Back from dead: Intel's Atom chip, in Panasonic's $2,189 Android tablet

Panasonic's Toughbook FZ-A2 uses an Intel Atom chip and runs Android 6.0

Intel is phasing out Atom chips from mobile devices and has scaled back Android development for such devices.

But Panasonic has come out with a new tablet with an Atom chip and Android 6.0 anyway. Panasonic's new Toughbook FZ-A2 has a crazy starting price of US $2,189, and its Atom x5-Z8550 chip is a big problem.

Atom chips are almost disappearing from tablets, especially devices with Android. There are also questions on whether the Toughbook will get upgraded to the newer Android 7.0, code-named Nougat. Panasonic didn't provide a response to the query.

Panasonic's release of the new Toughbook with Android is an interesting move, especially as other PC makers abandon Atom and excitement around Android tablets fade. Dell last year stopped selling Android tablets -- which had x86 chips -- and won't be delivering OS upgrades to its existing Venue devices.

Last year Lenovo started offering the Atom x5-Z8550 chip in its Yoga Book 2-in-1, which can be purchased with Windows or Android. The Yoga Book is unique as it replaces a hard keyboard with a virtual keypad, much like on tablets. At the time, Lenovo had to turn to Atom as the chip was ready for Android.

But now, Intel is focusing on Windows, and promoting low-power Core, Pentium, and Celeron chips for tablets and 2-in-1s. The chipmaker continues to work with Google on Chromebooks and IoT devices using the Brillo OS, which is based on Android.

Most Android tablets have chips based on ARM architecture, which dominates the mobile market.

Panasonic's Toughbooks are known for their rugged features. The Toughbook FZ-A2 is water resistant and can withstand a 1.2-meter drop.

The tablet is not targeted at average users. It's for enterprise users and field workers who use tablets in harsh conditions. Panasonic also offers rugged tablets with Windows.

The Toughbook FZ-A2 has a 10.1-inch screen with a 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution. The tablet offers nine hours of battery life. The battery is replaceable.

With all its aging technology, the tablet is keeping up with a USB Type-C port, a USB 3.0 port and Wi-Fi. The tablet can be bought with 4G LTE capabilities. It also has Bluetooth 4.2.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags intel

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?