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Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3 Tablet Review: When Thin Meets Rugged

Lightweight for its class. Despite being designed to withstand drops and industrial environments, the Tough FZ-A3 is lighter and smaller than we had initially expected. It's one of the few rugged tablets thus far, if not the only one, with both a glossy 800-nit display and the promise of an Android 10 update.

The Toughbook FZ-A3 is the latest fully-rugged tablet from Panasonic designed for professionals on the field. Perhaps its most notable feature is that it ships with Android 9.0 Pie whereas most other rugged tablets typically ship with older and more outdated Android versions.

Additional information on the ToughBook FZ-A3 can be found on its press release and official product page.

More Panasonic reviews:

Toughbook FZ-A3 specifications (Source: Panasonic)
Toughbook FZ-A3 specifications (Source: Panasonic)
Toughbook FZ-A3 specifications (Source: Panasonic)
Toughbook FZ-A3 specifications (Source: Panasonic)
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 8 x 2.2 GHz, Kryo 260
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
, LPDDR4
Display
10.1 inch 16:10, 1920 x 1200 pixel 224 PPI, 10-point capacitive, native pen support, IPS, glossy: yes, 60 Hz
Storage
64 GB eMMC Flash, 64 GB 
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 DisplayPort, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combo, Card Reader: MicroSD, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Accelerometer
Networking
Bluetooth 5.0, Sierra Wireless AirPrime EM7511, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 16.4 x 272 x 196 ( = 0.65 x 10.71 x 7.72 in)
Battery
24 Wh, 3100 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable
Operating System
Android 9.0 Pie
Camera
Primary Camera: 5 MPix
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: Mono, Gadget, 36 Months Warranty, fanless, ruggedized, waterproof
Weight
930 g ( = 32.8 oz / 2.05 pounds), Power Supply: 350 g ( = 12.35 oz / 0.77 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

"Slim" and "rugged" don't usually go together, but the Toughbook FZ-A3 somehow manages to balance both roles without being exceedingly thick or bulky. The only exception is when a Panasonic Gadget accessory is attached which protrudes from the rear and adds thickness to an otherwise sleek design.

We like that the tablet integrates eight physical buttons on the front of the device instead of relying on fickle touchscreen buttons as found on the Durabook R11. Five of these buttons are programmable by developers for any enterprise-specific software or applications. However, swiping to unlock the screen can be annoyingly difficult because you have to swipe almost the entire height of the screen.

At about 930 g with the bar code Gadget attached, the Toughbook FZ-A3 is quite light for its rugged category. The two removable batteries weigh 65 g each
At about 930 g with the bar code Gadget attached, the Toughbook FZ-A3 is quite light for its rugged category. The two removable batteries weigh 65 g each
Rigid chassis with no flexing or creaking when attempting to twist its corners
Rigid chassis with no flexing or creaking when attempting to twist its corners
Glossy glass touchscreen is a fingerprint magnet
Glossy glass touchscreen is a fingerprint magnet
The bar code Gadget attachment adds bulk and it doesn't allow the tablet to sit flat
The bar code Gadget attachment adds bulk and it doesn't allow the tablet to sit flat
A1, A2, A3, and two more auxiliary buttons along the edges of the screen are programmable by software developers
A1, A2, A3, and two more auxiliary buttons along the edges of the screen are programmable by software developers
Panasonic Gadget port accessories attach to the back of the tablet
Panasonic Gadget port accessories attach to the back of the tablet
Corners are rubberized to withstand drops of up to 5 feet. Chassis follows MIL-STD-810H and IEC 60529 guidelines
Corners are rubberized to withstand drops of up to 5 feet. Chassis follows MIL-STD-810H and IEC 60529 guidelines
312 mm / 12.3 inch 203 mm / 7.99 inch 24 mm / 0.945 inch 1.8 kg3.93 lbs298 mm / 11.7 inch 192 mm / 7.56 inch 20 mm / 0.787 inch 1.2 kg2.65 lbs280.8 mm / 11.1 inch 195.2 mm / 7.69 inch 22 mm / 0.866 inch 1.3 kg2.87 lbs272 mm / 10.7 inch 196 mm / 7.72 inch 16.4 mm / 0.646 inch 930 g2.05 lbs247.6 mm / 9.75 inch 178.5 mm / 7.03 inch 5.9 mm / 0.2323 inch 471 g1.038 lbs243.5 mm / 9.59 inch 170.2 mm / 6.7 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 653 g1.44 lbs

Connectivity

Annoyingly, the flap and AC cable can block access to the other nearly ports
Annoyingly, the flap and AC cable can block access to the other nearly ports

All ports along the edges are covered by flaps for additional protection. However, these rubber flaps can be bothersome as shown by the picture to the right.

