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Panasonic Previews Rugged Tablet

As Apple puts the tablet PC in the limelight with its iPad announcement, ruggedized device pioneer Panasonic Computer Solutions Co. used the occasion of Macworld to launch its own spin on the tablet.

Panasonic on Wednesday introduced the Panasonic Toughbook H1 Field, a device starting at $3,379 that's supposed to be available worldwide in March. According to Panasonic, the device has a six-foot drop rating, has six hours of battery life and can come with twin hot-swappable batteries for extended field use. Options include SmartCard, fingerprint reader, RFID, barcode readers, camera, GPS and several types of wireless connectivity, including Qualcomm's Gobi2000 mobile broadband technology, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi or Bluetooth 2.1.

The device features a 10.4" dual-touch display and weighs 3.4 pounds. It includes 2GB of RAM and a 64GB solid state drive. The device comes with Windows 7 with a Windows XP Tablet downgrade option.

I'm not saying this device is better than the iPad is going to be, but I can tell you which one I'd want to have by my side in a dark alley.

Posted by Scott Bekker on February 11, 2010 at 11:58 AM