The recent telecom fair CommunicAsia in Singapore showcased some interesting new devices. One particularly hard to miss gadget was Panasonic ToughPad A1 (yet-to-be-launched). Displayed in a sandbox with sand under and over it, this tablet computer was clearly designed for the outdoors, rough terrain and rougher handling. And it’s water-proof too; so I guess this is just the kind of tablet a soldier would want.
A company spokesperson confirmed that the Panasonic ToughPad A1 was indeed designed for soldiers and people who work in tough environments, such as the construction industry, utilities, palm-oil plantations and other outdoors. The product is “waterproof, dustproof and shockproof” according to a representative. If the device were dropped from a height of 4ft it would still work.
If the company execs are to be believed, there is a huge demand for such a device in these sectors.
For the company, the A1 is a first in a few respects. Besides upping the toughness quotient the new device is also their first Android-based tablet. Previous Toughbooks from Panasonic ran on Windows.
This product was already previewed in the US and the company is now gearing up for a market launch in August. The company also plans to launch it in Asian markets around September.
Visitors were given a very brief list of its features that included a 10.1-in LCD screen that offers clear visibility even in bright sunlight. Battery life is said to be around 9 hours which is pretty decent for such a gadget. It weighs just under a kilo, which I guess is okay as its body frame and other parts would be made of tough material to survive rough handling.
As the company refused to divulge the price, there’s not much more we can do, except to wait until September.
Panasonic ToughPad A1 Specifications
Hardware: Dual Core processor clocked at 1.2 GHz with embedded hardware security.
OS and Memory: Android 4.0, 1 GB DDR3 RAM and 16 GB internal flash memory.
Display: 10.1 inch with daylight readable screen supporting resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.
Ports: MicroSDHC, Micro HDMI, Mirco USB 2.0.
Wireless: 4G, 3G, GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi with hotspot.
Camera: 5 MP rear with LED flash and auto focus and a front 2 MP camera.
Battery: Li-Ion (33.9Wh).