Federation) tradeshow in New York City earlier this month. The company has shared a “preliminary” spec sheet with us, warning us that some details may be subject to change.

The M8050 is a compact, rugged device with an indefatigable battery. Despite measuring only 5.7 x 3.25 inches (14.5 x 8.5 cm), the M8050 is a full two inches thick (5.1 cm). It weighs 13 ounces (363g).

The M8050's primary battery is a removable lithium-ion giant rated at a staggering 5200mAh. To put that in perspective, most laptop batteries are rated at only 2200mAh. In a statement, AML President Mike Kearby commented, “The only way users might get better life out of a PDA would be to strap it to a car battery.”

For good measure, the M8050 also packs a built-in 200mAh backup battery, aimed at keeping the PDA powered up during “hot” battery swaps.

The AML M8050 is two inches thick

The M8050 is based on a Samsung S3C2440 processor clocked at 400MHz. It has 128MB of RAM, and an equal amount of built-in flash storage, expandable via an SD card slot. The PDA has a QVGA (240×320) color touchscreen display complemented by a backlit 18-key keypad and trackball pointing device. I/O includes 802.11b/g and Bluetooth radios, as well as a USB slave port and a “four-ring” 1/8th-inch (3.5mm) stereo headset/microphone jack.

Specifications published by AML in a preliminary datasheet for the M8050 include:

  • Processor — Samsung S3C2440 @ 400 MHz
  • Memory — 128MB RAM
  • Storage — 128MB flash ROM
  • Display — 3.5-inch QVGA 320 x 240 (portrait), 65K Colors
  • Interface — 18 backlit keys with trackball
  • Audio
    • Built-in speaker
    • Four-ring 1/8-inch (3.5mm) headset jack
  • Wireless networking
    • 802.11b/g WLAN supporting WPA/WPA2 and WEP
    • Bluetooth “WPAN”
  • Other I/O ports — USB slave
  • Scanner options — Motorola SE955 laser; HHP IT5080 Imager
  • Expansion — SD card slot
  • Dimensions — 5.7 x 3.25 x 2 inches (14.5 x 8.5 x 5.1cm)
  • Weight — 0.81 pounds (13 ounces, or 363 grams)
  • Batteries
    • Primary — Removable, re-chargeable 3.7 VDC Li-Ion, 5200mAh,
      19.2 watt hours
    • Backup — 3.7VDC Li-Polymer, 200mAh
  • Power supply — Optional single-slot communications and charging cradle
  • Operating temperature — 14 to 122 deg. F (-10 to 50 deg. C)
  • Operating system support — Linux 2.6, Windows CE 6.0

The M8050 is sealed to IP54 specifications for dust and water ingress, and designed to withstand multiple four-foot (1.2m) drops to concrete, across its operating temperature range, AML says.


Pricing and availability details were not published by press time.

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