Panasonic announces 7 inch Toughpad

Panasonic looks to be continuing its Toughpad line as the electronics manufacturer has unveiled a new 7 inch device for those looking for a rugged beast. It’s the JT-B1, and the tablet brings military-grade toughness in a decently specced package.

You can look forward to the aforementioned 7-inch display with 1024×600 resolution, a TI OMAP 4460 dual-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a 13 megapixel HD camera on the back with a 1.3 megapixel camera on the front, a 5,720mAh battery, Bluetooth 4, optional 4G LTE/3G radios, and more. You can expect Ice Cream Sandwich for the time being, though there’s a strong possibility we’ll see Jelly Bean in one form or another at some point down the line.

These devices aren’t sleek and pretty in the least bit, but you probably won’t find a tablet as good as this with natural protection as good as this anywhere else. The Toughpad is designed to withstand drops, spills, heat, cold, dust and more.

Panasonic is speaking more to the business and field work crowd with this one, citing many different use cases including inventory control, eForms, field sales, field service, route delivery, eCitations, electronic medical records, inspections, mobile point-of-sales and GIS. We’d be surprised to see a typical user ask for one of these for Christmas or a birthday, but if this is something that interests you then you’ll be happy to know that it’ll be available starting in February.

What won’t please you as much is its price — $1,200 is all. For the specs you get it hardly seems worth it, but the materials and engineering process used to make such a durable device might justify that for some. Read on for full press details.

PANASONIC EXPANDS TOUGHPAD™ ENTERPRISE-GRADE TABLET LINE

Ten-inch Windows 8 Pro-based and Seven-inch Android™-powered Tablets offer Choice to Meet Expanding Business Tablet Expectations

Las Vegas, NV, January 9, 2013 – Panasonic, an industry leader in rugged, reliable mobile computers since 1996, today expanded its Toughpad™ line of enterprise-grade tablets with the introduction of the Toughpad™ FZ-G1, a 10” tablet featuring Windows® 8 Pro, and the availability of the Toughpad JT-B1, a 7” Android™-powered unit. Both devices follow the original 10” Android-powered Toughpad FZ-A1 which became broadly available late last year. With the Toughpad (#Toughpad) family of ruggedized tablets, businesses and government institutions have a single partner delivering a selection of highly reliable and purpose-built devices ideal for numerous operational needs.

“For nearly 20 years, Panasonic has engineered the most reliable mobile computing devices on the market,” said Rance M. Poehler, president, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. “Because our customers know they can count on our products to deliver performance and return on investment, Panasonic – through its Toughbook brand – holds nearly 80 percent market share in the rugged mobile device space. We believe our engineering acumen, vertical market expertise and reputation for reliability, backed by our world-class service, will result in the Toughpad family being the leading B2B tablet solution in the coming years.”

Hide Harada, Director, IT Products Business Unit added, “The goal for Panasonic is to achieve 50% market share in the ruggedized tablet space by 2015.”

Toughpad tablets are designed for mission-critical and highly mobile workers in fields such as the military, construction, healthcare, public safety, utilities, retail, maintenance, supply chain logistics and insurance. The devices are ideal for a host of usage scenarios, including inventory control, eForms, field sales, field service, route delivery, eCitations, electronic medical records, inspections, mobile point-of-sales and GIS.

Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1: Key Features
Operating System: Windows 8 Pro
Processor: 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i5-3437U vPro™ 1.9GHz up to 2.9GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology
Memory: 128-256GB SSD, 4-8GB RAM, optional micro SDXC
Rugged: MIL-STD-810G, 4’ drop, IP65, 14° to 122°F (operational temp range)
Display: 10.1”, sunlight viewable, touch screen and active digitizer, 800nit, WUXGA (1920×1200)
Battery: 8.0 hours (user-replaceable)
Dimensions: 10.6” x 7.4” x 0.75”
Weight: 2.43lbs
Wireless: Bluetooth V4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, optional embedded 4G LTE or 3G
I/O: Full size USB 3.0, HDMI, optional micro SDXC, Full size USB 2.0, wired LAN, true serial port or dedicated GPS.

