Pantech Element Waterproof Tablet Hands-on: Watch Us Splash It

LAS VEGAS – Liquids and tech generally don’t mix. And there is nothing worse than knocking over a cup of coffee onto your favorite device and watching its screen flicker one last time before finally giving up the ghost. Pantech’s Element hopes to change that. That’s because the 8-inch Element is the world’s first “waterproof” tablet, capable of being submerged in up to one-meter of water for up to 30 minutes and come out working.

Read: Pantech Element Full Review

Available on AT&T’s 4G LTE network, the Element runs a stock version of Android Honeycomb, which will be upgraded to Android Ice Cream Sandwich at a later date, and features a 1.5-Ghz processor and 16GB of internal memory expandable up to 32GB via the Element’s microSD card slot. Around back you’ll find a 5-megapixel camera, while the front of the Element is equipped with a 2-MP camera for video chatting.

The Element’s 8-inch display is unique for an Android tablet. During our hands-on, we noted how the increased screen size didn’t seem to add much to the weight of the device. In fact, the Pantech Element weighs in at just over one pound.

But its not the Element’s weight that draws you in, it’s its ability to withstand a soaking, and we made sure the tablet earned its stripes during out hands-on. We poured water over the Element and it still kept running. The tablet’s display did lockup for a second, but locking and unlocking the device cleared that up, and the Element soldiered on without issue.

Pantech says the Element will hit store shelves on Jan. 22 and will run you $299 with a 2-year AT&T data plan.

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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