Panasonic Toughpad A1 fights its way through the FCC, to be finally released soon

by: AdrianJune 5, 2012
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Usually, when a technology manufacturer unveils a gadget and bothers with any kind of marketing campaign, you can expect the product to be made available for sale in a matter of weeks or months. Moreover, when video teasers pop up, you can almost be sure that you’ll see the device start shipping very soon.

That, unfortunately, was not the case with Panasonic’s Toughpad A1, a 10-inch ruggedized tablet unveiled way back in November 2011, but left to be forgotten ever since. The “fearless” Toughpad was teased in a very cool YouTube video clip back in the day, but for some reason we haven’t heard a thing about it ever since.

And right when we were starting to lose hope and think we’ll never see the Toughpad become reality, an FCC filing came our way. Boom, the 10-incher is alive, kicking, and still ready to become the Chuck Norris of Android-based tablets!

While we don’t have a release date, a price tag or any kind of official information from Panasonic on the tablet, we can assume that the Toughpad is in line for a summer launch. We can also be certain that the indestructible gadget will come with WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities. Other than that, the FCC confirmation documents don’t seem to offer any more details about the Toughpad, but you can check them out yourselves and maybe you’ll strike some gold.

We pretty much knew what to expect from Panasonic’s Toughpad in terms of tech specs and features since last year, but we would think that the 10-incher has suffered some kind of changes in the meantime. The device was supposed to run Android 3.2 Honeycomb and feature a Marvell 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, a 10.1-inch display with 1024 x 768 pixels resolution, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of on-board memory, 5 MP/2MP cameras, and a hefty 4,590 mAh battery.

We would surely like to see the Toughpad sport a nicer screen and pack a snappier processor. Also, we expect it to run ICS and not that raggedy Honeycomb, especially considering that it will supposedly be extravagantly priced ($1,299 was the suspected price tag last fall).

As far as functionality and looks go, the Toughpad teased last year was supposed to come with IP 65 certified water, dust, shock and temperature proofing and with a very bulky figure (966 grams in weight and 0.67 inches thickness). Needless to say that we would love for all the functionality to be there, but for some of that bulkiness to have gone away. We know, however, that you can’t have it all, so we don’t expect the tablet to have shrunk overnight.

The Toughpad A1 was supposed to come with a smaller brother too, a 7-inch B1 Toughpad, about which we don’t know anything just yet. The 7-incher might get its own FCC approval soon enough, though, so keep in touch!

What do you guys think? Would a “fearless” Toughpad still be something worth looking for? Drop us a line below and let us know!

  • Darkangel2554

    I know the purpose of this beast. I used the 1st and 2nd generation tough books for maintenance manuals on the flightline. I liked having all that ability in a library of knowledge on my toolbox but still thought it bulky. There was talk of a program to use ipads with a tough case but those never made it out to use from the test phase. You have to understand we dropped those tough books all the time on the cement ramp. 48 inch falls were common. The problem was with the solid-state drives getting damaged. overall we knew we needed a tablet but it needed serious testing. These will do just fine in today’s armforces in the field it looks like.

    • Litlprince2

      My thoughts exactly. Unfortunately the decision makers went and signed a contract with apple for several thousand IPAD 3s (new ipad).. They’ve arrived and are awaiting distribution. All i can say is if it wasn’t mandatory to carry i wouldn’t cause im gonna break it on the first day i just know it.

  • Nick

    I’ve had an email last week from Panasonic indicating the delay was so it could be supplied with ICS. Release date Summer 2012.
    Information about a dock and cases too.