The USB-C port can be used to recharge the tablet meaning that you don't have to carry the proprietary barrel AC adapter wherever you go. Furthermore, the USB-C port is capable of video-out as well.

Right: 3.5 mm audio port, Pen recess
Right: 3.5 mm audio port, Pen recess
Bottom: Port replicator pins and locks for attaching Panasonic docks and accessories
Bottom: Port replicator pins and locks for attaching Panasonic docks and accessories
Top: Removable barcode reader Panasonic Gadget
Top: Removable barcode reader Panasonic Gadget
Left: AC adapter, USB 2.0 Type-A, USB 3.0 Type-C (OTG, BC 1.2)
Left: AC adapter, USB 2.0 Type-A, USB 3.0 Type-C (OTG, BC 1.2)

Communication

We're able to record an average WLAN transmit rate of 607 Mbps when connected to our Netgear RAX200 router while receive rates are slower at 388 Mbps. 3G and 4G are supported via the Sierra EM7511 module. NFC, GPS, and Bluetooth 5 are supported as well.

Although the AirPrime M2M WAN module is technically removable, Panasonic does not encourage taking apart the tablet or removing the wireless module
Although the AirPrime M2M WAN module is technically removable, Panasonic does not encourage taking apart the tablet or removing the wireless module
Two Nano-SIM slots are available underneath the battery compartments
Two Nano-SIM slots are available underneath the battery compartments
Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Xploretech XSLATE L10
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
664 MBit/s ∼100% +71%
Apple iPad Pro 11 2020
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
609 (min: 572, max: 622) MBit/s ∼92% +57%
Durabook R11
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
592 (min: 333, max: 683) MBit/s ∼89% +53%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
 
388 MBit/s ∼58%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
348 (min: 334, max: 353) MBit/s ∼52% -10%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple iPad Pro 11 2020
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
828 (min: 752, max: 864) MBit/s ∼100% +36%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
 
607 MBit/s ∼73%
Durabook R11
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
389 (min: 317, max: 438) MBit/s ∼47% -36%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
329 (min: 319, max: 335) MBit/s ∼40% -46%
Xploretech XSLATE L10
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
325 MBit/s ∼39% -46%

Webcam

The rear 8 MP and front 5 MP cameras are better than the typical laptop webcam especially in terms of raw megapixel count for increased clarity. Still, it's a shame that they suffer from all the usual drawbacks of a typical consumer webcam including poor quality in low-light conditions. The rear LED flash alleviates this somewhat for up-close pictures.

ColorChecker
16 ∆E
15.3 ∆E
15 ∆E
12.2 ∆E
16.8 ∆E
14.7 ∆E
13.7 ∆E
11.4 ∆E
16.8 ∆E
6.6 ∆E
8.2 ∆E
12.8 ∆E
3.3 ∆E
6.4 ∆E
13.1 ∆E
5.1 ∆E
12.1 ∆E
7.3 ∆E
2.6 ∆E
6 ∆E
4 ∆E
6.5 ∆E
9.2 ∆E
11.4 ∆E
ColorChecker Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3: 10.26 ∆E min: 2.6 - max: 16.77 ∆E

Maintenance

The Gadget port barcode scanner can be removed after unscrewing nine JIS screws, but doing so would expose the internals to the elements meaning a Gadget or flat shield should be attached at all times. A flat shield is not included in the box if the tablet is ordered with a Gadget meaning you'll have to order the tablet without any Gadget attachments at all if you want the flat shield.

Panasonic does not encourage removing the barcode scanner or any attached Gadget meaning that users will be stuck with whatever Gadget is attached at purchase. This is a bummer because it would have been much more versatile to be able to swap out different Gadgets as necessary for the job.

