Intermec has added to its range of rugged handheld computers with a new model, the first to be styled more like a consumer smartphone while still being able to withstand outdoors use, according to the firm.
The Intermec CS40 joins a long line of mobile computers from the firm, and is designed for workers in roles such as pre-sales, merchandising, field service, long haul and truck load transportation, the company said.
However, the new device looks more like a smartphone such as a BlackBerry than many rugged computers, which tend to be heavy and bulky. It is due to be available through Intermec PartnerNet members from the fourth quarter.
Based on Windows Mobile 6.5, the CS40 has a 2.8in screen and weighs slightly more than most smartphones, at 196g. However, unlike a smartphone, it can withstand multiple 1.2m drops onto concrete, and is IP54 rated, which means it is sealed against rain, moisture and dust.
"Businesses do not have the time or the money for employee downtime. They need reliable devices that can handle the rigors of inclement weather and accidental drops to non-cushioned surfaces, not smartphones that are built to run social networking applications and play music," said Intermec chief executive Pat Byrne.
The CS40 is a quad-band handset for voice calls, and supports HSPA for data transfers up to 7.2Mbit/s. It also supports 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS.
Data capture hardware includes an integrated 1D and 2D barcode scanner, plus 3.2-megapixel fixed focus camera with flash.
As well as a 528MHz ARM-based processor, the CS40 has 256MB RAM, 512MB Flash storage, and supports micro SD Flash storage cards up to 32GB.
Two back-lit keyboard options are available, a full Qwerty layout or a 26-key numeric keypad.
Pricing starts at €1395 (£1,172).
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