This week at CES in Las Vegas, Panasonic added to its line
of rugged Toughpad tablets with the Windows 8 Pro 10.1-inch FZ-G1 and the
Android 7-inch JT-BI.
Since 1996 Panasonic has been producing mobile computers for
the mobile workforce who need to rely on a more study product that will resist
dust, water, shocks when in use in the field. The two tablets join a 10.1-inch
Android tablet which was broadly available last year.
Toughpads are designed for mobile workers in sectors such as
military, government, construction, healthcare, public safety, utilities,
retail, and maintenance to name a few.
The devices come with optional added extras such as heighten
security features, electronic scanners and card readers. The new tablets are
also splash proof and feature screens that are viewable in the sunlight, as
well as being robust enough to survive drops and dust.
The Windows 8 Pro
System: Windows 8 Pro
3rd Generation Intel Core i5-3437U vPro™ 1.9GHz up to 2.9GHz with Intel® Turbo
128-256GB SSD, 4-8GB RAM, optional micro SDXC
MIL-STD-810G, 4' drop, IP65, 14° to 122°F (operational temp range)
10.1", sunlight viewable, touch screen and active digitizer, 800nit, WUXGA
8.0 hours (user-replaceable)
10.6" x 7.4" x 0.75"
• Weight: 1.1kg
Bluetooth V4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, optional embedded 4G LTE or 3G
• I/O: Full
size USB 3.0, HDMI, optional micro SDXC, Full size USB 2.0, wired LAN, true
serial port or dedicated GPS.
Panasonic claims it will survive a 4 foot drop and it wouldn't
surprise me as this device, despite its rugged and therefore very clunky look,
is surprisingly light at just over a kilogram, easy enough to carry about.
The FZ-G1 comes with a barcode scanner and the option of
adding on e-card readers and other types of bespoke enterprise technology. Its
battery is also replaceable if you run out of the included 8 hours.
The Android 4.0 JT-B1
System: Android 4.0
TI OMAP4460 1.5GHz Dual core
16GB ROM, 1GB RAM, micro SDHC
MIL-STD-810G, 5' drop, IP65, 14° to 122°F (operational temp range)
7", daylight viewable, 500nit, WSVGA (1024 x 600)
Front: 1.3Mp fixed focus, Rear: 13.0Mp auto focus w/ LED light
8.0 hours - Large 5,720mAh battery (user-replaceable)
8.7"x 5.1" x 0.7"
Bluetooth V4.0, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, optional embedded 4G LTE + 3G
This device is a much smaller form factor, running Android's
operating system, the device itself doesn't have the capacity to run Windows 8,
so it's aim at those out in the field not needing quite as much power under the
This device is easily portable at half a kilogram, pop it
straight into a laptop bag without noticing. It also is available with
additional extras including different types of handles to grip securely to the
The FZ-G1 will be available from March, starting at $2,899,
and the JT-B1, will ship February, starting at $1,199. At these prices they are
definitely aimed at large scale operations, as smaller businesses would be
unlikely to kit out the entire workforce at pushing two grand per device for
Speaking to Kyp Walls, director of product management, at
CES, I asked him how he thought the Windows 8 Pro version would fair in the
enterprise space which is generally not looking to adopt the new operating system
He said, "Even though it has been built for Windows 8, a
fair number of our customers will buy it with a Windows 7 downgrade."
Panasonic have a Windows 7 Toughbook on the market at the
moment, but the convenience of buying the new FZ-G1 is that it is around a