Barcode reader device removed with ribbon cable still connected
Barcode reader device removed with ribbon cable still connected

Accessories and Warranty

Included extras in the box are a passive stylus pen, small loop cable, user's manual, and an AC adapter. Optional accessories that connect to the proprietary Gadget port, like our barcode scanner, are also available from Panasonic. A three-year manufacturer warranty comes standard.

Display

The display should be the highlight of any tablet and this remains true for the Toughbook FZ-A3. Unlike most other rugged tablets, the screen here is glossy for crisper texts and images that look much closer to what you'd see on an iPad or other consumer tablet. The bright 1000-nit backlight and high contrast ratio of about 1500:1 is an uncommon combination in this category.

Unfortunately, the display suffers from one major issue: pulse-width modulation. We're able to detect PWM on all brightness levels including the maximum setting. If your eyes are sensitive to flickering, then it may be best to avoid using this tablet regularly.

Officially, the specifications claim an 800-nit display although our colorimeter is measuring an average of 1060 nits. Results may vary between retail units.

The 16:10 1200p glossy touchscreen is crisp and better than expected for its category
The 16:10 1200p glossy touchscreen is crisp and better than expected for its category
However, expect more glare than usual due to the glossy screen. Upping the brightness will reduce some of the glare
However, expect more glare than usual due to the glossy screen. Upping the brightness will reduce some of the glare
Crisp subpixel array with almost no graininess due to the glossy overlay
Crisp subpixel array with almost no graininess due to the glossy overlay
Moderate-heavy uneven backlight bleeding is present along the edges and corners
Moderate-heavy uneven backlight bleeding is present along the edges and corners
1151.6
cd/m²
1158.1
cd/m²
1112.2
cd/m²
1088.6
cd/m²
1078
cd/m²
1076.6
cd/m²
982.7
cd/m²
998
cd/m²
896
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 1158.1 cd/m² Average: 1060.2 cd/m² Minimum: 11 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 77 %
Center on Battery: 1078 cd/m²
Contrast: 1585:1 (Black: 0.68 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.94 | 0.6-29.43 Ø5.8
ΔE Greyscale 7.2 | 0.64-98 Ø6
Gamma: 2.17
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
IPS, 10.1, 1920x1200
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
TFT, 10.1, 1920x1200
Xploretech XSLATE L10
IPS, 10.1, 1920x1200
Durabook R11
BOE5F9, IPS, 11.6, 1920x1080
Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet
Sharp SHP1417 LQ116K1, TN, 11.6, 1366x768
Apple iPad Pro 11 2020
Liquid Retina Display, IPS, 11, 2388x1668
Response Times
10529%
28%
33%
226328%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
54 (27, 27)
55.2 (25.2, 30)
-2%
32.8 (17.6, 15.2)
39%
26 (14, 12)
52%
52 (25, 27)
4%
Response Time Black / White *
34 (17, 17)
23.2 (7.6, 15.6)
32%
20 (10.8, 9.2)
41%
18.4 (10, 8.4)
46%
24 (9, 15)
29%
PWM Frequency
193.8 (100)
61350 (36)
31556%
200 (99)
3%
198.4 (99)
2%
1316000
678951%
Screen
7%
-15%
-27%
-30%
28%
Brightness middle
1078
601
-44%
1145.9
6%
584.2
-46%
632
-41%
617
-43%
Brightness
1060
554
-48%
1090
3%
560
-47%
613
-42%
585
-45%
Brightness Distribution
77
87
13%
88
14%
79
3%
90
17%
84
9%
Black Level *
0.68
0.67
1%
1.13
-66%
0.52
24%
0.47
31%
0.36
47%
Contrast
1585
897
-43%
1014
-36%
1123
-29%
1345
-15%
1714
8%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.94
2.2
63%
5.14
13%
9.29
-56%
11.22
-89%
0.94
84%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
12.54
5.5
56%
23.66
-89%
14.43
-15%
1.87
85%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7.2
3.2
56%
4.4
39%
10.6
-47%
12.19
-69%
1.4
81%
Gamma
2.17 101%
2.26 97%
2.25 98%
2.41 91%
3.4 65%
2.156 102%
CCT
6530 100%
7129 91%
6847 95%
6230 104%
1256 518%
6733 97%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
5.06
4.72
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
42.8
53.4
35
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
67.2
82.2
54
Total Average (Program / Settings)
5268% / 2876%
7% / -3%
3% / -10%
-30% / -30%
113178% / 61746%

* ... smaller is better

Color temperature is on the cool side for a high average grayscale DeltaE value of 7.2. Color accuracy is pretty good, but it could have been better had the color temperature been warmer.

