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Panasonic To Ship Ruggedized Android Tablet

The Toughpad A1 will ship in spring 2012.
The Toughpad A1 will ship in spring 2012.

Panasonic has debuted an upcoming line of ruggedized tablets built on the Android platform. Dubbed "Toughpad," the devices will begin shipping in 2012, with the first model, the A1, starting at $1,299.

The Toughpad A1 will be powered by a dual-core Marvell 1.2 GHz processor and will offer 1 GB LP-DDR2 RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, and a microSD expansion slot. With its ruggedized construction, it will be rated for a four-foot fall. Panasonic said the unit will have an ingress rating of IP65, meaning it will be fully protected against dust and protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction.

The A1 will sport a 10-inch, XGA (1,024 x 768) capacitive touchscreen display, like that of Apple's iPad. Panasonic said the display, at 500 nits, will be bright enough for viewing in full daylight. It will also include a 5 megapixel rear camera and 2 megapixel front-facing camera.

Other features will include:

  • 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi;
  • Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
  • GPS;
  • Covered ports, bumpers, screen protector, and magnesium alloy chassis;
  • Android 3.2 OS;
  • 10-hour battery life;
  • Integrated rear LED light;
  • USB and HDMI ports;
  • Integrated microphone and speaker;
  • Accelerometer, digital compass, and ambient light sensor;
  • Integrated stylus holder;
  • Support for acting as a WiFi hotspot for up to five devices; and
  • Optional integrated 3G and 4G (WiMax and LTE) mobile broadband communications.

The unit is also designed for HIPAA compliance, with integrated hardware and software encryption, an embedded security processor, root protection, VPN, and other features.

The Toughpad A1 will measure 10.5" (l) x 8.4" (w) x 0.7" (d) and will weigh in at 2.1 pounds.

Panasonic said the Toughpad A1 will begin shipping in spring 2012 for $1,299. A second model, the B1, will ship later in the year, currently scheduled for fall 2012. It will be a 7-inch ruggedized tablet. Other details of the B1 have not yet been released. Additional information can be found at PanasonicToughpad.com.

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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