Review: Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 WinPro 8 tablet

Fancy a shower with your fondleslab? Or booting it down the stairs?


Mobile working

Indeed, the list of extras piles up – you’d have thought a microSD slot would have been included – but then Panasonic would have needed to make slot covering for it. That said, there is a 3G mobile broadband version available, which has its own slot screwed down next to the battery pack and, as luck would have it, the review unit had this on-board too. As I type, the BBC iPlayer is smoothly churning out HD content over 3G, so I’ve no complaints there. However, I wasn’t so convinced by the GPS side of things but this probably had more to do with testing on Bing Maps and the gMaps apps, both of which seemed to rely on Wi-Fi rather than GPS to deliver a position. Talking of Wi-Fi the Toughpad supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and has Bluetooth 4 on board.

Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 Sim card slot and dock connector

Full-size Sim card slot is tucked away behind a screwed panel, the dock connector is laid bare

In the hand, the Toughpad actually comes across as lighter than it looks, although it’s not exactly unnoticeably at 1.1kg. Measuring up at 270 x 188 x 19mm, it’s as thick as a basic laptop, and while not uncomfortable to hold, its industrial chic eventually takes its toll as the weight does become fatiguing. I wanted there to be some lugs on it so I could rig up a strap so it could be worn over the shoulder in between use. Panasonic will sell you a bag for this purpose which will only add more bulk, but additional protection too.

The screen’s subdued reflectiveness pays dividends in use, but as soon as the lights go off on the device, the mess of fingerprints makes it appear distinctly grubby. It cleans up easily enough though. The display itself is bright, text is sharp and images look good too, however, its semi-matt sheen does seem to subdue the contrast slightly and blocks of colour have a slightly textured look to them. Whether this is due to some kind of coating or the toughened glass isn’t apparent.

Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 in the shower

What could be more natural than having a fondleslab in the shower?

As for that toughened glass, whacking the screen on the corner of a table produced no ill-effects. It was a spur of the moment test performed here at Vulture Central by one of our ex-military staffers who takes a no-nonsense approach to such things. I’ll admit I was surprised for it to survive without a mark on it. In all that excitement it was time to cool it off in the rain – simulated in the El Reg bog showers. The good news is, it still works. The bad news is, you can’t do much with it when it’s wet.

As the water droplets fell on the screen, the browser pages started to dance about and even zoom in. It is a touchscreen after all and this downpour was being mistaken for finger presses. Turn the shower off and it’s just as bad as the droplets confuse any navigation attempts. The screen stayed put, unchanging until the water had been wiped off. A cursory inspection of the seals revealed they had done their job although there was some water in the battery bay. However, this wasn’t a major worry as the terminals section has seals surrounding it and was kept dry.

I saved the four foot drop until last, just in case it landed badly or bounced into something unforgiving. The bad news is, I don’t have some photos of some fractured Toughpad to post here; the good news being it passed the test – multiple drops from various angles. The only incident being the port cover popped open a couple of times. For me, the real test is when it flies off the roof of a cornering car having been left there by some absent-minded field technician desperate to move on before the traffic warden arrives.

Ah, that reminds me of the scribble pad aspect of this device. It has a capacitive pen with an assignable button on it that defaults to right click. It has proximity sensitivity so a tiny diamond cursor appears as you hover over the screen. This would be great if it wasn’t so badly aligned.

Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 captive stylus

Power connector cover and captive stylus

I tried calibrating the pen numerous times and always found it wanting, especially when expanding items in the device manager. I’d find the cursor would appear landing on the item above the one I wanted and it’s so counter-intuitive to click the next item down to get the one you want above it. While you might not experience this problem in less precise scenarios, the combination of hi-res screen in Desktop mode and a wavering pen can be problematic. That said, finger presses in Desktop mode often needed repeating and so I reached for the stylus to overcome this only to end up having to deal with the aforementioned alignment issues.

Next page: Power play

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Screencastify fixes bug that would have let rogue websites spy on webcams
    School-friendly tool still not fully protected, privacy guru warns

    Screencastify, a popular Chrome extension for capturing and sharing videos from websites, was recently found to be vulnerable to a cross-site scripting (XSS) flaw that allowed arbitrary websites to dupe people into unknowingly activating their webcams.

    A miscreant taking advantage of this flaw could then download the resulting video from the victim's Google Drive account.

    Software developer Wladimir Palant, co-founder of ad amelioration biz Eyeo, published a blog post about his findings on Monday. He said he reported the XSS bug in February, and Screencastify's developers fixed it within a day.

