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Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1 Rugged Tablet Review: Optimized For The Mobile Workforce

Proper Android 10 for enterprise. Android 10 offers a cleaner and smoother UI experience than past rugged Android tablets while the bright glossy display is definitely nowhere near as grainy. However, any specialized accessories for the FZ-S1 will be a commitment as they are not compatible with other Toughbook devices.
Allen Ngo 👁, 🇩🇪 🇮🇹
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Unveiled late last month, The Toughbook FZ-S1 is Panasonic's latest rugged tablet for commercial or government applications where reliability and versatility are priority over extreme thinness and resolutions. The new FZ-S1 is notable for shipping with Android 10 pre-loaded and for being one the first 7-inch enterprise-grade tablets to support both landscape and portrait orientations.

The Panasonic tablet is packed with features as detailed by the official product page here. Certain third-party online channels are already offering the unit for around $1700 USD or more. Since 7-inch enterprise tablets are relatively rare, we'll be comparing the FZ-S1 to larger models as well as the much older Panasonic Toughpad FZ-B2.

More Panasonic reviews:

Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
Memory
4096 MB 
, LPDDR4
Display
7.00 inch 16:10, 1280 x 800 pixel 216 PPI, 10-point capacitive, IPS, glossy: yes, 60 Hz
Storage
64 GB eMMC Flash, 64 GB 
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 Docking Station Port, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: Ambient light, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer
Networking
Bluetooth 5.1, LTE
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 19.1 x 193 x 131 ( = 0.75 x 7.6 x 5.16 in)
Battery
20 Wh, 3200 mAh Lithium-Polymer, removeable
Operating System
Android 10
Camera
Webcam: LED flash
Primary Camera: 13 MPix
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix
Additional features
12 Months Warranty, fanless, ruggedized, waterproof
Weight
503 g ( = 17.74 oz / 1.11 pounds), Power Supply: 100 g ( = 3.53 oz / 0.22 pounds)
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

potential competitors in comparison

Rating
Date
Model
Weight
Height
Size
Resolution
Best Price
07/2021
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
,
503 g19.1 mm7.00"1280x800
78 %
07/2020
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
SD 660, Adreno 512
930 g16.4 mm10.10"1920x1200
82 %
08/2015
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-B2
N2930, HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
590 g27 mm7.00"1280x800
07/2020
Durabook R11
i5-8250U, UHD Graphics 620
1.2 kg20 mm11.60"1920x1080
09/2020
Acer Enduro T1 ET108-11A A9001
,
499 g10.9 mm8.00"1280x800

Case

The case is MIL-STD-810H certified with up to a 5 foot drop onto concrete. Its edges and corners are not rubberized, however, unlike on most other rugged tablets and laptops. The unit is therefore more susceptible to superficial nicks and scratches.

Perhaps the most defining feature of the FZ-S1 is its ability to support proprietary attachments on its back for additional functions such as battery extensions, scanners, docking stations, and more. These accessories are unique to the FZ-S1 and so they are not compatible on any other tablet including those from Panasonic.

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The FZ-S1 doesn't have the rubberized edges or corners of many other Enterprise tablets
The FZ-S1 doesn't have the rubberized edges or corners of many other Enterprise tablets
Removable battery protrudes prominently on the back
Removable battery protrudes prominently on the back
Frame is firm with essentially zero flexing when attempting to twist its edges
Frame is firm with essentially zero flexing when attempting to twist its edges
A large LED indicator along the front edge constantly flashes when there are new notifications
A large LED indicator along the front edge constantly flashes when there are new notifications
The textured back helps make the tablet easier to grip and a loop can be attached for wrapping around the wrist
The textured back helps make the tablet easier to grip and a loop can be attached for wrapping around the wrist
The switch for the battery is small and very difficult to grip for users with larger fingers
The switch for the battery is small and very difficult to grip for users with larger fingers
A Philips screwdriver is required to hot swap any attachments
A Philips screwdriver is required to hot swap any attachments
298 mm / 11.7 inch 192 mm / 7.56 inch 20 mm / 0.787 inch 1.2 kg2.65 lbs272 mm / 10.7 inch 196 mm / 7.72 inch 16.4 mm / 0.646 inch 930 g2.05 lbs227.1 mm / 8.94 inch 146.6 mm / 5.77 inch 10.9 mm / 0.4291 inch 499 g1.1 lbs203 mm / 7.99 inch 132 mm / 5.2 inch 27 mm / 1.063 inch 590 g1.301 lbs193 mm / 7.6 inch 131 mm / 5.16 inch 19.1 mm / 0.752 inch 503 g1.109 lbs

Ports

Integrated ports include just a single USB-C port alongside a 3.5 mm headset jack. The USB-C port supports video-out which makes it possible to connect external monitors to the FZ-S1.

