Panasonic’s ToughBook and ToughPad line of ruggedized laptops and tablets are designed for use in industrial, outdoors, or other environments where a regular computer might not survive the kind of abuse it would be exposed to. But they tend to be pretty expensive.
Now Panasonic is offering a slightly more affordable option for customers that can make do with a semi-ruggedized device. The new Panasonic ToughPad FZ-Q1 has a shock absorbing case, a magnesium alloy chassis, a fanless design, a sturdy cover that’s easy to grip, and a capacitive touchscreen display that you can use even if you’re wearing gloves. It also has an integrated capacitive stylus and Panasonic offers an optional backlit keyboard.
Priced at $1000 and up, the ToughPad FZ-Q1 isn’t exactly cheap. But it’s less than half the price of most ToughPad tablets.
The tablet features a 12.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel display, up to 9 hours of battery life, 802.11ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a microSDXC card reader. It runs Windows 8.1 Pro or Windows 7 and optional features include 4G LTE with GPS and a SmartCard Reader.
The entry-level $1000 model features an Intel Celeron N2807 Bay Trail processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of eMMC storage (although you can also pay extra for a version with a 128GB solid state drive).
Sure, you can find consumer devices with similar specs for less than a third of the price, but what you’re paying for here isn’t just the CPU, memory and storage, but for the heavy-duty case design that can withstand drops and shakes, dust, and dirt. Unlike a lot of consumer tablets, the FZ-Q1 also has a field replaceable battery andt he tablet comes with a 3-year warranty.
If you want a more powerful version, Panasonic also offers a $1700 “Performance Model” with a Core i5-4302Y Haswell processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB (or 256GB) of solid state storage.
The Panasonic ToughPad FZ-Q1 measures 13.4″ x 8.7″ x 0.8″ and weighs about 2.3 pounds.