Panasonic’s New Ultimate Care Protection Warranty

ultimate-care-warrenty-mooring-techPanasonic’s newly launched Ultimate Care Protection Warranty covers Toughbooks, Toughpads, and handheld Panasonic products and is a total game changer for customers. Introducing a truly unlimited warranty for damage, it is what we have all been waiting for.

The new warranty is ideal for anyone who works in the field including the full range of end users from EMS to fire and police departments, to home inspection businesses, and even those who offer enterprise-grade solutions. There’s no cap, and no out-of-warranty billing for accident damage during the term of cover, which means that no matter what, you have a reliable device that will operate properly for the full life of the warranty.

Previously, Panasonic’s best warranty coverage was Protection Plus that did compensate for accidental damage on Toughbooks, but with strict limitations. For instance, only major damage was covered, and only one claim was accepted during a 12-month period of time.

The new Ultimate Care package eliminates the limitations on the Protection Plus warranty enabling end users to claim as many times as they need to. The only things Panasonic won’t fix unconditionally relate to theft/loss, intentional acts, and damage caused by events beyond human control like hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding or fire. All other forms of hardware failure and damage are covered.

Key features of the Ultimate Care Protection Warranty include:

  • Unlimited replacement of major sub-assembles and components
  • Cover of cosmetic damage that might result in exposure of internal components
  • Replacement of destroyed units with the same model and serial number
  • Guarantee of annual unit failure rates
  • Fast turnaround times
  • Elimination of the need to take out a service budget to cover non-warranty repairs

All of this is valid during the standard warranty term as well as any additional extended warranty term purchased. There are three time-frame options: three, four, and five years.

Now there’s no need to be worried when you’re out in the field, no matter how dangerous the situation might be. Ultimate Care is the missing link to that unlimited accidental damage warranty you didn’t think was possible. When things go wrong – as they often do – your Panasonic mobile device will be covered for repairs or replacement of all major computer parts. And you won’t have to pay a cent.

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Choose the New Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2 For Rugged Versatility

Anybody looking for absolute reliability in a rugged, ever-changing environment is going to love the new Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2. One of the best tough tablets Panasonic has ever produced, it’s ideal for those who need more than the average mobile device can offer.

Officially regarded as “an enterprise-grade” semi-rugged tablet, it is remarkably tough and versatile, and many users consider it to be “rugged”. It is certainly perfect for the full range of professional field applications where the user needs a better, more multifaceted option than regular consumer tablets or detachable computers provide.

Popular features include enhanced battery life, additional ports (with port covers), a full high-definition (HD) display and anti-reflective (AR) touchscreen, as well as an attachable backlit keyboard that is resistant to spills. The chassis is constructed from magnesium, and the overall design features shock-absorbing technology. Its semi-rugged fanless design was created for dirt and dust resistance.

Ultimately, these rugged tablets are remarkably durable at a cost that makes them affordable.

Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2 Specifications & Features

Panasonic FZQ2 Mooring TechThese rugged tablets have an Intel Core M5-6Y57 vPro Processor and run on Windows 10 Pro. There’s loads of memory and storage: 8GB on board as well as solid-state drive (SSD) 128 GB and 256 GB. Wireless features include Intel dual-band wireless AC 8260, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.1.

The 12.5-inch full HD display 1920 x 1080 has an on-screen QWERTY keyboard. Apart from AR screen treatment, the screen has a 10-point capacitive multi-touch feature and comes with a waterproof stylus pen with its own tether. The display also has duel monitor support when the cradle is being used.

The audio features of these Panasonic Toughpads are also great, and the machine is High Definition Audio compliant. It has an integrated dual array microphone and speaker, and both button and on-screen volume controls.

Cameras are important for many workers on the move. The FZ-Q2 has an 8MP rear camera with LED light and autofocus, as well as a 1080p webcam with a dual array microphone.

The long-life battery has an operating time of nine hours and a charging time of 2.5 hours. The power pack has a suspend/resume function as well hibernation and standby modes.

Panasonic’s Toughpad FZ-Q2 rugged tablets measure 13.4 (W) x 8.7 (D) x 0.8 (H) inches and weigh only 2.3 lbs. They carry a three-year warranty that offers business-class support. MIL-STD-810G certification for the tablet is pending.

