Virtual Machine Hardware: Mini PC

When it comes to virtual machines a hot topic is “power.” Power usage VS CPU Power to be exact. Whether you are running 100 VMs at 128 MB RAM each or 5 VMs at 5GB RAM each, the critical issue comes down to power consumption and CPU availability.

It’s no surprise the Rugged E3 Mini PC is designed with a passive CPU heatsink that connects to the thermal transfer housing, helping move heat away from the CPU with the presence of cooler ambient air. It’s a Mini PC with a big mission.

This Mini PC enables your virtual environment to be ran on a dedicated physical host that’s engineered to be reliable under industrial applications and harsh conditions, (perhaps Tesla can use this on their new bumpy tunnel in LA).

 

Linux, Windows Hyper-V, XSi, VMware, choose your weapon, configure your platform and load your VMs. Step into the digital arena with up to 32GB of ECC ram -this ant of computer can carry much more than its own weight. Don’t forget to pair it with a solid state drive and multiple power inputs, your computational powers will be unstoppable.  

A bridge between virtual and reality: The built-in 4 USB 3.0 ports can communicate directly with your virtual machines. This gives them access to external resources. Now things start to get interesting. Imagine loading DDWRT (open source router software) to a VM, then forward some USB WiFi devices VIA the USB 3.0 ports and Hyper-v, you just created hardware that can support a cloud router with a physical antenna array.

Live Monitoring, Remote or Physical with 3 monitor ports (2 HDMI, 1 DVI) you can view as many VMs that can be cascaded across your displays, with as many as 10 per screen on a 1080p monitor. No monitor? No problem. The Rugged E3 Mini PC is equipped with two 1000Mbps (1GBe). Remoting into windows or linux is an almost real-time experience when combined with the built-in i7CPU and DDR4 RAM, expect no delays.

RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 equal availability and power, It’s Monday at 10am and 5 of your VMs just got hit with 400 users, your hard drives deliver data without a glitch  or a single 404 page because you have 2 hard drives working on the same job for you, if one fails, the other picks up the slack. Read more on RAID at PCWORLD.com

 

Read full specs for the Tangent Mini PC: Rugged E3

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SPECIFICATIONS

System

Processor

Intel 6th Gen. Core i7/i5/i3, Pentium or Celeron Processors

System Chipset

Intel Q170 Express Chipset

Graphics Controller

Intel HD Graphics 530 (Core CPU)

Intel HD Graphics 510 (Pentium & Celeron)

LAN Chipset

1x GbE: Intel I210-AT

1x GbE: Intel I219-LM

Audio

Realtek ALC888S

System Memory

Up to 32GB DDR4 2133 (2x SO_DIMM)

BIOS

AMI 128Mbit

TPM

TPM 1.2 (Infineon)

vPro

Yes (Processor Dependent)

Watchdog

Software Programmable Supports 1~255 sec. System Reset

Storage

SSD/HDD

2x 2.5” SATA Bay (Internal)

2x 2.5” SATA Bay (Removable)

mSATA

2x mSATA (shared with 2x Mini PCIe)

RAID Support

RAID 0, 1, 5, 10

Expansion

Mini PCI Express

2x MiniPCIe (Full Size)

SIM Socket

2x External SIM Sockets

2x Internal SIM Sockets

Other

Cooling Method

Fanless

I/O

Video

1x DVI-I

2x DP (Display Port)

COM

2x DB9 Serial RS232/422/485, COM1 & COM2

2x Internal headers RS232/422/485, COM3 & COM4

USB

6x USB 3.0 (4x Rear, 2x Front)

2x USB 2.0 (Front)

LAN

2x GbE RJ45

WLAN

Intel Wireless AC-7260 + BT (Optional)

Audio

1x Mic-in, 1x Line-out

DIO

8 IN / 8 OUT (Isolated)

Other

1 x Power Switch

1x AT/ATX Switch

1x Remote Power Switch (2 pin Phoenix Connector)

Operating System

Windows

Windows 7 Pro 32/64bit

Windows 10 Pro 64bit

Power

Power Mode

AT/ATX

Power Input Voltage

9-48 VDC

Power Ignition Sensing

Yes

Power Connector

3-pin Phoenix Connector

Power Protection

OVP (Over Voltage Protection)

OCP (Over Current Protection)

RPP (Reverse Polarity Protection)

Power Adapter

External Power Adapter, 12V @ 5A

Environment

Operating Temp.

