Panasonic preparing Toughbook tablet, Lenovo aims at the enterpriseBy Matthew DeCarlo
Although there's no shortage of Android tablets on the market, few are suitable for the business environment according to Panasonic. Catering to "frustrated" enterprise customers, the company has decided to fill that void by introducing a new rugged slate to its Toughbook product family. Due sometime in the fourth quarter of this year, Panasonic expects its creation to be embraced by mission critical government personnel, highly mobile field forces, small and medium businesses, security-minded IT managers and cash-conscious executives.
Outside of the "Toughbook tablet," we haven't seen a catchy name for the device, so it seems Panasonic might just let the hardware speak for itself. Unfortunately, today's announcement doesn't contain particularly revealing specifications, but it does mention a 10.1" 1024x768 multitouch display with a high brightness screen that's viewable in broad daylight – unlike the glossy coating slathered on consumer slates. There's also word of an active stylus to capture signatures and other handwriting, as well as embedded GPS and 3G/4G modules.
The company doesn't cite specific autonomy figures apart from noting that the device will be equipped with a "full-shift" battery. We assume that means it'll last for at least eight hours of usage. Being a Toughbook product and all, you can expect a ruggedized body but Panasonic isn't ready to claim the device will withstand being dropkicked from your second-story office window. Beyond physical durability, the company promises to deliver unprecedented hardware-level security, but details are scant. We'll keep our eyes peeled for more info.
Lenovo's also making a dash for the enterprise market, according to a Dow Jones report. Alongside its consumer slates, the company is preparing to launch a 10-inch Android tablet for professionals toward the end of the summer – around August. "We've really been working to tailor the experience" of our tablets, said Lenovo COO Rory Read. "Some of the early-generation Android devices were a little ahead of their time, and what we're doing here is making sure [our tablets] are strong. We only have one opportunity to make that first good impression."