updated 04:45 pm EDT, Tue July 12, 2011
Toughbook H2 offers many improvements over H1
Panasonic has followed up its Toughbook H1 pro tablet from last year with its successor, the Toughbook H2. The new computer retains the same MIL-STD-810G standard for resistance to shock, dust, water and temperature extremes but adds higher-end specs and some more convenience features. Instead of a low-power 1.86GHz Atom processor, for example, the sequel gets a 1.7GHz Core i5 ULV CPU with Intel's vPro tech.
At the same time, there is a USB 2.0 and serial port, with users getting the option of adding a second USB 2.0 or Ethernet jack. The 10.1-inch dual-touch display has a 1024x768 resolution and has 6,000 nits of brightness for viewing in sunlight. There is now 4GB of RAM rather than 2, and a removable 320GB, 7,200RPM, shock-mounted hard drive is standard. The optional SSD is 128GB in capacity, or twice as big as the last one. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 are standard, while twin hot-swappable batteries are good for as much as 6.5 hours of cable-free operation.
Other options include 8GB of memory, Gobi 3G or 4G radios (the 4G radio is due in the fall), a GPS receiver, a barcode or RFID reader, a two-megapixel camera, one of two types of SmartCard readers and a fingerprint sensor.
Pricing for the H2, which ships in July, starts at $3,449.