Tablets are generally delicate, handle with care, fragile devices. Anyone with a broken iPad can vouch for that. We live in a world of gravity and knowingly or unknowingly things fall. Alas! blame it on some law of physics but they also end up breaking! Then there are geographical conditions such as humidity, dust, snow and heat. Few tablets survive harsh conditions. Try putting your iPad in Delhi’s dusty weather or the summer heat of the Great Thar and you would know what I mean. Tablets are also meant to be something which organize your life better, in other words what if your muse suddenly whispers an idea while you are swimming or maybe a news update you want to watch in the bathtub. Try swimming with a tablet and you would learn more about laws of electrical physics related to short circuits. What if there could be a device that won’t break on falling, survive extreme weather conditions and a tablet you could take with you in your bath tub.
Toughpad - the Tough and Rugged Tablet
This week Panasonic launched a tablet that fearlessly gets into a territory where no tablet has ever gone before. You could easily call it the Hummer of tablets. A tablet that doesn’t break on falling, a tablet that is all weather dust and water resistant. A tablet that could give you company in a swimming pool or a bath tub.
In terms of specifics the ruggedness features are
* complete dust protection against contact
* water protection, any splashing against any enclosure from any direction has no harmful effect
* can survive fall of 4 feet
* can operate in harsh weather conditions from -10 to +50 degrees centigrade.
The Good and Bad
The operating system is Android 4.0 Ice cream Sandwich. The display size is 10.1 inches and resolution is 1024 by 768 XGA. Based on a Dual Core CPU it has a RAM of 1GB and a storage of 16GB expandable to 32 GB. It also has built in waterproof speakers. The battery life is 10 hours.
While all this sounds pretty good making this device desirable, the pricing is a grand Rs. 75,000 far above the iPad and Samsung Galaxy. A Hummer has its price and this Hummer of tablets is premium priced for a tablet. In a price sensitive market like India where the entry cost of a basic tablet is less than Rs. 3,000 now, it would interesting to see the way the consumer responds to Panasonic Toughpad.
Puneet Mehrotra is a columnist on Business and Technology.