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Panasonic Toughbook tablet
Expected Q4 2011
So, it is quite pleasing to see Panasonic back, although this time it is a rugged Android tablet rather than a mobile phone, but this is no ordinary tablet.. it's the Panasonic Toughbook tablet.
Just in case you are not familiar with the Panasonic Toughbook, this is the sort of computer that you take away to fight wars with, or that the good guys use in movies or on the TV. The Toughbook is basically a bit of a legend, and the fact that Panasonic are confident enough to apply the Toughbook name to an Android tablet indicates that this is likely to be one very tough beast.
We are sure that most Mobile Gazette regulars know that tablets are a huge growth area, but there are several things stopping businesses from using them more. One major issue is robustness: those big screens on tablets are easy to break, but the Toughbook is much, much tougher. Also, the Toughbook tablet is designed to be much more secure than a consumer device. In addition, the display has been designed to be easy to read outdoors, and the Toughbook tablet includes a stylus which is essential where accuracy is needed, for example if capturing someone's signature.
The display is a 10.1" 1024 x 768 pixel panel, which is certainly good enough for most applications you can think of. The Panasonic Toughbook tablet comes in WiFi-only or 3G/4G configurations, and it comes with GPS and a camera.
Pricing is not known, but don't expect the Toughbook tablet to be cheap as the Toughbook laptops range in price from £1000 to £5000 (or €1100 to €5500). Price isn't really an issue here as Toughbook customers are primarily interested in getting the job done, and it certainly beats issuing a new iPad every week.
Other specifications are a bit thin on the ground, but we assume that Panasonic will reveal more about the Toughbook tablet at a later date.
It looks like there could be a significant market for this type of device.. and perhaps one day even a Toughbook smartphone? Well, we can live in hope!
Pansonic Toughbook tablet promo video
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