Grayscale
Grayscale
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps
ColorChecker
ColorChecker

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
34 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 17 ms rise
↘ 17 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 88 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
54 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 27 ms rise
↘ 27 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 88 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (39 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 193.8 Hz ≤ 100 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 193.8 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 100 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 193.8 Hz is relatively low, so sensitive users will likely notice flickering and experience eyestrain at the stated brightness setting and below.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 17927 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 2500000) Hz was measured.

Outdoor visibility is good when under direct sunlight and even better when under shade. Set the screen to its maximum brightness to reduce the inevitable glare from the glossy screen and fingerprints.

Wide IPS viewing angles. Contrast changes if viewing from extreme angles
Wide IPS viewing angles. Contrast changes if viewing from extreme angles

Performance

Processor

Raw CPU performance according to synthetic benchmarks is roughly between that of the mid-range Snapdragon 665 and Snapdragon 670. However, such benchmarks have little significance to most users. Subjectively, system performance is smooth most of the time with some occasional frame skips when switching between applications or scrolling through web pages.

Geekbench 5.1 / 5.2
64 Bit Multi-Core Score
Apple iPad Pro 11 2020
Apple A12Z Bionic
4707 Points ∼100% +261%
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
3427 Points ∼73% +163%
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
3076 Points ∼65% +136%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
2893 Points ∼61% +122%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
1429 Points ∼30% +10%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
1304 Points ∼28%
64 Bit Single-Core Score
Apple iPad Pro 11 2020
Apple A12Z Bionic
1127 Points ∼100% +235%
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
919 Points ∼82% +174%
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
909 Points ∼81% +171%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
759 Points ∼67% +126%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
336 Points ∼30%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
333 Points ∼30% -1%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (Vulkan) Unlimited Physics
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
3793 Points ∼100% +60%
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
3763 Points ∼99% +59%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
3658 Points ∼96% +54%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
2369 Points ∼62%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
2365 Points ∼62% 0%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
2250 Points ∼59% -5%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
2175 Points ∼57% -8%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
2122 Points ∼56% -10%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
Points ∼0% -100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (Vulkan) Unlimited Graphics
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
8321 Points ∼100% +625%
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
8294 Points ∼100% +623%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
4156 Points ∼50% +262%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
1425 Points ∼17% +24%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
1147 Points ∼14%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
898 Points ∼11% -22%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
789 Points ∼9% -31%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
404 Points ∼5% -65%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
Points ∼0% -100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (Vulkan) Unlimited
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
6590 Points ∼100% +408%
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
6543 Points ∼99% +405%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
4036 Points ∼61% +211%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
1563 Points ∼24% +21%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
1296 Points ∼20%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
1036 Points ∼16% -20%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
926 Points ∼14% -29%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
493 Points ∼7% -62%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
Points ∼0% -100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
5532 Points ∼100% +114%
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
5401 Points ∼98% +109%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
4756 Points ∼86% +84%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
2615 Points ∼47% +1%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
2584 Points ∼47%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
2337 Points ∼42% -10%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
2298 Points ∼42% -11%
Motorola Moto G6
Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
1786 Points ∼32% -31%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
1621 Points ∼29% -37%
Alldocube M8 T801
MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
1372 Points ∼25% -47%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
939 Points ∼17% -64%
Trekstor Surftab Theatre S11
MediaTek MT8163 V/A 1.5 GHz
776 Points ∼14% -70%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
9542 Points ∼100% +661%
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
9467 Points ∼99% +655%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
4356 Points ∼46% +247%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
1612 Points ∼17% +29%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
1254 Points ∼13%
Alldocube M8 T801
MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
1108 Points ∼12% -12%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
980 Points ∼10% -22%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
855 Points ∼9% -32%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
418 Points ∼4% -67%
Motorola Moto G6
Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
413 Points ∼4% -67%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
253 Points ∼3% -80%
Trekstor Surftab Theatre S11
MediaTek MT8163 V/A 1.5 GHz
136 Points ∼1% -89%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
8154 Points ∼100% +476%
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
8153 Points ∼100% +476%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
4467 Points ∼55% +215%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
1762 Points ∼22% +24%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
1416 Points ∼17%
Alldocube M8 T801
MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
1157 Points ∼14% -18%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
1134 Points ∼14% -20%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
977 Points ∼12% -31%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
501 Points ∼6% -65%
Motorola Moto G6
Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
498 Points ∼6% -65%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
302 Points ∼4% -79%
Trekstor Surftab Theatre S11
MediaTek MT8163 V/A 1.5 GHz
167 Points ∼2% -88%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
5209 Points ∼100% +95%
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
4879 Points ∼94% +83%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
4096 Points ∼79% +53%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
2671 Points ∼51%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
2582 Points ∼50% -3%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
2408 Points ∼46% -10%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
2335 Points ∼45% -13%
