Rugged handhelds announced by Motorola

Blue-and-white version for health care includes camera for barcode scanning of pharmaceuticals labels

Motorola announced two rugged Wi-Fi-ready mobile computers Tuesday for use in retail, manufacturing and health care.

One, called the MC55A0, comes in a traditional dark charcoal color, while the other, the MC55A0-HC, is white and blue for health-care settings, said Sheldon Safir, director of product marketing for Motorola Solutions. Motorla Solutions is the name of the enterprise-focused division that will become a separate company from the consumer-focused Motorola Mobility next year.

The MC55A0-HC rugged handheld is white and blue in color for health-care settings.

Both devices will sell for $1,695 to $2,395, depending on features, Safir said.

Both run Windows Mobile 6.5, with 1 GB of flash memory and a microSD slot for storage expansion to 32GB. Both are 5.78 x 3.03 x 1.06 inches and weigh 1.1 ounces.

The form factor is the same as the MC55 series from Motorola introduced in March 2009. The new devices will have the ability to withstand drops of greater distances, up to 6 feet from 4 feet, and will be more resistant to dust and moisture than before, Safir said.

A color VGA display provides greater contrast to allow better viewing in a range of lighting, he added.

Also, an auto-focus 3.2 megapixel camera can be used for capturing bar codes, which can be useful in hospital settings for reading pharmaceutical labels and patient ID wristbands, Safir said.

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