Motorola launches smaller rugged wireless devices

With two new smartphone models of MC55, customers can pick lowest-cost options

Motorola Inc. today announced the smallest and lightest versions in its MC55 series of ruggedized enterprise digital assistants, offering two models and multiple configurations to help customers keep down their upfront costs.

One model, the MC5590, is designed mostly for employees who work within four walls and need Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections, such as health care workers. The device, which has no GPS capability, starts with a price of $1,695 and is available worldwide today.

The other model, the MC5574, includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support but also has wireless WAN capability and GPS. Pricing starts at $2,395. Motorola said the device is best suited for maintenance personnel and delivery workers in the field. It is available in many regions and will become available in North America in the second quarter, Motorola said.

Motorola's MC5590 enterprise digital assistant
Motorola's MC5590 ruggedized enterprise digital assistant is one of two new models the handheld maker announced in its MC55 series.

At just over 11 oz., the MC5574 is small but rugged enough to survive drops and exposure to liquids. It is part of the family of Motorola handhelds that also includes the MC70 and the MC75, said Sheldon Safir, Motorola's director of mobile computing for the enterprise mobility division. With this announcement, Motorola is ending production of the MC50 device, which has been used primarily in health care settings for the past four years.

Offering two models and different configurations of features allows companies to choose only the capabilities they need, Safir said. "This is important to customers, especially these days, since they want to pay the lowest price for only what they need," Safir said.

Both models come with a 3.5-in. color touch screen. The MC5590 is slightly lighter, at 11.1 oz., and is 5.78 by 3.03 by 1.06 in. The MC5574 is slightly larger and provides a small external GSM antenna.

Both run Windows Mobile 6.1 and use the Marvell XScale PXA 270 520-MHz processor. A total of 128MB of SDRAM and 256MB of flash memory are included in each model. Also, a microSD slot allows for up to 8GB of storage.

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery supports six hours of talk time. A 2-megapixel camera is provided. A snap-on magnetic-stripe reader for reading credit cards is available. Both models support voice over IP.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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