-13°F – 158°F (-25°C – 70°C)

Storage Temp.

-22°F – 185°F (-30°C – 85°C)

Relative Humidity

10% – 95% non-condensing

Shock

With SSD: 50 G, half sine, 11 ms

Vibration

With SSD: 5 Grms, 5 – 500 Hz, 0.5 hr/axis

With HDD: 1 Grms, 5 – 500 Hz, 0.5 hr/axis

Certification

CE, FCC Class A

Physical

Enclosure Materials

Extruded Aluminum with Heavy Duty Metal

Dimension (WxHxD)

9.45″ x 10.27″ x 3.11″ (240 x 261 x 79 mm)

Weight

9.61 lb (4.37 kg)

Mounting

Wall Mount Only

Warranty

Warranty

1-Year Standard

A Powerful Yet Unassuming Panel PC

A Powerful Yet Unassuming Panel PC

At a glance, the Tangent VITA 474 19” panel PC looks just like a nice monitor. Sure, it’s very slim, sleek and unassuming. One could very easily pass it by on a wall or desk and never imagine that it is a powerful, fully featured all-in-one touchscreen panel PC. It even goes beyond just PC features and incorporates popular tablet computer components like a front-facing camera, integrated HD audio, wifi connectivity and Bluetooth wireless. With the Windows 10 app store and android emulators, you can take advantage of the highly responsive touchscreen while running mobile apps. But that’s not to say the Vita is just an oversized tablet. This panel PC is an industrial grade workhorse that can operate 24/7, at extreme temperatures, and has no fan or other moving parts. The front panel is rated at an IP64 level of protection against dust, water on contaminant intrusion.

This panel PC’s hardware setup is customizable to suit the needs of business, be it as an infotainment station for customers and patients, an electronic medical records keeping computer, or as an in-room patient care system. It is offered with an Intel 6th Gen Core i5 or an Intel Celeron processor, an Intel Skylake chipset, up to 32GB of memory, an optional RFID module for easy login, and hard drive/SATA drive options with storage of up to 2TB. The VESA 75/100 mounting bracket and optional stand allows for versatile placement of the panel PC for nearly any desired place: walls, arms, desks, or in-vehicle. The touchscreen is a sensitive, but durable PCAP 10 point multi-touch with a non-glare LED backlit LCD. All these features are packaged up in a flat panel that is only 16lbs.

If 19” isn’t quite the size you’re looking for, Tangent offers industrial panel PCs that range from 15” to 24”. Tangent also has lines of panel PCs that are more rugged and sealed for use in harsh or highly sanitized environments. The S-series panel PC has an enclosure that is rated at an incredibly secure IP69k, meaning that it can withstand being washed with jets of high heat water. The F15 panel PC has a cast aluminum chassis that is ruggedized for use outdoors or on vehicles, and has function buttons on the front for one-handed operation. Even with specialized features like these, the panel PCs all still retain the same functionality as all-in-one computers and tablets as to be truly versatile systems.

Rugged Industrial PCs in Agriculture

Rugged Industrial PCs in Agriculture

Not many industrial sectors look to technology for efficiency with as much fervor and adoption as agricultural industries. In 1793, the cotton gin machine was patented which immediately contributed to the success of cotton in Southern farms. The industrial revolution of the 1800s brought about many new inventions including the McCormick mechanical reaper that could harvest an acre of wheat in an hour, whereas it formerly took all day to gather the same amount using hand reapers. Automated feeding systems for livestock, computerized milk collection and milking machines have been around since the late 20th century and resulted in much faster and larger yields. In our modern times, industrial farmers and ranchers are no less inventive and mindful of progressive techniques and advanced computer applications and software.

