If you were getting bored with all the me-too Android-powered tablets that all look the same and are pretty much identical in specs too, here’s a breath of fresh air. Panasonic has announced two Toughpad tablets. Toughpad is a name clearly inspired by the electronics maker’s Toughbook brand which it uses for rugged laptops, and these tablets are rugged too, bringing Android to a whole new set of usage scenarios.
The Toughpad FZ- A1 has a very bright 10.1-inch IPS touchscreen with a 4:3 aspect ratio, a dual-core 1.2 GHz Marvell processor, 1 GB of RAM, a 5 MP rear camera as well as a 2 MP front-facing camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, an active digitizer, 16 GB of built-in storage space expandable via microSD cards, and 10-hour battery life. The tablet runs Android 3.2 Honeycomb and it will be released in spring 2012.
The ToughPad A1 has a military rating for 120cm drops, it resists dust and water, and can be used in extreme temperatures. All of these features make its target markets aviation, construction, field service, and public safety. And it’s got the price to match its corporate customers. The non-3G version will go for €850 (VAT not included), and if you’d like some 3G data with it too you’ll have to shell out a whopping €999 (again, VAT not included).
Also in 2012, but much later, Panasonic will add a 7-inch tablet to the Toughpad line.
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