Trimble might not be the first port of call for a Windows Mobile handheld, but if you’re looking for a ridiculously sturdy, ruggedised PDA with an outdoor-viewable VGA display then their Nomad would make for a distinctive (if not especially pocket friendly) option. Really, Nomad – like the rest of Trimble’s range – is intended for non-consumer use, but the 806MHz CPU, 1GB of storage, GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth add up to something surprisingly appealing. Now Trimble have announced a USB EV-DO modem accessory, made by Franklin Wireless, and using Sprint’s network for messaging, GPS tagging, collecting field-data and even the odd sneaky Facebook session in-between working.
Of course, since it’s Trimble selling you the modem and not Sprint, they’re not subsidising it with a contract: that means they’ll charge you $349 for the modem (and drivers) on its own. Probably not too much of an issue for a business, but madly expensive if you’re a consumer taken in by the Nomad’s MILSTD-810F military standard for drops, vibration, humidity, altitude and extreme temperatures, or its ability to survive immersion in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes.