Panasonic announces rugged Toughbook FZ-A3 tablet

Panasonic recently announced its Toughbook FZ-A3 10.1-inch ruggedized tablet as part of its Productivity+ solutions.

Designed for military, warehouse, EMT, and transportation workers, the new FZ-A3 tablet is the fourth product in Panasonic’s ruggedized Toughbook tablet lineup.

Because it’s designed for harsh working environments, the tablet, which launched June 24, is designed to be IP65 dust and water-resistant, as well as meeting the new MIL-STD-810H specifications. In the product briefing, Panasonic noted that its impact test includes dropping onto concrete from a height of six feet to provide the best-rugged factor.

To ensure zero downtime, FZ-A3 tablet features dual hot-swappable batteries, which can be swapped out individually or at the same time. When both batteries are removed, an internal micro battery can keep the device powered for a few minutes–just enough to slot in a fresh one. On a full charge, two standard battery lasts around nine hours. Panasonic also offers an extended battery option that lasts 15 hours.

The tablet itself sports a 1920 x1200, 500nit, 10-point multitouch display. The display features a 2000:1 static contrast ratio and is treated with an anti-reflective coating to combat glare from overhead light sources. In addition, it can distinguish between glove and skin contact, as well as prevent water droplets from activating the touch controls.

“Panasonic is fully committed to customers transitioning from Windows CE to Android. Whether enterprise, the federal government, public sector, utilities or manufacturing, industries built upon the support of the mobile workforce likewise need support to modernize mobile devices,” said Susan Black, general manager security systems of Panasonic Canada. “The technology ecosystem that powers these industries is complex, but Panasonic provides comprehensive support tailored to the needs of our customers and current market demands, which allows them to seamlessly transition to Android and update their rugged mobile device deployments.”

The FZ-A3 includes a bevy of connectivity options geared towards the enterprise, in addition to the standard suite of NFC, WiFi, and Bluetooth, Panasonic has equipped the tablet with 4G LTE band 14, the public safety mobile band in Canada, for emergency responders.

Warehouse workers can insert an optional barcode reader module into the rear expansion slot for inventory management and tracking. Additionally, users can insert a Smart Card reader or an extra USB type-A slot.

Designed to be used in data-rich, data-critical environments, the FZ-A3 tablet naturally employs the Google Android Enterprise operating system, a hardened version of Android that comes with a plethora of enterprise security and control features. A few distinguishing features include verified boot, truest execution environment, sandboxing, and certifications for government-grade security.

Panasonic is also working with a number of partners to develop accessories–such as docking stations– for its Toughbook product lineups. Devices can be repaired and services locally through a network of authorized providers for simple repairs, or sent to Panasonic’s service centre in Mississauga. The typical turnaround time is within 48 hours.

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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