Panasonic's 5-inch fully rugged Android Toughpad FZ-X1 tablet will survive a 3m drop (hands-on)

Don't call this a phone -- despite its phone-like shape and voice-calling capabilities, the Panasonic insists that it's a slate.

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
Aloysius Low
2 min read
Editors' note: Due to the similarity in features and form factor to the Toughpad FZ-E1, some parts of this hands-on will be familiar.

BARCELONA, Spain -- Based on its specifications, you'd expect Panasonic's 5-inch Toughpad FZ-X1 to be a smartphone -- albeit a chunky-looking one. That's not the case, however; the company insists that the FZ-X1 is a tablet first and foremost.

Clunky all right. Aloysius Low/CNET

The Panasonic slate is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor clocked at 1.7GHz, and runs the Android operating system (4.2.2). When I tried it out, it appeared to be close to stock Android, but Panasonic has added some tweaks.

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Long-pressing the physical Back button will dim the display, while holding down the Home button will call up a dashboard menu where you can adjust the settings of the slate.

The physical buttons can be used to hide the screen or access a settings dashboard. Aloysius Low/CNET

Unlike other 5-inch devices, the FZ-X1 doesn't bother to hide its ruggedised bulk. It's big and bold and will survive a drop from 3 meters without damage. The tablet can also survive underwater for 30 minutes at up a maximum depth of 1.5 meters.

Panasonic Toughpad tablets look a lot more like beefy smartphones (pictures)

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Inside, the tablet has 2GB of RAM, 32GB of onboard storage, LTE connectivity, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and a hot-swappable 6,200mAh battery. This means you'll be able to take the battery out, swap it for a fresh one, and get back to what you were doing without having to reboot.

The tablet has an 8-megapixel rear shooter. Aloysius Low/CNET

Meant for use in places such as warehouses, the FZ-X1 comes with a built-in bar code scanner that also doubles as a flashlight. The FZ-X1 will launch in August with a retail price of around 130,000 Japanese Yen ($1,269).