Panasonic outs 5-inch phablet-style Toughpad for mobile workers

A smaller, tougher variant

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Panasonic wants to broaden its Toughpad range of rugged PCs with a smaller 5-inch rugged model.

While tablet uptake has been obvious in the consumer market, traditional tablets have been doing well in areas like emergency services and public safety - as well as logistics, factories and warehouses.

Such tablets differ from the bog standard consumer tablets in that they have to be rugged and stand being dropped and kicked around.

For Mobile Workers

Panasonic's 5-inch Toughpad is a phablet for mobile workers who need a rugged device that can handle voice and data in the field or other more challenging environments.

According to an announcement at the MWC 2014, the device will be available with Microsoft Windows Embedded 8 Handheld operating system as well as Android.

This allows long battery life, with hot swap capabilities and quick charging features to enable users to keep working when on the move or in the field.

The touchscreen will work if the user has gloves and there is an outdoor viewable display with integrated high-resolution camera and bar code reader.

Takes the knocks

As with the Panasonic Toughpad and Toughbook range, the new device will be built to the same rugged standards for knocks, drops, extreme temperatures, water and dust protection and deliver new benchmarks for drops and ingress protection for devices.

It also allows peripherals to be added to the device using fixing screws or via the internally accessable micro USB port.

Panasonic is providing two versions of operating system planned and the tablet will come with Panasonic noise reduction technology to ensure clear communication even in areas with loud background machine or mechanical noise.

Headed for the EU

Jan Kaempfer, Head of European Marketing at Panasonic Computer Product Solutions said that any businesses are looking for solutions to their business communication needs in a work environment but have not found it in existing consumer mobile devices.

The 5-inch Toughpad will be introduced to selective European markets in Autumn 2014 and will be the latest addition to the Panasonic Toughpad range of rugged devices.