    Continue reading
  • FTC urged to protect data privacy of women visiting abortion clinics
    As Supreme Court set to overturn Roe v Wade, safeguards on location info now more vital than ever

    Democrat senators have urged America's Federal Trade Commission to do something to protect the privacy of women after it emerged details of visits to abortion clinics were being sold by data brokers.

    Women's healthcare is an especially thorny issue right now after the Supreme Court voted in a leaked draft majority opinion to overturn Roe v Wade, a landmark ruling that declared women's rights to have an abortion are protected by the Fourteenth Amendment of the US Constitution.

    If the nation's top judges indeed vote to strike down that 1973 decision, individual states, at least, can set their own laws governing women's reproductive rights. Thirteen states already have so-called "trigger laws" in place prohibiting abortions – mostly with exceptions in certain conditions, such as if the pregnancy or childbirth endangers the mother's life – that will go into effect if Roe v Wade is torn up. People living in those states would, in theory, have to travel to another state where abortion is legal to carry out the procedure lawfully, although laws are also planned to ban that.

    Continue reading
  • Zuckerberg sued for alleged role in Cambridge Analytica data-slurp scandal
    I can prove CEO was 'personally involved in Facebook’s failure to protect privacy', DC AG insists

    Cambridge Analytica is back to haunt Mark Zuckerberg: Washington DC's Attorney General filed a lawsuit today directly accusing the Meta CEO of personal involvement in the abuses that led to the data-slurping scandal. 

    DC AG Karl Racine filed [PDF] the civil suit on Monday morning, saying his office's investigations found ample evidence Zuck could be held responsible for that 2018 cluster-fsck. For those who've put it out of mind, UK-based Cambridge Analytica harvested tens of millions of people's info via a third-party Facebook app, revealing a – at best – somewhat slipshod handling of netizens' privacy by the US tech giant.

    That year, Racine sued Facebook, claiming the social network was well aware of the analytics firm's antics yet failed to do anything meaningful until the data harvesting was covered by mainstream media. Facebook repeatedly stymied document production attempts, Racine claimed, and the paperwork it eventually handed over painted a trail he said led directly to Zuck. 

    Continue reading
  • Florida's content-moderation law kept on ice, likely unconstitutional, court says
    So cool you're into free speech because that includes taking down misinformation

    While the US Supreme Court considers an emergency petition to reinstate a preliminary injunction against Texas' social media law HB 20, the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday partially upheld a similar injunction against Florida's social media law, SB 7072.

    Both Florida and Texas last year passed laws that impose content moderation restrictions, editorial disclosure obligations, and user-data access requirements on large online social networks. The Republican governors of both states justified the laws by claiming that social media sites have been trying to censor conservative voices, an allegation that has not been supported by evidence.

    Multiple studies addressing this issue say right-wing folk aren't being censored. They have found that social media sites try to take down or block misinformation, which researchers say is more common from right-leaning sources.

    Continue reading
  • US-APAC trade deal leaves out Taiwan, military defense not ruled out
    All fun and games until the chip factories are in the crosshairs

    US President Joe Biden has heralded an Indo-Pacific trade deal signed by several nations that do not include Taiwan. At the same time, Biden warned China that America would help defend Taiwan from attack; it is home to a critical slice of the global chip industry, after all. 

    The agreement, known as the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), is still in its infancy, with today's announcement enabling the United States and the other 12 participating countries to begin negotiating "rules of the road that ensure [US businesses] can compete in the Indo-Pacific," the White House said. 

    Along with America, other IPEF signatories are Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Combined, the White House said, the 13 countries participating in the IPEF make up 40 percent of the global economy. 

    Continue reading
  • 381,000-plus Kubernetes API servers 'exposed to internet'
    Firewall isn't a made-up word from the Hackers movie, people

    A large number of servers running the Kubernetes API have been left exposed to the internet, which is not great: they're potentially vulnerable to abuse.

    Nonprofit security organization The Shadowserver Foundation recently scanned 454,729 systems hosting the popular open-source platform for managing and orchestrating containers, finding that more than 381,645 – or about 84 percent – are accessible via the internet to varying degrees thus providing a cracked door into a corporate network.

    "While this does not mean that these instances are fully open or vulnerable to an attack, it is likely that this level of access was not intended and these instances are an unnecessarily exposed attack surface," Shadowserver's team stressed in a write-up. "They also allow for information leakage on version and build."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022