 

An interesting example comes from a Canadian company who began using early versions of RFID (radio-frequency identification) on ostrich chicks in the 1990’s.These birds are highly valued, but unfortunately have a high mortality rate. Because of this, the company began tracking the birds in the field with RFID enabled leg bands to see how long they stayed at feeding troughs and how much they ate during each visit. That information gathered on computers enabled ostrich ranchers to identify which birds were at risk, and thus their lifespans began to lengthen with the help of  targeted treatment. Many ranches now use RFID to track cattle health, their behavior, and to also track their numbers and location. By pairing a cow’s tag RFID number with other sensor data, ranchers are able to see how an animal is acting and feeling, and can therefore determine which ones are thriving and what factors are leading to that. This is an amazing amount of insight into individuals amongst a herd which may number in the thousands.

Industrial Computer F15
F15 Industrial Computer

The computers best suited for field data collection will always be rugged industrial computer systems that can stand up to the elements and dusty environments endemic to agricultural and/or open grazing lands.  The Tangent F15 15” rugged tablet computer is not only completely sealed and protected against water and dirt intrusion, its sturdy case is designed to withstand falls, shock and vibration. The tablet has no internal fans, which equates to a long-lasting and reliable operation stemming from no moving parts to break and no ingestion of dirt and contaminants. It’s designed to be easily mounted on vehicles like forklifts or agriculture vehicles as to serve multiple purposes. The F15 tablet computer is equipped with an RFID module, a 3G module, and GPS so that farmers can easily pursue innovative livestock tracking solutions like the ostrich and cattle ranchers mentioned in the example above, or excel in crop and inventory management amongst many other efficiencies using the same technologies. This rugged industrial computer can operate at extreme temperatures ranging from -4  to 140°F, which many ranches and farms across America can easily put it through. Anything short of industrial grade and rugged construction on a work tablet would cause a loss of revenue on both the computer equipment but on essential data about livestock or crops.

Secure Encryption with TPM

 

Secure Encryption with TPM

Today we’re going to delve into a feature that’s often mentioned on Tagent’s medical computers and tablets spec sheets, but not often expanded on: TPM Support. The Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is an international standard for a secure cryptoprocessor.  A cryptoprocessor is a dedicated microcontroller built into computers that is designed to secure its hardware. This is achieved through the use of integrated cryptographic keys. That sounds like pretty high tech stuff, but put simply, a cryptographic key is a string of bits used by an algorithm to change plain text into cipher text or vice versa. The key is private and ensures secure encryption and decryption of data on the computer. With that knowledge, it’s fairly simple to see why it would be a useful feature on a medical computer containing patient health information.  The TPM helps support the integrity of the computer platform and boot process, device identification, authentication, disk encryption, password protection, and more. That’s a pretty good resume for one small microcontroller. It’s such a significant component that the United States Department of Defense specifies that “new computer assets procured to support DoD will include a TPM version 1.2 or higher.”

Most all of Tangent’s medical grade computers and tablets come standard with TPM 1.2 or 2.0.  The new Tangent M10i medical tablet PC has the TPM 1.2 support standard, as well as a rugged casing to prevent damage from being dropped, and is tested to strict military standards for shock and vibration resistance. The medical tablet also has a top of the line high brightness multi-touch surface with Gorilla Glass panel and digitizer. Gorilla Glass is known for its high quality touch device screens and is found on most of the leading smartphones, tablets, and watches. The M10i tablet comes standard with dual cameras: a two megapixel front facing camera, and a five megapixel rear camera with flash. One of its more impressive features include a hot-swap battery function that allows for eleven hours of uninterrupted operation. The 10” medical PC boasts a 4th Generation Intel® Haswell Core™ i processor, up to 8GB of memory and can be mounted on a number of surfaces including vehicles and medical arms.

