Windows 8 and Android 4 Jelly Bean Toughpads launched

New Toughpads provide both Windows 8 and Android 4.0 Jelly Bean operating systems, plus survivability in tough environments

Panasonic has used CES 2013 in Las Vegas and a launch event in Munich to announce a pair of new shock-proof Toughpad tablets: one running Windows 8 and another running Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich).

The Toughpad FZ-G1 runs Windows 8, and is a 10.1in tablet PC with a 1.9GHz Intel Core i5 processor and up to 8GB of RAM. Storage is solid state, with Panasonic offering 128GB and 256GB options. The company claims battery life will hit eight hours.

Designed for vertical markets, the FZ-G1 has a relatively full range of ports including USB 2 and 3 sockets, plus a wired LAN port as well as an optional GPS unit and a legacy serial port. The touchscreen runs at 1,920 x 1,200, and is set to be available from March for $1,199 (around £750) for those prepared to lug the 1.1kg tablet around.

The Android-running JT-B1 has a smaller, 7in 1,024 x 600 touchscreen, and less storage at 16GB. Computational power is provided by a 1.5GHz dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP4460 processor, but unlike the Windows version, the Android Toughpad has a pair of cameras: a 13-megapixel rear-mounted camera with autofocus and an LED flash, and a front-mounted 1.3-megapixel, fixed-focus lens for video chat.

Battery life is the same for both devices at a claimed eight hours. Perhaps surprisingly, the smaller Android tablet will be around £50 more expensive than the Windows one at $1,299 (roughly £800).

Like other Toughbook devices, both new tablets are tested to comply with US military standard MIL-STD-810G, which provides a set of tests designed to provide protection against dust and water ingress, as well a wide range of operating temperatures: Panasonic claims both tablets will work at temperatures between 14° and 122° Farenheit (around -10° to 50° Celsius).

The Windows 8 tablet is also claimed to offer protection against drops of up to four feet, while the Android can survive another 12 inches of ham-fistedness at five feet, according to Panasonic.

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