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Review Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 Tablet

Daniel Schmidt (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 12/18/2013

Ready for every situation. We already reviewed the smaller Android based Toughpad, and now it is time for the bigger brother. The Toughpad not only has a hard shell, but also powerful components. Does the fully-rugged tablet have any drawbacks? Find out in our in-depth review.

For the original German review, see here.

Panasonic's fully-rugged tablet is a pretty unique product on the market. There are some similar devices like the Fieldbook TETRA iX104 C5, but they have much older components and lower resolution displays. Finally, they are also much more expensive. Other devices in the price range of the Toughpad FZ-G1 only use less powerful Atom configurations, but have a similar price tag.

The smaller sibling of our review unit, the Toughpad JT-B1, already left a very good impression in our review, but there were small drawbacks like some issues with the build quality and the poor display. The Toughpad FZ-G1 is around three inches larger and has a 10.1-inch display. It has a resolution of 1920x1200 pixels and is supposed to be very bright with 800 nits. You also get an anti-reflective display surface to use the tablet outdoors and under direct sunlight. Intel's Core i5-3437U is supported by 4 GB RAM as well as a 128 GB SSD and should provide a smooth Windows 8 Pro experience. 

There are no real alternatives to the Toughpad FZ-G1, so we will compare the tablet with other business-oriented devices like the Microsoft Surface Pro 2Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1160 Pro and Gigabyte Padbook S1185 in terms of connectivity, display and performance. 

Case

The rubberized frame and corners are characteristic features of the Toughpad.
The rubberized frame and corners are characteristic features of the Toughpad.
The case is made of a durable magnesium alloy.
The case is made of a durable magnesium alloy.

Most of the case of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 is made of a durable magnesium alloy. The dimensions are 270 x 188 x 19 millimeters (width x length x height) and it weighs 1,012 grams. This is quite bulky and heavy for a tablet, but still much lighter than the Terra Mobile Pad (1.4 kg). It is also very compact and does not feel that heavy. 

Besides the magnesium alloy, Panasonic also uses a striking rubber coating around the display and at the corners. This enhances the bulky impression, but also benefits the stability and the quality impression. The Toughpad is actually resistant to drops from 120 cm and also IP65 certified as well as tested. This means it is protected against dust and hose water from any direction. Perfect conditions for a device that is designed for every kind of situation. 

Panasonic also thought about the operating temperatures. It is possible to use the tablet with an ambient temperature of -29 °C up to +60 °C. You can therefore use it on a construction site in summer or in a cold-storage room in the supermarket. 

The build quality is also excellent. Gaps are very small and consistent, and the Toughpad is also insensitive to pressure. We could not create any visible reactions on the display, even with a lot of force. The device is also extremely torsion resistant and there are no creaking noises. The scratch-proof display has an additional protective layer and it is very easy to replace the battery. All in all, a convincing performance of the Toughpad without any drawbacks.  

Connectivity

The port variety of the Panasonic Touchpad FZ-G1 is basically comparable with an office ultrabook. The micro SD card reader supports SDHC and SDXC cards with a capacity of up to 64 GB. It also has a configuration connector, which is equipped with the card reader in our case. You can also use an Ethernet port, a USB 2.0 port, a serial interface or even a GPS module with an additional external antenna at the docking port. 

There are comparatively many buttons on the Toughpad FZ-G1. Besides the usual power and Windows button there is a rotation lock, two volume buttons as well as two programmable buttons. The latter can be assigned with two functions each. The different actions are triggered by a short push or a holding of the button. You can assign them with simple key combinations or applications. 

Left side: Lock, pen holder, power
Left side: Lock, pen holder, power
Right side: Stereo jack, HDMI, USB 3.0 (all ports behind the cover)
Right side: Stereo jack, HDMI, USB 3.0 (all ports behind the cover)
Top: Card reader, lock
Top: Card reader, lock
Bottom: Docking port
Bottom: Docking port

Communication

Panasonic's Toughpad FZ-G1 is a very versatile tablet in regard to the communication. Connections with wireless networks are handled by the Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235. The WLAN module supports the IEEE-802.11 standards a/b/g/n in 2.4 and 5 GHz networks. The newer and potentially faster ac standard is, however, not supported. The signal strength is excellent in return, we had no problems establishing a connection with a distance of more than 30 meters from the router (Fritz!Box 6360) and websites loaded very quickly. 

