The Toughpad lives up to its claim of offering business users a close to unbreakable Windows 8 tablet, which, thanks to the inclusion of Becrypt software, is also as secure as it can be. However costing a hefty £2,000 and featuring average battery life and disappointing screen, it is likley to appeal only to vertical markets.
Extremely rugged, robust Becrypt security, decent performance
Only average battery life, disappointing screen lacks vibrancy, bulky
Model: Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
Display: 10.1in high brightness WUXGA (1920x1200) touchscreen with digitiser stylus
Processor: Intel Core i5-3437U
Memory: 4GB RAM
Storage: 128GB or 256GB
Battery: Removable 4,000mAh lithium ion pack
The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 launched earlier this year as a rugged device, being drop, scratch and water resistant. Now, with Panasonic having inked a channel deal with government-certified encryption provider Becrypt to carry it's DISK Protect CPA, the device has also been toughened from a security perspective. However, at £2,000 it's questionable whether the Windows 8 Pro tablet will have any real appeal to the wider industry.
Design and build
The Toughpad is a fairly bulky device, with its metal chassis coming fully armoured with rubberised corners. The armour makes the Toughpad measure in at a massive 270x188x19mm, and it weighs 1.1kg. This means that even when compared with other Intel Core-powered tablets, like the Surface Pro, the Toughpad is a tank, though this is not heavy in comparison with other rugged kit such as Panasonic's Toughbook laptops.
The tablet's chunky design is exacerbated by the fact that its microSD, HDMI, USB 2.0, power and headphone ports are plugged with hefty metallic covers and its front face features seven fairly prominent physical buttons.
However, the increased bulk and plating isn't just for show. Thanks to the protection and bulky chassis, the Toughpad is IP65 certified. This means that on paper the tablet is one of the toughest ever made, being drop proof – up to four metres – as well as water and scratch resistant.
We tested these claims as far as we dared dropping the tablet while standing on an office chair, running it under a cold tap and generally bumping it about while using it for work purposes during a press trip abroad. In all occasions the Toughpad came out on top – in fact in our drop test it was the floor that came off worse.
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