Top: Wrist strap loop
Top: Wrist strap loop
Bottom: Pins for optional accessories
Bottom: Pins for optional accessories
Left: USB-C 3.0 (On-the-Go, Charging, DisplayPort), Volume control, Power button
Left: USB-C 3.0 (On-the-Go, Charging, DisplayPort), Volume control, Power button
Right: 3.5 mm headset
Right: 3.5 mm headset

Communication

2x2 Wi-Fi 5 comes standard with optional Sierra AirPrime EM7511 4G LTE support. Transfer rates are only about half that of most other Wi-Fi 5 devices.

Battery must first be removed if accessing the optional Nano-SIM slots
Battery must first be removed if accessing the optional Nano-SIM slots
Empty M.2 slot for WAN support. Unfortunately, the feature appears disabled on our WAN-less configuration
Empty M.2 slot for WAN support. Unfortunately, the feature appears disabled on our WAN-less configuration
Networking
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
 
607 MBit/s ∼100% +92%
Durabook R11
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
389 (317min - 438max) MBit/s ∼64% +23%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
 
316 MBit/s ∼52%
Acer Enduro T1 ET108-11A A9001
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
315 MBit/s ∼52% 0%
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Durabook R11
Intel Wireless-AC 9260
592 (333min - 683max) MBit/s ∼100% +72%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
 
388 MBit/s ∼66% +12%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
 
345 MBit/s ∼58%
Acer Enduro T1 ET108-11A A9001
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
310 MBit/s ∼52% -10%

Webcam

The front 5 MP and rear 13 MP cameras with auto-focus are sharp with minimal graininess or noise issues. Colors, however, are inaccurate and very warm by default.

ColorChecker
39.6 ∆E
31.7 ∆E
34.3 ∆E
34.1 ∆E
31.3 ∆E
27.9 ∆E
41.4 ∆E
36.3 ∆E
33.7 ∆E
29.9 ∆E
18.6 ∆E
28.3 ∆E
39.6 ∆E
28.7 ∆E
31.4 ∆E
14.8 ∆E
26.2 ∆E
26.9 ∆E
2.3 ∆E
11.8 ∆E
23.3 ∆E
28.2 ∆E
26.1 ∆E
12 ∆E
ColorChecker Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1: 27.43 ∆E min: 2.33 - max: 41.36 ∆E

Warranty

A one-year limited manufacturer warranty comes standard instead of the usual three-year to five-year base warranty that is common on professional devices.

Display

Unlike most displays out there with Gorilla Glass protection, the FZ-S1 uses Dragontrail Glass instead. Picture quality is crisp and with almost no graininess issues unlike on some rugged laptops like the Durabook S14I. The disadvantage, however, is the increase in glare from the glossy overlay.

Contrast ratio is decent at about 700:1 and maximum brightness is still much brighter than most regular consumer tablets. In fact, our independent measurements show a maximum brightness of almost 700 nits compared to the manufacturer's advertisement of 500 nits. For an even brighter display, users may want to consider Panasonic's larger FZ-A3.

It's worth noting that the home screen rotates for both Portrait and Landscape orientation which is not always true on other enterprise tablets.

