Intermec CS40 walks the work / play tightrope, WinMo 6.5 threatens to knock it off

Chris Ziegler
C. Ziegler|09.20.10

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Intermec CS40 walks the work / play tightrope, WinMo 6.5 threatens to knock it off
Even phone holster users (don't be shy, we love you) have every reason to shy away from using most of today's ultra-rugged business handsets from manufacturers like Symbol once they clock out for the day -- they're just too beastly, and typically, they trade every last ounce of ergonomic credibility in an effort to be as bulletproof as possible. That's a problem that Intermec is looking to tackle head-on with the new CS40, a phone that makes few reliability concessions while stepping down to a true smartphone form factor (and if you look closely, you can even see some hints of style in there). Just how rugged are we talking? Intermec says it'll survive multiple drops onto concrete from four feet onto all four corners, will stand up to dust and splashed liquids, and still manages to include a 2D barcode scanner so that you can perform your weekly inventory with flair. It'll be available in QWERTY and numeric keypad variants in the fourth quarter, but never mind the styling: can you carry Windows Mobile Handheld knowing full well all the cool kids will have Windows Phone 7 by then? Follow the break for Intermec's full press release.

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Intermec CS40: Smart phone or Rugged Mobile Computer?

Small in Size, Huge in Power, Intermec's Latest Innovation Leads New Category

EVERETT, Wash., Sep 20, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

Intermec, Inc. (NYSE:IN) today announced the CS40 - introducing the first rugged mobile computer with the size and styling of a smart phone. The CS40 provides the ultimate solution for mobile professionals that require high performance barcode scanning and mobile line of business applications.

Unlike consumer grade smart phones that yield low performance and high failure rates when force-fit into line of business applications, the CS40 is built on Windows Embedded Handheld technologies including the Windows Mobile 6.5 platform and is designed for mobile professionals who need versatile and reliable access and acquisition of information in real-time, at the point of work.

The CS40 enables an all-encompassing business process transformation for mobile workforces in pre-sales, merchandising, field service, long haul and truck load transportation. The new solution empowers workers with uncompromised efficiency, productivity, and uptime necessary to improve business processes and deliver a positive customer experience with:

* The ability to withstand multiple four foot drops to concrete on all corners and sides
* Protection against dust and liquid intrusion from any angle with IP54 rated sealing
* High performance 1D/2D barcode scanning through a true 2D imager
* Advanced 3.75G voice and data communications
* Three mega-pixel color camera
* Compatibility with the full line of Intermec mobile printers, SmartSystemsTM, accessories and peripherals

"The CS40 is an innovative field mobility solution that connects workforces to the enterprise with an unparalleled combination of performance and durability for Smartphone-sized devices," said David Krebs, Director Mobile & Wireless Practice, VDC Research. "The CS40 addresses a unique need in the market for fully functional smaller footprint mobile devices that are designed to support sustained operation of critical enterprise applications to maximize workforce productivity."

"Powered by Windows Embedded Handheld (based on Windows Mobile 6.5 technologies), the Intermec CS40 offers business professionals the ability to capture, access, and act on business critical information where and when they need it," said Kevin Dallas general manager of the Windows Embedded Business Unit at Microsoft Corp. "Our collaboration with Intermec is another example of Microsoft's continued commitment to meeting the demands of modern enterprises with innovative, high-performance and connected enterprise handheld devices."

In addition to running critical line of business applications that improve business processes, increase revenue and reduce the TCO of a field mobility solution, CS40 support is available through Intermec's recently announced INcontrol managed services offering. INcontrol delivers integrated network and device management to remotely track devices, secure network investments, remotely manage and offer dependable performance at the lowest TCO.

"Businesses do not have the time or the money for employee downtime; they need reliable line of business applications operating on devices that can handle the rigors of inclement weather and accidental drops to non-cushioned surfaces, not smart phones that are built to run social networking applications and play music," said Pat Byrne, President & CEO of Intermec. "The CS40 and Intermec's broad portfolio of software, services and peripherals provides the industry's first true comprehensive and seamlessly integrated business solution."
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