The 13 inch T13 medical tablet PC from Tangent comes with TPM 2.0 support. The 2.0 standard supports a few more encryption algorithms and different kinds of structural hierarchies amongst other things. This is very handy for the T13 medical computer since it comes equipped with full slot smart card and SD card readers that allows for accepting credit card payments or using smart cards for authentication. This versatile machine can be used with a hand strap for users on the go, with an integrated stand, a desktop charging cradle, or can be mounted walls and vehicles with its VESA 100 mounting bracket. The T13 medical tablet is ruggedized and perfect for daily work in hospitals because of its ABS plastic enclosure w/ rubber corners, IP54 rated front panel, and antimicrobial treatment. Tangent’s medical computers are truly secure both inside and out!

The Importance of Business Grade Tablets

Business vs Consumer Tablets  : Know the Difference

 

The claim of 10-hour battery life on most newer tablet computers sounds pretty good, but there’s a few striking caveats to those promises, and quite a few other issues with those systems that make them poor choices as business machines. For one, most consumer tablets are intended for casual web browsing or watching videos, not for many hours of continued, application-heavy use. Under those conditions, the batteries on those types of tablets tend to drain out in closer to four hours. This doesn’t seem like much of a problem for people who are able to sit next to an outlet and charge back up, but so much of business happens on the go. And another massive problem is being unable to swap the battery when it does run out. This forces businesses to face the costly need to have several tablets on hand to keep up with their work demands. Consumer tablets are also designed to be handheld or used with a separate cradle or custom mounting apparatus.

Yes, the price points of of consumer-grade computer equipment makes them attractive at a blush, but industrial grade tablets and computers offer businesses a higher quality experience and durability that translates to even more cost effectiveness in the long run. Industrial tablets like Tangent’s P13 thirteen inch industrial all-in-one computer can make all the difference for operations requiring sustained mobile computing over long periods of time. The P13’s removable Li-Ion battery offers up to 6 hours of uninterrupted heavy use, and of course, comes with a power supply for charging. The tablet can accept a wide range of power inputs from 12-19VDC.

It’s VESA 75 capability means it can be mounted almost anywhere, with flexible installation options. If handheld use is required, the sturdy industrial tablet is easily carried since it’s only 3.75lbs and has an ultra slim design at 19mm in thickness. Warehouse employees can easily and quickly move the industrial tablet computer from one work kiosk to another. Field engineers can diagnose and complete repairs at several work sites in a day without having to worry about charging. Businesses can also feel assured of their investment because of the P13’s industrial grade construction. The industrial tablet has a completely fanless operation so there are no moving parts in the computer and no dust will build up in the internals, ensuring a reliable, durable and long-lasting life of the product. It was designed to function as a full-fledged workhorse computer system, not just an oversized smartphone.

Versatility, customization, ruggedness, and power are hallmarks of Tangent’s industrial tablet computers. The P13 tablet has a configuration panel that opens up to many of the swappable components that are housed together for easy access and quick upgrades or repair. This sort of access to internal components is unheard of in the consumer tablet world. And for the casual technology user, that’s not much of an area of concern, but businesses require much more control and trust in the computers that they depend on for their livelihood.

Computer Arm Mounts Increase Efficiency

Computer Arm Mounts Increase Efficiency

A medical charting station sounds like a pretty high end technical workstation, but for the longest time, it simply meant a wooden or metal cabinet or desk built into a wall of a clinical room that held physical medical charts. It was space efficient, yes, but hardly any wonder of modern discovery. They did think to put locks on them, so the old timers at least get points for patient privacy there. Once computers became cost effective and small enough, health facilities started cramming them into those cabinet work spaces whose openings strikingly resembled the seat-back tray tables on airlines. As quickly as they could, medical charting practices advanced onto sophisticated electronic medical records software platforms. Though the paper charts were a thing of the past, the computer systems that accessed the EMRs were about as flexible as having your laptop propped up on that airline tray table. The next evolution for the medical charting station is now the use of medical computer arms married with a folding IT station. Adjustability, dexterity, durability, and space efficiency create a winning combination that medical practices seek out in their medical computer equipment.