Optional extras include a SmartCard reader port where the card can be inserted, and a contactless SmartCard reader, both of which are great security features. There is also the option of an SSD heater, and it is the only rugged tablet in its class to offer optional 4G LTE multi-carrier broadband with satellite GPS.

Accessories available for the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-Q2 include a three-prong AC adaptor, a rotating hand strap, replacement stylus, full desktop cradle, and additional 12.5 inch LCD protector film.

If you are ready to take an FZ-Q2 into the field with you, contact Mooring Tech today. We also have fully rugged Toughpads and both new and refurbished Toughbooks.

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Powerful, New FZ-A2 Fully Rugged Panasonic Tablet

The world’s most powerful fully rugged android tablet launched less than a year ago, has numerous features that make it the best solution for service professionals and those working in the field. Its military standard design and superior construction ensure it can be taken anywhere, any time, in any conditions.

It has a super-bright screen, is totally reliable, can be dropped and used in shocking conditions, and is the most dependable tablet of its type on the market.

Features of the FZ-A2 Panasonic Tablet

FZA2 Panasonic TabletThe Toughpad FZ-A2 comes with the powerful Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) operating system together with Intel’s x5-Z8550 processor and many of Panasonic’s best utilities, including Dashboard. And everything about it is tough!

The new FZ-A2 fully rugged Panasonic tablet features:

  • Software encryption that is suitable for enterprise-grade management and security
  • A powerful processor that boasts 2M cache, and 1.44 GHz up to 2.4 GHz
  • Superior durability is proven by MIL-STD-810G design that entails the full range of testing
  • A 10.1-inch display that boasts an 800 nit daylight readable screen
  • Sensors for ambient light, digital compass, gyro, and acceleration
  • A nine-hour standard battery with a hot-swap battery
  • WiFi with GPS as well as optional 4G LTE mobile broadband with GPS, as well as Bluetooth 4.2 and an optional dual-pass external antenna connection
  • Standard USB 3.0 plus USB 3.1 type C and HDMI output as well as optional USB 2.0
  • Optional barcode reader and smartcard
  • An integrated dal microphone and monaural speaker, and on-screen and button volume controls
  • Two cameras, a 2MP front camera and an 8MP rear camera that has LED light and auto focus
  • Only weighs about two pounds
  • Comes with everything needed to make it ideal for those on the move including a docking connector, and headphones and speaker
  • Power management that has a suspend and resume function as well as standby
  • It comes with a three-year warranty that has business-class support

Design and Durability of the FZ-A2 Fully Rugged Panasonic Tablet

The FZ-A2 is an IP65-certified fanless design that is suitable for use in all weather conditions. It has a magnesium alloy chassis that is encased with tough corner guards. It also has port covers and a hand strap, and a replaceable screen film that provides LCD is pre-installed.

To ensure its highly durable MIL-STD-810G design is totally up to standard, it has gone through the full gamut of testing including the five-foot drop test, IP65 water resistance and dust test, as well as testing for vibration, sand, rain, dust, altitude, high and low temperature, temperature shock, freeze and thaw… it has even been tested in an explosive atmosphere.

The security features of the FZ-A2 Fully Rugged Panasonic Tablet are also fantastic and it comes with mobile device management that is supported by industry leading providers.

Mooring Tech offers the full range of new and used Panasonic Toughbooks including the FZ-A2. Contact us today to see how we can help you.

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What makes a Panasonic Toughbook Fully Rugged?

The Panasonic Toughbook is a tough, rugged machine. But what makes a Panasonic Toughbook fully rugged?

The answer to this question is simple really. While ruggedness has become a trademark of Panasonic’s computing solutions, some laptops are manufactured to withstand a bigger beating than others. The most rugged are fully rugged, and those that are less rugged are known as semi rugged.

Photo Credit: Panasonic

Photo Credit: Panasonic

The specifications of Panasonic’s range of Toughbooks vary according to the needs of target customers. For example, the fully rugged Toughbook 31 is a powerful laptop computer that any first responder can confidently use. The semi-rugged Toughbook 54 is much thinner and lighter than the Toughbook 31, which is beneficial for many professionals working in the field, but in less extreme circumstances than police and military personnel, or many of those who are involved with fire and medical response services.

All Panasonic Toughbooks and Toughpads are rigorously tested to ensure they meet specific military and other standards. However, those manufactured to survive worst scenario conditions undergo the harshest tests possible, from six-foot drops to extreme exposure to dust and water.

