The iPad didn’t exactly light you on fire the way you expected it to? With so many tablets coming out this year, having the desire to shop around could be a good thing. Perhaps, you’d even get interested in the “world’s most rugged handheld tablet PC,” which, according to Panasonic, is their new Toughbook H1 Field.
Positioned as an “ultramobile rugged device,” the upstart slate is designed with outdoor users in mind. Pointing to durability as its main characteristic, the device meets both IP65 and MIL-STD-810 standards, just like the company’s regular Toughbook computers. That means, it can ably shrug off six foot drops, survive through any kind of weather and operate under extreme temperatures.
The H1 Field sports a magnesium alloy chassis, enclosed in a polycarbonate body with an integrated handle and molded hand strap for easy portability. Core specs include a 1.86 GHz Atom Z540 CPU, 2GB of RAM, a 64GB SSD and a 10.4-inch sunlight-readable XGA touchscreen. It comes with 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, hot-swappable twin batteries (for doubling the 6-hour life span) and a few optional components (a Gobi 2000 mobile broadband WWAN module, a 2.0 megapixel webcam, GPS, RFID, biometrics and a SmartCard reader). Preinstalled OS is Windows 7.
Likely to end up in the hands of mobile workers (like field engineers, nautical personnel and zombie colony inspectors), the tablet sounds like a veritable hardware candy to drool for, even if all you do is stay at home and watch Hulu all day. Price leaves a bad taste in the mouth, though, starting at $3,379.