The Tangent Easy-Fold IT Station with medical computer arm offers its users customized configuration options to mount a flat panel display, keyboard and computer conveniently to a wall for maximum flexibility and ergonomic performance. The features on the medical arm system are numerous and impressive. The entire system easily folds back to less than 9 inches (22.9cm) from the wall and users can adjust from sitting to standing in one fluid motion. The adjustable arm helps to position the monitor and keyboard for maximum productivity for care providers who are on their feet all day and also to allow patients to see the screen without having to move or strain themselves. This has been helpful to me at the dentist’s office when they wanted to show me my x-rays while I had a suction tube in my numbed mouth. Better that they moved the monitor to my level, lest I haplessly drool all over their equipment. There is 17 inches of overall vertical adjustment range on the medical computer arm that can accommodate users of any height, and they can easily lock that adjusted computer height in place to avoid sudden movements or accidents. The monitor itself has 6.5 inches of independent height adjustment and the keyboard folds up to sit flush with the system when it’s pushed back to the wall.

More features include optional CPU mounts, VESA 75/100 mounting options, and trays for items like barcode scanners or computer mouses. The construction of the Tangent Easy-Fold IT station and medical arm is of durable aluminum and, being of medical grade, comes with a sealed keyboard tray for better infection control. Tangent protects most of their computer products with antimicrobial additives or constructs them to withstand heavy cleaning for patient safety and hospital compliance. Coupling a medical purpose built Tangent computer system with an IT workstation and medical arms of this nature provides a high degree of assurance in both safety and flexibility.

Industrial PC Ideal for the Meat Processing Industry

Industrial PC Ideal for the Meat Processing Industry 

In late 2012, the largest beef recall in Canada was prompted by an E. coli outbreak from a meat distributor called XL Foods. Eighteen people became sick, some to the point of needing hospitalization, and more than 4,000 tonnes of beef was recalled from across Canada and the U.S. This event sparked months of investigation, government inquiries, and resulted in massive financial impacts, but it is only one of many examples of foodborne illness-related recalls and scares in the agriculture industry. Contaminated foods is one of the greatest wastes any industry can face and so it’s understandable that cleaning and sanitation within meat processing plants is considered one of its most important activities.

So what can be done to ensure all the equipment in an industrial meat processing plant meets  strict sanitation requirements and safety protocols? Invest in equipment that can stand up to the rigors of being inspected, wiped down with cleaning solutions and water jet spray, and exposed to widely varying temperatures. Computer equipment often falls short on these needs, but industrial PC solutions are readily available from Tangent for these types of harsh and demanding environments.

The Tangent S-Series Industrial Panel computers were purpose built to offer reliable, long-lasting processing with a durable case. The enclosure is IP69K rated to protect the internals against spray downs using high water pressures and high temperatures, as well as applied solutions. The rugged, stainless housing also offers a corrosion resistant surface.  High pressure washing is efficient for surface cleaning after dry-cleaning of scrap materials in a meat processing center, followed by an application of cleaning or detergent agents. The input ports on this industrial computer come capped to protect against liquid or other contaminants. The availability of Intel Wireless AC-7260 and Bluetooth connections also diminish the need for cabling which reduces potential ingress.

The S-series industrial Panel PC line can be safely operated from 32  to 104°F (0 – 40°C), is rated to be shock and vibration resistant, and has versatile mounting options. The rugged computers are offered in a variety of sizes from 15” to 22” to suit any space and operate without any fans to further bolster its cleanliness. It’s disturbing to consider what could potentially hide in a computer on an industrial floor when fans are continually sucking in the dirty ambient air.

As more perishable and sensitive meat products have become popular in the market, particularly pre-packaged convenience foods, the need for proper sanitation in meat handling has increased. The microbial content of food products needs to be low enough to prevent spoilage during distribution and to guarantee an adequate shelf life once it reaches the store. Tangent’s prime directive is to provide top quality industrial computers to not only meet the requirements of business such as meat processing and distribution facilities, but to exceed them. Public health scares can largely be a thing of the past when industry standards align with forward-thinking technology. The S-series industrial computers from Tangent promote safety and perform to support a business’ bottom line.

