On Tuesday, Panasonic debuted a sleeker, more refined version of the Toughbook FZ-N1, 18 months after the original rugged handheld came out, and it specifically targets enterprise customers in retail and product delivery.
"For our customers in the transportation and logistics space, we know that they are under pressure to be more efficient, more accurate and more cost-effective, and a few seconds can define what it means to stay competitive," said Brian Rowley, vice president of marketing and product management for Panasonic North America. "The FZ-N1 takes a strong device and makes it stronger, empowering our users to capture more data, connect more reliably and work more efficiently."
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The latest 4.7-inch Toughbook now has a Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. It also features an angled barcode scanner, after many customers requested this for high volume barcode scanning to improve productivity, according to Dan Diliberti, head of mobility product and market strategy for Panasonic North America.
"We did some ethnographic research and we did some time and motion studies with some of our customers and what we developed was the angled barcode scanning approach that allows users to reach out to scan the barcodes without having to tilt the device away from them and still allows the user to use the screen at the same time," Diliberti said.
The new device includes enhanced MIL-STD-810G specifications, protecting it from drops of up to seven feet, along with IP66/IP68 ratings.
The FZ-N1 also provides connectivity for first responders. As an early participant in AT&T's FirstNet dealer program, Panasonic is working to ensure that its devices are equipped with the tools to access the nationwide public safety communications platform for these workers. Panasonic is working closely with its partners to ready the FZ-N1 device for FirstNet connectivity later this year.
The Toughbook FZ-N1 will be available beginning at a suggested retail price of $1,899 with pre-orders available immediately and product delivery in September 2018.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU - 2.2GHz x4 + 1.8GHz x4 Octa Core
- 32 GB eMMC storage capacity
- 3GB LPDDR4 RAM
- Android™ 8.1, Oreo
- 4.7 inch display with 10 finger capacitive touch screen
- MIL-STD-810G Certified with a 7-foot drop spec
- IP66 dust and water resistant design, IP68 (5 feet of water for up to 30 minutes) sealing
- Angled Barcode Scanner
- Wi-Fi, multi-carrier voice and data with nano SIM card (WWAN model)
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- Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 review: A lightweight and robust, but expensive, 2-in-1 detachable (ZDNet)
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Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including People, W and Women's Wear Daily.