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Q&A With Motion Computing Coming Up, Submit Your Questions



There has been a lot of excitement surrounding Motion Computing’s announcement of the J3400 Rugged Slate Table PC.   It has been a while since we’ve seen anything new come from Motion, so yesterday’s announcement was our first look at what they’ve working on the past several years. Overall, folks are quite impressed with what they’ve seen so far. However, there are also a lot of questions about why they went a certain way, why they left certain features out, why dual-battery instead of a larger single battery, why a rugged design vs a traditional business focus, etc.

Well, the mic is open and Motion Computing wants to talk with you. We’ll be taking questions through the end of Wednesday and then submitting them to various Execs, Product Managers, and Designers at Motion to get them answered. Look for the Q & A to be published sometime on Friday. Leave your question as a comment to this article.

Fire away!



  1. Steve S

    03/17/2009 at 9:33 am

    Is a pen & touch version of the J3400 seen as a future product? If not, what is Motion’s rationale regarding touch in the business environment?

  2. Rob O.

    03/17/2009 at 9:54 am

    I’d like to know if they plan to update their C5 to include dual batteries. That’d be a huge plus for us! We like the C5s and we’re bound via an app that hard-coded to work with only that tablet, so even if we wanted to get a wandering eye towards some of the similar offerings that feature dual batteries, we really can’t.

    I’d be really interested in any design updates that they have planned for the C5 – maybe making the handle a bit more ergonomic?

  3. tabletdude

    03/17/2009 at 10:14 am

    I am a Le1700 owner and I do like it a lot. However I would like to see better wacom tablet implementation. Do they plan for better wacom implementations(better coordination, better pressure sensitivty et) sometime soon?

  4. Dreux Isaac

    03/17/2009 at 11:38 am

    I see there are built in screws at two corners which can attached to a shoulder strap. Are there screws at the other two corners? In my field work I use a shoulder strap and often prop the bottom of the tablet (in portrait mode) against my body to free up one hand.

  5. Jonndz

    03/17/2009 at 1:36 pm

    I would like to know if there will be a refresh of the LE1700 that will include the latest offering from Intel like the SL9400 processor (hopefully) and a new SATA hard drive?

  6. Frank

    03/17/2009 at 2:41 pm

    Why are the vents and USB connectors located at the bottom of the tablet? Don’t you block them when you hold the tablet in portrait mode or if you put it upright on a table, just as an example :) Or was the tablet for landscape mode only designed?

  7. Sara Fauzia

    03/17/2009 at 6:18 pm

    All right, I have a few questions. Why doesn’t the mobile keyboard include a trackpoint-only model? Why couldn’t they do some type of Touch Book thing and enable the screen to actually lock into the keyboard, so it could swivel like a convertible tablet? I’m also an LE1700 owners; can previous Motion customers attain any discounts that would encourage them to upgrade to this product? Even if this isn’t, technically, an upgrade to the LE1700, I see it as one; it significantly improves the issue of the lack of a keyboard, it doesn’t use metal paint (I’ve mentioned the metal paint has all but chipped off of my tablet PC buttons), and it has a flush bezel, and is lightweight without the cost of battery life (with the LE1700, you have to use a large, heavy extended battery). Also, it’s using the latest technology.

    Thanks for taking our questions, GottabeMobile, to Motion Computing.

  8. Sara Fauzia

    03/17/2009 at 6:19 pm

    I meant LE1700 owner, not owners. Sorry!

  9. Stuart

    03/17/2009 at 6:31 pm

    Are all the future tablets going to be at least semi-rugged? Is the J3400 supposed to target the same workers that use the F5?

  10. Bristolview

    03/17/2009 at 6:56 pm

    The J3400 seems like a great product. Can we expect to see a higher resolution screen anytime soon?

    Many users of tablets use them in Portrait mode (See the number of Portrait post above in these comments!), and the WXGA screen means your portrait use will be only 800 pixels wide! That’s ummm, less great than the rest of the slate. Working in an 800 wide screen hinders many types of work, which would cause my crew to have a reduced productivity. (I know that some users would not be hindered by this low resolution, but we would be). The LE1700 supported SXGA, which was ideal. Hopefully, we’ll see this resolution again with the greatness of the other features of the J3400.

  11. Bristolview

    03/17/2009 at 6:58 pm

    Can an express card be inserted into the bay with the port cover in place? I’d like to insert an express card flash drive/ssd (secure data remains on card, travels with employee when slate stays at hotel). It would be nice to have the protection offered by the port covers, and still be able to insert a card. Possible or no?

  12. Bristolview

    03/17/2009 at 7:02 pm

    I’m not familiar with the mil spec ruggedness definitions. One issue I’ve had is field use, and weather. I know the J3400 is not waterproof, but can it handle being out in a light rain? In a heavy rain? While still being used? It would be great to be able to continue to work even in a light to moderate rain (subjective I know, not sure how to quantify what is light or moderate… I would not expect it to handle a complete downpour, my field workers won’t handle that either.)

  13. Bristolview

    03/17/2009 at 7:09 pm

    What is the lowest power (volts & amps) required to charge a battery? Odd question I know. The reason I ask is to understand what the power requirements are to charge a single battery, for extended (multi-day) off grid use. You guessed it, the power sources are Wind, Solar and Crank (hate the crank). This is probably not too important to Motion, as this isn’t a ‘use case’ most of your customers have. Still, I’d like to know. (The ruggedness of this slate is desirable in this type of situation)

    And NO, this is not my typical need. I am working on an extended off grid trekking event which will span approximately 15-20 days. Not typical for me either.

