Panasonic System Networks Co Ltd announced new products in its "Toughpad" series of robust tablet computers Feb 24, 2014.
In 2012, Panasonic released the "FZ-A1," the first product in the Toughpad series of business-use tablet computers that feature high drop impact resistance, shock resistance, water/dust resistance, etc. Thus far, the company has launched 10.1- and 7-inch display models.
The new features of the latest models, "FZ-E1" and "FZ-X1," include (1) a high portability with a 5-inch display, (2) voice communication function using LTE and 3G networks and (3) new operating systems (Windows Embedded 8 Handheld for the FZ-E1 and Android for FZ-X1).
The hardware features of the FZ-E1/FZ-X1 are as follows. The drop impact resistance and shock resistance comply with "MIL-STD-810G," a standard set by the US Department of Defense. Also, Panasonic carried out a test in which a 400g steel ball was dropped from a height of 80cm to the center of the display and confirmed that the device operated in a normal way after that.
The water/dust resistance complies with IP65/IP68 standards. The company confirmed that 75μm-diameter dust does not enter the device and that the device can withstand a water pressure at a water depth of 1.5m for 30 minutes.
To ensure a high visibility under bright sunlight, the display of the FZ-E1/FZ-X1 has an anti-reflection structure, and the brightness of the backlight is 500cd/m2. As a touch panel, the new models come with a "high-sensitivity proximity detection touch panel," which can be operated with a gloved hand. Moreover, they have a function that prevents malfunctions caused by water droplets.
"It enables to ignore capacitance changes caused by droplets by determining whether a pressure is applied to the entire touch panel, whether a capacitance change is peculiar to those caused by a droplet or flowing water and so forth," Panasonic said.
The capacity of the FZ-E1/FZ-X1's rechargeable battery is 6,200mAh. When fully charged, the new models can continuously operate for about 14 hours, which is estimated based on Panasonic's own standards. They support a rapid charging function and can be charged to 50% capacity in an hour.
The dimensions of the FZ-E1/FZ-X1 are 165 x 87 x 31mm. Their weight and operating temperature are about 430g and -20 to +60°C. Their expected retail price is about ¥130,000 (approx US$1,268). The FZ-E1 and FZ-X1 will be launched in mid-June 2014 and late August 2014, respectively, in Japan. Panasonic also plans to release them in other countries.