Panasonic announced the release of the 12.5-inch Toughpad FZ-Q1, the latest member of its Toughpad family of ruggedized tablet devices.
With an Intel processor and running Windows 8.1 Pro, the tablet is designed for mobile field workers who need a device more durable than a consumer tablet.
The primary target customers for the Toughpad FZ-Q1 are government and public sector workers. The Q1 tablet is designed to be used in any type of moderate mobile area like social work, home health, electronic flight bags, in retail environments for POS, kiosks or as a mobile dashboard and in small business applications.
"Many government jobs are becoming mobile, requiring purpose-built technology on the job," Kyp Walls, Panasonic’s director of product marketing, told eWEEK. "However there are many applications like code enforcement and inspections which don’t require a fully-rugged device. As a result, these agencies feel compelled to purchase consumer-grade solutions which lack the reliability, usability and security truly needed for these jobs."
To meet varying market needs, the device will come in two configurations, a performance version featuring an Intel Core i5-4302Y vPro processor, and a standard model with an Intel Celeron processor N2807.
"Small businesses or those working with limited budgets need to make sure they are addressing several factors before investing in mobile devices to ensure they are maximizing their investment," Walls said. "Your mobility solution needs to deliver the features and reliability to enhance productivity. If your devices are constantly failing or breaking, you’ll end up spending too much time and money supporting the device, which will ultimately increase your costs."
Walls explained that while consumer tablets may offer a lower sticker price initially, they lack the durability and security that rugged and semi-rugged tablets provide.
With a shock absorbing case and a magnesium alloy chassis, the device can withstand drops, comes with a fan-less design and is resistant to dirt and dust.
"Purpose-built devices like the Toughpad are designed to work the way your workers do and provide a longer life to help you reduce downtime and save costs," he said.
When it comes to connectivity, the Toughpad FZ-Q1 offers a broad selection of options, with WiFi, Bluetooth, and an optional 4G LTE multi carrier with satellite GPS. The device also features USB 3.0, MicroSDXC, a 2MP webcam, and 8MP rear-facing camera.
"We recognize that mobile workers have a range of durability and portability needs on the job, which is why we offer a range of devices from fully-rugged to business-rugged," Walls said. "Our devices are purpose-built to offer this durability in combination with a lightweight design for those who require enhanced portability."