Motorola has released the latest of its enterprise-class mobile computers, adding a more powerful processor and an updated Windows operating system.
The new MC55 Enterprise Digital Assistant is intended as a midrange, semi-rugged mobile device, aimed at hard daily use in markets such as healthcare, field service, warehousing, government and public safety. Two models support VoIP, improved Wi-Fi, and integrated Bluetooth to enable IP-based voice and data and work with an array of peripherals.
Semi-rugged handhelds and notebooks are aimed at business users who are on the move inside the enterprise, such as in warehouses, or outside in field service jobs. The products, like the MC55 and GD-Itronics' recently announced semi-rugged Windows notebook, are designed to stand up to hard use and hard conditions that are not part of the typical office.
Priced between $1,625 and $1,8295; Like its predecessors, the MC55 combines a cell phone, two-way radio, barcode scanner, digital camera and mobile Windows-based computer in one handheld. The 5590 model has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth; the 5574 model adds to that quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE cellular and integrated GPS.
The MC55 offers the same display as the models it replaces – a big 3.5-inch QVGA (320x240 pixels) resistive touch screen. It can be ordered with a cellphone-like keypad or a full QWERTY keyboard. With dimensions of 5.78 x 3.03 x 1.06 inches (slightly longer and thicker for the cellular model), it's the smallest Motorola handheld with this size screen and keyboard. Just for comparison, the Apple iPhone is 4.5 x 2.4 x 0.48 inches.
New to the MC55 is the Marvell 520-MHz PXA 270 Bulverde processor, which offers a faster clockspeed than earlier models and is a chip widely used in popular smartphones such as Palm Treo and Motorola Q. The OS has been updated to Windows Mobile 6.1, the current release. Microsoft just announced the 6.5 version, which is expected to show up in consumer-class smartphones starting in mid-2009.