Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
Juniper Systems to release rugged notepad to UK market
May 22nd, 2014 by Susan Smith
Josh Egan, product manager for Juniper Systems, talked about the first rugged notepad to the UK market to be released at GEO Business 2014. The Mesa combines the advantages of a PC tablet and a rugged handheld computer, without the disadvantages expected with either. This is the first time the Mesa has been on show at a UK trade event and Juniper Systems will also be hosting a workshop at the event which takes place in London from the 28th to 29th May 2014 titled “How to get the most out of your rugged handheld.”
The following is the interview AECCafe Voice conducted with Egan:
1) How do the Mesas compare with your previous product offering along these lines?
– Juniper Systems prides itself on setting a high standard when it comes to ruggedness and durability. Our customers expect a long lifecycle of at least 3-5 years of use in extreme environments, and the Archer 2™ is no exception. The Archer 2 offers an IP68 rating as opposed to our previous IP67 rating of our earlier products, providing further security of potential data loss in wet conditions as well as complete protection against dust and particles. The Archer 2 also uses a chemically-strengthened glass combined with a projected capacitive touchscreen which dramatically reduces wear-ability, scratches, and other potential damage in the field as it no longer has a plastic ITO layer overlaid on top of a standard resistive touchscreen, which has been used in the past. Beyond an increased durability, we have added several new built-in features to the Archer 2 such as Wi-Fi®, GPS/GNSS, Bluetooth®, 5 MP camera, and 3.75G cell modem, all of which are optimal features for GIS users who require excellent wireless range & speed, and high GPS sensitivity under heavy canopy. Beyond these features, the Archer 2 touts an extremely impressive sunlight-readable display, as well as a battery that can last 20+ hours in the field and has a quick-charge capability, allowing users to charge the device up to 75% capacity during their lunch break, for example. The Archer 2 also retains the original Archer’s I/O connectivity by offering a full-size USB Host port and 9-pin serial port, as well as the standard USB Client and headset jack.
2) Why would customers buy this product rather than a tablet?
– The Archer 2 was not meant to compete with a tablet as they both have their own fit in the rugged market, but the typical user that is interested in the Archer 2 will choose it for specific reasons. From a customer’s point of view, here is a list of reasons why they would prefer the Archer 2 over a tablet:
– I need a device that can fit comfortably in one hand as I am in a rugged environment that requires me to have one hand free (climbing ladders, rugged terrain, etc.)
– I use my other hand to hold the sensor(s) connected to the device through the serial or USB port
– I need to enter numerical data or navigate my application with hard keys while using only one hand
– I need the device to fit in a small belt holster or shoulder carrying case while performing other jobs in-between data collection
– I need to enter alpha or numerical text and can perform and enter data more efficiently with a smaller display
– Heavier weight and larger size could cause discomfort when collecting data in the field for 8-10+ hours in the field
– Battery life in the field, low size/weight, and comfort are more important to me than processing power and display size
3) What is pricing on one of these products, compared with what is the usual pricing for tablets?
MSRP Pricing for the Archer 2 starts at US $1650
4) Can companies order a few of the handhelds for their professionals in the field?
Yes. They can purchase them directly through Juniper where appropriate or through any of our resellers or distributors around the globe.
Designed primarily for the geomatics and surveying sector, the Mesa combines the functionality of tablet PC with features of a rugged handheld computer. With a large 5.7 inch high-visibility colour VGA LCD with embedded Windows operating system the device was described by RuggedPCReview as ‘Windows mobile comes alive on it, it looks better, and it’s a pleasure to use … this is how big Windows Mobile displays should be’.