All About Forklift Computers

All About Forklift Computers

Forklifts first came about in the early twentieth century and their practical purpose didn’t change much over the years; they picked up freight, moved it from one short distance to another or from ground level to higher storage spaces. Although the forklift’s intended functionality was fairly simplistic, continued warehouse process improvement efforts coupled with technological progress eventually enveloped this modest warehouse vehicle into a new role: inventory management and asset tracking. By placing an industrial grade computer on the unit, a forklift operator was able to scan items as they were being stored.  A forklift computer’s primary objective is now to help organize an active warehouse facility, sending real-time information to logistics operations or to an inventory information database. This is a huge boon to organizations like home improvement stores who have to move and replenish stock several times a day.

Forklift mounted computers have been attempted for at least a dozen years, but they were bulky and difficult to use while a worker was also trying to operate the vehicle. More space effective, customizable all-in-one touchscreen computer formats like ones offered by Tangent are making it easy to complete repeated tasks and keep the small cab of the vehicle free of clutter and cabling. The Tangent F15 industrial all-in-one touchscreen computer was specifically created with forklift mounting and use in mind. Chief amongst it’s notable features is ten programmable function keys on the front panel. This allows the forklift operator to complete several repeatable tasks at the touch of a button, which means being able to work without requiring both hands and doing it safely. Wireless and bluetooth capabilities allow users to connect to networks and databases without the need for an ethernet cable connection. The construction of the Tangent F15 computer also lends itself to industrial warehouse conditions. The enclosure is completely sealed and rated at IP65 for being protected against water and dirt intrusion. The bright orange casing makes the unit easy to identify within the forklift cockpit, and easy to see the buttons for one-handed use when the operator is multi-tasking. The casing is designed for mounting on forklift applications with M8 heavy duty screws, and the computer has been tested for shock and vibration resistance.

Some companies have taken to using tablets on forklifts, which does allow for more mobility with the computer, but one of the bigger criticisms of using those is that the battery only lasts so long before a charge is required. This wouldn’t be a problem except that forklifts typically use DC power, not AC, and so time would be lost in charging or the expense of having to keep several tablets on hand. The Tangent F15 has a wide input voltage range allows for integration into more environments that can use either DC or AC power.

A range of I/O devices useful to inventory management are available for the industrial computer including an internal GPS module and an RFID (MiFare). GPS is popular for use in geo-fencing and RFID uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to inventory, removing the need to manually scan an item to identify it. For those who prefer barcodes and scanners, there’s a multitude of input ports for peripherals and devices. A lot went into consideration when this industrial all-in-one was designed for warehouse and forklift use. And as with industrial operations, it’s always better to have the right tool for the job.

Automobile Manufacturing Automation

Automobile Manufacturing Automation

The use of advanced technology in automotive manufacturing has been commonplace since the 1960s when car manufacturers first pioneered the use of industrial robots and then went on to make them standard in car assembly  by the 1980s. Having seen tons of videos of robots welding chassis and components together on the automotive shop floor makes one think that the entire process is automated. But what’s surprising is that on the assembly side of things, automotive manufacturing is still quite people-intensive. In the past, industrial touchscreen computers were largely used for monitoring and quality assurance purposes. However, newer tech has seen the advent of things like collaborative robots that can help factory workers with challenging tasks, delivering materials, or assisting with heavy materials. Drones have been developed and deployed to inspect parts or potentially hazardous environments, while the factory staff control and investigate the proceedings on an industrial touchscreen PC. GM is even now using exoskeletons for repetitive operations in manufacturing. Workers wear a glove and they are given added strength and dexterity, but eventually they will also pass on their repetitive work tasks to a computer. Car manufacturers state that this is only the beginning in their quest for automation. In GM’s vision, the entire assembly floor will one day be a streamlined and automated flow of events.

