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Panasonic reveals Android tablet for the enterprise

Jun 16, 2011 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Panasonic announced it will release a ruggedized, “enterprise-grade” Android tablet in the fourth quarter of this year. The Toughbook-branded device will have a daylight-viewable, 10.1-inch touchscreen with active stylus, a GPS receiver, “full-shift” battery life, and an optional 3G/4G cellular modem, the company says.

Ruggedized portable computers and tablets aimed at the enterprise have, more often than not, been the province of Microsoft operating systems. But reports last April said Motorola plans to enter this arena with a seven-inch, Android Honeycomb-based tablet that will enter beta-testing this October.

Now, Panasonic says it will follow suit, providing a 10.1-inch Android tablet that carries the Toughbook brand, "offering durability, and ingress protection consistent with its other fully-rugged devices." The device will appeal to "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 company adds.


Panasonic's Toughbook tablet will include a matte screen (left) and active stylus (right)
(Click either to enlarge)

According to Panasonic, the otherwise-unnamed Toughbook device will distinguish itself from consumer tablets by offering a screen that is daylight-viewable, and matte rather than glossy. It will also incorporate an active stylus, providing for signature capture "in sales, customer service, and mobile point-of-sale environments."

Panasonic says the Toughbook tablet will also include satellite-based GPS that works without the aid of a cellular connection, "full-shift" battery life, and "professional-grade accessories." Embedded 3G/4G broadband connectivity will be offered at extra cost, the company adds.

One image offered by the company shows the device running Android 2.x, but Panasonic's release provided no further operating system specifics, nor did it say what processor the tablet will include. The company did confirm that the company's display will provide a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.

Press photos (shown earlier above) further suggest the device will include a receptacle for holding its stylus and a camera with LED flash. It also appears the tablet's battery will be user-replaceable, at least once ten screws have been loosened.

Rance Poehler, president of Panasonic Solutions, stated, "Enterprise customers are very interested in the tablet market, but have been frustrated by the lack of appropriate solutions. 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."

Further information

According to Panasonic, the Toughbook tablet will be available during the fourth quarter of this year. A prototype of the Toughbook tablet is being shown at booth 3829 at this week's InfoComm 2011 show in Orlando, the company adds.

Jonathan Angel can be reached at [email protected] and followed at www.twitter.com/gadgetsense.


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