Hands-on with the £1,500 Windows 8 Pro Panasonic FZ-G1 Toughpad

Hands-on with the £1,500 Windows 8 Pro Panasonic FZ-G1 Toughpad

Summary: The Panasonic FZ-G1 is a Windows 8 Pro tablet aimed at field workers, but does its rugged credentials justify its hefty starting price?

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TOPICS: Tablets, Hardware
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  • The buttons along the bottom of the screen (labelled A1/A2) can be programmed to launch specific apps on the device,  while the others provide volume control, a shortcut to the Windows 8 start screen and the one on the far right toggles autorotate on and off.

  • Given that the FZ-G1 is conceived as a workhorse, it's little surprise to find a better than average array of full size ports and connectivity options (3G is not included but is offered as an optional extra that nearly all customers go for, according to Panasonic's spokesman).

    Standard ports on the tablet include a full size HDMI socket, one USB 3.0 port and a headphone socket, as well as Panasonic's own proprietary dock connector. 

  • However, if that's not enough for you, there's also a configuration port that can be specified to include either a USB 2.0, microSD slot/memory card reader, LAN or even a serial port.

    Verdict

    When I said this tablet was likely not aimed at you, it's not aimed at me either— it's meant for field workers, not office staff or consumers.

    As a result, Panasonic has included some features and specs that probably make life on the road a lot easier, but detract from the experience for an average user. The screen, for example, has been specially comprised so that it (essentially) absorbs light and reflects it back, meaning it takes less battery power to achieve the same levels of brightness — handy if you're on the road with no opportunity to charge your hardware. However, despite the impressive 1080p resolution on the screen, it just never looked that sharp — and with the resolution set to that level, many operations were a bit fiddly and required resorting to using the stylus.

    For businesses that require a Windows-based rugged tablet, the Panasonic is one of few options on the market. However, the weight of the device will quickly become a chore if you're left holding it for a long time.

    On the plus side, it's customisable and can include a range of ports you won't find on other tablets. However, if you're just a clumsier than average consumer I'd recommend opting for whichever Windows 8 tablet you want and picking up a rugged, fully waterproof case for a fraction of the total cost.

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Topics: Tablets, Hardware

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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