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June 19, 2012
It's been a long time since Panasonic (News - Alert) first introduced its Toughpad family of professional-grade Android tablets — about seven months — and the world will have to wait until September to see the first in the product line, the Toughpad A1, available for purchase. The heavy duty device did make its first appearance in Asia today, though, at a major regional telecom fair in Singapore.
The Toughpad A1 will mark the first Android-powered professional tablet from Panasonic, a long-time manufacturer of rugged tablet devices. Previous Toughpad devices ran Windows.
The Toughpad A1 weighs 0.97 kilograms (about 2.14 lbs) and features a 10.1-inch daylight-readable LED display with a 1024 x 768 resolution, a 1.2 GHz dual core processor, one gigabyte of DDR2 RAM (News - Alert) and 16GB of internal storage, expandable with microSD cards. Furthermore, the Toughpad A1 can withstand being dropped from a height of about four feet (1.21 meters) and is water and dust resistant.
The Toughpad A1 will also feature 4G LTE wireless connectivity. Sierra Wireless (News - Alert) and Panasonic announced back in January that the device's 4G LTE internal modems will be provided by Sierra. Obviously, high-speed mobile wireless connectivity will allow the Toughpad A1 to access important documents and files while on the field.
"We have been collaborating with Sierra Wireless for many years to integrate new wireless-broadband technologies into our Toughbook mobile computers and provide our customers with fast and reliable mobile-broadband connectivity," said Victoria Obenshain, vice president of wireless strategy at Panasonic, in a press release.
The only other device known to be in the Toughpad Android family of devices is the Toughpad B1, a seven-inch tablet that will share similar specs with the A1. There is no definite release date for the B1 at this time.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman