At IFA this week, Panasonic has introduced a rugged 5-inch handheld tablet powered by Windows Embedded 8.1 called the Toughpad FZ-E1. Panasonic has tested this device for resistance to impact, shock, vibration, altitude and extreme humidity. It can resist drops of up to 3m to concrete, is submersible in up to 1.5 meter of water for up to 30 minutes, and operate in temperatures ranging from -20°C to 60°C thanks to a built-in heater – meeting IP68 certification requirements. Yeah, it’s pretty rugged!
The Toughpad FZ-E1 comes powered by a Qualcomm quad core processor and has a sunlight-readable, anti-reflective HD (1280×720) 10-point capacitive display. It has a special rain-sensing feature that allows for single touch use even in pouring rain (sounds like it’ll work great here in typical Seattle weather!). In terms of wireless networking, the Toughpad FZ-E1 comes with 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi along with NFC, standalone GPS, and Bluetooth 4.0 with optional voice and data on 4G LTE/3G/GPRS. On its side, it has an integrated a Micro USB port. It has a rear 8 megapixel camera with bright LED flash, a front 1.3 megapixel camera, and comes with available configuration options for an integrated 1D/2D barcode reader and a gadget expansion area that allows enterprises to customize for the needs of their workforces. And finally – the Toughpad FZ-E1 gets up to 14 hours of battery life and comes with a quick-charging feature that can charge the battery to 50% in just an hour.
The Toughpad FZ-E1 with WiFi-only connectivity is available now starting at $1,899 (U.S.), followed by voice and data (4G LTE/3G/GPRS) enabled version in October 2014 at $1,999 (U.S.). In Europe, the Toughpad FZ-E1 will be available in November starting at Euro 1,228 or GBP 908.