Panasonic has expanded its range of heavy duty tablets in the Toughpad series. The new Toughpad FZ-N1 and FZ-F1 are identical tablets that run on different operating systems: Android and Windows. Like the rest of the Tough- series from Panasonic, these devices are designed to handle extreme working conditions – at the cost of size and looks.
Powering the FZ-N1 and FZ-F1 is an unspecified quad-core Snapdragon processor clocked at 2.3 GHz coupled with 2GB RAM and 16GB internal storage. Dominating the front of the tablet is the 4.7-inch 1280 x 720 display, which is honestly on the small side of being called a tablet. In fact, if we didn’t know better we would have called it a smartphone instead. Panasonic refers to it as a “hand-held tablet” just to add to the confusion. Naturally, it is LTE capable and can be used to make calls.
The FZ-N1 runs on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, while the FZ-F1 is configured to run on Windows 10 Mobile. Both are rated for eight hours of battery life, although Panasonic claims to have a low power mode that will double that number when turned on. Eight hours feels a little on the low side for a tablet, which makes us wonder about the battery size.
As an industrial device, the new Toughpads feature a barcode reader on the back. Situated next to the camera, the reader is seated at an angle to make it easier to use in difficult situations. It is also rated with IP65 and IP67 certificates, meaning that it will survive falls of less than two metres and submersion in one metre of water for 30 minutes.
The Panasonic FZ-N1 will be arriving in March 2016 for an estimated price of $1499 (about RM6300), with the LTE variant turning up at some point in the summer for $1599 (about RM6700). There is no pricing information for the FZ-F1 as of yet, although it is expected to be released in the second half of 2016.