In amongst the piles of 7” and 8” Windows 8 tablets announced at this weeks Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is a new 7” Panasonic Toughbook.
Typically small rugged tablets have had to use an Intel Atom processor, making them a poor choice for all but the simplest jobs.
This new Toughbook is not compromised like that. The 7” powerhouse gets a fourth generation Intel Core i5 “Haswell” chip and up to 8Gb of RAM.
That’s more than the average desktop PC in a 600gram package!
- Intel Core i5 Haswell
- Windows 8 Pro
- Up to 8Gb RAM
- Up to 256Gb HDD
- 3G / 4G options
- Hot-swap battery
- Weights around 600 grams
- 7” 1280 x 800 Screen
- USB 3 port
- Docking connector
- 5 foot drop tested, IP65 – Water and dust resistant
Initial pictures reveal a docking connector, USB 3 port, and an audio port.
Like the Toughbook FZ-G1 there is also mention a configuration port. In the G1, that port can be configured at factory with enhanced GPS, a barcode reader, serial port or a microSDXC card reader.
Where the M1 improves over the G1:
- Hot swap battery
- Lighter weight
- Smaller form factor
Where the G1 will still be better than the M1:
- Larger screen (G1 10 inch vs M1 7 inch)
- Higher resolution screen (G1 1920 x 1200 vs M1 1280 x 800)
- Wacom active digitizer
This is an important Windows 8 tablet for Microsoft too since many other manufacturers have turned to Android for their smaller tablets like the Getac Z710.
Pictures of the Panasonic Toughbook FZ-M1 rugged Windows 8.1 tablet so far:
The smaller form factor should appeal to many field tablet users. Carrying this device all day would be a lot more appealing than the 10” equivalent.
We look forward to finding out more about the FZ-M1.