So what tests are carried out to ensure a Panasonic Toughbook meets the specs to be labeled fully rugged?

US Military Standard Testing

Introduced more than half a century ago, in 1962, the US Military Standards simulate how materials (including various devices) will withstand various types of environmental stress. All in all, there are 28 different methods for testing that include everything from temperature to gunfire and even fungal infestation. Of course, not all of these apply to the Panasonic Toughbook, but a lot of them do.

Even though military standard testing (MIL-STD) is only mandatory for military contracts, manufacturers often use the results of military tests for marketing purposes. These tests are also used to prove that products meet the most stringent military specifications and to ensure that items – like laptops and tablets – are semi- or fully rugged.

Eight of the tests that are used to ensure computing devices are rugged are designed to certify that the device can withstand:

  1. high temperatures, both real and artificial
  2. low temperatures and continue to operate in these conditions
  3. both driving rain and dripping water
  4. warm, humid air that is even more extreme than the humidity found in nature
  5. blowing sand and dust
  6. being submerged or partially submerged in water
  7. intense vibration that is also frequent
  8. the shock of being dropped from high levels

Additionally, there is an international standard that rates ingress protection, and in this way defines how well “electrical enclosures” – including devices that have some sort of wiring – are sealed to prevent intrusion of dirt, water, and other foreign matter.

If you are in the market for a Panasonic Toughbook – either fully- or semi-rugged – Mooring Tech has new and refurbished models available. Contact us to see how we can help you.

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Panasonic Toughbooks are the First Choice for Disaster Response

Panasonic puts all its Toughbooks and Toughpads through rigorous testing procedures to ensure that they can do the job – particularly when it comes to critical disaster response.

But the real test comes when these devices are used in real-life disaster scenarios.

While the feedback from users of Panasonic Toughbooks for disaster response has been consistently positive, a recent Urban Shield event enabled a different type of grueling test. The exercise chosen was for “full-scale regional preparedness” and those participating were given full-rugged Toughbooks to use for logistics tracking and at medical checkpoints.

About Urban Shield

toughbook-disaster-reponse-mooring-techA full-scale multi-disciplinary homeland security and disaster preparedness exercise hosted annually by the Alameda County Sheriff’s office, Urban Shield has the support of the San Francisco Bay Area’s Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI). Additionally, it has more than 200 partners – local, federal, international, in-state, and from the private sector.

The way it works is that first responders are given specific real-life scenarios to react to in Alameda, San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara counties. The exercise itself takes place for a continuous 48-hour period of time and is designed to identify and test regional resources and core capabilities. It helps to expand regional collaboration and to build positive relationships across the board. It also aims to provide increased collaboration between local businesses and critical infrastructures.

Ultimately, it tests preparedness for a range of possible real-life crises in high-density, high-threat urban environments. Scenarios incorporate public transportation, bridges, stadiums, and various other critical infrastructures.

In 2014, an incident command structure was set up with nine area commands a department operations center and medical checkpoints. There were about 60 first-responder teams (as well as more than 6,000 volunteers) that participated in this exercise. Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Explosive Ordnance Disposal, and fire department teams from California, various other US states, and other countries, including Singapore, pushed themselves to the limit as their skills and abilities were tested.

Panasonic Toughbooks for Disaster Response at Urban Shield 2014

Technology is critical in real-life scenarios like those acted out at Urban Shield events. In particular, mobile devices are vital, not just for first-responders, but also for those involved in logistics, and those based at medical checkpoints.

The choice of Panasonic Toughbooks for disaster response at the Urban Shield event was based on its durability. Consumer-grade laptops simply cannot withstand the conditions first-responders and fire fighters face. And they can’t afford to risk cracked screens and broken laptops in life-threatening situations. As Michael Barnes from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said, it’s not even an option in an exercise like Urban Shield because there wouldn’t be time to swap out a broken or damaged device.

Various Toughbook models were used for the Urban Shield exercise including the:

  • Toughbook 19, Panasonic’s rugged convertible tablet/PC which features an all-weather deign and sunlight-viewable display.
  • Toughbook 31, a reliable rugged laptop.
  • Toughbook 53, a great semi-rugged laptop.
  • Toughbook C2, a semi-rugged convertible tablet/PC.

