When I posted in my blog that I needed a device running Windows Mobile 6 to demo during my mobility session at the Microsoft Partners Conference, GeoSystems came to the rescue and provided me with more than I asked for.
The TDS Nomad is a ruggedised Pocket PC running Windows Mobile 6, and loaded with features that make this device ideal for some verticals.
A Palm Treo 750v and the TDS Nomad
Gorgeous VGA screen
For starters the device is designed to resist the rugged outdoors. The TDS Nomad meets the MIL-STD-810F military standard for drops, vibration, humidity, altitude and extreme temperatures. It also comes with an IP67 rating.
Small details makes this an interesting piece of engineering. For example the elastic hand strap on the back, or the magnetic stylus with a spring loaded tip - so you are less likely to lose it in the field.
All this doesn't come lite - the device measures 6.92” (17.6 cm.) x 3.92” (10.0 cm) x 1.96” (5.0 cm) and weighs 21 ounces (596 g) including the rechargeable battery. And this is not counting the accessories, which in my case included an Enfora GPRS adapter so I could have connectivity during my demo session.
But all this weight brings some surprises inside: the TDS Nomad runs on a Marvell 806 MHz XScale processor and a selection of memory options. The device I used had 1 GB (gigabyte) of flash storage, plus 128 MB RAM for program execution.
Plenty of memory
Also interesting was that TDS made this device with a VGA screen, making it really easy to read even outdoors and under sunlight.
The keyboard comes with numeric keys, a function key that transform the numeric keys into directional keys, plus dedicated keys for power, OK, Windows, TAB, Backspace and Enter.
The surprises don't stop here, with the unit accepting SD and CF expansion cards, plus USB Host so you can attach some peripherals.
Although you have the option for built-in GPS, digital camera and laser bar code scanner, I didn't have these on my device. But it did have built-in Bluetooth 2.0 wireless technology and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g.
According to the specifications you should be able to get up to 15 hours of use with the standard battery. I didn't run the battery flat, but I only had to recharge the unit once during the whole week I had it with me and that is including using Wi-Fi, the attached GPRS unit, and Bluetooth for synchronisation. Plus I had the TDS Noma on continuously for a couple of hours during my session and demos.
Running Windows Mobile 6 means I was able to connect it to my Exchange Server 2007 demo account to demonstrated device remote management from OWA, plus synchronisation OTA with push e-mail (Direct Push).
Very fast CPU
Plenty of memory in some configurations
SD and CF slots
Great range of accessories for verticals
Weight (but if you have to worry about this you probably don't need a rugged device)