Motorola Moto G6
Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
1834 Points ∼35% -31%
Alldocube M8 T801
MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
1654 Points ∼32% -38%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
1586 Points ∼30% -41%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
903 Points ∼17% -66%
Trekstor Surftab Theatre S11
MediaTek MT8163 V/A 1.5 GHz
729 Points ∼14% -73%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
8432 Points ∼100% +610%
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
8288 Points ∼98% +598%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
4425 Points ∼52% +273%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
1484 Points ∼18% +25%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
1187 Points ∼14%
Alldocube M8 T801
MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
995 Points ∼12% -16%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
967 Points ∼11% -19%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
809 Points ∼10% -32%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
364 Points ∼4% -69%
Motorola Moto G6
Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
363 Points ∼4% -69%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
233 Points ∼3% -80%
Trekstor Surftab Theatre S11
MediaTek MT8163 V/A 1.5 GHz
139 Points ∼2% -88%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1)
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
7305 Points ∼100% +440%
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
7174 Points ∼98% +430%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
4334 Points ∼59% +220%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
1639 Points ∼22% +21%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
1354 Points ∼19%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
1114 Points ∼15% -18%
Alldocube M8 T801
MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
1092 Points ∼15% -19%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
945 Points ∼13% -30%
Motorola Moto G6
Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
442 Points ∼6% -67%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
439 Points ∼6% -68%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
279 Points ∼4% -79%
Trekstor Surftab Theatre S11
MediaTek MT8163 V/A 1.5 GHz
169 Points ∼2% -88%
GFXBench
Aztec Ruins High Tier Onscreen
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
31 fps ∼100% +485%
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
28 fps ∼90% +428%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
13 fps ∼42% +145%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
7 fps ∼23% +32%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
5.3 fps ∼17%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
4.4 fps ∼14% -17%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
2.9 fps ∼9% -45%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
2.3 fps ∼7% -57%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
2 fps ∼6% -62%
Trekstor Surftab Theatre S11
MediaTek MT8163 V/A 1.5 GHz
fps ∼0% -100%
2560x1440 Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
20 fps ∼100% +525%
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
20 fps ∼100% +525%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
17 fps ∼85% +431%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
4.5 fps ∼23% +41%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
3.5 fps ∼18% +9%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
3.2 fps ∼16%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
2.8 fps ∼14% -12%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
1.2 fps ∼6% -62%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
0.85 fps ∼4% -73%
Trekstor Surftab Theatre S11
MediaTek MT8163 V/A 1.5 GHz
fps ∼0% -100%
Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Onscreen
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
48 fps ∼100% +471%
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
44 fps ∼92% +424%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
17 fps ∼35% +102%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
10 fps ∼21% +19%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
8.4 fps ∼18%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
7.2 fps ∼15% -14%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
5.4 fps ∼11% -36%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
4.6 fps ∼10% -45%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
3.5 fps ∼7% -58%
Trekstor Surftab Theatre S11
MediaTek MT8163 V/A 1.5 GHz
fps ∼0% -100%
1920x1080 Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Offscreen
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
54 fps ∼100% +521%
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
54 fps ∼100% +521%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
41 fps ∼76% +371%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
12 fps ∼22% +38%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
8.7 fps ∼16%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
8.1 fps ∼15% -7%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
6 fps ∼11% -31%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
3.6 fps ∼7% -59%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
2.3 fps ∼4% -74%
Trekstor Surftab Theatre S11
MediaTek MT8163 V/A 1.5 GHz
fps ∼0% -100%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Apple iPad Pro 11 2020
Apple A12Z Bionic
274.4 Points ∼100% +425%
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
103.45 Points ∼38% +98%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
101.24 Points ∼37% +94%
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
79.083 Points ∼29% +51%
Xploretech XSLATE L10
Intel Pentium N4200
76 Points ∼28% +45%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
54.398 Points ∼20% +4%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
52.295 Points ∼19%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
50.33 Points ∼18% -4%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
44.435 Points ∼16% -15%
Alldocube M8 T801
MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
30.352 Points ∼11% -42%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
26.439 Points ∼10% -49%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
25.645 Points ∼9% -51%
Motorola Moto G6
Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
22.556 Points ∼8% -57%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Apple iPad Pro 11 2020
Apple A12Z Bionic
42372 Points ∼100% +335%
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
21048 Points ∼50% +116%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
19885 Points ∼47% +104%
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
15745 Points ∼37% +62%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
10245 Points ∼24% +5%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
9749 Points ∼23%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
9405 Points ∼22% -4%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
8756 Points ∼21% -10%
Alldocube M8 T801
MediaTek Helio X27 MT6797X
5909 Points ∼14% -39%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
4817 Points ∼11% -51%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
4378 Points ∼10% -55%
Motorola Moto G6
Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
3943 Points ∼9% -60%
WebXPRT 3 - ---
Apple iPad Pro 11 2020
Apple A12Z Bionic
141 Points ∼100% +171%
OnePlus 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
99 Points ∼70% +90%
Nubia RedMagic 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
99 Points ∼70% +90%
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
HiSilicon Kirin 990
97 Points ∼69% +87%
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
Qualcomm Snapdragon 670
53 Points ∼38% +2%
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8
Qualcomm Snapdragon 665
52 Points ∼37% 0%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
52 Points ∼37%
Nokia 6.2
Qualcomm Snapdragon 636
46 Points ∼33% -12%
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
Qualcomm Snapdragon 439
37 Points ∼26% -29%
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
Mediatek Helio A22 MT6762M
34 Points ∼24% -35%
Motorola Moto G6
Qualcomm Snapdragon 450
31 Points ∼22% -40%

