Panasonic Toughpad FZ-A1 coming in 2012

The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-A1 may not have the charm of the Motorola Xoom 2, or the sveltey good looks of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but one thing's for sure - it could kick both of its Android tablet rival's butts.

And that's because the A1 is a rugged, tough chump, of a tab - inspired by Panasonic's successful Toughbook laptop range.

Pocket-lint got its hands on with the beefed-up tab back in September and now the Japanese company has announced that it will be available in spring next year, along with a 7-inch little brother (the B1) at some point too.

The 10-inch version boasts a MIL-STD-810G rating, so could survive 120cm drops and comes with an IP65 ingress protection rating for resistance to dust and water. It also has an operational temperature range of minus 10 °C to 50 °C.

So if you fancy a bit of Angry Birds in the desert, or at either of the poles, or you're just a clumsy idiot - then you're in luck.

In terms of the usual tablet features, we're looking at a 10.1-inch XGA capacitive multitouch display with an anti-reflective treatment and built in ambient light sensor, a Marvell 1.2GHz dual core chip with 1GB of RAM powering Android 3.2, and 16GB of onboard storage (expandable with microSD).

It's got two cameras; a 5-megapixel one on the back, a 2-megapixel one up front, and the connectivity options are abundant too; 3G, 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, Satellite GPS, USB and HDMI.

It's not the skinniest or lightest tablet in town, understandably. It measures 266.3 x 17.0 x 212.0mm and weighs in at 970g. You'll get 10 hours life from the replaceable battery.

"Consumers have enjoyed tablet computing for a number of years now with almost no uptake in the workplace due to fundamental design limitations," said Hiroaki Sakamoto, MD, Panasonic Computer Products Europe.

"Toughpad takes all the Toughbook experience of rugged computing we have gained since 1996 and focuses it into tablets designed for the workplace."

Out in spring next year, a Wi-Fi only model will cost from €850 plus VAT, the 3G one €999 plus VAT.