I have to admit I'm pretty excited about the upcoming releaseof Apple's iPad; I'm convinced the coming battle royal in computer form factorswill be in the iPad/Kindle 8" to 10" range. Well, that battle may extend intomore than the civilian commercial world as I just spotted, over at one of themy favorite Techie sties, Engaget, that Panasonic just released the ToughbookH1 Field, what it calls "the world's most rugged handheld tablet computer."
I've never personally used a Panasonic Toughbook laptop asI've found them to be too clunky and heavy for my taste. But a really ruggedToughbook tablet would be a whole different animal. Panasonics says the Field weighsin at 3.4 pounds; a bit heavy for a tablet, the iPad weighs less than a pound,but ruggedizing the thing adds weight.
The 10.4" touch screen tablet comes with the familiar 1.86GHz. Intel Atom chip found in most netbooks, 2GB RAM, 64 GB solid state drive,mobile broadband, a 2 megapixel camera, RFID reader, camera, GPS, and, atotally cool six foot drop rating. Batterylife is pretty impressive at six hours and it comes with swappable batteries.
The downside is price: $3,379.00. Since the souped upversion of the iPad will run around $800, that strikes me as an awfully expensivetablet. Still, I can definitely see its utility in the field and the militaryhas some serious deep pockets.