Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 – Screen
At first glance, the display seems a little on the dull side, but this comes into its own in bright sunshine. While most shiny screens wither in the glare of the sun, the Panasonic FZ-G1 is perfectly usable while out and about. Its viewable angles are also very impressive, and you have to put the tablet at an angle that would be unusable before you can have any real complaints.
The screen has a sharp 1,920 x 1,200 resolution. While it’s incredibly crisp, the high resolution makes navigating Windows 8’s desktop mode difficult for the fat fingered. You have two choices here: either reduce the resolution (the Panasonic desktop tool allows you a choice of 15 between 1,024 x 768 and 1,920 x 1,200) or use the included stylus. As the other resolutions leave black bars around the borders of the screen, our choice is the stylus, which fortunately works very well.
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1– Stylus
The stylus – a chubby little pen around four inches long – is clipped to the back of the FZ-G1, and does a great job of navigating the screen with more accuracy than the fingers. It has a button on the side that acts as the right click of a mouse, which makes Windows 8’s non-tablet functions a lot easier to cope with. Also, like the S Pen on the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, hovering over certain items brings up additional information, which is a really underrated visual aid.
We did find that the protective coating the screen has means there’s a certain gritty feel when dragging the stylus over parts of it. We also discovered that the cursor that appears when you hover was spot on on the lower half of the screen, but slightly off on the top half. Not a big deal, but it wasn’t fixed through recalibration, and its inconsistency is a minor annoyance in a product with such a high price tag.
Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1– Internal Speakers and Cameras
You don’t expect great things from the internal speakers of a tablet, even one as thick as the Panasonic FZ-G1, and these low expectations are met. Even at top volume, the tablet doesn’t exactly belt out the decibels, and the bass is pretty limited. With only one speaker on the back, the channels aren’t too distinct either. As a work tablet, that’s fine: you get the impression that an external speaker was just a box to tick off, and its performance here is pretty similar to most other tablets.
There’s housing for a back facing camera, but ours didn’t come with one installed. On the front, the webcam is a functional 1.3MP affair, providing standard 1.3MP results: grainy. Sufficient for webcam purposes, but not much more.