Panasonic’s new Toughpad tablets will let you tweet whatever the circumstances

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Panasonic is known for its range of Toughpad enterprise tablets, and now it adds two new 5-inch handheld devices to the lineup.

Careful, there's a bowl of ice beneath the device...
Careful, there’s a bowl of ice beneath the device…

The two new Toughpads are the Android-based F-X1 and the FZ-E1, which runs embedded Windows Phone 8.1.

The Toughpads are rugged smartphone-sized tablets aimed at enterprise – primarily for people who want to use them in retail, construction, military or mining industries, in warehouses or on any job sites where toughness is key.

...SMASH! And the Toughpad survives.
…SMASH! And the Toughpad survives.

The FZ-E1 runs the new Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld OS on a Qualcomm 2.3GHz quad-core processor, with 2GB of RAM, 32GB of Flash storage, a 5-inch HD daylight-readable touchscreen with resolution Of 1280×720 and is usable while wearing gloves or when it’s raining.

The Windows Embedded 8.1 Handheld operating system is Windows Phone 8.1 with extra enterprise features, such as multi-user lockdown, device management and extended hardware and peripheral support.

The FZ-X1 runs Android 4.2.2 on a 1.7GHz processor, but the rest of the specs are the same as the FZ-E1.

Both phablets (they also have voice-calling capabilities) are I068 rated and are submersible in water up to 1.5m for 30 minutes, can operate in temperatures from -20C to 70C, have a replaceable 6200mAh high capacity battery with “hot swap” function, have up to 14 hours of continuous data access time and 23 hours of talk time, with 1000 hours of standby.

Both are ALS ML-STD certified with 3m drop resistance. Similarly, the Toughpads will work in the rain – and even whilst wearing gloves.

The tablets also come with a barcode reader, three microphones, twin speaker with a range up to 100dB and four user-configurable buttons for shortcuts to applications.

Both Toughpads weigh in at 430g – lighter than an iPad. Which is surprising for something big and chunky that looks a little like a child’s toy (and is anything but).

Jan Kampfer, Panasonic’s head of product management, said the new 5-inch Toughpads were aimed at transportation, logistic, manufacturing and retail industries – tough environments where such devices need to be rugged to survive.

The Android-based X1 is available now at €1385 (£1106) and the Windows-based E1 will be released in November for €1428 (£1140).

Stuart O’Connor