TazTag’s NFC tablet the TazPad is getting ready to launch (Exclusive)Feature
Posted by Seth PlanckAugust 24th, 2011 at 11:12 AM Filed Under Featured, Latest News
TazTag’s NFC tablet, the TazPad, is getting ready to launch for as little as $400 in volume
Are you still looking for an enterprise NFC tablet for under $500? Read on. When AuthenTec’s press release hit the sphere this week announcing its biometric fingerprint scanners being built into TazTag’s TazPad, we didn’t cover it because quite frankly, it was old news. TazTag and its NFC tablet, TazPad were one of the first companies we covered in-depth here at NFC Rumors. We have to admit, we have a special place in our cold, cold hearts for them. However, that place was earned with their innovation and the way that the company addressed so many needed areas with their product.
TazPad quite literally has the best enterprise hardware specs of any tablet, let alone any NFC tablet in the space. When we say best hardware specifications, we aren’t talking about the processor or the RAM, we are not even referring to its Gingerbread OS because there are tablets that run newer versions of Android. We are, of course, referring to the fact that the NFC tablet includes an Inside Secure secure element, Authentec biometric authentication in the form of the fingerprint scanner and the little tablet has ZigBee compliance. So, if you are a corporate type and are looking for a tablet with security that can handle payments securely or one that works with ZigBee, which is renowned for its ability to work with exterior sensors, the TazPad is head and shoulders above the pack. Whereas the iPad is king of the hill when it comes to consumer specified tablets, it doesn’t have as much to offer the business world as TazPad yet. We covered the Sharp RW-T10 NFC tablet earlier this week which to the best of our knowledge is the second tablet to be NFC capable, but in our opinion, TazPad takes the title of most capable and first announced. Note we said “announced”.
TazPad NFC tablet news update
Many small companies that have attempted to build tablets have failed. Many of the tablets that have been regaled after their announcements have turned to vaporware. It appears to be the nature of an ultra competitive market that requires a massive upfront R&D budget that tends to prevent startups from staying the course. TazPad was slotted to get its production models out in July to developers / system integrators. That didn’t happen. So we know there have been delays, but that is more than a common occurrence in the tablet market. Just this last week, rumors are circulating that the iPad 3 has been pushed back to next year due to production problems. Unlike other tablet announcements, however, TazPad isn’t vaporware. We contacted the company to see what gives and happily now have some good news to share.
“We are to deliver the first units to our customers in September. Our first batch is already sold out on pre-orders basis, included in ‘Technology Access Packs’ for integrators and solution providers. And we are going to launch a second batch very soon for October, targeting pilots/deployment units. They will be delivered FCC certified,” Michel Delaux, International General Manager & Co-Founder, told NFC Rumors. So, the TazPad is not vaporware and is gaining traction. The first NFC tablet was always going to be an issue to push out the doors and subsequent models will happen with comparative ease. The company will already have integration partners and developers who are used to working with TazTag by that time.
“NFC is now coming fast and new usages are booming, as we planned 3 years ago when starting TazTag with our vision. Our TazPad is the prerfect secure NFC device for professional usages, e.g. as mobile device for staff agents and vendors, or as a mini-kiosk at counter or check-in, to interact with smartcards, new smartphones, and all the new smart objects NFC enabled arriving in consumer’s hand these days. TazPad unique association of NFC + security + biometry makes it the best answer for integrators and solution providers to propose these new services every consumer is now expecting having heard all the buzz lately on NFC,” said Delaux.
We also wanted to know how much a unit would cost. Michel didn’t disappoint or play coy and let us know that “Pricing goes down to 400USD (depending on volume),” which compared to Sharp’s Enterprise NFC tablet which weighs in at a lofty $785.03 for Japanese businesses, the TazPad represents a massive value proposition to the enterprise market. We also think the TazPad NFC tablet has better specifications.
TazTag’s TazPad NFC tablet specifications
Here is a quick recap on specifications. Our full fun down can be found here.
It weighs slightly less than the iPad 2 (1.33 pounds or 601 g) weighing in at .99 Lbs or 450 g. It has a 2 megapixel shooter that can, oddly, either be built on the front or back of the device and it sports an A8 1Ghz processor. This may well be great for B2B applications. Choice never hurts!
Networking: ZigBee PRO which can work up to 50m in an open environment, NFC courtesy of INSIDE MicroRead which includes a secure element from Infineon Technologies. Wifi b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR & 3G comes in the flavor of HSDPA (Think T-mobile & AT&T). A slim slot is onboard – you pick your network.
Other features include 1080p video, 3-axis accelerometer, stand alone GPS and a 4800 mAh, LiPo battery. The TazPad has 512 MB of Mobile DDR memory, has 4 GB of internal storage and can accommodate a Micro SD card up to 32 GB. So, from this we can see it has security, a lot of connection options, including ZigBee PRO which we see a big future for, alongside a pretty capable NFC chipset.
Obviously we are interested in the NFC capabilities of this slate and the TazPad doesn’t cheap out in that department. TazPad is compliant with both ISO 14443 A/B & ISO 15693. It supports Tag Types 1,2 & 4 but doesn’t support FeliCa which is mainly used in Japan anyway. No loss there. TazPad, does however, have a trick up its sleeve the Nexus S is yet to master: Emulation.
“No other Android tablet combines fingerprint authentication with the NFC transaction capabilities of the TazPad,” said Alan Kramer, AuthenTec’s Vice President of Government and Access Control. “Whether a user is interested in convenient yet secure authentication for NFC, ZigBee or Wi-Fi transactions or linking a customer to a back-end system for authentication, the TazPad is a very capable platform for mobile identification. We look forward to supporting TazTag in a successful launch of this new NFC tablet.”
If TazTag and its NFC tablet TazPad have caught your imagination, consider this last quote we will leave you with from Michel Delaux: “We have other announcements coming up, with major partners such as the latest one, and for some new products on our roadmap.” So, not only is TazTag’s TazPad NFC tablet not vaporware there will be more news to come. We’ll bring it to you as we get it and in the meantime, hope to see the TazPad here in the States in the near future.
End Authentec TazPad press release.