And not one of these Panasonic Toughbooks for disaster response failed during the 48-hour exercise.

If you are in the market for Panasonic Toughbooks or Toughpads, contact Mooring Tech for more specific information and pricing.

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Fully-Rugged Panasonic ToughBook CF-20 Ideal for Mobile Business Computing

A total game-changer for a range of industries and first responders, the Panasonic ToughBook CF-20 is light, skinny, attractive, and incredibly tough. Ideal for mobile business computing, it was designed expressly for field professionals and a range of corporate needs in mind.

Features of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-20

panasonic-toughbook-cf-20-mooringtechLaunched in June 2016, the CF-20 is the first fully rugged laptop in the world to have a detachable keyboard, instantly converting it into a tablet, and increasing its mobile advantage. It is driven by the powerful sixth generation 1.1GHz Intel Core m5-6Y57 vPro Processor that can run at an incredible 2.8GHz with Intel Turbo Boost.

The Toughbook CF-20 comes with Windows 10 Pro and an option to downgrade to Windows 7 Pro. It measures 272 mm x 196 mm and is just 16.4 mm thick, weighing in at 1,760 g (3.8 lbs). It has a 10.1-inch (256.5 mm) standard touchscreen display that has a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. A touchscreen with digitizer is also available to further simplify messaging and data input.

This super-charged machine is supplied with 8GB of RAM, while the tablet has 128GB of internal storage that may be expanded using a microSD card. The 2600mAh user-exchangeable battery can be removed and replaced, effectively extending battery life from seven hours to 14 hours.

The Toughbook CF-20 comes standard with a 2-megapixel front camera and the option of an 8-megapixel rear camera for additional usability. Other highlights include Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth, a 1080p webcam, USB 3.0, HDMI, and Ethernet, as well as optional 4G LTE multi-carrier mobile broadband with satellite GPS, and a 1D/2D-capable barcode scanner.

Designed and manufactured using the very best processing and display technology, the CF-20 is suitable for any working environment, however dirty, wet, hot or cold it might be. This is why it’s perfect for any type of mobile business computing or professional fieldwork. Tested to meet MIL-STD-810G, MIL-STD-461F, and IP65, it can be dropped from 4 feet without the danger of damage.

  • MIL-STD-810G simulates environmental stresses in a series of tests that involve high and low temperature, rain as well as immersion in water, humidity, sand and dust, vibration, and shock (which includes the “drop” test.)
  • MIL-STD-461F is a military-specific standard that covers unintended but unavoidable electromagnetic emissions using a variety of test types: conducted, transient, radiated, as well susceptibility and continuous emissions tests.
  • IP65 – an ingress protection rating – that indicates the level of protection a device will have from dust and low-pressure water jets.

User Profiles for the CF-20

A surprising number of industries employ people who fit the Toughbook CF-20’s ideal user profile, simply because so many industries rely on people who are on the move. Its size, weight, good looks, dependability, and versatility make it perfect for mobile business computing and all sorts of mobile consumer services from building inspectors and insurance assessors, to fleet and car hire management personnel.

Maintenance and service technicians work in a wide variety of environments, indoors and outdoors, and the CF-20 convertible tablet generally meets their needs 24:7.

Various emergency services personnel, as well as those working in defense and in government agencies, find the two-in-one design is a huge advantage. The fact that it is totally reliable, light and easy to use makes it a must have!

If you are looking for a CF-20 or any other type of Toughbook or Toughpad, contact Mooring Tech. We have new and refurbished models to meet your toughest needs.

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Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 is a Rugged Laptop You Can’t Break

The fully rugged Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 is an incredibly versatile hybrid PC notebook and tablet that is as tough as nails and totally unbreakable.

Dubbed the world’s toughest hybrid laptop-computer, the CF-19 has been tested according to several military standards and boasts a total of 12 certifications in all. A relative lightweight in Panasonic’s Toughbook stable, this amazingly advanced little machine weighs just 5.1 lbs and is packed in a ruggedized magnesium-alloy casing that ensures it can be used anywhere, on any surface.

