In addition to the new tablet, which fills a void in the portfolio, Panasonic is also announcing their Android productivity+ suite of support solutions.
Today, Panasonic TOUGHBOOK has announced the addition of the TOUGHBOOK FZ-A3 device to their Android portfolio. They are also announcing Android productivity+, a suite of Android support solutions to future-proof rugged mobile deployments.
“We are seeing end users move towards Android in the rugged space, because of the end of life of Windows CE,” said Logan Stewart, Business Manager at Panasonic Canada.
The new model, the TOUGHBOOK FZ-A3 10-inch rugged tablet, fills what had been a short-lived hole in the TOUGHBOOK portfolio
“This is the successor to the FZ-A2, which we lost over a year ago,” Stewart said. “We feel strongly that this rounds out the portfolio. Filling in that 10-inch space in our lineup is pretty important.”
The new FZ-A3 is powered by a Qualcomm SDM660 2.2GHz/1.843GHz Octa-core
CPU, a big step up from the Atom CPU of the older A2.
“It also has our own innovative design and engineering,” Stewart stated. “It has the best drop spec in the Android space, with the ability to survive a 5-foot drop to concrete. It has also been tested against the newest MIL standards. The operating and storage temperatures are also both improved over the earlier model.
The battery capabilities have been significantly upgraded between the two models.’
“The FZ-A3 has a dual hot-swapped user replaceable battery design, which lets you swap out one or even both batteries in the field, and the device will stay on,” Stewart said. Standard battery life is 9 hours, while a large battery gives you 15 hours.” He indicated that both the extended life battery and the hot-swappable capability are new with this model. With the dual batteries, the FZ-A3 weighs a smidgen under two pounds.
“The LCD screen has a 2000-1 contrast ratio, making it easy to work in sunlight,” Stewart noted “It also has support for Wet Touch [wet hands] and Glove Touch.”
Other changes between the two models include going from 32 to 64 GB of storage, and from a 2 megapixel camera to 5 megapixels.
“The stylus now has an insertable style, which get lost less often,” Stewart said. “The FZ-A3 5 now has 5 user defined buttons, up from 3 before. Many users use these for specific defined applications.”
The other part of the announcement is Productivity+, a suite of Android support solutions designed to future-proof rugged mobile deployments transitioning to the Android OS.
“It combines professional services, hardware, software and an extensive support partner ecosystem,” Stewart said.
Productivity+ includes Panasonic’s Smart Service suite, and lets IT managers rewrite applications, configure device settings and define user access for Android devices, so they can seamlessly configure, deploy and sustain devices, while preserving legacy applications.
“Panasonic ProServices are a big part of the Android solutions, Stewart said. “They are now framed under the suite.” These services include consultation and replacement services as well as multi-year, global warranties with quick turnaround times.