Panasonic recently released the H2 rugged tablet, which looks quite similar to a tablet they created a few years ago called the H1 Mobile Clinical Assistant, which was later joined by a tablet called the H1 Field (for field service technicians). Like the H1 series, the H2 has a handle on top and an ergonomic urethane strap in back. It’s still rugged enough to meet military specs and has a sunlight-readable touchscreen. In other words, a tablet built (and then some) for ‘Dirty Jobs’ types and other assignments in the field.

The H2 is roughly the same size and weight (3.5 pounds) as the H1 (3.3 pounds), except it’s a tiny bit wider on top. And according to Rugged PC Review, that’s where Panasonic stored a lot of extra power. In order to enable easier multitasking, Panasonic went from the “frugal, electricity-sipping Atom Z540 chip to the H2 with a 1.7GHz (up to 2.7GHz in turbo mode) Intel Core i5-2557M dual core, quad thread processor.”

Faster, More Rugged … So What’s the Catch?

It’s also tougher, able to withstand 6-foot drops instead of the 3-foot plunges the H1 is rated for. And instead of no connection points at all in the H1 (Panasonic feared that they would hinder the keep the H1 sanitary enough for use in the medical industry), the H2 has multiple connections (a USB connector, a serial port, and either a second USB port or an RJ45 Ethernet jack).

What surprised the reviewer the most about Panasonic’s new rugged tablet was that even with a much more powerful processor, along with more memory (from 4 to 8GB), and a bigger, faster hard drive, the battery life is even longer than before (6.5 hours compared to 6 hours for the H1). Of course, it’s way more expensive, right? Actually, while the H1 costs $3,379, the H2 starts at $3,449. As Rugged PC Review notes, it sounds like the H1 is getting replaced.

Looking for more info on the new H2? Check out what Kyp Walls, Director of Product Management at Panasonic Marketing has to say in the video below.

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