The Standards and Certifications That Make the CF-19 Break-Proof

toughpadcf-19-02-01Here’s why this little Toughbook is tougher than tough, ensuring that whatever you do in the line of duty, you will never be able to break it. Certifications include:

  • MIL-STD-810G Tested for various extreme conditions including 6-foot drops, vibration and shocks (including thermal), altitude and humidity, as well as extreme temperature, and resistance to dust, rain, and altitude.
  • MIL-STD-461F Tested for electromagnetic interference as well as electromagnetic compatibility. This ensures that fully rugged Toughbooks don’t generate unwanted electromagnetic energy that could interfere with other electronic equipment nearby and that they will not be susceptible to interference.
  • Ingress Protection (IP65) Certified according to laboratory tests that ensure levels of resistance to various solid objects, particulates, and liquids – including water and dust.
  • ANSI Hazardous Locations Adherence to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) safety standards specs that are vital in many industries including aviation, petrochemical, and oil and gas.
  • ENERGY STAR Qualification A voluntary qualification that proves products are energy efficient. Seen as an essential certification to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Other Benefits of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-19

Of course, it isn’t only certifications that make the CF-19 tougher than tough. The design of this fully rugged hybrid device gives users a myriad of other benefits, making it a secret weapon in the field. Wonderfully portable, it has a glare-proof monitor and touchscreen that is easy to read in full sunlight. It also has a dual touch option and superb options including a backlit keyboard, 2MP camera, GPS receiver, and Gobi 200 mobile broadband or 4G LTE mobile broadband.

The CF-19 is perfect for emergency first responders, local government and state operators, those working in high, dangerous places in telecommunications and utilities, as well as outdoor workers doing field and building inspections. Its portability and toughness make it ready to go just about anywhere no other mobile computer could ever go – safely and easily. And of course, the fact that it can be used as either a tablet or notebook means that it’s ready for duty anywhere and any time!

Where to Get Your Panasonic Toughbook CF-19

MooringTech offer a full house of rugged, reliable, and ready-to-use Toughbooks including the hybrid CF-19. Buy new or refurbished models from us, or ask us to custom-build one to meet your own unique needs. Don’t wait – call us today.

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Power of the Upgraded Toughbook CF-54

Panasonic’s hugely popular semi-rugged Toughbook CF-54 has been upgraded to make it faster and better than ever before. Among other things, connectivity has been enhanced, and its graphic capabilities substantially improved over the previous CF-53 model.

The Original Toughbook CF-54

toughbook54-02-02Tested to comply with cutting edge military standards, the 14-inch CF-54 first made its appearance on the market in February 2015. Available in four slightly differently configured models, it was dubbed the world’s thinnest, lightest semi-rugged laptop in its class. Ideal for a range of different industries from automotive diagnostics to police and military, it offered an impressive number of optional upgrades that users could choose to customize the device for their own unique needs.

Established as a flexible, purpose-built mobile solution for those working in semi-rugged environments, it incorporates the power and ability of the best desktop computers. It is recognized as one of the best notebooks for mobile professionals and is popular in many enterprise businesses. It is also the laptop of choice for many local and federal agencies.

And now it’s even better and considerably more powerful than it was originally!

Key Updates of the Toughbook CF-54

Catering to the needs of workers who need a semi-rugged device in field services, utilities, automotive and insurance industries, as well as government and public safety, Panasonic launched the new upgraded Toughbook CF-54 in July 2016.

Panasonic retained the four model options – Lite, Prime, Gloved Multi Touch, and Performance – each of which has its own signature features, as well as the many common features shared by the basic CF-54 design.

Already slimmer, lighter, and more powerful than most, the upgraded Toughbook CF-54 features five key updates:

  1. Faster Processor The upgraded Intel Core i5-6300U vPro processor operates at 2.4 GHz, or even faster, up to 3.0 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost technology. If that’s not good enough, an Intel Core i7 processor option is also available.
  2. Updated Operating System The new CF-54 operates with Windows 10 Pro though it can be downgraded to Windows 7 Professional.
  3. Enhanced WiFi Connectivity CF-54 connectivity has always been good, but now it’s better with Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8260, dual pass-through antenna for WWAN/GPS, and Bluetooth 4.1 (Class 1). Previously it operated with Intel wifi 802 and Bluetooth 4.
  4. More Powerful Graphics Processor While Intel HD Graphics 520 come standard with three of the models, the Performance features the superb AMD FirePro M5100 graphics that more than doubles the graphics performance.
  5. New Options Now in addition to the stylish touch screen stylus pen and stylus tether, users have the option of a stylus pen holder too.

