Monday, 09 October 2017 12:50

Panasonic's semi-rugged 2-in-1 detachable Tablet PC arrives: ToughPad FZ-Q2

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Why put up with non-rugged tablet computing and stand in the long, expensive and far queue of product repair wait times, when you could just get tough with a ToughPad FZ-Q2?

Dealing with flimsy tablets is no surface issue, but can go deep into a company and worker's productivity.

Thus, we see longstanding tough and rugged pioneer, Panasonic, adding a new model to its "2-in-1 detachable tablet PC line-up with the Toughpad FZ-Q2".

This model is a "semi-rugged convertible tablet designed to offer mobile workers the very best of both worlds with tablet and notebook functionality in a lightweight but durable business device", and while it isn't the toughest of Panasonic's range, it is still a "business ready tablet that can still withstand light outside duties".

Panasonic tell us its new product draws on the company's "20-year history in designing long-lasting fully rugged mobile devices to include the core capabilities required, including a wide range of business ports; 9-hour battery to support a full day’s work in the field; and a magnesium alloy casing providing robust protection against drops – the most common cause of device failure (according to an IDC and Panasonic white paper in PDF format here).

 

Marc Amelung, general manager of Panasonic Australia's Mobile Solutions, said: “Adding the Toughpad FZ-Q2 to our line-up allows organisations to maximise their investment in rugged technology without compromise.

"Our Toughbook and Toughpad lineup can meet requirements across a fleet requiring different levels of ruggedness, from technicians on the road to team leaders working both in the office and the field.

"We’ve already introduced 2-in-1 models in our fully-rugged notebook and tablet line-up – and this convenient design is now available in a semi-rugged form," added Amelung, which clearly helps customers requiring this form factor to breathe easier.

So, what does "light outside duties" actually mean, who are the workers and what kind of scenarios is Panasonic talking about?

Well, it turns out that the FZ-Q2 will "meet the needs of users such as production line managers, fitters and mechanics in manufacturing, field service engineers and telecommunications technicians, and customer-facing sales staff in retail".

The unit can also be safely sanitised with a disinfectant solution for health or food services or inspection applications, which should make health authorities and the Gordon Ramsay-types of the world much happier and less grumpier than people in those industries would presumably be used to.

Amelung continued: “Our entire family of Toughbook and Toughpad products are engineered to meet the real-world demands our customers face on a daily basis, and in many of these environments consumer devices simply fall short.

“With enterprise-grade features and rugged protection, the FZ-Q2 ensures a longer product lifecycle and higher return on mobile computing investments.”

So, what are some of the Toughpad FZ-Q2's key features?

"The 2-in-1 Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2 semi-rugged convertible tablet has a large 12.5” display for easy viewing and a wide range of business ports for use with modern and legacy business systems. With a flexible design as a standalone tablet or connected to an optional keyboard, the device is well suited to the needs of many mobile workers.

"With its magnesium alloy cabinet casing, the device is able to withstand drops of up to 76cm and has an optional spill-proof keyboard, yet remains lightweight and slim (max 1.93kg and 43mm thick). The tablet without keyboard weighs 1.09kg and is 22mm thick. A 9-hour battery life provides extended use across the entire working day."

Other features include:

Business-ready design:
The high-resolution anti-reflective display — visible under bright lighting indoors and out — is ideal for workers needing a clear view of detailed technical data or forms, and for those wanting to show high quality images or presentations to potential customers. The 12.5” Full HD display (1920 x 1080) is a 10-finger capacitive IPS multi-touch screen and is supplied with a capacitive pen. For communication and image capture there is a 2MP Webcam with stereo microphone and 8MP documentation rear camera. The optional detachable full-size backlit keyboard is ideal for heavy data entry tasks.

Wide-ranging connectivity options:
Unlike many consumer devices where the number of ports is being reduced, the Toughpad FZ-Q2 has a wide range of business ports including USB 3.0, HDMI, LAN and True Serial for connection to a number of systems and devices. There is also a 4G LTE option for connectivity when on the move.

Ease of use:
Optional features include a 360-degree rotating handstrap that can be added for easy working with the tablet in portrait or landscape positions, and a sleek desktop cradle with Kensington lock for security.

Powered for productivity:
Built to handle the most powerful business applications, the FZ-Q2 has an Intel 6th generation CPU (Intel Core m5-6Y57 vPro Processor with 4 MB cache, 1.1 GHz up to 2.8 GHz) with Intel HD Graphics 515. It comes with a Windows 10 Pro operating system, downgradable to Windows 7 if required, a 128GB Solid State Drive with 256GB as a factory option and 4GB of RAM (8GB factory option, project based).

Panasonic also notes its FZ-Q2 is also "suitable for a range of enterprise deployments. Features like dual band 4G LTE wireless are ideal for field service and transportation applications that require reliable connectivity, while retail customers can benefit from its rugged durability and desktop cradle for hybrid POS systems and back office environments".

More detailed FZ-Q2 specs:

  • Enhanced CPU: Intel Core m5-6Y57 with vPro Processor for powerful performance.
  • Long battery life: Up to 9.0 hours per shift
  • Updated operating system: Windows 10 Pro provides the latest software and security enhancements (Windows 7 Pro downgrade available)
  • 4G LTE multicarrier mobile broadband: Ensures reliable connectivity for enterprise users, regardless of their location, indoors and out.
  • Anti-reflective screen treatment: Better visibility in bright conditions.
  • Optional attachable spill-resistant, backlit keyboard: Equipped with signature strap/carrying handle for safety and portability.
  • Accessories: Full desktop cradle provides flexibility for mobile deployments. The rotating hand strap for the tablet maximises user productivity.

Pricing and availability:

Panasonic's Toughpad FZ-Q2 is now available now from the company's authorised distributors and resellers, and is priced from $2999, with more information here


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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