Panasonic Toughpad Rugged Tablet Muscles into Android Space

1 - Panasonic Toughpad Rugged Tablet Muscles into Android Space
2 - It Has the Typically Rugged Panasonic Design
3 - It Runs Android Marshmallow
4 - The Processor Is a Bit of a Surprise
5 - There's a Hot-Swappable Battery
6 - This Toughpad Has Enterprise-Grade Security
7 - 4G LTE Connectivity Is Optional
8 - There Are Plenty of Accessory Ports
9 - Storage Is a Disappointment
10 - There Are Multiple Accessories to Choose
11 - This Rugged Tablet Isn't Cheap
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Panasonic Toughpad Rugged Tablet Muscles into Android Space

Panasonic, long recognized for its line of rugged PCs and mobile devices that run Windows, has introduced a Toughpad tablet running the Android operating system.

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It Has the Typically Rugged Panasonic Design

The value in the Panasonic Toughpad line is delivered through its ruggedness. The Toughpad comes with a shock-resistant case that can be dropped at a height of 5 feet and keep running without a hitch. Panasonic also says its Toughpad FZ-A2 meets high standards for water and dust resistance. However, its rugged design also makes the Toughpad a little thick and, at 2 pounds, it's not as light as the typical tablet.

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It Runs Android Marshmallow

Panasonic is shipping the Toughpad FZ-A2 with Android Marshmallow, an operating system Google released in 2015. While Marshmallow has some nice business features, it’s not quite as secure as the 2016 Nougat version.

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The Processor Is a Bit of a Surprise

Unlike so many other Android-based tablets, the Toughpad FZ-A2 doesn’t come with an ARM-based processor. Instead, the slate is running Intel’s Atom processor line with a clock speed up to 2.4GHz. That should suffice for most resource-intensive Android applications.

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There's a Hot-Swappable Battery

Panasonic’s Toughpad FZ-A2 offers a battery that can last nine hours on a single charge, the company says. Even better, the battery is hot-swappable, so customers can buy multiple batteries and switch them on the fly whenever the power runs out. It’s a feature not often found in a tablet, but critical to any enterprise application.

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This Toughpad Has Enterprise-Grade Security

Although the Toughpad is running an older version of Android, Panasonic has bundled several security features in the tablet. The tablet comes with full software encryption to lock down access to important files. In addition, users will find enterprise-grade security including a screen lock, verification boot and secure boot options. The Toughpad also is compatible with several mobile device management suites.

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4G LTE Connectivity Is Optional

The standard Toughpad FZ-A2 version comes with 802.11ac WiFi and GPS support. However, customers can add 4G LTE for connectivity away from wireless networks. Users will also find Bluetooth 4.2 in the device.

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There Are Plenty of Accessory Ports

The Toughpad comes with several ports. It ships with both USB 3.0 and USB Type-C, as well as HDMI output. Users have the option to add another USB 2.0 port, and an optional docking station is available that adds even more accessory options to the device.

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Storage Is a Disappointment

There’s no escaping it: The storage in the Toughpad FZ-A2 is a disappointment. The tablet ships with 32GB of storage with no other option. The only way to increase storage is by investing in an optional microSDHC card, but Panasonic’s tablet will only work with cards up to 32GB. In total, then, the Toughpad's storage capacity maxes out at 64GB of storage.

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There Are Multiple Accessories to Choose

The Toughpad FZ-A2 is compatible with several accessories, including power cables, hot-swappable batteries, a stylus and more. The Toughpad also is compatible with docking stations that enhance its functionality and modules to improve wireless connectivity.

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This Rugged Tablet Isn't Cheap

Since it’s an enterprise device, the Panasonic Toughpad is far more expensive than its consumer-focused counterparts. The device is available now for a starting price of $2,095 for the base model. Customers who want additional ports, more batteries and other features should expect to spend considerably more.

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