Panasonic’s new Toughpad FZ-E1 and FZ-X1 are really tough

These aren’t your usual designer handhelds but enterprise-class tablets designed for mission-critical mobile workers. They come with 14-hour hot-swappable batteries, FIPS 140-2 Level 1 security, and sunlight-readable HD touchscreens that work even with gloves. The kind of products that first responders, military service members and those in transportation and logistics, utilities, manufacturing, retail and field services might want to use.

“An always-connected workforce is only as strong as its weakest link, and this is true whether on the shop floor or the battlefield,” said Rance Poehler, President, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. “Our Toughpad FZ-E1 and Toughpad FZ-X1 build on the legacy of nearly two decades of rugged devices from Panasonic to accomplish the mission of keeping professionals in the most demanding work environments connected to the data they need to do their jobs, to one another and to the customers they are supporting.”

Of course, the average user may also like the fact that these suckers are resistant to drops of up to 10 feet to concrete and are submersible in up to 5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes. And they can operate in a temperature range of -4° F to 140°F thanks to a built-in heater, and are also tested for resistance to impact, shock, vibration, altitude and extreme humidity.

The display is a unique sunlight-readable, anti-reflective HD (1280×720) 10-point capacitive multi touch screen that works even with heavy gloves, with a rain-sensing feature that allows for single touch use even in pouring rain. In addition to 8.0MP (rear) and 1.3MP (front) cameras, configuration options such as an integrated 1D/2D barcode reader and attachable magnetic stripe reader allow enterprises to customize pads for their workforces in the field.

These are the first models in the Toughpad line to include voice functionaly. Both models will be available with dual SIM slots and with 4G LTE/3G/GPRS/CDMA2000 mobile broadband for voice and data. Push-to-talk service also will be available on specific networks and depending on service contracts. Standard on both models is Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, near field communications (NFC), standalone GPS and Bluetooth v4.0 (Class 1).

For enterprise class mobility the 6200mAh battery is claimed to provide up to 14 hours of continuous, however that is based on Panasonic test conditions. A quick-charging feature allows for a 50% charge in just 1 hour and Hot Swap functionality allows a depleted battery to be swapped out for a fresh one without powering down the device.

More specs on the new Tougpads:

  • IP65 and IP68 sealed all-weather design (submersible up to 5′ for 30 minutes)
  • 10′ drop-resistant
  • Operating temperature of -4°F to 140°F
  • Port covers
  • Raised bezel for LCD impact protection
  • Memory 2GB
  • Storage 32GB 9Up to 64GB additional with optional microSDXC card)
  • 5″ high definition 1280 x 720 daylight-viewable display
  • 10-point capacitive gloved multi touch with glove touch mode
  • Ambient light sensor, digital compass, gyro and acceleration sensors 
  • HD 1.3MP webcam
  • 8MP rear camera with LED light
  • IEEE802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Micro SIM card slot x 2
  • Bluetooth v4.0 (class 1)
  • GPS 2m CEP50 (±2 to 4m)
  • Near Field Communication (NFC)
  • Li-Ion battery pack 3.8V, 6200mAh
  • 6.5″(L) x 3.4″(W) x 1.2″(H)
  • Approx. 0.94 lb
  • Optional 1D/2D barcode reader
  • Optional magnetic stripe reader with hand strap and stylus
  • Certified ANSI 12.12.01 for hazardous locations