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    Panasonic Toughbook FZ-T1 "handheld" costs $1,600, has warm-swappable battery


    Panasonic’s Toughbook computers look more like suitcases than laptops – they are not pretty, they are not cheap, but they are so rugged that they are advertised for military use. A few years ago the company unveiled Toughpad tablets and now there’s a phone.

    Well, the Panasonic Toughbook FZ-T1 isn’t necessarily a phone, the press release calls it a “handheld”. That’s because there’s a Wi-Fi only version as well as a Wi-Fi/4G vesrsion (with voice capabilities).

    Either way it runs Android 8.1 Oreo with Panasonic’s COMPASS 2.0 (Complete Android Security and Services), which enables flexible business management and security.

    The handheld features a barcode scanner, which works at a short and long ranges (depending on whether you’re scanning something in front of you or high up on a shelve). Next year there will be an auto-range barcode scanner accessory.

    The Toughbook has the usual IP68 and MIL-STD-810G label. It has been tested with drops from 1.5m (5 ft) height and it has a working temperature range between -10 to 50°C (14-122°F). The 5” screen can work in the rain and can be operated with gloves or a passive stylus.


    Panasonic Toughbook FZ-T1

    Yes, a 5” 720p screen. This is not a high-end device, it’s powered by a rusty Snapdragon 210 chipset with 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. The 8 MP camera won’t impress anyone either, but Panasonic says it’s useful for scanning documents.

    The battery allows for warm swapping – you can take out a depleted battery and put in a fresh one without needing to power down the phone. The capacity is unknown, it’s just described as having 12-hour battery life.

    Panasonic unironically calls the handheld “slim and lightweight”. We don’t know how “slim” it is, but the “under 240g” weight makes us think that this claim may be a bit of an exaggeration. But that’s nothing, wait until you hear the price.

    The Panasonic Toughbook FZ-T1 will be available across Europe. The Wi-Fi only model launches in August at £1,142 (plus VAT) and the 4G model will be out in September at £1,214 (€1,386/$1,615). Hey, at least you get three years of warranty.

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