Panasonic Toughpad JT-B1: Key Features
Operating System: Android 4.0
Processor: TI OMAP4460 1.5GHz Dual core
Memory: 16GB ROM, 1GB RAM, micro SDHC
Rugged: MIL-STD-810G, 5’ drop, IP65, 14° to 122°F (operational temp range)
Display: 7”, daylight viewable, 500nit, WSVGA (1024 x 600)
Camera: Front: 1.3Mp fixed focus, Rear: 13.0Mp auto focus w/ LED light
Battery: 8.0 hours – Large 5,720mAh battery (user-replaceable)
Dimensions: 8.7”x 5.1” x 0.7”
Weight: 1.2lbs
Wireless: Bluetooth V4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, optional embedded 4G LTE + 3G
I/O: Micro USB

Toughpad tablets are MIL-STD-810G tested for drops, fluid ingress and temperature, to assure they deliver reliable performance under circumstances that render typical tablets non-operational. Devices feature daylight viewable screens, user-replaceable or serviceable batteries, a stylus for signature capture and handwriting (on the FZ-G1 and FZ-A1 with 3rd party apps), and multiple options for peripheral connectivity.

“Our Toughpad tablets were designed based on years of input from customers,” continued Poehler. “This customer feedback is a critical part of the development process and will continue to shape Toughbook and Toughpad devices in the future. The wide variety of devices in the Toughbook and Toughpad families is a clear indication that we build products to meet our customers’ needs.”

Enterprise-class mobile computing requires an enhanced level of device security and the Toughpad family is designed with this in mind. Security features like encryption, IPsec VPN, trusted boot, root protection and FIPS compliance are available in various configurations of the Toughpad FZ-A1 and Toughpad JT-B1. Compatibility with world-class Mobile device management (MDM) tools are also available to allow IT managers to manage applications, secure devices from unauthorized use and perform many other tasks.

Toughpad tablets are supported by an ecosystem that includes an enterprise-focused app store, developer tools and deployment support. Panasonic will offer a full set of professional-grade accessories to support the Toughpad line, including cases, mounts, printers, keyboards, magnetic stripe readers, smart card readers and multi-unit storage and charging solutions.

Pricing and Availability
The 10” Windows 8 Pro-based Toughpad FZ-G1 will be available in March starting at $2,899. The 7” Android-powered Toughpad JT-B1 will ship in February starting at $1,199. The 10” Android-powered Toughpad™ FZ-A1 is now shipping, starting at $1,299. All Toughpad tablets can be purchased through authorized Panasonic resellers.

Toughpad FZ-A1 LTE Certification
Powered by Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), the 10” Toughpad FZ-A1 is now certified on the Verizon Wireless 4G/LTE network.

All products in the Toughpad family come standard with the industry’s most comprehensive 3-year warranty.

Sales inquiries for Panasonic’s Toughpad family of tablets should be directed to sales.psc@us.panasonic.com or 877-803-8492.

For more information on the Toughpad family of tablets and detailed device specifications, go to http://www.PanasonicToughpad.com.

Follow the Toughpad™ Brand (#Toughpad):
The Panasonic Toughpad brand can be followed on various social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and our blog, Panasonic for Business.

Panasonic Solutions for Business
Built on a celebrated engineering foundation, Panasonic architects business technology solutions that help build a better world. Customers in government, healthcare, production, education and a wide variety of commercial enterprises, large and small, depend on integrated solutions from Panasonic to help them acquire, manage and interpret the information that drives innovation. The complete suite of Panasonic solutions addresses unified business communications, mobile computing, security and surveillance, retail point-of-sale, office productivity, high definition visual conferencing, visual communications (professional projectors, displays, digital signage) and HD and 3D video production. As a result of its commitment to R&D, manufacturing and quality control, Panasonic engineers reliable and long-lasting solutions as a partner for continuous improvement. Panasonic solutions for business are delivered by Panasonic System Communications Company of North America, which is a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC).

All brand and company/product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies. All specifications are subject to change without notice. Information on Panasonic solutions for business can be obtained by calling 877-803-8492 or at www.panasonic.com/business-solutions.

About Panasonic Corporation of North America
Based in Secaucus, NJ, Panasonic Corporation of North America provides a broad line of digital and other electronics products and services for consumer, business and industrial use. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC), and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Panasonic is committed to becoming the electronics industry’s leader in green innovation by its one-hundredth anniversary in 2018. In the 2012 Interbrand Annual Best Global Green Brands ranking, the Panasonic brand jumped four spots to number six: http://www.interbrand.com/en/best-global-brands/Best-Global-Green-Brands/2012-Report.aspx. As part of its continuing efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, Panasonic Corporation of North America will relocate its operations to a new eco-efficient office tower adjacent to a mass transit hub in Newark, NJ in 2013. Information about Panasonic Eco Ideas initiatives is available at http://panasonic.net/eco/ecoideas. Information about Panasonic and its products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is also available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.

Continue reading:




  • portezbie

    It’s silly, build quality only goes so far. As tough as this is, it’s highly unlikely that it will outlast 4 normal tablets which it equals in price. Even if it did, who wants to use the same tablet for 10 years when there are newer, faster models coming out all the time?

