Panasonic Gets Tough with Enterprise Android Tablet
Panasonic’s Toughbook line isn’t just laptops anymore. Now it also includes Android tablets. Panasonic’s latest addition is “purpose-built” for the enterprise, with the company hoping the device will find its way into the government, POS and field-worker spaces, plus others. Tech specs and predictions follow …
Panasonic has gotten one thing right for sure: “Enterprise customers are very interested in the tablet market, but have been frustrated by the lack of appropriate solutions,” said Rance Poehler, president of the Panasonic Solutions Company. Although consumer device acceptance has proliferated in the enterprise space, in some instances the technology is shoehorned to meet big company needs. Panasonic aims to fix that with the Toughbook tablet.
First up on the agenda? No glossy screens. If your Toughbook can’t be read outside, it’s not good for much, is it? A high-brightness, super-crisp, 10-inch screen is a key focus for Panasonic. Second up, an “active stylus” designed to help with signatures and other POS-related tasks. Plus, many business users are simply more comfortable with a stylus.
Panasonic is also promising the device’s Android OS will have the most-needed enterprise security features ready to go (though the company doesn’t specify which ones exactly) and it’ll be baked in to the software and hardware (I’m thinking encryption). The tablet also will include GPS, a long-life battery, 3G/4G antennas and “professional” accessories. Your imagination is as good as mine, but I’d assume mobile printing, scanning and bar-code reading will be included in the device. All the ruggedized casing and protection you’d expect the Toughbook brand to supply will be there, too.
There’s no word on price tag or release time, but Panasonic is showing it off at the 2011 InfoComm event.
Why am I excited about this? Because Panasonic is making the leap to the latest and greatest mobile OSes and adapting them to the needs of businesses. This bucks the trend of reviving legacy software with legacy operating systems in the way Motorola and Honeywell have been doing. It’s absolutely critical these enterprise-grade products keep up with the times, and with the expandability of Android behind it, Panasonic’s offerings can only mean more efficient, productive and flexible solutions for everyone.
Disagree? Have a better idea? Sound off in the comments. The future of mobile enterprise devices is just getting started.