While many companies battle it out for scraps at the bottom of the tablet market, fewer have ventured into the higher-end realm of industrial-strength models (at industrial-strength prices). Panasonic is one of them with its new R12 Platform, whose centerpiece is a 12.5-inch Windows tablet., and Motion Computing is now joining it with
As the "R" in R12 suggests, the tablet is ruggedized to meet MIL-STD-810G standards (i.e., able to withstand 4-foot drops, temperature shock, etc.), as well as IP54 rated to be resistant to water, dust, and splashes. That toughness is thanks to a rubberized enclosure and a magnesium-alloy internal frame designed for a slate that will be accompanying workers during field work in industries like construction and public safety.
Motion Computing offers a number of choices when it comes to components. You can either select an Intel Core i5-4210Y or i7-4610Y Haswell processor, 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB solid-state storage. You can also pick your flavor of OS: Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 7 Pro. Other typical tablet specs include HDMI and USB 3.0 ports, SD card slot, and front- and rear-facing cameras. With its massive screen (complete with full HD resolution) and heavy-duty construction, the R12 tablet weighs in at a hefty 2.95 pounds.
The R12 Platform offers a slew of optional accessories to boost productivity, like a wireless keyboard with built-in kickstand and a SlateMate module that lets you add items like a barcode scanner or RFID reader. There's also a secure mobile dock that's designed to be used inside a vehicle. Speaking of security, a built-in fingerprint reader, Trusted Platform Module, and optional CompuTrace software are used to protect the tablet and its data.
As you can imagine owing to the large display, high-end specs, and rugged construction, the R12 will come with a high price tag when it becomes available next month: $2,299 for the base configuration. Then again, it's going to be doing some hard work, not being used to play Flappy Bird.