The Toughbook CF-54 support RAID mirroring for user applications that need exceptionally high performance and is also available with dual-storage drives to expand storage capacity.

If you like the idea of increases your power with the new, hugely powerful upgraded Toughbook CF-54, contact Mooring Tech for more information. We are here to help.

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How Panasonic Toughbooks and Toughpads Make First Responders Invincible

Historically, first responders all over the country have used consumer-grade mobile computers for communication. These work well in good conditions, but as soon as they are faced with the kind of extreme conditions first responders face on a daily basis, these devices tend to fail.

first-responders-mooring-tech-toughpadWithout constant communication and access to control rooms, backup, and real-time data, first responders cannot do their jobs properly. But with reliable mobile devices that don’t fail, even in the harshest conditions, they become nigh-invincible.

Panasonic Toughbooks and Toughpads were designed with first responders and the military in mind. To ensure they don’t fail, devices undergo intense testing for every possible scenario from extreme temperatures and humidity, excessive exposure to torrential rain, violent wind, sandstorms and dust, and exceptionally strong vibrations. They are also built to withstand drops and bumps, spills and other potential mishaps – and are tested to ensure they won’t only survive these incidents, but will keep on working.

Eaton County First Responders Chose Toughpad FZ-G1 Tablets

The network administrators of Eaton County in Michigan learned a tough lesson several years ago after switching from Panasonic Toughbook laptops to consumer-grade devices. Their existing devices were old and needed to be replaced, and they figured they could buy a whole lot more devices for the cost of one new Toughbook or Toughpad.

Instead of saving money, the county lost money because the consumer-grade computers they had bought often broke down, under-performed, and were generally unreliable. Overall, connectivity and functionality were limited, and personnel were forced to complete paperwork when they returned to the office. The IT team was forced to spend unnecessary time repairing devices, many of which had to be replaced.

Two years later, county officials replaced their unreliable computers with Toughpad FZ-G1 tablets in all of the county’s 16 fire, EMS, and law enforcement agencies. Now, all first responders use them, and they are mounted in fire trucks, ambulances, and in county sheriff and police vehicles.

A year after the new Panasonic Toughpads had been deployed there had not been a single hardware failure. First responders are more efficient and productive than they have ever been before, and they are able to spend more time in the field, without having to do paperwork in the office.

Eaton County officials report that their first responders feel empowered; residents can tell they are invincible (or nearly so).

You can read the Panasonic case study here.

The Value of Panasonic Toughbooks and Toughpads

Military standard Toughbooks and Toughpads have daylight-readable touch screens, and their design is certified for use in all weather conditions.

Police officials love the lightweight Toughpad FZ-G1 tablets because they can remove them quickly and easily from vehicle docks, and carry them to the scene of any incident or disaster scene. They can access real-time data from wherever they are, and, for instance, can run vehicle plates from the device and do crash reports on the scene.

EMS responders find them particularly useful when it comes to retrieving patient histories and access addresses, while fire fighters often use them to access floor plans.

The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 runs off a powerful Intel processor that not only performs exceptionally well but also offers advanced management and security capabilities. They also have embedded 4G LTE broadband-connectivity that increases first responder efficiency, ensuring they cannot be overcome or defeated on the job.

Mooring Tech stocks new and used Panasonic Toughbooks and Toughpads, so when you’re ready to improve the efficiency and nigh-invincibility of your first responders, call us.

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Why Military Standard Tests on Mobile Devices Matter

People who work in the military have to be tough – which is why the mobile devices they use must be tough too, especially those that are used in the field. If military personnel can’t rely on their mobile devices wherever they are, regardless of environmental and other conditions, they could be severely comprised, and citizens could be too.

Panasonic Toughbook tablets and computers – Toughpads and Toughbooks – are designed for military use, and undergo rigorous testing to ensure they are fit for purpose. Ultimately, it is vital that the military personnel that use these devices can count on them to provide a powerful, durable computing solution, wherever they are, day or night.

