Interesting! Panasonic well known for its rugged Laptops and Tablets announced today that its entering the Android market as well. However, as you might expect from Panasonic, the company isn't addressing consumers or business users but the vertical workforce with today's announced Toughpad FZ-A1, the first in its Toughpad family of professional-grade Android-powered tablets.
The 10" Toughpad FZ-A1 is ideal for highly mobile outdoor workers in challenging conditions like aviation, construction, field service and public safety. The range will be supported by an eco-system that includes a wide range of work accessories, such as vehicle mounting and ergonomic hands-free holsters.
The Android 3.2/Honeycomb powered Toughpad FZ-A1 offers as standard Bluetooth v2.1+EDR, WiFi a/b/g/n, GPS and optional 3G mobile broadband offering up to 21 Mbps download speeds and has a high brightness, 10.1" XGA, capacitive multitouch, daylight-viewable screen with an anti-glare coating. It includes an active digitizer that records pressure, direction and speed along with the signature, so the signing of a document has greater legal authority. The digitiser pen is also battery-free reducing device maintenance and TCO.
The Toughpad FZ-A1 offers 10 hour all day working. The battery is replaceable ensuring mid-life battery upgrades (Panasonic recommends the battery is changed by the IT support team).
The CPU in the Toughpad FZ-A1 incorporates a dedicated, tamper-proof, security processor, which frees up the multi-purpose CPU core for other tasks. The security CPU core handles software and data encryption, enhanced VPN, authentication, trusted boot and device management. This enhanced level of device security means the System on a Chip family of Toughpads will be compliant with FIPS 140-2 level 2.
Panasonic Toughpads have been designed from day one as a range of professional working devices. They are very different to consumer tablets. The new Toughpad family is designed to meet the same durability standards as Panasonic's Toughbook laptop product line. The Toughpad FZ-A1 has a MIL-STD-810G rating for 120 cm drops as well as an IP65 ingress protection rating for resistance to dust and water. The Toughpad FZ-A1 is also rated for use in extreme temperatures. This allows it to be used reliably in almost any situation.
Because Toughpads come from the world leader in rugged mobile computing, they have an instant head start with working accessories from our eco-system of partners. This includes: Ergonomic holsters and bags for one-handed, all day use, rugged power systems, multi-rack chargers, so many Toughpads can be simultaneously charged between shifts, vehicle mounting solutions and desktop cradles.
Panasonic offers Toughpad customers a wide range of professional services including project management, imaging and kitting.
The Toughpad FZ-A1 will be available in the Spring of 2012 at an estimated street price of 850 Euro + VAT for the standard model and 999 Euro + VAT for the 3G model.
Furthermore, Panasonic unveiled today that it will add a 7" tablet to the Toughpad range in the second half of 2012.
Cheers ~ Arne