You will most likely use the WWAN modem when you are on the road. It is provided by Sierra Wireless; the MC8355 has a Qualcomm MDM6000 chipset, which is based on the Gobi 3000 reference design. That means you can basically use it in every country. It is not one of the latest modules, but this component combines a wide network support with extreme operating temperatures (-30 up to +70 °C). There is HSPA/GPRS/EDGE support with the common frequencies (850, 900, 1,800 and 1,900 MHz), but it also supports WCDMA (850, 900, 1,900 and 2,100 MHz), EV-DO and RTT (both 800 and 1,900 MHz). The only compromise affects the speed since there is no LTE support. The maximum transfer rates are 14.4 Mbps (download) and 5.76 Mbps (upload). You can also equip the tablet with an optional WWAN module with LTE support if you exclusively use it in Europe and want to use the fast network. 

Telephone functions (VoIP) leave a mixed impression. We can perfectly understand our dialog partner, but we are too quiet with a distance of around 25 cm between us and the tablet. You should therefore use a headset if you do not want to hold the tablet in front of you mouth. A second microphone would have been a good idea.

Security 

Besides its durable construction and a Kensington lock, the Toughpad also has internal features to improve the security. There is a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) as well as an integrated slot for a hardware lock. You can also set several passwords to protect the system and the hard drive. An additional encryption is available via BitLocker, which is provided by Windows 8 Pro. 

Accessories

Panasonic does not put many accessories in the box of the Toughpad FZ-G1. The power supply unit provides 65 Watts (16 Volts, 4.06 Amps), has all common quality seals and the cables are angled. You also get a cleaning cloth as well as a fixation cord for the digitizer pen. A comprehensive manual has information about all the features of the tablet and is available in multiple languages. 

But Panasonic also offers several optional accessories for the Toughpad. Besides a shoulder strap, which allows you to use the tablet with both hands, there is also a docking station that can be used as a port replicator. Other accessories are a car mounting as well as a bigger additional battery or a rugged USB keyboard and a fitting case. Prices depend on the quantity and can be requested from the manufacturer. 

Webcam
Webcam

Cameras

The Toughpad FZ-G1 has two cameras: The webcam at the front has a resolution of 1.3 megapixels (1280x720 pixels) and the quality is sufficient for video calls.

The main camera at the back has a 3 MP sensor (2048x1536 pixels) and is supported by an additional light. According to Panasonic, the main purpose of this camera is taking pictures of documents, but the results are just average. Letters become unclear if you are too close to the document, but the content is still readable.

It is not really suited for occasional snapshots. Pictures tend to overexpose, even on a cloudy day, and the pictures are grainy and a bit blurry.

Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
Canon EOS 450D (reference)
Canon EOS 450D (reference)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
Canon EOS 450D (reference)
Canon EOS 450D (reference)

Maintenance

The maintainability of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 is rather limited, but you can perform basic tasks. The fan and cooling unit can be cleaned and the mSATA SSD is behind the protruding cover at the back. It is therefore very easy to replace the drive; you will only have to loosen four screws. There is also a recovery partition on the hard drive, so you should copy the content before you replace it. 

Before you can insert or replace the mini SIM card you have to remove the battery and open the according tray first, which is also secured by two screws. A memory upgrade or replacing the WLAN module is not intended by the manufacturer and requires the according technical knowledge

You can easily remove dirt when you dismantle a small cover.
You can easily remove dirt when you dismantle a small cover.
The fan exhaust is also easy to clean.
The fan exhaust is also easy to clean.
You can replace the SSD if necessary.
You can replace the SSD if necessary.

Warranty

The standard warranty period for the device is 36 months and meets the requirements of business customers. The warranty covers almost every component of the Toughpad, only the battery, the protective display cover and the digitizer pen have a limited warranty of 6 months. A five-year availability for service parts and a repair service within 96 hours (in the EU) complete the service package. 

You can also get an extended warranty for up to five years if the standard warranty is not sufficient. There are also additional service packs for the battery and the hard drive as well as damage and theft protection. You will have to contact Panasonic for price information.

Software

The operating system of the Toughpad FZ-G1 is Microsoft Windows 8 Pro. Panasonic does fortunately waive any kind of bloatware; there is not even a trial version of Microsoft Office or antivirus software. There are not many Panasonic tools, either: Besides a manual you only get an application for the cameras as well as the Dashboard, which is a kind of control panel. 

The free Windows 8.1 Pro update is available via Windows Store, but we could not install it. We are not sure why, but the system automatically resets itself to the preinstalled version during the update process with a warning that the update could not be completed. 

