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Linux-compatible PDA shrugs off six-foot drops

Mar 27, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 6 views

iWave Systems of Bangalore has announced a Linux- and Windows CE 6.0-compatible industrial PDA targeting asset, inventory, and retail management. Available with RFID, WiFi, and GSM/GPRS/EDGE connectivity, the iW-Rainbow-G4 can withstand six-foot drops, and includes a 3.5-inch touchscreen and a sealed keyboard, says iWave.

(Click here for a larger view of iWave's iW-Rainbow-G4 running Windows)

The G4's case measures a relatively large 8 x 3.8 x 1.4 inches. It also has stylized “wings” that may help account for the device's claimed ability to withstand six-foot drops. The G4 meets IP65 standards, and is dust- and water-resistant, according to iWave.

Also contributing to the device's hardiness, and likely helpful to operators wearing gloves, is a keyboard with flush, embossed keys. The 29 keys can be optionally backlit. They include both five function keys and clearly labeled “GPS” and “web” keys.

The G4 also includes a 3.5-inch touchscreen display, claimed to offer good visibility both indoors and out. Processing power is provided by a 312MHz Marvell PXA270, and there is 64MB of RAM. Flash storage is sparse, at only 32MB, but the device includes an SD slot for expansion purposes.

Interfaces on the G4 include USB 1.1 host and device ports, plus an RS232 serial port that can be used to connect an optional thermal printer. Both 1D and 2D barcode scanners may be connected serially or via USB. Other listed options are GPS, an RFID reader, and a GSM/GPRS/EDGE celluar modem, though no further details were provided for these options.

Features and specifications provided by iWave for the iW-Rainbow-G4 include:

  • Processor — Marvell PXA270 clocked at 312MHz
  • Memory — 64MB of RAM, 32MB flash
  • Display — 3.5 inch touchscreen display with 320 x 240 resolution
  • Wireless interfaces:
    • LAN — 802.11b/g (optional)
    • WAN — GSM/GPRS/EDGE (optional)
    • RFID (optional)
    • GPS (optional)

  • Other I/O:
    • 1 x RS232
    • 1 x USB 1.1 host
    • 1 x USB 1.1 device
    • Audio — mic in and line out

  • Expansion — SD slot
  • Battery — 1700mAh lithium-ion battery
  • Operating temperature range — 0 to 60 deg. C
  • Dimensions — 8 x 3.8 x 1.4 inches
  • Weight — 1.2 pounds (550g)

Last May, iWave introduced a somewhat similar ruggedized PDA called the iW-Rugged-PDA. It offered more RAM (128MB) and a faster 520MHz clock rate on the PXA270, but lacked a cellular modem (or any claims about surviving six-foot drops).

In addition to Linux 2.6.14, the iW-Rainbow-G4 can be supplied with Windows CE 6.0. Pricing and availability information was not provided by iWave.

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