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Panasonic have increased their range of “Tough” devices to include a tablet and a convertible Ultrabook that run Windows 8 Pro.

The FZ-G1 tablet is a fully ruggedized (IP65/810G military standard) dust and water resistant device able to withstand a 1.2m drop.

Hardware wise the tablet has an Intel i5 1.9GHz processor, 4 or 8GB RAM, 128 or 256GB SSD, 1920x1200 10.1” daylight readable anti-glare LCD screen, 720p/3MP front/rear camera, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and a 10 point digitiser/touch and pen.

Interesting features include an 8 hour replaceable 4400 mAh battery, optional 3G (4G is available in the US as well) connectivity and a customisable “port” that can be used for USB3.0, HDMI, GPS, serial, Ethernet, MicroSD and more. Weight is 1.14kg.

Options include a longer life battery, desk stand, rotating hand strap, LCD impact protection film and tall corner guards.

Who will buy?

Prices start from $3299 – not cheap but in the very best Tough book traditions developed over 24 years you can’t kill them with a stick (3 year warranty) so they are good value for bad environments.

Military will be a big user and the customisable port is a key feature there – no other tablet currently offers the ability to add more things. Food service may be keen on the water/dust resistance and use in restaurant environments. Healthcare will be interested as it can be sanitised and disinfected. Hospitality can use these for curb side check in. Police, Government and Utilities will all have uses that no other tablet can meet.

The CF-AX2 is a business ruggedized convertible Tablet/Ultrabook which means that it is more robust than the usual Ultrabook. It weighs 1.5kg and can withstand a drop off a desk (76cm) and a 100 khf pressure on the screen without damage.

It uses an Intel Core i5 1.9GHz processor, has an 11.6, 1366x768, 10 point touch display and comes with the usual ports, memory and SSD options.

Prices start from $2,499 which is pretty reasonable given the 3 year warranty and ruggedized applications that it can be used for (cheaper Ultrabooks are more likely to break – so this justifies the cost). Designed for those who need a Windows notebook in harsher environments.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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