The Toughbook A3 Meets Military Standards
The Panasonic Toughbook A3 is a fully rugged tablet designed to survive all kinds of harsh situations — being dropped onto a concrete floor, sitting for hours in a sweltering or freezing car, or getting bumped around in transport. It can even resist driving rain or having water spilled on it.
Panasonic is one of the few companies that runs its products through a series of tests defined by the military. The series includes 28 tests for withstanding shock, vibration, high and low temperatures, sand and dust exposure, wind, humidity and altitude. This helps users evaluate the potential survivability of a prospective device against the environment it’s expected to face.
Federal civilian users probably won’t have to confront many of the harsh conditions presented by military testing. However, knowing what the tablet can survive gives peace of mind that you probably won’t lose all your data if you drop the device on the airport floor or spill a drink across its screen.
I tested the Toughbook A3 against most of the military standards. While alternately powered on and turned off, the tablet was dropped from as high as 3 feet onto plywood laid over concrete, so there were no soft falls. The A3 tablet survived it all and operated perfectly immediately afterward, though the plywood landing zone became splintered by the end.
Liquid was spilled onto the tablet and also blown through a fan over the unit. The same procedure was used to check for dust ingress. Although the tablet got very messy, it never quit, and since it consists of a large front screen, it was easy to clean.
Finally, it was placed on a shaker table to simulate computing while mounted in a vehicle on a very bumpy road. It experienced no data loss and no read or write errors after 30 minutes of testing.
Civilian users can have confidence that their Panasonic A3 tablets will survive almost any unexpected trauma in their environment. They may never face some of the harsher conditions of military testing, but it’s nice to know that the tablet will mostly likely survive if it ever does.
PROCESSOR: Qualcomm SDM660 2.2GHz/1.843GHz Octa-core
RAM: 4Gb LPDDR4 SDRAM
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 9.0
STORAGE: CAPACITY: 64GB embedded multimedia card
WEIGHT: 1.98 pounds
DIMENSIONS: 10.7x7.7x0.6 inches
DISPLAY: 10.1-inch WUXGA touch screen