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Panasonic targets construction workers with IP65-rated Android tablet

by Doug Drinkwater

November 8 2011

The ToughPad FZ-A1 is IP65 certified for resistance against dust and water
The ToughPad FZ-A1 is IP65 certified for resistance against dust and water

Panasonic Computer Products Europe has announced a new rugged 10-inch tablet, and plans to add a 7-inch variant in the second half of 2012.

The ToughPad FZ-A1 is the first in the ToughPad family of professional-grade Android-powered tablets, and has been designed for use in outdoor environments.

The tablet comes supplied with a range of work-orientated accessories, including vehicle mounting and ergonomic hands-free holsters, while Panasonic has said that it can also provide professional services, like project management, imaging and kitting.

The FZ-A1 is designed to withstand heavy usage and has an MIL-STD-810G rating for 120cm drops and is IP65 protected for resistance to dust and water. The tablet is also rated for use in extreme temperatures, as it can operate from -10 °C to +50 °C.

There’s also a raft of enterprise security features. The CPU has a dedicated, tamper-proof security processor, and this frees up the multi-purpose CPU core for other tasks.

This security CPU handles software and data encryption, enhanced VPN, authentication, and trusted boot and device management.

This enhanced level of security means that the system-on-chip (SoC) family of ToughPads will be compliant with FIPS 140-2 level 2.

The tablet supports Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, GPS and optional 3G, offering download speeds up to 21Mb/s.

The model has a 10.1-inch 1024 x 768 resolution capacitive multi-touch display, and can be read in clear daylight thanks to its anti-glare coating and high-brightness display (500nits).

The ToughPad has a dual-core 1.2GHz Marvell processor, offers 16GB of storage, 1GB of RAM and runs Android 3.2.

The model has a replaceable battery that lasts 10 hours, dual cameras (5MP camera on the rear and 2MP on the front) and has inputs for microSD, micro USB and micro HDMI. There is also an active digitizer pen to record user signatures.

The ToughPad FZ-A1 weighs 970g (2.13lbs) and will be available next spring from €850 (approximately $1,170), for the standard model, to €999 ($1,380) for the 3G edition. Both editions will feature a three-year warranty.

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