HOME | Notebooks | Tablets | Handhelds | Panels | Embedded | Definitions & Specs | Ruggedness Testing | Industry leaders | About us
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-R1

7-inch Windows tablet addresses changing mobile Point-of-Sale technologies
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Panasonic took the occasion of the 104th annual National Retail Federation Big Show to launch the Toughpad FZ-R1 on January 11, 2015. Billed by the company as the industry's first 7-inch all-in-one mobile POS tablet running Windows 8.1 for retail environments, this new Panasonic Toughpad tablet is designed to address the rapidly changing omni-channel regulations as well as customer expectations for mobile payment systems, with special attention to secure transaction features and enterprise-class deployment and management tools.

Panasonic's impetus for the development of this specialized tablet was the dramatic increase in mobile electronic payments combined with increasingly more stringent security regulations as well as the industry's demand for more robust, integrated mobile Point-of-Sale solutions.

This includes the ability to handle the now mandatory Chip and PIN smart card payment system for credit, debit and ATM cards with embedded chips via an integrated EMV (which stands for "Europay, Mastercard and Visa) reader, as well as NFC capabilities used by the Apple Pay mobile payment system, and, of course, a good old-fashioned magnetic stripe reader. And not only does the Toughpad FZ-R1 provide all those capabilities, but it does so in an all-in-one integrated, enterprise-class device instead of a fragile consumer smartphone inserted into a third-party sleeve.

How did Panasonic implement this device? In the form of a specialized Windows tablet that merges standard tablet technology with dedicated point-of-sale features such as the various readers and also a capacitive touch ATM-style keypad beneath the display.

The display itself measures 7 inches diagonally, uses 1280 x 800 pixel WXGA resolution for a 16:10 aspect ration, and comes with Microsoft-mandated 10-point capacitive multi-touch. The 500-nits screen is daylight-readable, features anti-reflective coating, uses hardened glass, and can also be used with a capacitive stylus pen (hopefully the same great one that comes with the Toughpad M1).

Processing power is supplied by a dual-core Intel Celeron N2807 CPU runing at 1.58GHz and capable of speed bursts up to 2.16GHz. It's part of the Bay Trail family and has a minuscule Thermal Design Power of just 4.3 watts, contributing to the R1's anticipated battery life of around 8 hours with the standard battery, and up to 16 hours with an optional extended battery.

Panasonic considers the FZ-R1 semi-rugged, which here means IP53 sealing (protected against dust and also against water spray from the front), a "broad" (but unspecified) operating temperature range, and the ability to handle 3-foot drops. Some users may wish for an optional case to add a bit more protection.

Panasonic also stresses the Toughpad FZ-R1's enterprise-class management and deployment features that make it neatly fit in with common IT standards and requirements.

So what we have here is a powerful, robust 7-inch Windows tablet that weighs no more than one of the earlier iPads, benefits from Panasonic's decades of rugged mobile systems desgn experience, comprehensively addresses retailers' need to adopt new and mandatory EMV payment technologies, and meets enterprise-class IT requirements. Should be selling like the proverbial hotcakes.

Below is Panasonic's intro video for the Toughpad FZ-R1:

Specifications: Panasonic Toughpad FZ-R1
Added/updated Added 01/2015
Processor Intel Celeron N2807
CPU Speed 1.58 GHz (2.16 GHz burst speed)
CPU TDP 4.3 watts (2.5 watts SDP)
OS Windows 8.1 Pro or Bing
Standard/Max RAM 2-4GB DDR3L 1333MHz
Disk/drive 64GB eMMC + micro-SDXC (up to 32GB)
Card slots 1 x MicroSDHC, 1 x SIM, 2 x SAM card
Display type Daylight-readable LCD with anti-reflective treatment
Display size/res 7.0" widescreen (16:10) 1280 x 800 pixel WXGA, 500 nits
Digitizer/pens Projected capacitive 10-point multi-touch, capacitive pen
Keyboard/scale Onscreen or optional external
Housing Est: Magnesium alloy chassis encased with ABS
Operating Temp Unknown
Sealing IP53
Shock 3-foot drop
Crush Unknown
Size (WxHxD) 10.1 x 5.1 x 1.1 inches
Weight 1.43 lbs.
Power 7.2V, 3,220mAH, 23.2 watt-hour Li-Ion ("7 hours"), optional 7.2V, 7,100mAH, 51.1 watt-hour Li-Ion ("16 hours")
Cameras Front: 1080p webcam; rear: optional 5mp AF with LED illuminator
Sensors Ambient light, digital compass, gyro, acceleration
Interface 1 x 4-pin USB 3.0, audio mini-jack, docking
Wireless Intel AC7260 802.11ac WiFi, Class 1 Bluetooth v4.0 + EDR, optional integrated 4G LTE with satellite GPS, optional smart card reader
Payment technology SmartCard, magstripe reader, NFC, 3x4 capacitive pinpad, 2 x SAM (Security Access Modules)
Security TPM 1.2, Computrace, Kensington lock, SAM, 3DES encryption and DUKPT
List price Starting at US$1,799
Contact Toughpad FZ-R1 at Panasonic
Brochure Panasonic Toughpad FZ-R1 brochure (PDF)
Warranty 3-year limited warranty, parts and labor