During the Mobile World Congress today, Panasonic unveiled its new 5-inch range of phablet devices, aimed at mobile workers who need a rugged device that can handle voice and data in a field environment. The 5-inch Toughpad FZ-E1 and FZ-X1 are powered by Microsoft's Windows Embedded 8 Handheld and Android operating systems, respectively.
"Many businesses are looking for solutions to their business communication needs in a work environment but haven’t found it in the consumer mobile devices available,” said Jan Kaempfer, Head of European Marketing at Panasonic Computer Product Solutions. "The 5-inch toughpad with voice is the first of a new generation of rugged devices for these workforces and promises to be one of the toughest and longest working 5 inch device in the market. The new form factor is perfect for those in emergency services and public safety as well as for logistics, transportation, facilities, construction and field engineers."
Both 5-inch devices promise long battery life, which is something we have come to expect from Panasonic. The devices also feature hot swap capabilities and a quick charging feature allowing those in the field to keep working when on the move. The screen is sensitive enough to be used while wearing a glove and the high resolution camera and bar code reader will make the device ideal in any environment.
"Following Panasonic’s philosophy of delivering rugged devices with the flexibility to be tailored for specific commercial uses, the toughpad will allow peripherals to be added to the device using fixing screws or via the internally accessible micro USB port. The toughpad has also been designed for versatile and comfortable use by mobile workers with optional accessories such as hand-straps and holsters to create wearable PC solutions," Panasonic stated in a press release to WinBeta.
In terms of specs, CNET is reporting that the Windows-powered FZ-E1 is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor, while the FZ-X1 houses a 1.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 chip. Both devices have 2GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage, LTE connectivity, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and a swappable 6,200mAh battery.
Both devices will launch in select European markets in Autumn of 2014.