Panasonic has updated its Toughpad line of ruggedised mobile devices with the Toughpad FZ-F1 and FZ-N1. The two models have a 4.7in display running Android or a version of Windows 10 Mobile, and are claimed as the lightest fully rugged handheld tablets for business.
The Toughpad FZ-F1 and Toughpad FZ-N1 were announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona but are not due to be available until June.
They are essentially the same device, available with a choice of the Android 5.1.1 release of Google's mobile platform or Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise, a version of the Windows 10 family that replaces the ARM-based Windows Embedded platforms.
The new devices are the modern day incarnation of the ruggedised PDA, with a 4.7in 1280 x 720 daylight-readable display and a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor with 2GB of memory and 16GB of storage.
Panasonic is pitching the 280g fully rugged handhelds as the lightest around, qualifying this by stating that they are the lightest among devices that have a 4.7in display, 1.8-metre drop resistance and dedicated barcode reader. Both models are MIL-STD 810G certified and IP67 rated for submersion in water up to one metre for up to 30 minutes.
The devices are aimed at field workers such as those in the postal and courier, transport and logistics, emergency and public safety, utilities, retail, manufacturing and defence sectors.
In line with these requirements, the Toughpad FZ-F1 and FZ-N1 deliver a long lifespan and low total cost of ownership. Key for field workers is a user-replaceable and warm-swappable battery, while Panasonic also offers a range of accessories such as carrying straps and mounting solutions.
The devices feature an integrated 1D/2D barcode reader at the rear, angled for ease of use, 8MP rear and 5MP front cameras for document capture or video conferencing, plus a micro USB port and micro SD card slot for storage expansion. They also have dual micro SIM slots for 4G/3G mobile connections, plus NFC, Bluetooth 4.1 and WiFi.
Panasonic claims up to eight hours continuous operating time using the standard battery, or up to 16 hours with an optional extended battery.
Accessories include a hand strap, holster and charging cradle, along with a vehicle docking solution for mounting on a dashboard.
The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-N1 handheld tablet with Android is expected to cost £1,268 plus VAT, while the Toughpad FZ-F1 Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise version is expected to cost £1,291 plus VAT. Both devices will be available Europe-wide and come with a standard three-year warranty.
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