The Dashboard is the control center of the Toughpad FZ-G1.
The Dashboard is the control center of the Toughpad FZ-G1.
You can also calibrate the touchscreen.
You can also calibrate the touchscreen.
There are settings to improve the battery runtime.
There are settings to improve the battery runtime.
Windows 8.1 Pro is a free update, but it does not work.
Windows 8.1 Pro is a free update, but it does not work.

Input Devices

The capacitive 10.1-inch touchscreen can recognize up to 10 inputs simultaneously. Inputs on the touch sensitive surface are executed quickly and precisely. We are also convinced by the gliding capabilities of the panel. The virtual keyboard works well and every stroke results in an acoustic feedback. The keyboard occupies roughly half of the display in landscape mode and around a third in portrait mode, but you can also use the split keyboard, which is provided by Microsoft, when you hold the tablet with both hands. 

You can also use the keyboard in combination with the digitizer pen and write on the display. The handwriting recognition works quite well, but the conventional method is faster for longer texts. The provided pen is especially useful on the desktop since it is more precise than the finger. You can use the integrated button as a right click and do not have to keep the finger on the surface. All in all, it is a useful addition and you can quickly make notes or drawings and the navigation within lists and tables is also improved. You should, however, calibrate it first. It does not take very long and ensures the maximum precision in all areas.  

Keyboard in portrait mode
Keyboard in portrait mode
Landscape mode
Landscape mode
Split keyboard
Split keyboard
It is a bit awkward to use the digitizer pen as a keyboard.
It is a bit awkward to use the digitizer pen as a keyboard.

Display

The very bright display can convince us.
The very bright display can convince us.

The 10.1-inch display of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 is based on the latest IPS Alpha technology. It has a resolution of 1920x1200 pixels (aspect ratio 16:10) and a good pixel density of 224 ppi. 

Panasonic specifies the display brightness with 800 nits and our measurements are even higher. A maximum brightness of 888 cd/m² is really very high and the brightness distribution is also very even with 88%. Other business tablets like the Surface Pro 2 (up to 375 cd/m², 91%) and the Revolve 810 (up to 434 cd/m², 91 %) cannot keep in regard to the brightness, but they have better results for the brightness distribution. Our review unit showed no signs of screen bleeding

801
cd/m²
848
cd/m²
829
cd/m²
877
cd/m²
888
cd/m²
839
cd/m²
805
cd/m²
781
cd/m²
779
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1 Basic Pro 2
Maximum: 888 cd/m²
Average: 827.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 888 cd/m²
Black: 0.92 cd/m²
Contrast: 965:1

While the contrast ratio of 965:1 is really good, the black value is slightly too high with 0.92 cd/m². Pictures on the Toughpad FZ-G1 are therefore not really black, which is mainly a result of the high luminance. This is, however, a working device and not a multimedia tablet, so this is not a big drawback in practice.

Our color analysis shows that the display of the FZ-G1 is well-calibrated ex-works. Especially the grayscale presentation is convincing with a DeltaE value below two. The same applies for the ColorChecker with a DeltaE around three. Only the saturation cannot keep up with a large deviation for blue (DeltaE 14). The available color spaces are not very big either; we can only measure sRGB coverage of 60%. 

Grayscale (pre-calibration, target color space sRGB)
Grayscale (pre-calibration, target color space sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (pre-calibration, target color space sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (pre-calibration, target color space sRGB)
ColorChecker (pre-calibration, target color space sRGB)
ColorChecker (pre-calibration, target color space sRGB)
Adobe RGB 98 (42%)
Adobe RGB 98 (42%)
sRGB (60%)
sRGB (60%)

The outdoor capability is certainly one of the best features of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1. It not only defies most weather scenarios, it also has an extremely bright display with a high contrast. You really realize that outdoors, as you can see in the picture. The anti-reflective surface certainly improves the situation, and you can even use the tablet under direct sunlight.

The FZ-G1 on a cloudy day
The FZ-G1 on a cloudy day
Viewing angles Toughpad FZ-G1
Viewing angles Toughpad FZ-G1

The viewing angle stability of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 is very good. Thanks to the IPS Alpha technology, you can even see the content under extreme viewing angles. The picture only gets slightly darker with more than 45 degrees, but this is hardly noticeable in practice. 

Performance

Panasonic's Toughpad FZ-G1 is comparable to many ultrabooks in terms of performance. It is equipped with a frugal Ultra Low Voltage processor from Intel's Ivy Bridge generation. Our review unit has 4 GB memory and a 128 GB SSD. Both the memory as well as the storage capacity can be doubled by request.

