Symbol unveils new 'durable' handheld device

Symbol Technologies has brought out a durable device designed for mobile workers who don’t need a fully ruggedised unit.

Symbol Technologies has brought out a durable device designed for mobile workers who don’t need a fully ruggedised unit.

The MC50 is equipped with integrated wireless Wi-Fi and data-capture options, including one- and two-dimensional bar-code-scanning and image-capturing capabilities, as well as Voice over IP telephone technology.

Symbol said a mobile professional most suited for the device would be a retail manager on a sales floor who monitors merchandise or an IT manager who oversees maintenance of a server farm or datacentre.

The device is more durable than many consumer handhelds, according to the company. Symbol said, for instance, that the keys on the MC50 can be depressed many more times than those on typical handhelds before wearing out.

Pricing and availability were not announced, although Meta Group analyst Jack Gold said the MC50 would likely be priced somewhere between inexpensive handhelds, which sell for about $200 (£110), and the most expensive ruggedised devices, which cost more than $1,500.

Gold and Ken Dulaney, an analyst at Gartner, both said the MC50 does not have a wireless Wan connection and would benefit from one.

"This MC50 will be used as a low-cost inventory terminal in WLan installations," Dulaney said.

The MC50 weighs nearly 7oz and comes in two versions - one with a Qwerty keyboard and one that uses a navigation bar. The device runs on the Windows Mobile 2003 second edition operating system, which is compatible with CRM software from Microsoft, Oracle, Siebel Systems, SAP and IBM.

Matt Hamblen writes for Computerworld

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