It’s hard to make an Android tablet that stands out from the crowd these days. Some companies try to do it by offering budget price tags or customized software and services. Panasonic has taken another approach, by delivering an Android tablet that’s tough as nails.
The company’s new ToughPad family of products feature rugged case designs that are water and dust resistant, designed for use in extreme heat or cold, and which feature anti-glare, outdoor readable displays.
The first model will be the Panasonic ToughPad A1 with a 10.1 inch display, but a 7 inch ToughPad B1 will launch in the fall of 2012.
Panasonic says the tablet can be used in temperatures ranging from 14 degrees to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. It can withstand a fall of 4 feet, and can be used at altitudes as high as 15,000 feet. The tablet also comes with a 3 year warranty, which is about three times longer than the standard warranty you get with most other tablets.
Rugged design comes at a cost though. While most Android tablets have starting prices under $500, the ToughPad A1 will start at $1299. But it’s not really aimed at the budget-conscious crowd. Instead we’re looking at a tablet that can be used in industrial settings, camping expeditions, or other harsh environments.
While the rugged case is nice and all, the ToughPad A1 doesn’t skimp on other high-end tablet features. It has a magnesium alloy chassis, a 1.2 GHz Marvell dual core processor, 1 GB of RAM, 16GB of flash storage, and runs Google Android 3.2 Honeycomb.
The tablet has a 10.1 inch, 1024 x 768 pixel display with support for multitouch finger input or a digital pen with an active digitizer.
There’s an integrated mic and speaker, a microSDHC card slot, an integrated stylus holder, dock connector, micro USB port, and micro HDMI port. The tablet features 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, and GPS. There are also 3G and 4G options. There’s a 5MP rear camera with autofocus and an LED flash, and a 2MP front-facing camera.
The 4590mAh battery offers up to 10 hours of run time, and it’s user replaceable.
As you might expect, the Panasonic ToughBook is heavier than your average 10 inch Andorid tablet, weighing in at 2.1 pounds. It measures 10.5″ x 8.4″ x 0.7″.