Do you need a tablet with a passport reader? Me either, but fortunately that’s just one of the many new options on the latest editions of Panasonic’s rugged Windows tablets FZ-G1 and FZ-M1.
Panasonic only upgrades the models and never the names of these 7-inch and 10.1-inch Windows tablets, no matter how many generations into their making they are. So if the name seems familiar you would be right. But these are nonetheless the latest editions, even though Panasonic’s last update for the FZ-M1 was no further back than April.
All models now come with hot-swap batteries so you don’t have to turn off the tablet to change the battery, as well as a 8MP MIPI camera. And there some new and different models now. The MRZ model is the one with a passport reader, with smartcard reader and MSR. But other models are more interesting.
Like the thermal imaging tablet version which is equipped with the FLIR Lepton 3 Camera with infrared analysis. Of course, you can always just buy a FLIR One Pro camera for your iPad or Android tablet for $300 too, if you just want a cheap thermal imaging tablet.
Other models are the Intel RealSense model with the 3D camera which not only helps with secure facial login, but is useful in architecture design and related large scale analysis and project management.
There’s a Real-time Kinematic model too with location tracking down to an accuracy of 10 to 50 cm, which is a smart tool when you need the precise locations of objects.
And in a sort of exciting way, while the tablet remains rugged, Panasonic have added a more ormal looking model meant for use in stores with a version called Black Cabinet Model.
The price for the cheapest model of either of these Toughbooks still starts at $2800.
– Tom Bowen