HWiNFO64
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
GPU-Z
DPC Latency Checker - Idle
CrystalDiskMark
System information Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1

Processor

Panasonic uses an Intel Core i5-3437U processor; the frugal dual-core CPU has a nominal clock of 1.9 GHz, which can be raised up to 2.9 GHz (one core) and 2.7 GHz (two cores) via Turbo Boost 2.0. The CPU supports several features like Anti-Theft, Hyperthreading or AES. 

Cinebench R11.5 determines 2.67 points (multi-core) for the Toughpad FZ-G1, which is on an expected level. The performance is comparable to a Sandy Bridge Intel Core i5-2430M that has a slightly higher clock (up to 3.0 GHz) and a higher TDP (35 Watts) as well. 

We can see a significant performance drop on battery power. The tablet only runs with its nominal clock and gets 1.98 points in the same test. What we can see here is a compromise to improve the battery runtimes. Load for the processor (simulated with Prime95) results in a drop of 100 MHz, and the CPU sometimes activates its energy-saving mode for one second before the clock rises again. 

Cinebench R11.5
CPU Multi 64Bit (sort by value)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
2.69 Points ∼15%
Gigabyte S1185
2.5 Points ∼14% -7%
Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1160 Pro
2.5 Points ∼14% -7%
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
2.51 Points ∼14% -7%
HP EliteBook Revolve 810
2.67 Points ∼15% -1%
CPU Single 64Bit (sort by value)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
1.19 Points ∼60%
Gigabyte S1185
1.12 Points ∼56% -6%
Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1160 Pro
1.09 Points ∼55% -8%
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
1.14 Points ∼57% -4%
HP EliteBook Revolve 810
1.19 Points ∼60% 0%
wPrime 2.0x
32m (sort by value)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
21.002 s * ∼4%
Gigabyte S1185
21.36 s * ∼4% -2%
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
20.9 s * ∼4% -0%
HP EliteBook Revolve 810
19.959 s * ∼4% +5%
1024m (sort by value)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
641.757 s * ∼8%
Gigabyte S1185
677.61 s * ∼8% -6%
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
661.3 s * ∼8% -3%
HP EliteBook Revolve 810
635.902 s * ∼8% +1%

Legend

 
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 Intel Core i5-3437U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Toshiba THNSNF128GMCS
 
Gigabyte S1185 Intel Core i5-3337U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Phison SSG128GPTC0-S81
 
Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1160 Pro Intel Core i5-3337U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 128 GB SATA SSD
 
Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Intel Core i5-4200U, Intel HD Graphics 4400, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
 
HP EliteBook Revolve 810 Intel Core i5-3437U, Intel HD Graphics 4000, Samsung MZ7PC128HBFU

* ... smaller is better

Cinebench R10 Rendering Single CPUs 64Bit
5027 Points
Cinebench R10 Shading 64Bit
4856 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 64Bit
10160 Points
Cinebench R10 Rendering Single 32Bit
3973
Cinebench R10 Rendering Multiple CPUs 32Bit
8255
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit
4164
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Single 64Bit
1.19 Points
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit
11.77 fps
Cinebench R11.5 CPU Multi 64Bit
2.69 Points
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
32.2 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
239 Points
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
102 Points
Help

System Performance

The system performance of the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 is very good. Thanks to the fast Solid State Drive (SSD), Windows 8 Pro is ready within a couple of seconds. The same component in combination with the Core i5-3437U also provides a very fast and smooth handling of the OS and applications start very quickly. 

PCMark 7 results in a good score of 4,148 points, but the Revolve 810 (4,417 points) and Surface Pro 2 (4,808 points) are even better. The rivals benefit from higher Entertainment and Calculation sub-scores, especially Microsoft's tablet has an advantage with its newer processor (Core i5-4200U). The overall performance is convincing nonetheless. 