    • Billy_B

      I promise it WILL outlast 4 normal tablets in a refrigerated warehouse. I speak from experience. If you have to replace an iPad every week, I’d rather have one of these that would last for years. See my post above you.

      • portezbie

        Fair enough. I admit I have no knowledge or experience working in those kind of conditions. I was only thinking in terms of a personal user, which as you point out, is probably not who this product is intended for.

        • Billy_B

          Correct…this is a very specialized item targeted at businesses that need the ruggedness.

    • Michael Thompson

      Industry.
      My company is till servicing DOS equipment used by industry.
      It’s a COMPLETELY different world than consumer electronics.

  • Lennatron

    Do they really think people will buy this? Even for military/construction use who would pay $1200 for ONE 7 inch tablet with last years specs. You could get 6 Nexus 7s for that price.

    • Guest

      More like 2011 specs, minus the 13 mp camera.

      • Lennatron

        Yeah you’re right. I keep forgetting were in 2013 :)

      • Michael Thompson

        Panasonic doesn’t make their toughbook/toughpad lines to be state of the art, they make it to be ultra-rugged and dependable for use in the field by professionals.
        That means the best stuff they can put in that is PROVEN to stand up to harsh conditions.
        State of the art stuff hasn’t had time to prove itself to industry yet, as opposed to consumers who will buy any old thing as long as it’s the latest and shiniest.
        Understand the market they are selling to. (hint, it isn’t here)

    • camelsnot

      a lot more than you think . It’s specialized.. not something you’d use on the job at McDonalds.

    • Droid_Junky

      The US Navy still purchases computers that run windows 2000 with poor specs for astronomical prices. I have seven tough books that I’m responsible for that cost them around 10,000 a piece and there is nothing special about them. I think they will jump on these without even thinking about it.

    • Jody Durkacs

      Emergency Services will. They are hot for tablets, Apple wont make rugged ones, and $1200 is cheap in their circles.

    • Michael Thompson

      Spoken like someone who has experienced neither.

  • jeremyseattle

    Government and enterprise will pay that much because they’re stupid.

  • sc0rch3d

    LIKE if you read the title as TOUCHpad :(

    • Pkmmte

      I read it as ROUGHpad for some reason.

  • PuzzledObserver

    With some positive thinkings, this tablet could make sense. In a post-apocatyptic world, this tablet will allow you to continue to surf the web and chat with your friends.

    • NIGHTSCOUT

      As if the internet would survive an apocalypse :D

      • PuzzledObserver

        You got it perfectly! The potential buyers of these tablets don’t know yet that the Internet and Google market are actually outside of the tablet.

  • Billy_B

    I don’t normally post, but you guys are all missing the point. I work with produce companies across the country and this is the exact type of object that these companies need to work in refrigerated warehouses. These freakin’ warehouse operators drop crap, spill on devices, etc. The Nexus 7 would break in 3 days. We had one guy break his iPad the 1st day he used it in the warehouse. You also have temperature, humidity, and dust concerns. There is a reason why you need to have rugged $1800 Zebra printers for labeling vs. a $200 laser printer for labeling. The laser printer will be destroyed in no time in a refrigerated environment.

    Also, this could make for a great driver application for drivers to collect signatures. Again, these guys will drop these things and bang them against things. The device has to handle them just like the rugged Motorola 9090 or 9100 handheld devices that you would see UPS use or other delivery services. Only those cost over $3K each.

    I love when people who have no idea of the purpose comment like they know everything. Good job, guys! Don’t think every device created is made for you. This is made for businesses that need to use devices in rugged markets involving temperature, humidity, rough, etc. environments.

    • Michael Thompson

      School ‘em, Billy.
      -although the Phandroid folks could do a bit more to hammer that point home too, but they obviously don’t get it either from the tone of the article.

  • Ahhk

    I bet an OG Tab with a proper TPU case could hold it’s own against one of these.

    Mine has been dropped (from 4+ feet) face down, edge down, and corner down on tile and concrete many a times over the years. Even rapidly rolled down the stairs once, hit the tile floor, bounce off a table leg, hit the wall, and landed face down on the tile. My son just picked it up and continued the AB level he was on (after I yelled at him).

    Been used heavily in the 110F+ Texas heat, and below freezing rain. With the TPU case, it’s a tank….and still looks 100% new.

    TPU is your friend. The same reason I use an iOttie Macaroon case on my GS3 (phone bounces like a Superball!).

  • val

    Casio has a history of military 810f & 810g devices (vz comando) @ reasonable $. B4 andriod,i used casio & ruggedized nextel ptt. Competition is needed, until other ruggedized tablets are made, panasonic will sell well in this niche market