Panasonic TOUGHPAD, first unveiled in November 2011, has always been built to specifications similar to Panasonic’s rugged and semi-rugged TOUGHBOOK®.
From the start, both TOUGHBOOK and TOUGHPAD were purpose-designed in response to customer needs for laptops, notebooks, and tablets that can withstand the rigors of challenging environments. Utilizing military tests has enabled Panasonic to produce devices that can withstand accidental drops and spillages and also challenging environments that produce dirt and dust as well as intense temperature fluctuations.
In broad terms, a TOUGHPAD has always been a tablet, while a TOUGHBOOK has been a laptop computer.
The lines blurred somewhat with the launch of the first fully-rugged hybrid in 2015: a TOUGHBOOK with a 10.1-inch detachable screen that could be used as a tablet. While the original hybrid, the TOUGHBOOK CF-20, was relatively light in weight (3.9 lbs), it was bulky. But by mid-2017 Panasonic had launched the TOUGHBOOK CF-33, a lightweight fully-rugged version ideal for first responders and other mobile workers, and the CF-20 was updated early 2018.
The TOUGHPAD has also metamorphosed over time and these devices have become increasingly more rugged, so much so that with little fanfare, Panasonic has rebranded them “TOUGHBOOK rugged tablets.” Panasonic now also markets the devices as:
This new approach coincided with the launch of two new TOUGHBOOK mid-2018:
- In June 2018, Panasonic launched the 5-inch handheld, fully-rugged TOUGHBOOK FZ-T1 that has specifications in keeping with a tablet rather than the traditional TOUGHBOOK together with smartphone functionality.
- In July 2018, the 7-inch TOUGHBOOK FZ-L1 was launched as a tablet for the enterprise segment.
Additionally, the TOUGHPAD FZ-N1, originally launched in 2016 was updated and relaunched in September 2018 as the TOUGHBOOK FZ-N1.
Panasonic “computers” include rugged and semi-rugged laptops as well as those with detachable screens that make them a two-in-one device. Handhelds include the TOUGHBOOK FZ-T1 and FZ-N1, and the FZ-X1, and tablets include the FZ-L1 and FZ-M1.
How the Panasonic TOUGHBOOK and TOUGHPAD Have Evolved
Panasonic’s first notebook computer, a predecessor of the now well-established TOUGHBOOK, was produced in 1990, just a year after the death of founder Konosuke Matsushita. A year later, the company launched the Mova P TZ-804, the world’s smallest and lightest cellular phone ever, that also relied on a wide range of new technologies.
The first TOUGHBOOK-type laptop was the CF-41, launched in 1994, although the cynics say it wasn’t tough or rugged. Manufactured with a Pentium 75 MHz processor, a 680 MB hard drive, and 4 MB RAM, it was designed with a unique feature in the form of a keyboard that hinged up to provide access to the CD-ROM drive.
Two years later, in 1996, the TOUGHBOOK CF-25 hit the market, bringing it closer to the “tough” concept. It had a handle and having passed shock tests it was certainly more rugged than anything else on the market.
That same year, Panasonic released the first digital phone that weighed less than 100 g.
The introduction of Bluetooth technology led to a growing range of more powerful TOUGHBOOK®, including the CF-27 and CF-M34 in 1999.
Military Standards Testing was introduced in 2000 making TOUGHBOOK a market leader within a year. At least six more TOUGHBOOK® were released between 2001 and 2003.
Then in 2007, the TOUGHBOOK Executive Series was launched along with the TOUGHBOOK CF-30. A year later, in 2008, new Military Standards Testing (MIL-STD) were introduced, taking the TOUGHBOOK a notch higher. The next four years saw as many new TOUGHBOOK®.
2011 represented another milestone in the form of 4G networks, and it wasn’t long before the first TOUGHPAD – a tablet rather than a laptop – was launched. It was the TOUGHPAD FZ-A1.
While the TOUGHBOOK CF-AX2 was also launched in 2012, by 2013 TOUGHPAD had become a market leader, with two new models, the TOUGHPAD FZ-G1 and JT-B1 hitting the market.
By 2014, with the launch of the TOUGHPAD FZ-M1, Panasonic was boasting 11 factory tests for their rugged tablets, and inviting customers to “discover the full range of TOUGHBOOK® and TOUGHPAD.”
Then came the first TOUGHBOOK hybrid…
Despite this new rebranding, one thing is for certain, Panasonic keeps setting new benchmarks for its tough devices.
If you’re in the market for a rugged computer, handheld device, or tablet, Mooring Tech has the best TOUGHBOOK® on the market. Contact us today or shop online at mooringtech.com