PCMark 7
Score (sort by value)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Toshiba THNSNF128GMCS
4148 Points ∼63%
Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1160 Pro
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, 128 GB SATA SSD
3906 Points ∼59% -6%
Gigabyte S1185
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, Phison SSG128GPTC0-S81
4393 Points ∼66% +6%
HP EliteBook Revolve 810
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Samsung MZ7PC128HBFU
4417 Points ∼67% +6%
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
4808 Points ∼73% +16%
Productivity (sort by value)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Toshiba THNSNF128GMCS
2422 Points ∼22%
Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1160 Pro
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, 128 GB SATA SSD
2016 Points ∼19% -17%
Gigabyte S1185
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, Phison SSG128GPTC0-S81
2300 Points ∼21% -5%
HP EliteBook Revolve 810
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Samsung MZ7PC128HBFU
2422 Points ∼22% 0%
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
2322 Points ∼21% -4%
Entertainment (sort by value)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Toshiba THNSNF128GMCS
2461 Points ∼23%
Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1160 Pro
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, 128 GB SATA SSD
2931 Points ∼27% +19%
Gigabyte S1185
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, Phison SSG128GPTC0-S81
2691 Points ∼25% +9%
HP EliteBook Revolve 810
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Samsung MZ7PC128HBFU
3022 Points ∼28% +23%
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
3560 Points ∼33% +45%
Computation (sort by value)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Toshiba THNSNF128GMCS
11901 Points ∼42%
Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1160 Pro
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, 128 GB SATA SSD
12333 Points ∼44% +4%
Gigabyte S1185
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, Phison SSG128GPTC0-S81
13081 Points ∼46% +10%
HP EliteBook Revolve 810
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Samsung MZ7PC128HBFU
12834 Points ∼45% +8%
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
15509 Points ∼55% +30%
System Storage (sort by value)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Toshiba THNSNF128GMCS
5382 Points ∼75%
Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1160 Pro
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, 128 GB SATA SSD
4599 Points ∼64% -15%
Gigabyte S1185
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, Phison SSG128GPTC0-S81
5151 Points ∼72% -4%
HP EliteBook Revolve 810
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Samsung MZ7PC128HBFU
5164 Points ∼72% -4%
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
5114 Points ∼72% -5%
5.5
Windows 8 Experience Index
Processor
Calculations per second
7
Memory (RAM)
Memory operations per second
5.9
Graphics
Desktop performance for Windows Aero
5.5
Gaming graphics
3D business and gaming graphics
6.4
Primary hard disk
Disk data transfer rate
8.1
PC Mark
PCMark Vantage12397 points
PCMark 74148 points
PCMark 8 Home2561 points
PCMark 8 Creative2337 points
PCMark 8 Work3895 points
Help

Storage Solution

The mSATA SSD is provided by Toshiba and has the designation THNSNF128GMCS. It has a capacity of 128 GB, but the user can only use around 75 GB after the initial setup. The storage is pretty fast with sequential transfer rates of up to 507 MB/s (read) and it is still good with small 4K blocks (14 MB/s), but it falls behind the competition. Microsoft's Surface Pro 2, for instance, is more than three and a half times faster with 4K blocks.

AS SSD
Seq Read (sort by value)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Toshiba THNSNF128GMCS
506.88 MB/s ∼38%
Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1160 Pro
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, 128 GB SATA SSD
323.78 MB/s ∼24% -36%
Gigabyte S1185
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, Phison SSG128GPTC0-S81
501.93 MB/s ∼37% -1%
HP EliteBook Revolve 810
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Samsung MZ7PC128HBFU
472.24 MB/s ∼35% -7%
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
504.28 MB/s ∼38% -1%
Seq Write (sort by value)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Toshiba THNSNF128GMCS
445.43 MB/s ∼44%
Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1160 Pro
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, 128 GB SATA SSD
823.77 MB/s ∼81% +85%
Gigabyte S1185
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, Phison SSG128GPTC0-S81
97.35 MB/s ∼10% -78%
HP EliteBook Revolve 810
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Samsung MZ7PC128HBFU
251.34 MB/s ∼25% -44%
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
313.34 MB/s ∼31% -30%
4K Read (sort by value)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Toshiba THNSNF128GMCS
14.08 MB/s ∼18%
Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1160 Pro
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, 128 GB SATA SSD
24.69 MB/s ∼31% +75%
Gigabyte S1185
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, Phison SSG128GPTC0-S81
22.24 MB/s ∼28% +58%
HP EliteBook Revolve 810
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Samsung MZ7PC128HBFU
17.28 MB/s ∼22% +23%
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
22.53 MB/s ∼29% +60%
4K Write (sort by value)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Toshiba THNSNF128GMCS
19.5 MB/s ∼15%
Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1160 Pro
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, 128 GB SATA SSD
33.49 MB/s ∼25% +72%
Gigabyte S1185
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, Phison SSG128GPTC0-S81
37.61 MB/s ∼29% +93%
HP EliteBook Revolve 810
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Samsung MZ7PC128HBFU
42.8 MB/s ∼32% +119%
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
69.07 MB/s ∼52% +254%
Toshiba THNSNF128GMCS
Transfer Rate Minimum: 172.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 223.6 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 201.9 MB/s
Access Time: 0.2 ms
Burst Rate: 160.6 MB/s
CPU Usage: 3.5 %

Graphics

The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 uses an integrated graphics solution. Intel's HD Graphics 4000 is pretty much standard for Ivy Bridge ultrabooks. It has a clock of 350 - 1,100 MHz and it could even run with 100 MHz more, but the manufacturer does not use the maximum performance of the GPU. 

