Panasonic today introduced the world's lightest fully rugged handheld tablets for business at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Its smallest Toughpad device to date, the 4.7 inch Panasonic Toughpad FZ-F1 and FZ-N1 handheld tablets punch well above their less than 280g weights with a productivity feature packed device in a fully rugged and ergonomically designed package.
With its integrated angled rear barcode reader to protect against repetitive strain and increase productivity, the device can be easily held and operated in one hand. Designed for postal and courier workers, warehouse, retail, manufacturing, field services and emergency services, the device has both voice and data capabilities. It includes the option for both a passive and an active Pen, for more accurate proof of delivery signature taking.
"With its uniquely angled rear barcode reader and approximately 50g lighter than some of its nearest 4.7 inch competitors, the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-F1 & FZ-N1 will set a new benchmark in the handheld market," said Jan Kaempfer, General Manager of Marketing for Panasonic Computer Product Solutions. "These new devices sit alongside our already successful Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 and FZ-X1 5 inch handheld tablets and the specialist ATEX versions. With this growing range we are bringing to the handheld market the same reputation for customer-focused design and engineering that we have established over many years as the leading rugged notebook and tablet provider."
Angled rear BCR for protection and productivity
The angled rear barcode reader in the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-F1 & FZ-N1 handheld tablets promise to revolutionise the standard for logistics industries by offering increased protection for users and improved productivity. The angle of the 1D and 2D barcode reader means that users do not have to bend at the elbow or wrist to scan, reducing the risk of repetitive strain injuries. The angle also means that users are still able to read the device screen while scanning, enabling workers to complete the process faster than using a traditional straight line barcode reader, where the device has to be tilted and then turned back by the user to see the screen. In addition, the Panasonic device comes with barcode reader activation buttons on either side making it easy for use by left- or right-handed workers.
In addition, the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-F1 & FZ-N1 handheld tablets have a 4.7" HD capacitive multi-touch daylight readable display designed for use by workers in bright sunlight or in the rain and those wearing gloves. The device can also be used with the optional Passive Pen or an optional Active Pen, for more accurate signature recording and recognition capabilities.
Voice and Data on the move
The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-F1 & FZ-N1 handheld tablets are equipped with both 4G LTE / 3G data and voice communications. These slim 16.3mm devices are easy to use for telephone calls and includes 3 mics with superior noise suppression technology and dual front speakers delivering in total up to 100 dBA for sound clarity in a noisy environment. For wireless communication, the handheld tablet has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC capabilities, an 8MP rear and 5MP front camera for document capture and webcam use, as well as a micro USB port, micro SD card slot and dual micro SIM slots.
The handheld tablets come with a choice of two operating systems for easy integration into organisations using Windows (FZ-F1) or AndroidÃƒÂ¢"Ã,Â¢ (FZ-N1). FZ-F1 will be one of the first handheld tablets on the market using Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise operating system. FZ-N1's AndroidÃƒÂ¢"Ã,Â¢ 5.1.1 version includes the AndroidÃƒÂ¢"Ã,Â¢ for Work functionality, which provides IT departments with piece of mind by being able to separate business and personal data and apps on the device; making it simple to manage and secure.
The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad-core CPU with 2GB RAM and 16GB of Flash storage.
Flexible working times
With a standard battery targeting to offer up to 8 hours continuous operating time and the optional extended battery targeting to deliver up to 16 hours continuous operating time, the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-F1 & FZ-N1 handheld tablets have the capability to work as long as needed.
Rich set of accessories
The device is launched with a range of support accessories, including a hand strap, cradle, holster, extended battery and charging cradle stand. In addition, AC and DC Adapters are also compatible with the already successful Panasonic Toughpad FZ-E1 and FZ-X1 5 inch handheld tablets.
The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-F1 and FZ-N1 handheld tablets also launch with their own vehicle docking solution, designed in-house by the Panasonic Global Docking Solutions team. The dock has been ergonomically designed using composite materials for the perfect combination of light weight and durability, and allows for single-handed docking and release.
Rugged yet user-friendly
This lightweight and ergonomic device draws upon Panasonic's market leading heritage for ruggedness with an IP67 rating for dust and water submersion, and the ability to withstand drops from 1.8 meters.
Pricing and availability
The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-N1 AndroidÃƒÂ¢"Ã,Â¢ 5.1.1 handheld tablet will be available in June 2016, priced at Ãƒ,Ã,Â£1268 plus VAT, and the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-F1 Windows 10 IoT Mobile Enterprise handheld tablet will be available in the later part of the year, priced at Ãƒ,Ã,Â£1291 plus vat. Both devices will be available Europe-wide and come with a standard 3 year warranty.
 As of 22nd February 2016, among handheld tablets which have 1.8m drop resistance, 4.7" and over display and dedicated barcode reader.
 The Japanese model weighs 275g and the European model weighs 277g.
 Both FZ-F1 and FZ-N1 feature two micro SIM slots. However, at any given instance only one SIM is active and it can be switched to the other SIM by GUI which means, Dual SIM - Single Standby.
 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