Motion Computing`s Tablet: A Superior Choice

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Print this article Print

The Motion J3400 shows that versatile tablet PCs still have their place among the numerous netbooks, notebooks and convertibles—especially in health care and other vertical markets.

Take one tablet and call me in the morning may very well be Motion Computing’s slogan for the J3400, a tablet PC that has "built for the health care vertical" written all over it.

Weighing in at just 3.6 pounds and featuring a shock-resistant design, the Motion J3400 may be the perfect fit for industries where electronic forms and handwritten notes reign supreme. First and foremost on the list is the medical market, where the unit’s eight-hour battery life (with dual batteries installed) should make the rounds for most medical professionals. Of course, other verticals are well served by the tablet, such as insurance adjusters, surveyors, construction, shipping and logistics, and retail.

Some may think tablet PCs are pretty cool, but wonder if they really need a full-time tablet PC? Motion addresses that concern with a small dock that features a keyboard and touchpad, which turns the unit into a notebook. Perhaps not as classy as a solution as a convertible notebook, the Motion J3400 performs well in either configuration.


Motion Computing's Motion J3400 tablet PC provides performance and mobility that's suitable for users in fast-paced, on-the-run organizations.

The Motion J3400 features many capabilities that should make it the first choice in tablet computing. The unit is powered by an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor (SU9300) with an ultra-low voltage design running at 1.2 GHz (a 1.4 GHz SU9400 is optional), which sips power without sacrificing performance. Solution providers will also appreciate the choice of Windows Vista Business Edition or Windows XP as the primary operating systems. Wandering users will enjoy the multitude of wireless connectivity capabilities, which include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Mobile Broadband and a smart card slot for other devices.

A tablet PC has to be a pretty tough device since they are subject to the bumps and dumps of a fast-paced environment. Here, Motion went with a magnesium-alloy frame, water-dust resistant screen, chemically strengthened glass and a rubberized housing. All of those features give the unit 3-foot drop test compliance and a Mil-STD-810F rating.

For day to day use, the Motion J3400 proves to be a comfortable and functional unit. It’s well balanced and the digitizer works well with the included stylus. The optional keyboard is a little on the clumsy side, and connects by the tablet resting on an edge connector. The keyboard doesn’t lock onto the unit and can fall off if the unit is carried around in that configuration. In other words, it’s best to leave the keyboard dock sitting on a desk.

Motion also offers a desktop dock which pretty much turns the system into a monitor with an integrated PC. Users can plug a keyboard, mouse, Ethernet cable and other devices into the dock and use the system like a desktop PC, albeit with a small 12.1-inch display.

Motion has included in an interesting mix of additional features in the Motion J3400. Users will appreciate its 1600x1200 Web cam with an illumination light, noise cancelling multidirection array microphone and high-definition audio. Those features make the Motion J3400 an ideal tool for mobile, instant video conferences and the integrated camera could be used to take snapshots to be imbedded into forms.

The Motion J3400 has quite a few ports, and users will find a gigabit Ethernet rj45 connector, headphone, microphone, two USB, external VGA, and keyboard connectors strategically placed around the perimeter of the device. Security-minded users can enable the included fingerprint scanner and further secure the unit using disk encryption and other security technologies.

With 4 GBs of RAM installed and U9400 CPU, the Motion J3400 offered decent performance, the Windows Experience Index came in at a 3.2, while PassMark’s Performance Test V6.1 gave an overall rating of 552.6. That’s an acceptable score, right in the range of convertible notebooks and far surpassing most netbooks. Starting at $2,299, the Motion J3400 doesn’t come cheap, but when compared to either a semi-rugged notebook or a high-end laptop, the price doesn’t seem so bad.

For solution providers servicing mobile vertical markets—such as health care, construction and emergency first responders—Motion J3400 is a superior PC option for your customers.

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). Frank's duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP Technology's Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test Center's review content into both CRN's print and web properties. He also contributed to Netseminar's, hosted sessions at CMP's Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test Center's contributions to CMP's Channel Web online presence and CMP's latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMP's Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel Group's publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel Group's specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis Enterprise's tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a president's award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including Novell's CNE, Microsoft's MCP.Frank can be reached at frank.ohlhorst@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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