Sharp glossy subpixel array. Unsightly fingerprints accumulate quickly on the glossy overlay
Sharp glossy subpixel array. Unsightly fingerprints accumulate quickly on the glossy overlay
Moderate-heavy uneven backlight bleeding when on maximum brightness
Moderate-heavy uneven backlight bleeding when on maximum brightness
The Dragontrail glass is not edge-to-edge to reduce the chances of cracking if dropped
The Dragontrail glass is not edge-to-edge to reduce the chances of cracking if dropped
Rain mode or Glove mode allow for touchscreen control when not under ideal conditions. However, responsiveness and multi-touch features will be negatively impacted
Rain mode or Glove mode allow for touchscreen control when not under ideal conditions. However, responsiveness and multi-touch features will be negatively impacted
632.1
cd/m²
635.2
cd/m²
638.6
cd/m²
592.1
cd/m²
697.3
cd/m²
637.4
cd/m²
596
cd/m²
664.2
cd/m²
644.1
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 697.3 cd/m² Average: 637.4 cd/m² Minimum: 12 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 85 %
Center on Battery: 697.3 cd/m²
Contrast: 758:1 (Black: 0.92 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.79 | 0.59-29.43 Ø5.5
ΔE Greyscale 5.4 | 0.64-98 Ø5.7
Gamma: 2.18
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
IPS, 7.00, 1280x800
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
IPS, 10.10, 1920x1200
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-B2
IPS, 7.00, 1280x800
Durabook R11
BOE5F9, IPS, 11.60, 1920x1080
Acer Enduro T1 ET108-11A A9001
IPS, 8.00, 1280x800
Display
Display P3 Coverage
59.34
sRGB Coverage
82.87
AdobeRGB 1998 Coverage
60.04
Response Times
-40%
30%
-1%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
33.2 (16.4, 16.8)
54 (27, 27)
-63%
26 (14, 12)
22%
33.6 (17.2, 16.4)
-1%
Response Time Black / White *
29.2 (16.4, 12.8)
34 (17, 17)
-16%
18.4 (10, 8.4)
37%
29.6 (18, 11.6)
-1%
PWM Frequency
193.8 (100)
198.4 (99)
Screen
22%
-27%
-19%
10%
Brightness middle
697.3
1078
55%
540
-23%
584.2
-16%
350
-50%
Brightness
637
1060
66%
498
-22%
560
-12%
353
-45%
Brightness Distribution
85
77
-9%
85
0%
79
-7%
92
8%
Black Level *
0.92
0.68
26%
0.32
65%
0.52
43%
0.21
77%
Contrast
758
1585
109%
1688
123%
1123
48%
1667
120%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.79
5.94
-3%
23.34
-303%
9.29
-60%
5.68
2%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
9.29
12.54
-35%
14.43
-55%
10.51
-13%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
5.4
7.2
-33%
6.82
-26%
10.6
-96%
6.3
-17%
Gamma
2.18 101%
2.17 101%
2.21 100%
2.41 91%
2.12 104%
CCT
5736 113%
6530 100%
6334 103%
6230 104%
7390 88%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.72
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
53.4
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
82.2
Total Average (Program / Settings)
-9% / 10%
-27% / -27%
6% / -10%
5% / 8%

* ... smaller is better

X-Rite colorimeter measurements show color temperature to be slightly too warm. Grayscale and color accuracy against sRGB are average with DeltaE values of 5.4 and 5.79, respectively. Of course, color accuracy isn't a huge concern considering the category in question.

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
29.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16.4 ms rise
↘ 12.8 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 70 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (23.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
33.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 16.4 ms rise
↘ 16.8 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 636 (maximum) ms. » 29 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (37.8 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 not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 15334 (minimum: 5 - maximum: 2500000) Hz was measured.

Glare is almost unavoidable in most scenarios even when under shade as shown by the pictures below. You'll want to set brightness to maximum and avoid direct sunlight when possible for a more comfortable viewing experience.

Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under shade
Outdoors under sunlight
Outdoors under sunlight
Wide IPS viewing angles. Colors and contrast degrade from extreme angles
Wide IPS viewing angles. Colors and contrast degrade from extreme angles

Performance

The octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 can also be found on the FZ-A3 for a similar level of performance between them. Graphics performance is about half that of the Snapdragon 750, but it's still sufficient for relatively smooth UI scrolling and web browsing. Most applications take a couple of seconds to launch and so the experience isn't as instantaneous when compared to flagship consumer tablets.

We hope to see higher native refresh rates and sampling rates on future models to boost responsiveness even more.