Storage Devices

64 GB of eMMC 5.1 storage comes standard with a MicroSD expansion slot. Transfer rates are comparable to the consumer-centric Samsung Galaxy and Lenovo Yoga tablets.

MicroSD slot hidden underneath the battery compartment. Accessing the slot can be annoying as a result
MicroSD slot hidden underneath the battery compartment. Accessing the slot can be annoying as a result
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
64 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
64 GB eMMC Flash
Lenovo Tab M8 HD
32 GB eMMC Flash
Huawei MatePad Pro 10.8
256 GB UFS 3.0 Flash
Lenovo Yoga Smart Tab YT-X705F
64 GB eMMC Flash
Trekstor Surftab Theatre S11
32 GB eMMC Flash
Alldocube M8 T801
32 GB eMMC Flash
AndroBench 3-5
-2%
-11%
375%
1%
-27%
-54%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
61.26
60.64
-1%
64.25
5%
71.72
17%
65.44
7%
61.89
1%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
84.63
75.94
-10%
83.83
-1%
82.42
-3%
86.54
2%
86.59
2%
Random Write 4KB
16.97
18.75
10%
15.84
-7%
262.42
1446%
16.76
-1%
15.98
-6%
10.01
-41%
Random Read 4KB
83.43
71.18
-15%
77.44
-7%
224.61
169%
64.84
-22%
28.93
-65%
19.5
-77%
Sequential Write 256KB
203.67
207.53
2%
79.55
-61%
398.96
96%
238.93
17%
107.55
-47%
103.02
-49%
Sequential Read 256KB
287.64
294.52
2%
297.09
3%
1788.66
522%
295.63
3%
158.81
-45%
142.8
-50%

Emissions

Temperature

AC adapter after running heavy loads for over an hour
AC adapter after running heavy loads for over an hour

Hot spots are closer to the top left of the tablet as shown by the temperature maps below likely because the processor and circuitry are positioned here. At worst, this area can reach about 38 C when running extreme processing loads for over an hour. Surfaces never become uncomfortable warm.

