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 PC World newsletter!

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?