Panasonic is known for making some serious rugged computers for use outdoors, in the field, and plenty of places normal electronics fear to go: now the company has rolled out its Toughbook H1 Field tablet computer, offering a sunlight-readable 10.4-inch touchscreen display, dual battery compartments for long periods of use, and options like an integrated GPS and Gobi2000 technology for multi-carrier wireless deployments. And, it’s certified to meet IP6* and MIL-STD-810G ruggedness standards, meaning the unit can handle a six-foot fall.
“As workforces become more mobile, it’s critical to empower them with the right tools,” said Panasonic Computer Solutions Company director of product management Kyp Walls, in a statement. “The Toughbook H1 Field was designed based on extensive customer input to ensure it had the right mix of form factor, features, and durability to maximize worker productivity and value.”
Although under the hood the T1 Field doesn’t pack a tremendous amount of horsepower—it rattles along on an Intel Z540 Atom processor running at 1.86 GHz, it does sport 2 GB of RAM, a 64 GB SSD drive, twin hot-swappable batteries for up to six hours of use in the field, and that 500-nit 10.4 XGA sunlight-viewable dual-touch LCD display. The unit also sports 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless networking, along with Qualcomm’s Gobi2000 technology for multi-carrier mobile data support—and an integrated GPS is available as an option. (SmartCard, RFID, and barcode readers are also available as options.) The H1 Field also features an ergonomic design with a balanced center of gravity and an integrated handle, and weighs just 3.4 pounds. It ships with Windows 7, but Windows XP Tablet Edition is available as a downgrade option.
Although the Toughbook H1 Field is not for everyone, folks who spend a lot of time in the field, at construction sites, in the middle of nowhere, in service professions, or any number of other things often find tablet computers useful. The Toughbook H1 Field should be available in March with prices starting at $3,379—yes, durability comes with a price.