Max. Load
 37.6 °C
100 F
32.4 °C
90 F
28.2 °C
83 F
 
 35.4 °C
96 F
33 °C
91 F
29.4 °C
85 F
 
 33.4 °C
92 F
32.2 °C
90 F
30.4 °C
87 F
 
Maximum: 37.6 °C = 100 F
Average: 32.4 °C = 90 F
23.4 °C
74 F
27.4 °C
81 F
34.2 °C
94 F
25 °C
77 F
29.8 °C
86 F
36.4 °C
98 F
26.4 °C
80 F
27.2 °C
81 F
29.4 °C
85 F
Maximum: 36.4 °C = 98 F
Average: 28.8 °C = 84 F
Power Supply (max.)  28 °C = 82 F | Room Temperature 22.4 °C = 72 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 32.4 °C / 90 F, compared to the average of 30.6 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Tablet.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 37.6 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 34.7 °C / 94 F, ranging from 22.2 to 53.2 °C for the class Tablet.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 36.4 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 29.7 °C / 85 F, compared to the device average of 30.6 °C / 87 F.
System idle (front)
System idle (front)
System idle (back)
System idle (back)
High processing stress (front)
High processing stress (front)
High processing stress (back)
High processing stress (back)

Speakers

A speaker near the bottom left corner provides mono audio. Bass is lacking, of course, but maximum volume is sufficiently loud at about 90 dB(A).

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2039.538.439.52535.634.335.63128.526.828.54030.129.230.1503224.532633324338030.123.430.110031.420.931.41253618.53616042.317.142.320045.817.945.825053.616.353.631555.918.855.940069.115.569.150073.414.373.46307313.17380070.912.470.9100071.61271.6125073.112.273.1160073.812.373.820007512.775250076.912.676.9315081.312.981.3400085.713.185.7500079.813.579.8630070.913.670.9800065.913.765.91000065.913.665.91250067.713.467.71600065.212.565.2SPL90.225.490.2N75.80.775.8median 70.9median 13.5median 70.9Delta8.81.58.835.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoisePanasonic Toughbook FZ-A3Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (90.2 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 26.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.2% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (17.8% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 35% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 58% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 21%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 28% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 65% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 11.3% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (14.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 2.4% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(+) | overall sound is linear (9.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 2% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 8%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 0% similar, 98% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 65%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Idling on the home screen demands just 3 W when on the minimum brightness setting to as much as 9 W when brightness is set to its highest. We're able to measure a maximum draw of 18.5 W from the small (~10 x 4.2 x 2.8 cm) 65 W AC adapter during extreme processing loads or during a cold boot when the software is being loaded.

We noticed an undesirable behavior on our unit. When on standby mode, the tablet would consume about 3.6 W even when the batteries are fully charged. Most tablets and laptops would consume just 1 W to 2 W when on standby or Sleep mode.