  14. Bristolview

    03/17/2009 at 7:13 pm

    Is there an external battery charger? I saw that the dock has this capability. Being totally handheld, we don’t need the dock (Dock works great on a desk. Desk? In the field? Not going to happen). I do however have a need to charge batteries outside of the slate. Can’t really be plugged in while working, dual batteries allow slate to keep running all day swapping dead/charged batteries as needed. I didn’t see an external charger on the list of accesories.

  15. thomas

    03/17/2009 at 9:09 pm

    only thing stopping me is capacitive touch / active digitizer screen and Win 7. I can even look over lack of options for 1.8HD. Any plan of that in the works and be released by win 7 time frame?.

    with Dell xt and hp tx out, I cannot imagine my next device without passive / active.

  16. PilotLS800

    03/18/2009 at 5:42 pm

    Corporate aircraft pilot and still using the LS 800 SSD in the airplane and it is getting dated. Motion sold thousands of LS 800’s until they discontinued them. They had ownership in this market (small form factors with a bright screen for pilots) until they pulled it. When is the 8.4″ or 8.9″ JXXX coming? Do they see a need for a smaller form factor? I’ll pre-order if you can get any answer out of them, especially if it has an onboard GPS, ViewAnywhere, SSD, and last but no where close to least, a cooling fan this time (you could fry an egg on the LS800 without a USB fan).

  17. Joe O'Laughlin

    03/18/2009 at 8:09 pm

    Why not a landscape tablet mode WITH HANDLE on the side for seated medical patients, instead of walking around medical professionals?

  18. C.M.

    03/18/2009 at 11:01 pm

    I also agree with PilotLS800 about LS800. I am really dissapointed and still puzzled by Motion not updating fantastic line like LS800. The form factor is just amazing for slate. I am still waiting for Motion to update LS800 line. The dream machine will be LS800 with the Boe’s view anywhere screen, Wacom’s capcitive/touch screen, Gobi, GPS, SSD, fan and longer batter life. I think reinventing LS800 will be a very good move for Motion. Please do something!!!

  19. C.M.

    03/18/2009 at 11:03 pm

    Plus, I know I am pushing it, but if OQO can do it I am sure Motion can do it too, OLED screen on LS800 will be totally awesome.

  20. Bristolview

    03/20/2009 at 10:23 pm

    Speaking of OQO… and the new low resolution screens of the J3400. We may have an option to help out on that retro resolution screen.

    OQO has an even lower resolution screen, which is a compromise between enabling readable text size (at it’s physical resolution), and the size of the OQO device itself. To help this issue, OQO ships with a solution to enable virtual resolutions, allowing the OQO display to show interpolated higher resolutions. This approach is NEVER as good as a native higher resolution, but it is very effective for those times you need it. (Yes I have an OQO). Most times, I use the OQO in it’s native physical resolution. At times however, a higher resolution is needed and I can simply hit the convienent UpRes or DownRes buttons and get a virtual resolution display, that is remarkably clear and crisp (yes, the small OQO display helps this). I’m not sure if OQO does this in a customized software display driver, or if they have scaling hardware on the OQO itself. (Many small displays have scaling hardware, for example; they may have a physical resolution of 1024×768 but can display 1280×1050 or something like that scaled to fit). Again, the OQO’s solution is not as good as true native resolution, but it is amazingly effective when needed.

    If Motion could add this feature to the J3400, I’d then be ok with the low resolution screen. As it is, this low res would hinder some workflows and decreasing productivity, I cannot have that. Most tasks would be ok with the lower resolution screen, but not all. For those which would be negatively impacted, this scaling approach would effectively offer a compromise solution, but an acceptable one. How about it Motion? Can you do that for us?

  21. Bristolview

    03/22/2009 at 12:11 pm

    Not a poke at Motion, just a question. I use a tablet 99% of the time, and use the Pen and handwriting recognition, thus no keyboard needed. In this mode of operation, Portrait is much better. It appears that the J3400 is largely setup for Landscape operation (ergonomics, port layout, etc). Why is this? Not poking at the choice, just wondering. It seems like an odd choice for a slate, which tends to often be used like a standard clipboard/paper notebook, etc. For a non-slate convertable TabletPC, I could see this choice making more sense, as it is primarily a standard PC, with Tablet capabilities. A slate is primarily a Tablet, and can function as a standard PC with dock and such.

    The Fujitsu P6012 is a slate as well, but took a different approach. It is clearly optimized for (right handed) portrait use; no ports on the bottom, no ports on the right where your left hand grips it, and a clean layout of ports on the left where it is clear of your hands. This seems like a logical layout for a slate, which is first and foremost a Tablet, and secondarily a normal PC. (No, I’m not doing a Fujitsu is better rant, this is not meant that way.) The port layout and such on the Fujitsu seems to be more logical and well thought out for a Slate machine. I’m not saying this is better or worse, but it seems logical to me, and matches the field use of Slates that I see daily. Motions choice to be primarily landscape optimized (can do portrait, but port location and such is sub-optimal), seems questionable to me. Of anyone to ‘get it’ I would have thought it would be Motion. Again, not saying any is better or worse than another, just what I see in the real world of Slate users, and my own use as one too. I’m just wondering about Motion’s decision here.

  22. Rob Bushway

    03/23/2009 at 8:33 am

    Motion has answered your questions, which are posted here:

    If you have follow-up questions, feel free to post them there. Motion will do their best to answer your follow-ups.

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