Our benchmarks clearly show that the current Haswell IGPs are significantly faster. While the review unit only manages 4,983 points in 3DMark06, we can see a 25% higher result from the Surface Pro 2 (HD 4400, 6,253 points). However, the Toughpad fares pretty well compared to similarly equipped systems. 

Even longer periods of load, which are produced by FurMark, do not result in a performance drop. The GPU still runs with 1,050 - 1,100 MHz, however, the performance is limited to the nominal clock on battery power with some occasional spikes of up to 1,100 MHz.  

3DMark 06 - 1280x1024 Standard AA:0x AF:0x (sort by value)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Toshiba THNSNF128GMCS
4983 Points ∼13%
Gigabyte S1185
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, Phison SSG128GPTC0-S81
3457 Points ∼9% -31%
HP EliteBook Revolve 810
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Samsung MZ7PC128HBFU
4546 Points ∼12% -9%
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
6253 Points ∼16% +25%
3DMark (2013) - 1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Toshiba THNSNF128GMCS
29044 Points ∼18%
Gigabyte S1185
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, Phison SSG128GPTC0-S81
20592 Points ∼13% -29%
Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1160 Pro
HD Graphics 4000, 3337U, 128 GB SATA SSD
27991 Points ∼17% -4%
HP EliteBook Revolve 810
HD Graphics 4000, 3437U, Samsung MZ7PC128HBFU
30376 Points ∼19% +5%
Microsoft Surface Pro 2
HD Graphics 4400, 4200U, Hynix HFS128G3MNM
41415 Points ∼26% +43%
3D Mark
3DMark 06
 1280x1024
4983 points
3DMark Vantage3195 points
3DMark 11651 points
3DMark Ice Storm29044 points
3DMark Cloud Gate3476 points
3DMark Fire Strike483 points
3DMark Fire Strike Extreme221 points
Help

Gaming Performance

Panasonic's Toughpad FZ-G1 is a working device and is not designed for gaming. Titles from the Windows Store should be no problem for the integrated GPU. More complex titles, however, can only be played with reduced resolutions and settings, but current 3D games like Company of Heroes 2 are too demanding for the HD 4000

low med.high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 3317143fps
Company of Heroes 2 (2013) 4fps
F1 2013 (2013) 34282512fps

Emissions

System Noise

The system noise of the Toughpad FZ-G1 is higher than the rivals during idle, but 32.2 dB(A) is still quiet and convenient. However, the fan is always spinning and audible. Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 is much better in this regard with 27 dB(A). 

Even medium workloads like 3DMark06 change the situation and result in the maximum system noise, which is quite high with 46 dB(A). The fan does actually sound like a small lawnmower and is pretty annoying in a quiet environment. However, considering the potential usage scenarios in stores, warehouses or other noisier environments, this might not be a huge drawback.

Noise Level

Idle 32.2 / 32.2 / 32.2 dB(A)
Load 46.0 / 46.0 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:    Voltcraft sl-320 (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Stress test: Prime95 & FurMark: CPU @ 900 MHz; GPU @ 1,000 MHz
Stress test: Prime95 & FurMark: CPU @ 900 MHz; GPU @ 1,000 MHz

Our review unit is conveniently cool during idle with surface temperatures of up to 28 °C. This once again changes under load with a maximum temperature of 48.2 °C at the back. This is pretty warm, but not inconvenient even when you hold the tablet in your hands. You should also consider that this value is a result of FurMark and Prime95 (simultaneously) for at least one hour. This is, however, only the exception and certainly not a very practical scenario for the tablet.

Our stress test uses the same tools to check the stability and the behavior of the system with maximum load. We cannot determine critical temperatures for the components. The GPU does not lose much performance, but the CPU cannot maintain its clock during the stress test. It only runs with 900 MHz, but is also pretty cool with 76 °C in return. 

