Hands-on with the rugged Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1, the 7-inch Windows 8 tablet for your next extreme adventure

The typical day of a tech blogger is pretty extreme. You wake up, make some coffee, check your emails, write a few blog posts, do a review of a case or two, and head off to your dinner date with a Victoria Secret model. You know, typical blogger stuff. In all honesty, our lives aren’t that extreme, but there are people on this little blue ball that do some pretty crazy stuff daily. The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-M1 is the 7-inch Windows 8 tablet for those out there in the field needing computing power. Here’s our hands-on with it at CES

The Toughpad FZ-M1 is a 7-inch tablet running Windows 8.1 Pro. It’s powered by Intel’s 4th generation i5 processors. What’s crazy is that there are no fans in this machine. Panasonic has years of working on fanless designs. Which is a necessity for a PC like this when you’re out in the field where you encounter a lot of dust and dirt. Here at the full specs of this little machine that can:

  • 4th generation Intel® Core™ i5 vPro™ processor, or an Intel® Celeron processor (available Summer 2014)
  • Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit with Windows 7 Professional downgrade option available
  • MIL-STD-810G, 5’ drop, IP65 fully sealed fanless design
  • 7-inch daylight-readable WXGA display (1280x800); high-sensitivity 10-point capacitive multitouch input, with an optional Stylus pen
  • 128GB SSD (256GB SSD option available) with 8 GB RAM (Intel® Core™ i5 vPro processor model)
  • Dual Band Intel Wireless-AC7260 Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth® v4.0 (Class 1), USB 3.0, micro SDXC card slot, docking connector, optional 4G LTE multi-carrier embedded wireless broadband. Other options include dedicated GPS, Barcode reader, Ethernet, serial port, and choice of near field communications (NFC), SmartCard reader, UHF radio-frequency identification (RFID) reader (up to 10 ft. range), or Magnetic Stripe reader
  • 1.2 lbs., 0.7” thin (standard configuration)
  • 8 hours per MobileMark® 2007 testing (user-replaceable); optional hot swap bridge battery and high capacity battery (16 hours) available
  • 720P built-in front camera with mic; 5MP rear camera with auto focus and LED light
  • Enterprise-class security features include encryption, IPsec VPN, trusted boot and root protection

Like we said, we’ll never need a device like this, but it’s impressive to see nonetheless. We’re sure there are enterprise and business users out there that would be very interested in a machine like this. When can they get it? How about early spring 2014 with a street price starting at $2,099. 

Sam Sabri