Unitech PA690

September 21, 2011

Unitech PA690 Mobile ComputerA couple weeks ago, our rep from Unitech came by to show off some of their newer products, including the Unitech PA690 mobile computer. The PA690 is built for mobile field services, delivery, and route management, and has some great features to make life easier while on the road.

What I really like about the PA690 is the larger than normal screen. At 3.8″ diagonal, the screen is pretty big, giving you a native resolution of 800×480. So now if you’re checking turn-by-turn nav or an auto-updating map, you can see a little farther down the road without having to zoom out. Also, with signature capture apps for like delivery verification, you end up with more space, great for showing a fuller item breakdown or maybe a picture of Ted Danson.

Windows Embedded Handheld 6.5 (I think that’s Windows Mobile 6.5) runs on the PA690, so you get a modern looking phone OS plus compatibility with legacy Windows Mobile software. You might need to double check that the software’s designed to run on dynamically-sized resolutions, otherwise it may look chunky or weird. A lot of legacy mobile apps were built with QVGA (320×240) resolutions in mind, so they don’t necessarily scale properly. It’s a thing. It happens.

Not only did Unitech beef out the screen to unheard of proportions, but they kept the PA690 pretty sturdy, so even out in the field it’ll keep running strong. The rugged body is built to withstand drops of about 6 feet to concrete, so falling out of holster or off the hood of a truck won’t slow it down. An IP65 seal keeps out dust and low pressure jets of water, and the unit is built to operate in temperatures from 14° to 122° F so neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will keep the PA690 from fulfilling its data management duty.

The PA690 is powered by a Marvell PXA320 processor rated at 806 MHz with 256 MB RAM and 512 MB of flash storage. There’s also a microSD slot in case you need to load larger inventories, route schedules, or the complete works of Foghat. Slow Ride is pretty great to listen to on road trips.

There are two major designs for the PA690, one for general data management, and another with an emphasis on mobility. Both come with Wifi and Bluetooth, fantastic for shipping/picking or ensuring employees have the most current data at their fingertips. There is also a version of the PA690 ideal for use outside the four walls, adding in a GPS radio and 3.5G GSM/GPRS communications.

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