Super-rugged 7-inch Toughpad tablet announced by Panasonic

If you find today’s tablets to be a touch too dainty for the way you live your life and would therefore prefer something a little a lot  more rugged, you might want to check out Panasonic’s just-announced Toughpad FZ-B2 device.

As its name suggests, this 7-inch slate is built for a beating. It can also comfortably handle heat and water, dust and dirt. Shock, vibration and humidity should also provide little challenge to its durability. And you can bet your butt it won’t bend if you sit on it.

Aimed primarily at field-based workers, the sturdy-looking Toughpad FZ-B2 is powered by a quad-core Intel Celeron processor that clocks in at 2.16GHz, and runs Android 4.4 KitKat. Features include a 1280×800 anti-reflective touchscreen that works fine even when the user’s wearing gloves. It can comfortably handle fine-tip stylus pens, too.

The new tablet also comes with 2GB of RAM, 32GB of built-in storage (expandable via a microSDHC slot), a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel one on the front, a USB 3.0 port, and a docking connector.

Three times thicker than the iPad Air 2 at 0.71 inches (18mm), Panasonic’s chunky offering is also on the heavy side, tipping the scales at 1.2 pounds (540g).

The Japanese tech firm promises 7 hours of battery life with its latest tablet, with a full recharge possible in 2.5 hours. However, the company has been smart enough to design it with an optional bridge battery, so you can keep the tablet running while you swap out the main battery, effectively giving you 14 hours of running time.

Other specs include 802.11ac Wi-Fi and optional 4G LTE.

Panasonic is aiming its new tablet at workers in harsh environments and looks to be so solidly designed that you won’t have to wince every time you drop it.

Oh, and if you need convincing that the Toughpad FZ-B2 is as strong as its maker claims, check out the utterly absurd though highly entertaining stress test video it made for the 5-inch version of the device (embedded below), which launched earlier this year.

The Toughpad FZ-B2 hits US stores in February with a $1299 price tag.


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