The place for human intervention will no longer need to be in harm’s way on a hazardous assembly line, but with the tools and technology to be able to complete the same tasks using industrial touchscreen computers. Tangent’s All-in-One industrial PCs are created to be ready for the great ideas and automations of the future, whilst being able to withstand and succeed in the harsh and demanding environments of existing manufacturing sites. The S Series industrial all-in-one comes in a 15 inch, 19 inch, or 22 inch touchscreen monitor, built with a stainless steel enclosure that is IP69K rated as being fully waterproof. This series is also offered with a fanless design for reliability, longevity, and a noise-free operation which can be critical in manufacturing plants that must minimize dust circulation or ambient sound. The CPU is an Intel 3rd Gen Core i5, offering best-in-class integrated media and graphic performance to keep up with ever evolving (and moving) assembly line requirements. The units are available not only with VESA 100×100 compliant mounting, but also an optional tilting side mount, or with a sunlight readable panel with UV protection coating. This industrial touchscreen computer doesn’t even need to be indoors to provide effective utility! Another convenience is the S-Series’ optional Intel wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, removing the need to route ethernet cabling to the computer. This prevents clutter and maintains a clean work environment.

The automotive industry is always looking for process improvement through the use of innovative, reliable technology. Supporting smarter and safer technological endeavors is the heart of Tangent’s industrial computer offerings. The S-Series industrial touchscreen PCs are but a shining sample of the targeted work that Tangent does to bring quality and scalability to the manufacturing floor.

 

POS System for Retail

POS System for Retail

I was at a wine tasting event a couple months ago that was run by a wonderful and wine savvy older couple. The selections were phenomenal and the prices couldn’t be beat so I approached their sales desk with several bottles. Much to my surprise, the kindly proprietor pulled out a stack of papers that were stapled together and thumbed through it, circling the wines listed that I was going to buy. She wrote my name down on the front sheet, then manually calculated my total. The entire purchase process took over ten minutes and a line of patrons started forming behind me. I asked the owner what their method was, and apparently they would print their inventory sheet several dozen times and use that to write up people’s purchases. This seemed like such a waste of resources and time to me, so I continued to inquire as to why they didn’t use a point of sale computer system for their retail business. The reply was simply that they wouldn’t know where to start with POS systems. These folks with boundless knowledge of wine hadn’t the foggiest clue about computers or point of sale technology.

It’s with that sort of problem in mind that Tangent offers an industrial all-in-one tablet that is perfectly suited for retail POS activities, the P10. The tablet has a ten inch LCD with a PCAP multi-touchscreen, 2GB of memory, 64GB of storage, integrated audio and camera, and weighs in at a mere 2.2lbs. The real magic comes with the units docking station, which features many I/O ports for peripheral device connections like a barcode scanner, IC card reader, or 3-track MSR. It even has an RJ11 12V/24V input for a cash drawer. A POS system like this would have made life infinitely easier for the wine sellers. They could have used the barcode scanner to scan the products, have it pull up on the sales screen, and complete the transaction with ease using either the cash draw or the credit card reader.

Another handy feature that would have benefited a room full of people and pouring wine is the IP54 rated front panel on the tablet  that protects against liquid spills. And spills did happen a bit as people got further into their tasting courses and as more attendees arrived. The P10 POS systems small size conveniently suits any space, or lack thereof, and it’s rugged construction ensures that it can survive bumps and falls in case the scene get a little overly raucous.

A POS system is positively the most efficient way to support any retail business that sells products directly to customers. The ease of use, time savings on both checkout and maintaining inventory, and a safe repository of sales records makes this sort of computer a no-brainer. The flexibility of Tangent’s P10 allows retailers to customize their POS system to suit their specific need, or add on as business needs change. I certainly recommended to those lovely wine purveyors that they invest in this POS  technology to make checkout easier, their business more efficient, and their customers happier. A good product married up with fast and accurate service is a win-win every time.