Motorola offers more rugged handhelds running on CDMA, GSM

Devices would be able to run on all U.S. carrier networks

Motorola launched two new rugged handheld computers today, bringing to three the number of handhelds it makes that support both CDMA and GSM wireless technologies.

A device that can handle both standards would be able to operate on all U.S. wireless carriers' networks.

Motorola launched its first dual GSM-CDMA device, the ES400, in June; it's a smartphone-size handheld that sells for $750. A related phone, the MC65 announced today, is roughly the same size as the ES400, but it's described as "rugged" because it's reinforced in various ways and is better able to withstand being dropped than some other devices. The MC65 retails for $2,295. The third member of Motorola's dual GSM-CDMA suite is the new MC959B; it's a more traditional rugged handheld that's longer and thicker than other devices and won't fit in a pocket. It sells for $3,295.

All three are more rugged than standard consumer devices, and the two newest devices are built to be even more rugged than the ES400, which Motorola now describes as "durable."

Steve Schmid, senior director of product management for Motorola's line of rugged handhelds, called the MC65 a "truly rugged, sexy crossover" from a consumer grade smartphone. He said it's designed to appeal to management-level professionals who want devices with longer life spans than many popular smartphones can offer. The MC959B is a more traditional rugged device; it's for people who work in fields like logistics or shipping.

Explaining why it decided to offer the smaller ES400 and MC65, Motorola said that it found that its enterprise customers want devices that are about the size of smartphones but are rugged enough to last three to five years, which is substantially longer than a consumer-class smartphone lasts. "The total cost of ownership and return on investment with a rugged device is compelling," he said. "We're seeing tremendous growth in demand for WAN-enabled field mobility" technology.

Schmid said a major distinction of the MC65, when compared to a device like the Intermec CS40, which was unveiled Monday, is that the MC65 will provide dual-band wireless connectivity via GSM and CDMA networks. The CS40 will support only UMTS, which builds upon radio concepts in GSM. Both devices are Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-ready, but the MC65 has 802.11a/b/g support, while the CS40 has 802.11b/g.

Both have 2D bar-code scanners and cameras with 3.2 megapixel resolution. The touchscreen on the MC65 is slightly larger, at 3.5 inches, while the CS40 has a 2.8-inch touchscreen.

The MC65 is 6.4 by 3 by 1.3 inches and weighs 12.5 oz. with a battery. That makes it more than an inch longer than the CS40 and nearly twice as heavy.

The larger MC959B is able to support both CDMA and GSM because it is equipped with Qualcomm's Gobi chip; it's the first mobile computer to do so. Other devices require separate radios for each band.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Motorolaconsumer electronicsHandhelds / PDAs

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?