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Trimble Recon X-Series

Written by Law and Order Staff

The Recon X-Series is the next generation of Trimble’s popular rugged handheld computer. New features include integrated Bluetooth and 802.11g wireless capabilities, more Flash memory, an improved color touch screen and a built-in microphone. The Recon X-Series also comes with Windows Mobile® 5.0, the latest version of Microsoft’s software for handheld devices.

Just as police cars are beefed up with heavy-duty components to withstand the hard use that comes with police work, the rugged Recon is built to handle much rougher use than an ordinary handheld computer can endure. It meets the MIL-STD-810F military standard for drops, vibration and temperature extremes.

It also has an IP67 rating, meaning that it’s impervious to water and dust. For law enforcement applications, that means officers can use the Recon in rain, snow, extreme heat or other adverse weather conditions. Even if officers accidentally drop the Recon onto pavement or into a puddle, it won’t damage the unit, and they won’t lose any data.

Despite its rugged construction, the Recon is still compact and lightweight, making it easy to use and carry by officers on bicycle or foot patrols. The Recon weighs just 17 ounces and has rounded edges that fit comfortably in the hand. A long-life battery allows the Recon to work for a full shift without a recharging.

Integrated wireless is the major enhancement to the Recon X-Series. Bluetooth wireless allows users to connect to peripherals such as mobile printers without cables. And 802.11g wireless provides access to local area networks, e-mail and the Internet.

The Recon X-Series is available in two models, both with more Flash memory than before. The Recon 200X features a 200 MHz Intel XScale processor and 128 MB of Flash memory; the Recon 400X features a 400 MHz processor and 256 MB of Flash memory. Both Recon X-Series models also feature high-performance NAND Flash memory for improved data security.

The X-Series retains the Recon’s two CompactFlash (CF) slots, allowing users to add GPS, GPRS, digital cameras, barcode scanners and other devices. Both Recon X-Series models also include 9-pin RS-232 and USB ports for a hard-wired connection to a laptop or desktop PC and peripherals.

Another benefit of the Recon is its versatile Windows Mobile software, which runs thousands of applications. Windows Mobile 5.0 includes several new features that improve efficiency and reliability. Comprehensive persistent storage saves all programs and data to nonvolatile Flash memory; this eliminates the need for a RAM file system or system backups.

Windows Mobile 5.0 also features upgrades to Mobile versions of Microsoft applications. Word Mobile provides better retention of original Word document information, Excel Mobile allows users to create, view and modify common types of Excel charts, and Outlook Mobile features improved inbox navigation and e-mail account setup. Also new are Mobile versions of PowerPoint and Windows Media Player 10.x.

Law enforcement agencies can use the Recon handheld computer to give officers on motorcycle, bicycle and foot patrols the same capabilities available to officers using in-vehicle computers. This can help eliminate paperwork while improving both accuracy and efficiency.

For example, the Portland Police Bureau has deployed the Recon to its traffic division officers for writing electronic citations in Oregon’s largest city. The Recon’s wireless connection allows officers to access information from the motor vehicle database, and completed tickets are sent wirelessly to the police bureau and court servers. This helps the bureau avoid legibility problems and eliminate double data entry, while making the citation data readily available.

Published in Law and Order, Jul 2006

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