Maximum CPU utilization initiated at 10s mark. Consumption spikes to 14.4 W for a few seconds before falling slightly to about 12 W
Maximum CPU utilization initiated at 10s mark. Consumption spikes to 14.4 W for a few seconds before falling slightly to about 12 W
Maximum brightness initiated at 10s mark from a minimum brightness state. The super-bright display draws an additional 6 W
Maximum brightness initiated at 10s mark from a minimum brightness state. The super-bright display draws an additional 6 W
Oddly, power consumption is very high when on standby mode
Oddly, power consumption is very high when on standby mode
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.45 / 3.6 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2.9 / 8.6 / 8.9 Watt
Load midlight 9.4 / 18.5 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
SD 660, Adreno 512, 64 GB eMMC Flash, IPS, 1920x1200, 10.1
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
SD 670, Adreno 616, 64 GB eMMC Flash, TFT, 1920x1200, 10.1
Xploretech XSLATE L10
Pentium N4200, HD Graphics 505, SanDisk SD8SN8U256G1122, IPS, 1920x1200, 10.1
Durabook R11
i5-8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Kingston RBUSNS4180S3128GJ, IPS, 1920x1080, 11.6
Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet
5Y71, HD Graphics 5300, Liteon L8H-128V2G M.2 2280, TN, 1366x768, 11.6
Power Consumption
49%
-32%
-131%
-21%
Idle Minimum *
2.9
1.34
54%
3.7
-28%
6.1
-110%
3.8
-31%
Idle Average *
8.6
4.43
48%
10.7
-24%
11.7
-36%
9.3
-8%
Idle Maximum *
8.9
4.52
49%
11
-24%
11.9
-34%
9.7
-9%
Load Average *
9.4
5.91
37%
17.8
-89%
37.7
-301%
16.3
-73%
Load Maximum *
18.5
7.91
57%
17.9
3%
50.5
-173%
15.9
14%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Two identical and removable Li-Ion battery packs are included at 12 Wh each. Both must be installed or else the tablet will not power back on, but it's safe to remove one at a tiime without losing any onscreen data. Expect about 7.5 hours of real-world WLAN use when at a brightness level of 150 nits. Of course, runtime will be shorter if Alleged list of devices eligible for the EMUI 11 update surfaces onlinebrightness is set higher.

The recharge rate is quite slow despite the small battery capacity. Charging from empty to full will take three full hours.

Twin battery packs installed on the back
Twin battery packs installed on the back
Small AC adapter
Small AC adapter
Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
7h 35min
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
SD 660, Adreno 512, 24 Wh
Samsung Galaxy Tab Active Pro T545
SD 670, Adreno 616, 28.88 Wh
Xploretech XSLATE L10
Pentium N4200, HD Graphics 505, 36 Wh
Durabook R11
i5-8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 43 Wh
Dell Latitude 12 Rugged Tablet
5Y71, HD Graphics 5300, 56 Wh
Apple iPad Pro 11 2020
A12Z Bionic, A12Z Bionic GPU, 28.65 Wh
Battery Runtime
118%
-5%
-25%
4%
98%
Reader / Idle
2693
2001
WiFi v1.3
455
990
118%
431
-5%
340
-25%
471
4%
902
98%
Load
388
156
197

Pros

+ glossy display is crisp and with high contrast
+ relatively thin and light for a rugged tablet
+ support for USB-C charging and video-out
+ rear 8 MP and front 5 MP cameras
+ NFC, GPS, Bluetooth support
+ bright 1000-nit touchscreen
+ removable 4G M2M module
+ dual nano-SIM slots
+ Android 9.0 Pie
+ MicroSD slot

Cons

- occasional frame skips and slowdown when navigating or scrolling
- pulse-width modulation is present on all brightness levels
- high power consumption when on standby mode
- moderate-heavy uneven backlight bleeding
- MicroSD slot is combersome to access
- color temperature is slightly too cool
- Bar code Gadget is bulky
- slow charging rate

Verdict

In review: Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3. Test unit provided by Panasonic
In review: Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3. Test unit provided by Panasonic

The Toughbook FZ-A3 has a few things going for it that help separate it from most other rugged tablets. Most notable is the glossy display which is much crisper and with deeper colors than the usual grainy matte displays like on the Durabook R11. It's close to the clarity of a Samsung Galaxy tablet or Apple iPad while being two times brighter for better outdoor visibility. If you need a lightweight rugged tablet with a colorful display running on modern Android 9.0 software, then the FZ-A3 should fit the bill.

The main disadvantage to watch out for is that the display backlight utilizes pulse-width modulation for brightness control at all settings meaning that it will always flicker. This won't bother most users, but those who are sensitive to onscreen flickering may experience eyestrain if using the tablet for long periods. Additionally, glare is more prevalent than most other matte rugged tablets due to its glossy overlay and the moderate backlight bleeding could have been better.

High quality glossy touchscreen wrapped in a lightweight rugged chassis and powered by a mid-range Snapdragon 660 SoC. The Android 9.0 software and USB-C port give it more potential features and versatility than most others in the rugged tablet category.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3 Tablet Review: When Thin Meets Rugged
Allen Ngo, 2020-07-10 (Update: 2020-07-15)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.