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Panasonic unveils its latest Toughbook tablet

Published on 15 April, 2011

Panasonic Toughbook has unveiled details of a new diagnostic tablet at Volkswagen's Transparent Factory this week. The rugged industrial tablet has been designed with support from global car manufacturers for conducting the latest diagnostics on engines, automobiles, trucks and machines in either the workshop or field environment. The latest device builds on the company's successful industry track record having supplied 150,000 Toughbook devices to the world's top 20 automotive manufacturers over the past 6 years.

Built to stand-up to the harsh conditions of the workshop and outdoor environments, the new Toughbook tablet has been designed to handle knocks, falls, liquids, dust and extreme temperatures. The 13.3" widescreen HD LED display allows technicians to easily run real-time diagnostic programmes, read telematic data and view schematics and designs. The screen has been specifically built for clarity both inside the workshop and for use outside in bright sunlight when cars are undergoing pre-diagnostics tests. The resistive touchscreen allows for easy data input using fingers, gloved hands or pens.

To ensure the new tablet has the power to fulfil its industrial purpose, it uses the latest 2nd Generation Intel Core i5 Platform and runs the Microsoft Windows 7 Professional operating system. Russell Younghusband, General Manager Diagnostic Sales, at Panasonic, said: "In the fast changing automotive industry, we were keen to work with the world's leading vehicle manufacturers to ensure that our next generation diagnostic device was specifically designed to meet the needs of workshop technicians and field engineers both today and tomorrow. We could not have asked for any greater insight than that provided by global car manufacturer technicians and as a result we have an unrivalled, rugged tablet device that can handle the most exacting diagnostic tests in any environment."

Designed specifically to meet the wide-ranging needs of diagnostic technicians, the device has configurable ports fully designed for customisation and able to support all specialist ports for reliable diagnostic data transmission. The ports can be easily configured to meet specific requirements such as serial interface, a second LAN port or rugged USB connector (as an optional extra). The tablet also has all the wireless and wired communication capabilities automotive technicians would need with wireless LAN, Bluetooth + EDR, 3G WWAN (optional) and GPS (optional). This ensures that the device can be used in the workshop or, if necessary, at the roadside to diagnose vehicle faults. A wide range of security features, including TPM, AMT, vPro, Kensington lock, fingerprint (optional), smartcard (optional) and Panasonic security utilities, ensure that the device meets the highest security requirements for data protection.

Other optional additions include the capability for a front webcam or high-resolution back camera to capture diagnostic documentation or paper information electronically. For convenient use by technicians, the device can be used in a docking cradle with adjustable viewing angle to allow optimised viewing in various usage scenarios. The device can also be held with the addition of an optional hand strap or attached to extendable legs, which allow the device to stand alone, alongside the technician.

Appropriate for diagnostics in sectors such as automobile, truck, industrial and mining machinery, agricultural machinery, material handling and car rescue clubs, the Toughbook tablet will be available in two model versions of advanced and standard and will be on sale from December 2011.

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