3 June 2015

Panasonic launches rugged tablet for industrial applications

The submersion test. Staff at the Marina Bay Sands pour cold water onto the Toughpad FZ-X1, which remained operational during the entire process. Sudapa Chamod, Senior VP of Home Pro (middle) and Soh Peng Kiat, General Manager, Toughbook Solutions Team, Panasonic System Solutions Asia Pacific (right), look on.

Panasonic, which is well known for its ruggedised mobile products, has launched a rugged, 5" enterprise-class Android tablet in Asia at CommunicAsia2015. The Toughpad FZ-X1, with voice and data connectivity, is designed for mission-critical mobile workers.

“With the expanding mobile workforce and growing infrastructure investments across Asia, organisations of all sizes are evaluating their enterprise mobility strategy to ensure their mobile workers are equipped with the right devices to consistently get connected to secured data,” said Soh Peng Kiat, General Manager, Toughbook Solutions Team, Panasonic System Solutions Asia Pacific.

“Building on our legacy of nearly two decades of rugged devices, Panasonic designed the Toughpad FZ-X1 to withstand the harshest conditions, keeping workers connected to the data they need to do their jobs, to one another and to the customers they are supporting.”

Sudapa Chamod, Senior VP of Home Pro, Speaks about Home Pro's adoption of Toughpads.

Invited speaker Sudapa Chamod, Senior VP of Home Pro, a home improvement chainstore with 70 branches in Thailand and one in Malaysia, shared that the company had been looking for new mobile devices to replace an ageing handheld platform. Rather than simply replacing the handhelds, the company hoped to create more value with its investment.

"Panasonic has a good product. We did a study (and) saw that we could get cost savings, could do a lot more that would bring benefits to customers and to our business," she said. 

Home Pro uses Toughpad JT-B1 devices to serve customers, for example for price checks. "We can serve customers better, we can serve them on the spot. That's the best thing," she said. 

Panasonic’s Toughpad tablets are engineered to deliver performance, security and reliability in extreme operating conditions where consumer devices would fail. With 14-hour hot-swappable batteries, a built-in barcode scanner and sunlight-readable HD touchscreens that work even during rain, the Toughpad FZ-X1 is purpose-built to improve efficiency and productivity for mobile professionals in logistics, warehousing, utilities, retail, telecommunications and defence industries. 

The Toughpad FZ-X1 is submersible in up to 1.5 m of water for up to 30 minutes.

Resistance to drops of up to three metres show how the Toughpad FZ-X1 can go beyond MIL-STD-810G specifications to assure in-field reliability. The device is fully sealed against dust and is submersible in up to 1.5 m of water for up to 30 minutes, meeting IP68 certification requirements. It boasts an operating temperature range of -20°C to +60°C and is also tested for resistance to impact, shock, vibration, altitude and extreme humidity.

The device’s enterprise-grade features include a sunlight-readable, anti-reflective HD (1,280x720) 10-point capacitive multi-touchscreen that works even with heavy gloves, with a rain-sensing feature that allows for single touch use even in pouring rain. In addition to 8.0MP (rear) and 1.3MP (front) cameras, configuration options such as an integrated 1D/2D barcode reader and attachable magnetic stripe reader allow enterprises to customise the tablet for their needs.

The Toughpad FZ-X1 is the first device in the Toughpad line to offer optional voice connectivity. To ensure clear voice communication above engine or construction noise, the device is equipped with intelligent noise cancelling and dual front speakers reaching a maximum volume of 100 decibels — about as loud as the average home stereo system.

A major requirement for enterprise mobile solutions is full-shift battery performance. With a 6,200mAh battery providing up to 14 hours of continuous use based on Panasonic test conditions*, the Toughpad FZ-X1 is purpose-built to enable workforce productivity. A quick-charging feature allows for a 50% charge in just 1 hour and Hot Swap functionality allows a depleted battery to be swapped out for a fresh one without powering down the device, providing virtually unlimited use.

The Toughpad FZ-X1 with WiFi or mobile broadband data connectivity is available from 3 June in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia at a list price of US$1,499 (WiFi-only) or US$1,699 (mobile broadband data). All Toughpad devices can be purchased through authorised Panasonic resellers.

*Battery life measurement conditions: Wireless LAN connection enabled; continuous access to the server while browsing; swipe every 1 second; page change every 30 seconds, communication every 30 seconds.