Panasonic Toughbook H2 Unveiled: Entry-Level Price $3,449

There’s definitely a market out there for the rugged device, I’m talking tough and durable that will stand up to most that is thrown at it. Back in May we brought you news of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 laptop and now we have details of another Panasonic rugged device, this time it’s the turn of the Panasonic Toughbook H2 tablet.

Last year Panasonic launched its Toughbook H1 tablet and its successor manages to get over some of the H1 shortcomings. Although the H1 Windows 7 tablet had a magnesium alloy chassis and could withstand shock, heat, dust, water and cold up to MIL-STD-810G military standards, it was let down by its too-small Atom processor and the fact it only had one port. For the Toughbook H2, Panasonic has addressed those issues with a serious specs leap although it does come at a price.

According to Dana Wollman over on Engadget, the entry-level Toughbook H2 is priced at $3,449 but for that there’s a considerable improvement to the processor as it’s now powered by an Intel 1.7GHz Core i5-2557M ULV with the Intel vPro tech. Owners will also have the satisfaction of USB 2.0 and serial sockets with capacity for an Ethernet jack or a second USB 2.0 port. The Toughbook H2 comes in slightly heavier than its predecessor at 3.5 pounds rather than 3.4 and features a 10-inch XGA display with up to 6000 nit of transflective brightness, 4GB of RAM and a removeable shock-mounted 320GB 7200rpm hard drive.

The twin batteries will give you anything up to 6.5 hours of performance and other features include WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 radios. If you want to add more to the cost (!) you can also opt for 8GB of memory, GPS, 2-megapixel camera, 128GB SSD card, barcode or RFID reader or even a fingerprint sensor. No doubt though there’ll be plenty of corporations who will happily shell out the extra cash for such extras.

Over on Ubergizmo, Eliane Fiolet, also talks about the Panasonic Toughbook H2 and tells us that Panasonic claims the processor on the new H2 is up to five times faster than that of the H1. Additionally we’re informed that the Toughbook H2 is certified for the AT&T, Verizon and Sprint 3G networks and also embeds 4G support. There’s no firm release date yet but we do know it’s coming this month worldwide. If you want to find out full features and specs check out the Ubergizmo link above for a detailed list.

Although it may sound pricey it certainly looks as though Panasonic has listened to its customers and provided a much-improved version of the Toughbook this time around. Do you need a rugged type of tablet like the Toughbook H2? Will you be purchasing this tablet? Let us know with your comments.