Geekbench 5.3 / OpenCL Score 5.3
OnePlus 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
4566 Points ∼100% +644%
Oppo Find X3 Neo
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
4464 Points ∼98% +627%
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G
1304 Points ∼29% +112%
realme 8 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
1237 Points ∼27% +101%
Infinix Hot 10S
Mediatek Helio G85
1233 Points ∼27% +101%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
 
614 Points ∼13%
Motorola Moto G30
Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
376 Points ∼8% -39%
Motorola Moto G10
Qualcomm Snapdragon 460
261 Points ∼6% -57%
GFXBench / Aztec Ruins High Tier Onscreen
OnePlus 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
41 fps ∼100% +310%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic
40 fps ∼98% +300%
Oppo Find X3 Neo
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
40 fps ∼98% +300%
Infinix Hot 10S
Mediatek Helio G85
12 fps ∼29% +20%
realme 6
Mediatek Helio G90T
11 fps ∼27% +10%
realme 8 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
11 fps ∼27% +10%
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G
11 fps ∼27% +10%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
 
10 fps ∼24%
Motorola Moto G30
Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
9.2 fps ∼22% -8%
Motorola Moto G10
Qualcomm Snapdragon 460
6.5 fps ∼16% -35%
Acer Enduro T1 ET108-11A A9001
 
6.3 fps ∼15% -37%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
5.3 fps ∼13% -47%
Nokia 2.4
Mediatek Helio P22 MT6762
4.5 fps ∼11% -55%
GFXBench / Aztec Ruins High Tier Offscreen
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic
30 fps ∼100% +809%
OnePlus 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
28 fps ∼93% +748%
Oppo Find X3 Neo
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
27 fps ∼90% +718%
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G
7.6 fps ∼25% +130%
realme 8 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
7 fps ∼23% +112%
realme 6
Mediatek Helio G90T
6.9 fps ∼23% +109%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
 
3.3 fps ∼11%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
3.2 fps ∼11% -3%
Infinix Hot 10S
Mediatek Helio G85
3.1 fps ∼10% -6%
Motorola Moto G30
Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
2.8 fps ∼9% -15%
Acer Enduro T1 ET108-11A A9001
 
2.6 fps ∼9% -21%
Motorola Moto G10
Qualcomm Snapdragon 460
2 fps ∼7% -39%
Nokia 2.4
Mediatek Helio P22 MT6762
1.4 fps ∼5% -58%
GFXBench / Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Onscreen
OnePlus 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
58 fps ∼100% +287%
Oppo Find X3 Neo
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
57 fps ∼98% +280%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic
53.5 fps ∼92% +257%
realme 6
Mediatek Helio G90T
18 fps ∼31% +20%
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G
18 fps ∼31% +20%
realme 8 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
17 fps ∼29% +13%
Acer Enduro T1 ET108-11A A9001
 
15 fps ∼26% 0%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
 
15 fps ∼26%
Motorola Moto G30
Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
13 fps ∼22% -13%
Infinix Hot 10S
Mediatek Helio G85
12 fps ∼21% -20%
Motorola Moto G10
Qualcomm Snapdragon 460
11 fps ∼19% -27%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
8.4 fps ∼14% -44%
Nokia 2.4
Mediatek Helio P22 MT6762
7.1 fps ∼12% -53%
GFXBench / Aztec Ruins Normal Tier Offscreen
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic
85 fps ∼100% +866%
Oppo Find X3 Neo
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
67 fps ∼79% +661%
OnePlus 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
57 fps ∼67% +548%
realme 6
Mediatek Helio G90T
20 fps ∼24% +127%
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G
20 fps ∼24% +127%
realme 8 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
19 fps ∼22% +116%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
 
8.8 fps ∼10%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
8.7 fps ∼10% -1%
Motorola Moto G30
Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
8.6 fps ∼10% -2%
Infinix Hot 10S
Mediatek Helio G85
8 fps ∼9% -9%
Acer Enduro T1 ET108-11A A9001
 
7.7 fps ∼9% -12%
Motorola Moto G10
Qualcomm Snapdragon 460
6 fps ∼7% -32%
Nokia 2.4
Mediatek Helio P22 MT6762
4 fps ∼5% -55%
3DMark / Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited
Oppo Find X3 Neo
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
8947 Points ∼100% +525%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic
7294 Points ∼82% +409%
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G
2927 Points ∼33% +104%
realme 8 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
2743 Points ∼31% +92%
realme 6
Mediatek Helio G90T
2568 Points ∼29% +79%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
 
1432 Points ∼16%
Infinix Hot 10S
Mediatek Helio G85
1431 Points ∼16% 0%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
1416 Points ∼16% -1%
Motorola Moto G30
Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
1176 Points ∼13% -18%
Acer Enduro T1 ET108-11A A9001
 
