Panasonic's outed a new 10.1-inch Toughpad to take Android tablets to the frontline. The Honeycomb-equipped survivor will take just about any abuse you can throw at it including water, sand, fire and a crutch?
OK, so the promo video might be a bit over-the-top, but Panasonic's done pretty well with its Toughbook line of hardened laptops so I have high hopes for its tablets.
The first Toughpad out the gate will be the FZ-A1, which is equipped with a Marvel 1.2GHz dual-core chip, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of flash plus a microSD card slot. The screen is 10.1-inches, but at 1024x768 so it's not the highest resolution Android tablet available. It's got both front and rear cameras as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, micro HDMI and micro USB for connectivity. There's even a model with 3 or 4G built-in, complete with hotspot capability for mid-battle internet sharing. It's not light at 966g, but it'll survive when other puny tablets will shrivel up and die.
Panasonic's aiming for a Spring 2012 launch with the FZ-A1 setting you back something around the £880 mark and up. There's also a smaller 7-inch version on the cards, but that won't make it to market until later. If you're the kind of person who takes your tablet to war and back, or out and about on a building site, the Toughpad is for you. For the rest of us, it might be a bit overkill; but hell, who doesn't like 'indestructible' gadgets? [Panasonic]