Panasonic specifies the operating temperatures of the Toughpad FZ-G1 with -29 up to +60 °C. These are impressive values for a tablet and we can support that statement after our review. You can still use the tablet with extreme ambient temperatures, even though the display has problems with frost on the surface in very cold environments and it is harder to use the touchscreen. You will have to defrost it from time to time in this scenario. 

 23.3 °C24.3 °C25.6 °C 
 23.6 °C25.1 °C25.5 °C 
 24.1 °C25.0 °C26.1 °C 
Maximum: 26.1 °C
Average: 24.7 °C
27.4 °C26.8 °C23.2 °C
28.0 °C27.9 °C23.2 °C
27.6 °C27.7 °C23.0 °C
Maximum: 28.0 °C
Average: 26.1 °C
Power Supply (max.)  28.1 °C | Room Temperature 22.0 °C | Voltcraft IR-360

Speakers

The speaker on the back is waterproof, but it does not sound very good. It is, however, sufficient for voices, for example during video calls. It is also okay for occasional video playback, and we were surprised by the quite powerful bass. The situation is not so good for high tones; they appear blunt and tinny, especially with higher volumes. The audio quality via 3.5 mm stereo jack does not cause any criticism.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 consumes between 5 and 10.2 Watts during idle. The comparatively high maximum value is a result of the very high luminance of the display, especially with the maximum brightness setting. Considering these extreme values, the consumption is actually quite reasonable.

We can measure up to 42 Watts under maximum load, which is on a level with the Surface Pro 2 (up to 43.5 Watts) and the Revolve 810 (up to 41.1 Watts). However, this is not a steady value; the consumption actually varies between 25.7 and 42 Watts because of the fluctuating CPU clock. We once again use the combination of FurMark and Prime95 to simulate the maximum load, but this scenario will be very rare in practice.  

The power supply unit has a nominal output of 65 Watts (16 V, 4.06 Amps) and can handle the consumption without any problems. 

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.0 / 0.2 Watt
Idle 5.0 / 9.7 / 10.2 Watt
Load 36.6 / 42 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

Charging the battery takes 102 minutes.
Charging the battery takes 102 minutes.

The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 has a 6-cell battery with 45 Wh. According to the manufacturer it should provide a runtime of up to 8 hours, and the optional 9-cell battery is even supposed to double that. 

We determine the maximum runtime with the Battery Eater Reader's Test, which simulates the reading of a document with minimum display brightness and deactivated wireless modules. The tablet manages a runtime of more than ten hours and can even surpass the manufacturer's claim. The other extreme scenario uses the maximum luminance and all components to determine the minimum runtime. We use the Battery Eater Classic Test for this scenario, and the battery has to be recharged after little more than two hours

Both values are, however, not very realistic. Our WLAN test uses a display brightness of around 150 cd/m² while a script refreshes a website every 40 seconds to simulate web browsing. The Toughpad can once again beat the manufacturer's claim with a runtime of eight hours and 49 minutes

Considering the performance and the display brightness, the FZ-G1 provides very good runtimes. You can also change the battery or even replace it with a larger module; the tablet is therefore a great companion for the entire working day. PCMark 8 (Work) also determines a convenient runtime of almost six hours for the tablet. 

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
10h 08min
WiFi Surfing
8h 49min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
4h 39min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 08min

Verdict

In Review: Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1. Review unit courtesy of: Panasonic Germany
In Review: Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1. Review unit courtesy of: Panasonic Germany

The Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 is a very durable companion with a great build quality and a very bright display. The case, which is made of a magnesium alloy, is not only well-built but is also drop resistant. The case of the FZ-G1 did not even have a scratch after our test. The wide range of operating temperatures is also a real benefit if you want to use the tablet outdoors and the IP65 certification completes the package. 

The Toughpad works really well outdoors. You can even see the display content in bright environments and the integrated WWAN modem basically ensures connectivity all over the world. Only the limited performance on battery power is a small drawback, but it is a necessary compromise to realize the good battery runtimes. The noisy fan is annoying in quiet environments, but that should not really be a problem outdoors.  