1114 Points ∼12% -22%
Motorola Moto G10
Qualcomm Snapdragon 460
849 Points ∼9% -41%
Nokia 2.4
Mediatek Helio P22 MT6762
469 Points ∼5% -67%
Doogee X95 Pro
Mediatek Helio A20 MT6761D
257 Points ∼3% -82%
OnePlus 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
0 Points ∼0% -100%
3DMark / Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Graphics
Oppo Find X3 Neo
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
11999 Points ∼100% +854%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic
11824 Points ∼99% +840%
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G
2802 Points ∼23% +123%
realme 8 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
2642 Points ∼22% +110%
realme 6
Mediatek Helio G90T
2433 Points ∼20% +93%
Infinix Hot 10S
Mediatek Helio G85
1259 Points ∼10% 0%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
 
1258 Points ∼10%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
1254 Points ∼10% 0%
Motorola Moto G30
Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
1081 Points ∼9% -14%
Acer Enduro T1 ET108-11A A9001
 
964 Points ∼8% -23%
Motorola Moto G10
Qualcomm Snapdragon 460
731 Points ∼6% -42%
Nokia 2.4
Mediatek Helio P22 MT6762
408 Points ∼3% -68%
Doogee X95 Pro
Mediatek Helio A20 MT6761D
214 Points ∼2% -83%
3DMark / Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Unlimited Physics
Oppo Find X3 Neo
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
4733 Points ∼100% +71%
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G
3466 Points ∼73% +25%
realme 6
Mediatek Helio G90T
3188 Points ∼67% +15%
realme 8 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G
3164 Points ∼67% +14%
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic
3115 Points ∼66% +12%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
 
2771 Points ∼59%
Infinix Hot 10S
Mediatek Helio G85
2734 Points ∼58% -1%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
2584 Points ∼55% -7%
Acer Enduro T1 ET108-11A A9001
 
2448 Points ∼52% -12%
Motorola Moto G30
Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
2164 Points ∼46% -22%
Motorola Moto G10
Qualcomm Snapdragon 460
1953 Points ∼41% -30%
Nokia 2.4
Mediatek Helio P22 MT6762
981 Points ∼21% -65%
Doogee X95 Pro
Mediatek Helio A20 MT6761D
834 Points ∼18% -70%
WebXPRT 3 /
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Apple A14 Bionic
191 Points ∼100% +275%
Durabook R11
Intel Core i5-8250U
164 Points ∼86% +222%
OnePlus 9
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G
119 Points ∼62% +133%
Oppo Find X3 Neo
Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
118 Points ∼62% +131%
Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G
82 Points ∼43% +61%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Qualcomm Snapdragon 660
52 Points ∼27% +2%
Motorola Moto G30
Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
51 Points ∼27% 0%
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
 
51 Points ∼27%
Acer Enduro T1 ET108-11A A9001
 
47 Points ∼25% -8%
realme 6
Mediatek Helio G90T
46 Points ∼24% -10%
Infinix Hot 10S
Mediatek Helio G85
43 Points ∼23% -16%
Motorola Moto G10
Qualcomm Snapdragon 460
42 Points ∼22% -18%
Doogee X95 Pro
Mediatek Helio A20 MT6761D
27 Points ∼14% -47%
PCMark for Android / Work 3.0
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
 
6514 Points ∼100%

Storage Devices

Transfer rates don't need to be anything mind-blowing considering the category. Write rates of small 4K files, however, are noticeably slow even when compared to budget Android smartphones. If you intend on transferring a significant number of very small files to the FZ-S1, then be prepared to wait a while.

Moving 1 GB of pictures from our UHS-II MicroSD card to tablet takes about 16 seconds. Like the optional nano-SIM slots, the MicroSD slot is also hidden underneath the battery compartment.

Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
, , 64 GB eMMC Flash
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
Adreno 512, SD 660, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-B2
HD Graphics (Bay Trail), N2930
Acer Enduro T1 ET108-11A A9001
, , 64 GB eMMC Flash
AndroBench 3-5
17%
-62%
32%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
42.34
61.26
45%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
64.63
84.63
31%
Random Write 4KB
13.72
16.97
24%
3.81
-72%
28.44
107%
Random Read 4KB
85.04
83.43
-2%
18
-79%
84.26
-1%
Sequential Write 256KB
194.84
203.67
5%
98.58
-49%
238.24
22%
Sequential Read 256KB
291.45
287.64
-1%
148.91
-49%
292.36
0%

Emissions

Temperature

Surface temperatures appear to always be warmer along the left edge closest to the USB-C port. When under high processing stress, the hot spot can be as warm as 49 C compared to just 28 C on the other side. It's a significant temperature difference that fortunately only comes into play when running taxing loads for long periods.

System idle (front)
System idle (front)
System idle (back)
System idle (back)
CPU stress test (front)
CPU stress test (front)
CPU stress test (back)
CPU stress test (back)
Max. Load
 48.2 °C
119 F
31.2 °C
88 F
27.2 °C
81 F
 
 44 °C
111 F
31.4 °C
89 F
27.2 °C
81 F
 
 38.8 °C
102 F
30.6 °C
87 F
27 °C
81 F
 
Maximum: 48.2 °C = 119 F
Average: 34 °C = 93 F
27.8 °C
82 F
31.8 °C
89 F
46.2 °C
115 F
27.8 °C
82 F
30.4 °C
87 F
43.4 °C
110 F
28.6 °C
83 F
32 °C
90 F
39 °C
102 F
Maximum: 46.2 °C = 115 F
Average: 34.1 °C = 93 F
Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Fluke 62 Mini IR Thermometer
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 34 °C / 93 F, compared to the average of 30.5 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Tablet.
(-) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 48.2 °C / 119 F, compared to the average of 34.5 °C / 94 F, ranging from 22.2 to 53.2 °C for the class Tablet.
(-) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 46.2 °C / 115 F, compared to the average of 33.9 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 22.3 °C / 72 F, compared to the device average of 30.5 °C / 87 F.

Speakers

The speaker is only monaural instead of stereo, but we do appreciate the fact that it is positioned above the screen and facing directly at the user. In comparison, the speakers on other tablets may be positioned along the edges instead.

Maximum volume is slightly louder than most laptops. The manufacturer advertises a 94 dB loudspeaker while our own microphone claims 84 dB(A) when positioned 15 cm away from the device.

Pink noise at maximum volume. bass reproduction is low, but volume is very loud and with no static
Pink noise at maximum volume. bass reproduction is low, but volume is very loud and with no static
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2034.634.134.62531.531.431.53127.929.427.94025.127.225.15024.722.524.76325.427.725.48029.730.229.710027.525.727.51253328.63316041.618.741.620045.518.845.525050.117.450.13155216.85240051.916.251.950058.713.458.763061.412.861.480068.512.968.5100066.511.766.512506811.568160070.611.670.6200066.511.866.5250064.912.464.9315068.812.168.8400073.411.873.4500080.111.880.1630077.111.677.1800070.312.470.3100006514.9651250062.213.162.21600056.71356.7SPL84.525.184.5N54.70.754.7median 64.9median 12.9median 64.9Delta8.52.98.535.335.132.931.831.83236.535.132.428.93328.936.328.848.32761.52752.924.860.92462.822.763.32269.521.267.82174.82075.919.472.718.97117.770.117.86917.671.817.668.117.671.417.673.717.670.417.571.617.671.617.669.617.459.717.583.630.662.51.5median 69.6median 17.84.62.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoisePanasonic Toughbook FZ-S1Apple MacBook 12 (Early 2016) 1.1 GHz
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (84.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 23.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.8% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (6.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 51% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 44% worse
» The best had a delta of 7%, average was 20%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 45% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 48% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, 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 7%, average was 19%, worst was 50%
Compared to all devices tested
» 2% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 97% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 20%, worst was 65%

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Idling on the minimum brightness level consumes just 2 W on average while increasing the brightness level to maximum will draw 2 W more. The tablet consumes about half of the larger and brighter 10.1-inch FZ-A3 when under similar conditions. Overall power consumption is very similar to the older Toughpad FZ-B2 while offering significantly higher performance-per-watt.

