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Panasonic officially reveals ToughPad tablet for $1299

New details unravel on Panasonic's new tablet lineup with the ToughPad A1 and ToughPad B1 set for a spring 2012 launch

The Panasonic ToughBook notebooks have been quite successful even against the more popular ThinkPads, but the Japanese corporation will soon be expanding its ToughBook lineup to a new series of tablets.

Called the ToughPad, Panasonic this week revealed two hardy Android Honeycomb tablets. First off is the ToughPad A1, a 10.1-inch offering with a 1024x768 resolution matte display, dual-core 1.2GHz CPU, 1GB RAM, 16GB SSD and a microSD reader. There are also front-and-rear cameras, WiFi and optional 4G support. In essence, the ToughPad reads like a high-end consumer tablet on paper.

Meanwhile, the ToughPad B1 will be the 7-inch variant of the A1 with a hand strap, but specs and details on the model are scarce. It seems that Panasonic wants readers to focus on the A1 model for now as it will be the one to launch ahead of the B1.

Still, both tablets are designed to survive rough use, bumpy trips and harsh environments. In fact, the A1 is expected to weigh 966g (2.13 pounds) and be 17mm (.669 inches) thick. Better than average resistance against water, minute particles and drops should be expected. For comparison, the iPad 2 is only 600g (1.33 pounds) and 8.8mm (.346 inches) thick.

Panasonic unveiled its then-unnamed ToughPad back in mid-June, but prices have been unknown until now. The ToughPad A1 will launch spring 2012 for a hefty $1299, while the 7-inch B1 will have to wait a little longer. Although typical consumers may scoff at the price, the enterprise or public sectors could be drawn in by the durability and power of the tablets.

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Allen Ngo, 2011-11- 9 (Update: 2021-05-18)