What Are Military Standard Tests?

panasonic-toughbook-mil-std-810g-1The US Department of Defense developed a number of military standards and specifications in 1962 for computerized devices that are used in adverse environmental conditions, in situations where stressors could have a negative effect on them. Then conditions include:

  • Driving rain and powerful wind
  • Strong vibrations that might be experienced in helicopters or off-road vehicles, or even in unpressurized cargo aircraft
  • High altitudes
  • Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, including migration from one extreme to another
  • Extreme humidity whether in a manufacturing plant or natural tropical environment
  • Excessive exposure to dust and sand, including desert sandstorms
  • Being dropped up to 72 inches (1.8 m)

There are many different military standards (MIL-STD) that cover technical and engineering requirements for various items, procedures, practices, processes and so on. The specific standard that covers the design and test criteria for computer devices mentioned above is MIL-STD-810G.

While the standard and tests MIL-STD-810G covers have been modified and changed over the years, it has remained the benchmark for validating the ruggedness of devices. If a device doesn’t pass the military standard tests, there is no guarantee that it will survive mission-critical jobs and circumstances.

Military Standard Tests for Toughbooks and Toughpads

There are a number of different tests specified in MIL-STD-810G. There are various methods and procedures that have to be followed. Critical tests include the:

  1. Blowing Rain Test that blasts the device with 70 mph winds and 5.8 inch (147 mm) of rain for 30 seconds while it is in operational mode. Procedure I is the important part of this test, while procedure III only tests vertically falling rain and drips.
  2. Vibration Test that simulates the kinds of vibrations first responders traveling in jeeps, trucks, tanks, ambulances, patrol cars, ambulances, fire engines, and helicopters experience.
  3. Altitude Test that is conducted while the device is still operational. The test simulates a height of 15,000 feet above sea level.
  4. High Temperature Test that is performed for 30 minutes, at a temperature of 140 °F (60 °C) while the device is in operational mode.
  5. Low Temperature Test that involves placing the device in a chilling -20 °F environment for 30 minutes while the device is powered on.
  6. Temperature Shock Test that tests the reliability of the device when it is moved between extreme temperatures, from as hot as 200 °F to as cold as -60 °F.
  7. Sand and Dust Resistance Test that involves blowing sand at the device for several hours at a temperature of 140 °F (60 °C).
  8. Humidity Test that simulates what would happen if the device was used in tropical weather conditions or in a plant or factory where there was high humidity. The test takes place in temperature cycles that range from 86 °F (30 °C) to 140 °F (60 °C) at 95 percent humidity.
  9. Transit Drop Test that involves devices being dropped from different heights at 26 different angles onto concrete that has been laid over a steel plate that sits on 2-inch (about 50 mm) thick plywood. The rated drop specification is the height from which it was dropped when it can still be turned on and used. This is generally anything between 12 inches (305 mm) and 72 inches (1.8 m).

Since there is no one authorized body that regulates testing, manufacturers take responsibility for their own tests. For this reason it is vital that organizations, businesses, institutions, and government departments insist on third-party validations from reputable testing facilities like Southwest Research Institute (SWRI).

Why Military Standard Tests Matter

Mission-critical personnel cannot choose the conditions in which they work. For instance, if there is a violent storm with wind and rain, they can’t run for shelter and leave those in danger to fend for themselves. A device might be marked “water resistant,” but if it hasn’t passed the relevant procedure of the MIL-STD Blowing Rain Test, it might fail.

Similarly, if a device cannot work because of severe vibrations, high altitude or temperature, or in any of the extreme conditions first responders are so often exposed to, they could find themselves without any form of communication.

The importance of the Low Temperature Test is to ascertain whether the device will withstand icy temperatures and start even when frozen with damage to the device or loss of data. While the Temperature Shock Test ascertains the ability of the device to move between very cold and very hot temperatures, this doesn’t mean it will necessarily be used in places that experience climatic temperatures that are very hot or cold. Rather, the test simulates what would happen to a device if, for example, the user had to move between a freezer truck and a very hot environment. The motivation is to ensure it wouldn’t suffer damage from thermal shock that could damage the device and readability of its screen.

First responders operate in less than usual circumstances and are more likely to drop devices on the job than somebody working in a more traditional environment. Panasonic uses one unit for the full series of Transit Drop Tests, even though the standard allows up to five devices. So while a laptop or tablet may be labeled rugged, if it took multiple devices to pass this test, how rugged is it really?

Panasonic builds its own critical components for its Toughbooks/Toughpads mobile devices and controls every element from design to testing. Mooring Tech is one of the company’s trusted resellers and offers both new and previously owned Toughboos/Toughpads. If you are in the market for a rugged laptop or tablet, contact us for advice.

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