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CES: Motion has been making tablets for 10 years, Apple, so there

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At CES, Austin, Texas-based Motion Computing Inc. is introducing its Motion CL900, a brick tablet house made to withstand the kind of perils that lurk in physically-intense industries such as construction, healthcare and in-store retail.

‘Below freezing or above 100 degrees? No problem,’ reads a Motion brochure. ‘Dropped from 4 feet? Like it never happened.’

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The CL900 is about the same size as the iPad -- 7 by 11 inches and 0.6 inches thick (the iPad is .51 inches thick). But at 2.1 pounds, the Motion tablet is about 40% heavier than the already rather weighty iPad, perhaps partially from all the bulletproofing (it’s water-, dust- and splash-resistant). It will be available starting in the second quarter of this year, Motion said.

The device, which will start at about $1,000 and is Windows-based, has optional add-ons such as a barcode or magnetic card reader, for retail or healthcare uses. It’s got the standard connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth, and is supposed to work for eight hours without a charge. It’s 1.5-gigahertz Intel Atom processor is 50% faster than the iPad’s -- and oh, by the way, Motion says it’s been making tablets for 10 years, and that Apple is just a Johnny-come-lately.

The company has a number of other ‘rugged’ tablet models of the kind you might have seen toted around by building contractors or city engineers. When asked if he took exception to the idea that Apple created the tablet, Motion representative Michael Johnson offered an unhesitating, ‘Yes we do.’

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-- David Sarno

Top photo: The Motion CL900 at Consumer Electronics Show. Credit: Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times.


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