Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 Rugged Tablet Aims at Field Work

The Toughpad FZ-M1 Intel Celeron processor model utilizes the same set of enterprise-grade accessories available for the Toughpad FZ-M1 standard model.

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Consumer electronics giant Panasonic announced the U.S. launch of its Toughpad FZ-M1 rugged 7-inch tablet PC powered by an Intel Celeron processor.

The tablet was tested to meet MIL-STD-810G specifications for drops of up to 5 feet, as well as shock, vibration, altitude, humidity and extreme temperatures.

Certified with a IP65 fully sealed fanless design, the tablet runs the Microsoft Windows 8.1 operating system with Bing and enterprise-grade security features such as Trusted Platform Module (TPM).

Marketed as a more affordable model of the standard Toughpad FZ-M1 announced earlier this year, the tablet is built to serve as a platform for cloud-based applications, delivery routing, email connectivity and other everyday tasks for mobile workers.

Other features include a sunlight-readable, glove-enabled touch-screen, full-shift battery life with a built-in bridge battery enabling users to switch out batteries without powering down the device and a broad range of configuration options to allow organizations to customize the tools required for their workforces.

The device is available this month for a suggested price of $1,299, though the standard model of the tablet, featuring a high-performance 4th generation Intel Core i5 processor, additional storage and memory, and other added features, is also for $2,099.

The Toughpad FZ-M1 Intel Celeron processor model utilizes the same set of enterprise-grade accessories available for the Toughpad FZ-M1 standard model, including straps, cases, cradles, printers, keyboards and multi-unit storage and charging solutions.

Connectivity and configuration options include Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC7260 Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v4.0 (Class 1) connectivity, a USB 3.0 port and micro SDXC card slot, docking connector and optional 4G LTE multi-carrier embedded wireless broadband or dedicated GPS.

Other options include a barcode reader, Ethernet, serial port, and choice of near field communications (NFC), a half-insertable SmartCard reader, UHF radio-frequency identification (RFID) reader with up to a 10-foot range, as well as a magnetic stripe reader.

Rounding out the feature set is a 5-megapixel rear camera with auto focus and LED light, a 720P built-in front camera with microphone, a three-year warranty and U.S.-based customer support.

All Toughpad devices can be purchased through authorized Panasonic resellers, the company noted.

"Mobile computers are being utilized in the enterprise in new ways each day and workers’ computing needs are continuously evolving, especially as more of them move to the cloud," Dan Diliberti, senior product management - tablets and handhelds for the Panasonic System Communications Company of North America, said in a statement. "This new configuration addresses the evolving market. Its affordability also puts rugged, enterprise-class computing within reach of a new category of customer, especially those who may be looking to replace aging PDA-type devices or even pen-and-paper-based processes."