A review of the company’s March 29 Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing shows that the company only has $147,430 in assets, and is reporting a more than $39 million loss. That figure includes $9 million from a 20-year lease on the building in which it operated.
It expanded its headquarters in the Compass East building in 2017, adding a combined 18,000 square feet and adding a new product workshop. The bankruptcy filing indicates Bak USA made about $6.8 million in revenue in both 2017 and 2018.
Bak USA abruptly shutdown operations at its Michigan Avenue headquarters in November, laying off all 77 employees. At the time, company leaders cited Trump-era tariffs as the reason for the company’s peril, saying “the economic pressures on the young company had become too great to withstand.”
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Now-defunct tablet manufacturer Bak USA is in serious financial trouble.
BAK USA was also a STARTUP-NY company, which allowed it to operate without paying income, property, sales or corporate tax for its first 10 years.
The grassroots company had 15 employees when it opened to much fanfare in 2015. It produced three types of mobile computers: the Atlas 12 2-in-1 laptop for K-12 schools, the Seal laptop for field work, and the Bak Board – the original tablet from Bak USA.
Golisano was a big backer of the startup company, and he owned 50 percent of the company when it debuted in 2015. The bankruptcy filing shows Golisano’s ownership had increased to 67 percent of the company, and he had 4 million shares of company stock. The filing further shows that BAK owes Golisano more that $25 million.
The company also owes nearly $900,000 in unpaid invoices to Elitegroup Computers Systems, LLC, and owes six-figure sums to other vendors as well.
Signs of financial trouble arose in fall 2018 when the company announced it would continue operations under a management buyout. The company’s abrupt closure happened just two months later.
Now-defunct tablet manufacturer Bak USA is in serious financial trouble.
And now they have, in addition to durable 2-in-1 laptops for classrooms, the Rugged Seal Tablet. It’s an 8-inch, IP65-sealed, Intel “Cherry Trail” powered Windows 10 tablet for tough jobs. The image below shows the Seal from the front and all four sides (click on it for a larger view).
The Seal tablet’s performance is where we expected it to be. Ahead of a competitor equipped with a slightly lower end x5-Z8550 processor, and behind a Pentium N3710 powered tablet with a higher power draw and quicker mass storage technology. The Seal is also ahead of a competitor using the same x7-Z8700 processor. In our testing, the unit felt quick and responsive.
The rubbery nibs are replaceable and Bak sells them in sets of 5 ($3) and 25 ($5). Replacement pens cost US$35. We liked the Seal Stylus a lot. And also the snap-in stylus holder mounted on top of the tablet.
If more connectivity is needed, it’s available through a US$99 office dock/docking station that comes with plenty of I/O: two USB 3.0, two USB 2.0, two USB fast charging ports, an RJ45 Ethernet jack, HDMI, separate audio in and out, and DVI video.
The Seal actually looks like it could handle more than that. We had it fully submerged while operating. There was no leakage and the tablet kept on running. The display uses high-strength Corning Gorilla Glass 3, and the glass surface is very slightly recessed into the housing, which provides a bit of extra protection against breakage.
Overall, the interior of the Seal leaves a very good impression both in terms of design, manufacturing, execution, as well as fit and finish.
The Seal’s data sheet doesn’t include a lot in terms of environmental specs. The tablet has a very wide operating temperature range of -4 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit (-20° to +50°C), and ingress protection is at the IP65 level. That means the Seal is fully dustproof and can also handle low pressure water jets from all directions.
Who is Bak USA? Definitely not your typical computer manufacturer. When the company first approached RuggedPCReview.com to take a look at their first rugged tablet, their pitch was that they were comparable to the leading manufacturers, but at 1/3rd of the cost. And that their rugged tablets were built right here in the USA, “using a combination of high tech manufacturing (cobotics) and handcrafted design.”
Out of the box, the Seal feels solid and trust-inspiring. It is very well made, with exemplary fit and finish. It doesn’t feel generic. It may be a new kid on the rugged tablet block, but it sure doesn’t come across that way. This tablet could come from any of the established, experienced makers of rugged gear.
Bak usa reviews 8-inch rugged Windows tablet made in Buffalo impresses with design, features, performance. (by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer) Who is Bak USA? Definitely not your typical computer