At CES, Panasonic (News - Alert) welcomed two additions to the Toughbook and Toughpad family: the Toughpad FZ-GI (running on a Windows system) and the JT-B1 (running on an Android system). According to the Panasonic website, the 10.1-inch Windows 8 tablet features a “four-foot drop and all-weather IP65 dust- and water-resistant design,” as well as USB 3.0+ HDMI ports, 1D and 2D-capable barcode reading, USB 3.0+ HDMI ports, and an optional dedicated GPS.
With a four-digit price tag (News - Alert), the FZ-GI is not your standard tablet, designed to withstand the elements, including pouring rain, intense heat and freezing temperatures. Although the new model is the thinnest and lightest of the firm’s offerings, it’s just as durable as the rest of its family, designed to take drops, bumps, and rough handling in stride.
Rance M. Poehler, president of Panasonic System Communications Company of North America, said that their new offerings were designed using the feedback of their consumers; “Customer feedback is a critical part of the development process and will continue to shape Toughbook and Toughpad devices in the future. The wide variety of devices in the Toughbook and Toughpad families is a clear indication that we build products to meet our customers’ needs.”
In a recent statement, the director of IT products for Panasonic’s business unit said that it is the company’s goal to capture the niche market of ruggedized tablets; “The goal for Panasonic is to achieve 50 percent market share in the ruggedized tablet space by 2015.”
To that end, the company released what some are calling the FZ-GI’s “smaller Android (News - Alert) brother,” the JT-B1. The Android-based tablet will come at a significantly lower price – $1,300, compared to the FZ-GI’s $2,900 price tag.
The Android version promises to be just as tough; it just won’t pack as much power as the Windows-based tablet.
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Edited by Braden Becker