Panasonic Toughpad range unveiled, rugged professional-grade Android tablets

Posted on 08. Nov, 2011 by in Tablets

The sheer number of Android tablets has led to a selection of tablets that caters to just about everyone. There are cheap Android tablets, there are expensive premium tablets, there are small models (under 8-inch screen size), and there are large tablets (larger than 8-inches). However in the large pool of Android based options there hasn’t been a model available with a really rugged design that would fulfill the needs of working professionals everywhere.

Today, Panasonic has revealed the Toughpad family of rugged professional-grade Android tablets.

Panasonic Toughpad A1 and B1 Android tablets

Panasonic understands not everyone needs or wants a 10.1" tablet, so they will have a 7" Toughpad tablet. Image: Panasonic

Panasonic has a 10.1-inch Toughpad A1 and a smaller 7-inch Toughpad B1. At this time Panasonic plans to make the 10.1-inch Toughpad A1 available for purchase before the 7-inch model. In lieu of the availability plans the 10.1-inch Toughpad A1 is the only Toughpad tablet that Panasonic has detailed today.

Here are the technical specifications for the Panasonic Toughpad A1:

Operating SystemAndroid™ 3.2 (Honeycomb)
ProcessorMarvell 1.2 GHz Dual-Core Processor
Storage16GB
Optional StorageMicroSD optional up to 32GB
RAM1GB LP-DDR2
Display500 nit, daylight readable, 10.1” XGA (4:3), capacitive multi-touch with anti-reflective and anti-glare treatment and built-in ambient light sensor, active digitizer for pen input
Battery Life10 hours (serviceable battery)
Weight2.13lbs (without pen)
Drop Rating4 ft.
Ingress ProtectionIP65
Temperature rating 14F to 122F (operational)
InputsMicro-USB, microSDHC, micro HDMI
Camera5MP rear, 2MP front
Connectivity/Comms4G (LTE or WiMAX), 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, Satellite GPS
Security FeaturesHardware-level security, FIPS 140-X and HIPPA compliant, cable lock slot
Dimensions10.5 x 8.3 x 0.67 in.

In their announcement Panasonic explains the all-round vision for the Toughpad tablets and Android tablets in-general in-regard to their enterprise clients. Panasonic states their Toughpad tablets are designed for “mission-critical and highly mobile workers” and as such the Toughpad Android tablets are going to have an enterprise specific app store, peripherals, developer tools, and deployment support.

The Panasonic Toughpad A1 will come pre-installed with the Android Market for general Android apps, but the enterprise application store called Business AppPortal will feature, “best-of-breed vertical market specific solutions as well as applications addressing broad enterprise concerns, including Mobile Device Management, security and virtualization”. The Business AppPortal is described as highly secure storefront that’s based in the cloud and the store will allow IT managers to add applications of their own to the store (this is where Panasonic’s developer tools for enterprise will come into play).

Panasonic plans to start shipping the 10.1″ Toughpad A1 with Android 3.2 Honeycomb in Sprint of 2012 with a start price of $1299, yes you heard that right $1299 is going to be the start price for the Toughpad A1. The 7″ Panasonic Toughpad B1 tablet will be available for purchase later in 2012 after the Toughpad A1, more details for the Toughpad B1 will come to light closer to its launch date.

Panasonic Toughpad A1 back

The back of the Panasonic Toughpad A1 tablet is buys with a user removable/serviceable battery, rear camera and LED flash, a digital pen holder and more. Image: Panasonic

The Panasonic Toughpad A1 for now is the first truly rugged professional-grade Android tablet, but it’s not available for purchase now and the market will likely be much different by the time Sprint 2012 rolls around. Panasonic definitely has a nice device on their hands with the Toughpad A1 but the price will scare-off most buyers in 2012 if the processor, RAM and other internal hardware isn’t updated before launch in Spring of 2012. Also did I mention you’re going to have to wait until Spring of 2012 to purchase this tablet? Well you’re going to have to wait almost one year to purchase this particular Android tablet.

Here is the official promo video for the Panasonic Toughpad A1 tablet:

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One Response to “Panasonic Toughpad range unveiled, rugged professional-grade Android tablets”

  1. Zutronic

    08. Nov, 2011

    FINALLY somebody’s brave enough to lead the herd with a tough product for real world use! I like this ALOT! Bravo Panasonic, Bravo! I want one! If this works/runs as good as your competitors’ devices, you just flew by them out of nowhere! Now please hurry up with those Tough-Phones and Tough-Laptops!

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