iPad 2 Rival Alert : Panasonic Toughpad Tablet Unveiled

Japanese manufacturer Panasonic has launched a tablet whose unique selling point is the ability to withstand adverse conditions.

The Toughpad A1 is powered by Android 3.2 Honeycomb. It comes with a Marvell Armada XP SoC with two cores and clocked at 1.2GHz - the first tablet we know of that is powered by this silicon.

There's also 1GB RAM, 16GB onboard storage, a microSD card slot, front and rear cameras, HDMI and USB ports and a 10.1-inch XGA resolution. While there are many other 10.1-inch tablets, the Panasonic is only the second tablet that comes with an XGA resolution, which has been made popular thanks to the Apple iPad.

The tablet is splash proof, water proof, can be run over by a truck and suffer proper abuse and will still continue to work, they say. This obviously requires some serious chassis engineering and explains why, at 966g and 17mm thick, the tablet is almost twice the weight and thickness of some competitors.

Panasonic will also launch an Enterprise-calibre Business App portal which it says will contain "best-of-breed vertical market solutions" although it remains to be seen how many of Panasonic's toughbook clients would want to move to Android from Windows.