Motorola Solutions unveils MC45 mobile computer

At several times the cost of consumer smartphones, the device is ruggedized for field service duties

Motorola Solutions believes workplaces will find value in rugged handheld mobile computers that cost several times more than consumer-focused smartphones, but last much longer.

The MC45 mobile computer from Motorola.

In that vein, the company unveiled the MC45 mobile computer, a small but rugged handset targeted at field workers.

The device is priced from $US1345.

Sheldon Safir, director of global solutions marketing at Motorola Solutions, called the cost "aggressive pricing for full functionality" in a rugged device that can be used by small and medium-sized businesses for, among other things, sales and order tracking applications and for package pick-up and delivery activities.

"We believe that the construction of this device and the total cost of ownership over the life of the product bear out the initial investment," Safir said.

"It's built to withstand [five-foot] drops [that] some consumer devices are not built for. It has a three-year lifecycle, while consumer devices are made to last a year. This can give businesses a sense of security," he added.

The price of Apple's iPhone, a range of Android devices and other smartphones can start at $US200 when subsidized by a carrier -- just a fraction of the initial cost of an MC45.

Motorola Solutions provides a range of rugged and semi-rugged handheld models for use in warehouses and other areas. Some can function over cellular radio networks as well over wireless LANs inside buildings.

A higher-end MC65 handheld sells for $US2295.

The MC45 comes with a 26 key numeric keypad, not a full alphabetical keyboard as seen on some other models.

The device has a 3.2-in. touchscreen, compared to the 4-in. touchscreen in the iPhone 5, and runs a 600 MHz ARM-based processor, and the Windows Embedded 6.5.3 professional edition operating system.

The MC45 measures 5.6-in. by 2.6-in. by 1.0 in. and it weighs 8.73 ounces.

Internal flash storage is 1 GB, but a 32 GB-capable microSD slot is included.

The touchscreen can capture signatures for package deliveries and there is a 3.2 megapixel camera for data capture which supports one and two dimension barcode capture. A one-dimensional laser scanner is also included.

Motorola Solutions also sells a variety of peripherals for businesses, including a 4-slot battery charger.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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