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Panasonic Toughbook Android tablet due this year

Panasonic announces its plans to release a durable 10-inch Android tablet in Q4 of 2011, aimed at commercial and government use.

Photo of the Panasonic Toughbook Android tablet.
The Panasonic Toughbook Android tablet Panasonic

Panasonic is creating a 10-inch Android tablet under the Toughbook brand, due out in the fourth quarter of 2011. Panasonic's aim is to create a tablet for commercial and government use that is both secure and durable. Pricing has yet to be announced.

The exact specs detailed in Panasonic's press release are a little hazy, but we know the screen will be a 10.1-inch XGA multitouch panel and that GPS will come standard. An embedded 3G/4G modem is optional. Hopefully Panasonic will take a cue from Toshiba and offer a swappable battery, as well.

The niche market for ruggedized hasn't been addressed yet, and probably for good reason. Tablets have been fairly criticized as fragile devices, and mobile operating systems seem to sprout security concerns on a weekly basis. That said, compared with laptops and convertibles, tablets promise longer battery life, fewer moving parts, and an instant-on experience.

Panasonic has yet to reveal what version of Android the Toughbook tablet will run, or how it plans to address software security issues, but more information may come to light as the product makes the rounds at InfoComm this week.