Panasonic is set to break free from their Windows-based tablets and release their first Toughbook tablet running the Google Android OS. This is fantastic in many ways, firstly, it shows that Android is getting enough mainstream adoption that Panasonic is confident enough to roll it out to the enterprise partners, and secondly, you can take the ruggedized Android tablet out in the backwoods or in the crazy corporate world of hacking and digital espionage and not have too worry too much thanks to its ruggedized exterior and embedded hardware security.
The specs round out to a sunlight-friendly 10.1″ XGA (1024×768) multi-touch display, GPS, 3G/4G, a “full-shift” battery (probably not one of my shifts), and I’m hoping for Honeycomb, but the screenshots are showing 2.x. This is the first Enterprise-grade rugged Android tablet to be announced, it’s release is set for Q4 2011 with no pricing in sight. If it’s anything like the Toughbook H1 – Panasonic’s beastly military-grade Windows 7-based tablet that sells for over $3000 – which I highly doubt since Android is much leaner than Windows in almost every way, the 10.4″ tablet could come in at over $2000.
Device to include enterprise-scale security, functionality and durability for government and commercial mobility
SECAUCUS, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Panasonic Solutions Company, provider of collaboration, information-sharing and decision-support solutions for government and commercial enterprises, today announced its plans to deliver an enterprise-grade Android™ tablet to the market in the fourth quarter of this year. The new Toughbook® tablet will address a current gap by delivering a product designed with security, functionality and real-world reliability in mind. By delivering this purpose-built business solution, the new Toughbook tablet will appeal to a wide variety of users, including mission critical government personnel, highly mobile field forces, SMB’s looking for a competitive edge, security conscious IT managers and bottom-line focused CFOs.
“The vast majority of tablet devices—regardless of the OS—are engineered for consumers and don’t offer appropriate levels of security and durability or the functionality needed for business use. Like all Toughbook products, our Toughbook tablet will be designed and constructed with the mission-critical mobile user in mind.”
“Enterprise customers are very interested in the tablet market, but have been frustrated by the lack of appropriate solutions,” said Rance Poehler, president, Panasonic Solutions Company. “The vast majority of tablet devices—regardless of the OS—are engineered for consumers and don’t offer appropriate levels of security and durability or the functionality needed for business use. Like all Toughbook products, our Toughbook tablet will be designed and constructed with the mission-critical mobile user in mind.”
From a functionality standpoint, the Toughbook tablet will avoid the typical glossy screens—found on current tablet offerings—that are all but unreadable in outdoor environments. The Toughbook tablet will include a high brightness, daylight viewable screen so that mobile workers, in markets like field service, home healthcare and public safety, can easily see critical data and operate the device regardless of lighting conditions. The new tablet will also include an active stylus, allowing mobile workers in sales, customer service and mobile point-of-sale environments to capture signatures on the device’s 10.1” XGA multi-touch display.
Enterprise-class mobile computing requires a heightened level of device security that is not currently available in today’s tablet market. To address this need, the new Toughbook tablet is being designed with security embedded at the hardware level.
The Toughbook brand is widely known for its reliability and durability, even in extreme operating environments. The new Toughbook tablet will be no exception, offering durability, and ingress protection consistent with its other fully-rugged devices.
Other features to be offered on the Toughbook tablet include satellite-based GPS, full-shift battery life, professional-grade accessories and optional embedded 3G/4G mobile broadband connectivity.
Combined with mobile broadband connectivity, the Android-based Toughbook tablet will offer quick access to applications and data that could significantly improve a field worker’s ability to make critical decisions that enhance customer service, improve response times and deliver results.
The device is being shown at Panasonic’s InfoComm booth (3829) in Orlando, FL. InfoComm runs through Friday, June 17.