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Panasonic Introduces Toughpad A1 Rugged Android Tablet

The Kindle Fire can bring the heat. But the Toughpad can handle flamethrowers. Panasonic is extending its line of weather-resistant, hard-shelled mobile devices to include Android tablets. Announced today, the Toughpad A1 will sport a 10.1-inch XGA capacative screen and a 1.2-GHz Marvell dual-core processor running Android 2.3 Honeycomb, and will be released in Spring 2012. A  7-inch B1 version will be released later in 2012.

As with its rugged notebooks, the target market for the A1 is mobile workers looking for a high degree of security and reliability. As such, the A1 is built to withstand MIL-STD-810G standards for drops, water, dust, and temperatures.  In a commercial video released by Panasonic, the Toughpad is seen getting sprayed with water, burnt with flamethrowers, and punched repeatedly. Read on for more details and the full specs.

Security features include enhanced VPN, dual factor authentication, trusted boot, and device management, making the Toughpad A1 compliant with FIPS 140-2 for Federal government use and HIPAA ready for healthcare environments. The A1 will also be supported by the Business AppPortal, an enterprise-focused app store. 

The Toughpad features a 10.1-inch XGA display with a rated brightness of 500 nits, making it daylight viewable, and will have an anti-reflective and anti-glare treatment. The display will come with an active digitizer and stylus which is secured in the back of the tablet.

At 2.3 pounds and 0.67 inches thick (nearly twice that of the iPad 2), the Toughpad is on the heftier side, but that's understandable given the durability. The slate will include 4G and Wi-Fi connectivity and front and rear cameras at 5 and 2 megapixels, respectively. 

At $1,299, the Toughpad tablet will be one of the priciest on the market, but we suspect those in the most demanding vertical industries will be willing to pay the premium.

Panasonic Toughpad A1 Specs: 

  • Operating System: Android 3.2 (Honeycomb)
  • Processor: Marvell 1.2 GHz Dual-Core
  • RAM: 1GB LP-DDR2
  • Storage/Expandable to: 16GB/48GB
  • Display: 10.1-inch XGA
  • Ports: Micro-USB, microSDHC, micro HDMI
  • Wireless: 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, 4G (LTE or WiMax), GPS
  • Rated battery Life: 10 hours
  • Size: 10.5 x 8.3 x 0.67 inches
  • Weight: 2.13 pounds