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Monday, 30 April 2007

The Intermec CN3 Computer - Page 4

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So you’re going to be away from home for a month or two on that epic trip you’ve always wanted to take. You’re going to be crawling through jungles, climbing mountains, navigating cities in unfamiliar countries, and generally being away from the things you usually take for granted. Still, you may want to be able to make a call when you’ve got cell phone signal. You might want to navigate via GPS. It’s possible that you’ll want to have a handy translator in your pocket. You might even want to drop an email to friends back home or find some information on the web. Even with all of those possible wants, the prospect of lugging a delicate, bulky, and awkward laptop around with you for a month probably doesn’t appeal. Enter the CN3 Handheld Computer from Intermec.


According to Intermec’s Jeff Sibio, the testing they do on these is quite rigorous. They are made to be dropped 24 times on every side and corner from 4 feet in the air onto an unyielding surface. I mentioned concrete and he told me that concrete was not “unyielding enough” to meet their standards. They put a thick steel plate over the concrete to be sure.

To test this out, and see what the unit would take, I dropped it off of my front porch onto concrete. It’s about a 10 foot drop. I figured three times would be enough. I dropped it once and it bounced. It still worked, so I did it again. It still worked. After the third time, it finally stopped working.

It seems that despite some of its shortcomings in elegance and design, the CN3 is a survivor, first and foremost. No other device on the market would have survived half of what I did to this thing. The first splash of water or single fall is enough to kill the normal cell phone or PDA.


A device with mixed merits, this is a great phone/GPS/Pocket PC for taking into rough conditions. If you’re thinking about buying a laptop for a difficult trip, this might be an alternative that’ll take less to recharge and last through more abuse. The tough part is the price. I hope you’re sitting down. The MSRP for the base model CN3 is $2395.00.

The CN3 comes with a variety of options. A number pad instead of the QWERTY keyboard that my demo unit had is available, as is an internal camera, magnetic strip reader, bar code imager, and CDMA.

The CN3 is available through Intermec or authorized resellers. For information on how to buy, go to .

© Nick Atlas

(Page 4 of 4)
Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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