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 What Would Joe Do?
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena
Peggy Aycinena is a freelance journalist and Editor of EDA Confidential at She can be reached at peggy at aycinena dot com.

MonsterTablet: bragging rights for Panasonic, Microsoft & Dassault

November 14th, 2013 by Peggy Aycinena

This week in Las Vegas, Dassault Systèmes  hosted one of their many global confabs where customers consult with each other about the joys of using Dassault’s product lines. At this particular conference, Panasonic’s newly launched ToughPad enjoyed special focus, featuring heavily in keynotes and on the exhibition hall floor.

The 20″ ToughPad is among the largest tablets in the history of humankind, weighing in at around 6 pounds, and comes in two versions. One’s targeted at sales folks who want to haul around a huge screen for maximizing presentation punch (and for watching movies while they’re waiting at the gate). That one sells for around $5K. The other version’s a full-on workstation, good for designing stuff, repairing helicopters (virtually), and spinning things around and around in Dassault’s 3D design software until you’re dizzy with delight. This more-powerful, badasser version will set you back around $7.5K or more, but surely it’s worth the price.

In Las Vegas this week, Microsoft was also on Dassault’s center stage bragging about their critical contribution to the new ToughPad; it’s kitted out with Windows 8. Dassault claimed ToughPad bragging rights as well; Panasonic used Dassault’s design management environment to help with development, plus the ToughPad’s powerful enough to run Dassault’s design environment, that with which the tablet was developed, for those who want to develop a plethora of cool stuff of their own.

Speaking of cool: Touch screen capabilities on the ToughPad include the ability to re-render your surface-stylus sketches as full-on engineering drawings, which can then be rotated around in Dassault’s virtual 3D space for visual evaluation. It also take the stylus scribbles you’re passing off as penmanship, and re-renders them as text that’s legible and searchable. Nice.

I visited the Panasonic booth to see the ToughPad up close and personal in Las Vegas. (Check out the photo below to see the size of this Monster Tablet compared to human hands.)

The folks in the booth acknowledged that as cool as the ToughPad is, it’s not really good on the shop floor. In such facilities, where manufacturing or maintenance kick up buckets of dust and grit, a smaller, hardier Panasonic tablet is recommended if one needs to read manuals or interact in real time with remote colleagues.

But when you’re sitting at your desk and feeling the need to design and create, I’m guessing you can’t do much better than hovering for hours over a ToughPad. Particularly, as you can play hookey right there at your desk, sneaking in a little entertainment in and around your work for the enterprise.


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