Panasonic offers a great tool for craftsmen, dealers, warehouse workers and other jobs that require sufficient performance for large data but also need a device that can survive a drop or water. The tablet is also interesting for outdoor staff. It is, however, too expensive as a childproof multimedia device and too noisy for the classroom or the office. Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 is better suited for these environments, while the HP EliteBook Revolve 810 is a compromise between design and durability. 

static version load dynamic

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In Review: Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1. Review unit courtesy of: Panasonic Germany
In Review: Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1. Review unit courtesy of: Panasonic Germany

Specifications

Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel QM77 (Panther Point)
:: Memory
4096 MB, Dual-Channel, 1300 MHz, up to 8 GB
:: Graphics adapter
Intel HD Graphics 4000 - 1664 MB, Core: 350 - 1100 MHz, Memory: 666 MHz, Shared Memory, 9.17.10.2843
:: Display
10.1 inch 16:10, 1920x1200 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, 10 fingers multitouch, Panasonic MEI96A2, IPS-Alpha, WUXGA active matrix (TFT) color LCD, circularly polarized, scratch-proof, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
Toshiba THNSNF128GMCS, 128 GB , 75 GB free
:: Soundcard
Realtek ALC269 @ Intel Panther Point PCH - High Definition Audio Controller
:: Connections
1 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: combined headphone and microphone port, Card Reader: MicroSDXC up to 64 GB, Sensors: Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Position sensor, Configuration connector, Intel WiDi, TDP 1.2
:: Networking
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 (a b g n ), 4.0 + EDR Klasse 1 Bluetooth, Sierra Wireless MC8355, Gobi 3000
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19 x 270 x 188
:: Weight
1.012 kg Power Supply: 0.208 kg
:: Battery
45 Wh Lithium-Ion, 10.8 Volts, 4,400 mAh, 6-cell
Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 8 h
:: Price
2900 Euro
:: Operating System
Microsoft Windows 8 Pro 64 Bit
:: Additional features
Webcam: 1.3 MP (1280x720 pixels), Main camera: 3 MP (2048x1536 pixels), Speakers: one speaker, Keyboard: virtual, Digitizer pen, PSU, IP65, Drop resistance up to 120 cm, 36 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
10.1-inch display with 1920x1200 pixels.
10.1-inch display with 1920x1200 pixels.
Anti-reflective surface.
Anti-reflective surface.
Webcam.
Webcam.
The programmable keys can be assigned with applications or key combinations.
The programmable keys can be assigned with applications or key combinations.
Status LEDs.
Status LEDs.
The case is made of a magnesium alloy.
The case is made of a magnesium alloy.
The pen can be attached into the case.
The pen can be attached into the case.
You can also secure the pen.
You can also secure the pen.
The cover reveals HDMI, USB 3.0 and the stereo jack.
The cover reveals HDMI, USB 3.0 and the stereo jack.
There is also a Kensington lock.
There is also a Kensington lock.
Even the power connector is protected against dust and water.
Even the power connector is protected against dust and water.
Main camera with 3 megapixels.
Main camera with 3 megapixels.
Replacing the battery is easy.
Replacing the battery is easy.
The mini SIM slot is hidden behind a screwed cover.
The mini SIM slot is hidden behind a screwed cover.
Battery with 45 Wh.
Battery with 45 Wh.
The SSD cover is well-sealed.
The SSD cover is well-sealed.
You can really see the high display brightness outdoors.
You can really see the high display brightness outdoors.
Protected from wind and weather.
Protected from wind and weather.

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Links

Compare Prices

Pro

+Bright and anti-reflective display
+Good application performance
+Solid build quality
+IP65 certified
+Possible operating temperatures
+WWAN modem (Gobi)
+Excellent touchscreen
+Digitizer pen
 

Cons

-Average cameras
-Pretty loud with medium workloads
-Expensive
-Quite heavy

Shortcut

What we like

The excellent build quality and the very bright display.

What we miss

A quieter fan would be nice. It is quite loud, especially if you want to use it in the office. 

What surprises us

Panasonic managed to design a durable but light tablet with convincing battery runtimes. 

The competition

There is no real competition for the Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1. Other business-oriented tablets and convertibles are the Microsoft Surface Pro 2Wortmann Terra Mobile Pad 1160 ProHP EliteBook Revolve 810 and Gigabyte Padbook S1185

Rating

Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1
03/24/2014 v4
Daniel Schmidt

Chassis
98%
Keyboard
69 / 80 → 86%
Pointing Device
93%
Connectivity
62 / 70 → 89%
Weight
75 / 88 → 73%
Battery
87%
Display
91%
Games Performance
50 / 80 → 63%
Application Performance
70 / 70 → 100%
Temperature
86%
Noise
73%
Audio
47 / 91 → 52%
Camera
42 / 85 → 49%
Average
73%
83%
Tablet *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Review Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 Tablet
Author: Daniel Schmidt, 2013-12-18 (Update: 2013-12-19)