CPU stress test initiated at 10s mark. Consumption would slike to 9.9 W for about a minute before cycling between 8 W and 9 W
CPU stress test initiated at 10s mark. Consumption would slike to 9.9 W for about a minute before cycling between 8 W and 9 W
Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.26 / 0.27 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 2 / 4 / 4.2 Watt
Load midlight 6.7 / 9.9 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Currently we use the Metrahit Energy, a professional single phase power quality and energy measurement digital multimeter, for our measurements. Find out more about it here. All of our test methods can be found here.
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
64 GB eMMC Flash, IPS, 1280x800, 7.00
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
SD 660, Adreno 512, 64 GB eMMC Flash, IPS, 1920x1200, 10.10
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-B2
N2930, HD Graphics (Bay Trail), , IPS, 1280x800, 7.00
Durabook R11
i5-8250U, UHD Graphics 620, Kingston RBUSNS4180S3128GJ, IPS, 1920x1080, 11.60
Acer Enduro T1 ET108-11A A9001
64 GB eMMC Flash, IPS, 1280x800, 8.00
Power Consumption
-80%
-18%
-291%
43%
Idle Minimum *
2
2.9
-45%
3.7
-85%
6.1
-205%
1.1
45%
Idle Average *
4
8.6
-115%
4.2
-5%
11.7
-193%
2.2
45%
Idle Maximum *
4.2
8.9
-112%
4.3
-2%
11.9
-183%
2.2
48%
Load Average *
6.7
9.4
-40%
6.9
-3%
37.7
-463%
3.6
46%
Load Maximum *
9.9
18.5
-87%
9.3
6%
50.5
-410%
6.7
32%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

Runtimes from the removable 20 Wh battery are very long at 16.5 hours of real-world WLAN use before automatic shutdown. Panasonic has a handy "warm swap" feature that suspends the Android software and any running applications whilst swapping batteries to avoid a full reboot.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
16h 32min
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1
20 Wh
Panasonic Toughbook FZ-A3
SD 660, Adreno 512, 24 Wh
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-B2
N2930, HD Graphics (Bay Trail), 24 Wh
Durabook R11
i5-8250U, UHD Graphics 620, 43 Wh
Acer Enduro T1 ET108-11A A9001
 Wh
Battery Runtime
-54%
-70%
-66%
-6%
Reader / Idle
WiFi v1.3
992
455
-54%
300
-70%
340
-66%
936
-6%
Load

Pros

+ USB-C port supports external monitors
+ bright and crisp glossy touchscreen
+ smooth system performance
+ versatile docking options
+ loud speakerphone

Cons

- base one-year warranty instead of three years or five years
- touchscreen sensitivity suffers when in Rain or Glove mode
- no integrated USB-A ports; only one USB-C port
- backlight bleeding could be improved
- camera colors are too warm

Verdict

In review: Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1. Test unit provided by Panasonic
In review: Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1. Test unit provided by Panasonic

As a standalone 7-inch tablet, the Toughbook FZ-S1 feels thinner and lighter than we had initially expected. Its bumpy back actually makes it easier to grip than most other tablets while the modern Android 10 software offers a smoother and cleaner user experience not unlike a consumer device. We also appreciate the move to USB-C and that the display doesn't suffer from the same flickering issues we observed on the FZ-A3.

Base characteristics like portability and performance are worth praising. A couple of changes and additions to make it more like the FZ-A3 would have made the FZ-S1 even better. 

There's still a lot we would like to see improved on the FZ-S1 especially after experiencing the larger FZ-A3. Firstly, the battery on the FZ-S1 is difficult to swap for users with larger hands. Its latches and handles are way too small and so we found our fingers sliding over them constantly. Secondly, it's a shame that the connected accessories are not compatible with other Panasonic Toughbook devices. Universal compatibility of accessories across different Toughbook models would give a better sense of cohesion within the product family. Thirdly, we would love to see programmable buttons similar to what is available on the FZ-A3 for an added layer of customization. And lastly, Glove mode or Rain mode sound great on paper, but the touchscreen will often not register user inputs when the mode is active. An integrated stylus and/or recess would go a long way to improving the usability of the FZ-S1 especially when precision inputs are important.

Price and availability

Companies can request quotes and prices directly from Panasonic.

Pricecompare

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Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - Lead Editor U.S. - 4641 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2011
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.
contact me via: @AllenNgoNBC
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Panasonic Toughbook FZ-S1 Rugged Tablet Review: Optimized For The Mobile Workforce
Allen Ngo, 2021-07- 3 (Update: 2021-07- 3)