Panasonic announced a new ruggedized tablet designed for workforce applications and was ready to show it off at CES 2013. The Panasonic Toughpad JT-B1 will take just about everything life throws at it with a nearly indestructible design. The slate packs a 7-inch display, dual-core TI OMAP processing, 16GB of internal storage, and a 13MP camera.
All of it combines with Android Ice Cream Sandwich to provide a stable platform for a variety of uses in the field. For example, shipping and courier services could use the tablet as a mobile interface for gather signatures for packages, tracking routes, and keeping an inventory of items to deliver. It’s not the sort of thing aimed at the average consumer, but the whopping $1,200 price tag probably made that clear.
One of the coolest features of the Toughpad JT-B1 is the ability to customize hardware button functions through an included app. This is perfect for the sort of workforce applications Panasonic is targeting. Not every job might require a dedicated camera key, so why waste an otherwise perfectly useful hardware button?
Panasonic also showed off their older 10-inch model, which features a lot of the same functionality and is equally durable. A Windows 8 option was also present.
Overall the lineup provided a pretty solid feel and experience. While these sorts of tablets aren’t for everyone, we wouldn’t mind seeing a more consumer-minded version. It would make a great option for folks with active lifestyles or the outdoor adventuring types.