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Panasonic hopes to curb iPad at work with Android tablet

updated 02:20 pm EDT, Thu June 16, 2011

Panasonic ToughBook Android tablet unveiled

Panasonic officially launched itself into the mobile tablet arena on Thursday by unveiling a Toughbook tablet based on Android. The 10-inch, 1024x768 slate would try to cover a perceived gap by tackling both the durability and security that tablets like the iPad don't have. It would use a matte, outdoor-friendly display, a shock-resistant shell and a pen for shops and others that need handwritten input.

Little else was mentioned of what was inside, but it would have true GPS, "full-shift" battery life, and the option of 3G or 4G for getting online. Pro accessories would arrive along with the tablet itself. Panasonic's imagery shows stock Android 2.2, though the size could lead the company to move to Android 3.1 or Ice Cream Sandwich. Special software to tighten the security is likely given Android's limited enterprise-grade protection.

A formal launch isn't expected until sometime in the fall.

The entry is Panasonic's first of its kind to drop a Microsoft OS. It's not new to the category but has been relying on Intel-based Windows slates like the CF-U1 that are usually relegated to very small niches such as warehouse workers. Its design would be thinner and possibly lighter than these while also lasting much longer on battery and supporting use of finger touch.

A Toughbook tablet would effectively be an attempt to squeeze Apple in the corporate and government worlds. iPads are in testing or active use in 75 percent of the Fortune 500 and have also been pushing into government use. Panasonic's effort would potentially appeal to the military and others that need tough systems but also stores and others that might want a mobile OS but still want some of the pro features they saw in Windows CE or desktop Windows tablets.







By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. viktorob

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2011

    +6

    But...

    I saw a toughbook before, it a laptop tank, very rugged, you can pass a car above it and it will still running.

    Problem is that a normal computer cost like $900 and with the exact specs, the rugged version cost more than $2000 dollars.

    For $49 dollars, you add a "Oxford Defender" cover to the iPad and you have almost the same ruggedness as the toughbook.

    After all, how much people need a tablet that you can drive above it? hundred? Evil Knievel?

    Even US soldiers that used to use intermec $2200 rugged pocket PC are now using a $600 or less iPhone or Android.

  1. dicklacara

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2010

    0

    comment title

    "A thing of beauty is a joy forever"
    --John Keats--

  1. slapppy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2008

    +4

    Android...Security?

    Hahahaha... Panasonic embracing the most unsecured mobile platform today!

  1. DaJoNel

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2010

    +3

    Welcome back, 90's.

    This is by far the ugliest "iPad killer" ever.

  1. chas_m

    Joined:

    +1

    Niche ...

    ... but a decent enough niche. Viktorob is right that you can easily ruggedize an iPad -- you can even get a stylus if you need that -- but some companies will probably appreciate the targeted considerations that Panasonic has put into this tablet.

    It's certainly not for me, and any company with genuinely sensitive data would probably be well-advised to steer clear of anything Google, BUT I think this product -- especially if reasonably priced -- could find a business audience. There's nothing wrong with a little legit competition, and the iPad isn't ideal for everything.

    The key to this thing will be the price, however. If its not at or LESS than the cost of an iPad, forget it.

  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Jun 2011

    0

    comment title

    Must be really proud to be the makers of that piece of s***. If it had any more s**** holes I just may mistake it for a s**** holder.

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