updated 01:03 pm EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
Toughpad FZ-E1, FZ-X1 can be submerged, dropped, has hot-swappable batteries
Panasonic is expanding its Toughpad range of ruggedized tablets with two five-inch tablets. The smartphone-sized devices, the Toughpad FZ-E1 and the Toughpad FZ-X1, are heavy duty items with five-inch screens designed for use in extreme working environments, with each able to survive being submerged, dropped onto tough surfaces, and used at extreme temperatures.
The FZ-E1 runs Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld and uses a quad-core Snapdragon 800-series 2.3GHz processor, while the FZ-X1 opts for Android 4.2.2 with a quad-core 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 chip. Both have 1280x720-resolution displays, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of expandable storage, an 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED flash, a 1.3-megapixel front camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, and hot-swappable removable 6,200mAh batteries lasting up to 14 hours. Additional options include barcode readers, magnetic stripe card readers, and 4G LTE, including voice and data.
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-X1
Built for construction and similar harsh working conditions, the two devices are MIL-STD 810G, IP65, and IP68 certified, allowing them to be submerge by up to five feet for half an hour, sealed against dust, and survive a drop of up to 10 feet to concrete. Capable of working in temperatures as high as 140F, it can also operate at -4F thanks to its built-in heater, while its noise cancelling and dual front speakers provide it with a maximum volume of 100 decibels, ideal for noisy locations. The tablets also include a "rain mode" allowing it to be used in wet weather.
The Toughpad FZ-X1 with Wi-Fi will go on sale in August for $1,799, or $1,849 with LTE data. The Wi-Fi version of the FZ-E1 will also ship in August for $1,899, with a version including LTE data and telephony due in October for $1,999. The telephony-enabled version of the FZ-X1 is expected to ship in the United States in January for $1,899.