Finding the right mobile devices for your organization can be a technological ordeal. There are many manufacturers with hundreds of products, but most of them fall short of what’s needed in some regard. They’re usually not as durable as necessary, or their performance is too sluggish to maintain any level of decent productivity. That’s where high-perfomance rugged tablets like the Panasonic Toughbook L1 come in.
Rugged tablets are designed for high performance and exceptional durability. They can withstand any conditions, no matter how harsh, and come out unscathed, making them an ideal solution for workers in remote or rugged environments.
In this article, we’ll be reviewing the Panasonic Toughbook L1 and cover all the major features of the device. We’ll also compare it to another newly released rugged tablet, the Sonim RS80 and see how the two compare.
- Operating System
- Data Capture
The Panasonic Toughbook L1 runs on Android 8.1 Oreo. While it works better than its predecessors, the platform isn’t really powerful enough to guarantee high-speed operations on your device. It was released four years ago, and you can’t expect it to perform as well as newer versions.
On the other hand, Sonim opted for a more streamlined solution. The RS80 uses Android 10 to provide you with a high-speed operating system and network. It works great for all communication channels, and your field workers are far less likely to experience delays when getting in touch with other team members.
There are also invaluable safety optimizations. You can determine the amount of your data available to other devices, when the information is accessible, and make any other modifications from a single device. Plus, the Focus Mode lets you pause any unnecessary apps that might sidetrack your employees.
The Panasonic Toughbook L1 features a quadcore Qualcomm chipset that operates at 1.1GHz. It gives decent performance but not necessarily enough to handle advanced operations.
With the Sonim RS80 you get a Qualcomm Octa-core model that operates at 2.2GHz. It offers reliable high-speed performance making for an ideal platform where your team can carry out even the most advanced tasks without slowdowns. Owing to its potency, the processor even takes some of the burden away from your battery to extend its life.
You can use the device for extended periods without any lags whatsoever, making it the perfect choice for fieldwork multi-tasking. For example, your workers can run multiple productivity apps at once, such as Trello, Outlook, and MS Word, without a hitch. Additionally, feel free to run a large number of tabs on your browser since the CPU can handle heavy-duty usage.
The Toughbook L1 supports 4G LTE which makes it suitable for use in the field and other remote locations where proximity to a wi-fi network isn’t guaranteed. It also featues wi-fi, Bluetooth, NFC, and GPS.
The Sonim RS80 tablet comes with a dual-band network capable of running on multiple channels (2.4GHz and five GHz). The fast connection works like a charm, assisted by the processor. As a result, you can find valuable information on the internet within seconds. Plus, you get a host of other cool features, such as network optimization, interference elimination, power savings, global roaming, and infrastructure protection. The tablet is also 4G LTE enabled so you can stay connected from location.
Panasonic’s Toughbook L1 offers a mediocre solution for their display. The resolution 1280×720 is adequate, however the seven-inch screen may not be large enough for many users. On top of that, the lack of Gorilla Glass raises a lot of questions regarding the display’s ability to endure heavy impact.
The Sonim RS80 comes with an eight-inch 1920×1200 display that supports bare and gloved finger modes. In addition to the anti-fingerprint coating the tablet is optimized readability in bright sunlight. Plus, you get the extremely tough Gorilla Glass 3, which is a must-have for working in harsh environments.
The Panasonic Toughbook L1 comes with solid durability. It can withstand drops from up to five feet, outperforming many mobile computers on the market. In addition the tablet is also IP65 and IP67 sealed against dust and water. As far as weight goes, it’s definitely not to heavy to cart around, standing at just under 1 lb.
The RS80 carries similar ratings to the Panasonic L1 (MIL-810G and IP67) so it can endure some of the harshest conditions. It can function in environment containing dust, water, or chemicals without breaking down. The tablet is also designed to withstand shocks and constant vibrations which adds to the overall lifespan of the device.
Additionally, the RS80 has the added benefit of resistance to harsh chemicals. Users can safely spray, wipe, or even submerge the tablet in harsh cleaning agents like bleach, alcohol, and ammonia. This is particularly helpful for workers who need to constantly disinfect their tablets, such as those in healthcare services.
Panasonic offers a standard battery model with their Toughbook L1. The battery has 3200 mAh, which offers decent power but many not be sufficient for any large-scale operations.
Sonim’s battery will last for longer shifts, with an 8000 mAh Li-ion piece that can give you up to 19 hours on a single charge. As a result, your staff will make it through the longest shifts without worrying that their device will run out of power. The fact that it’s easily removeable adds to the versatility of the device because it allows workers to easily swap out the battery when needed and you don’t need to replace the whole tablet in the event that the battery fails.
The Panasonic Toughbook L1 features 2GB of RAM adn16GB of flash memory, which isn’t may not be enough if you’re planning on storing a large number of documents. While you can expand the storage, you can only do so with up to 64GB of ROM.
In comparison, the Sonim RS80 gives you 4GB of RAM, providing you with a seamless multitasking experience. You can use multiple applications side-by-side without impairing productivity.
When it comes to flash memory, you get four times as much ROM as you would with the L1. The device’s 64GB offer plenty of room for all your critical files. Should you face shortages, you can update your storage with up to 256 additional GB.
The Panasonic Toughbook L1 features an optional 1D/2D barcode reader on some models. This is a vital feature for industries such as logistics and warehousing where data capture is integral. Bear in mind however, that the addition of the barcode reader will significantly impact the price of the tablet. What’s more, the scanner can only capture three barcodes per minute, which is doesn’t lend itself to fast and efficient operations.
With the Sonim RS80 you also get an integrated 1D/2D scanner but this one can capture up to 45 items per minute, far more than the Panasonic Toughbook L1. Another benefit is that all the data your scanner obtains is directly downloaded onto the device, eliminating the need for additional hardware.
Other key scanning features include:
- Yellow, red, and PTT buttons – Capturing a barcode only requires you to press the floating widget or scanning button once. It works with bare or gloved fingers.
- Continuous scanning – A single press of a button lets you scan multiple barcodes in a row. The scan rate is also top-grade, standing at 33 milliseconds. Plus, the device lets you capture the barcode on items from up to 15 inches away, which is a nice touch.
- Several data transmission methods – Choose to enter your barcodes into an app, text field, or broadcast them for deeper integration.
- Adjustable alerts – You get a choice of different alerts and tones that indicate completed scans.
The Sonim RS80 come equipped with all you need to run your field operations, owing to the set of tools called SonimWare.
There’s a wide range of configurations and apps designed to increase efficiency and productivity. It allow you to manage all your connected devices without hindrances, control other screens from any location, and overcome any obstacles usually associated with data sharing.
Communication is enhance with OneTouch PTT support, that works whenever necessary, whether the app is running in background or the RS80 is in sleep mode.
Furthermore, the audio is as loud and clear as it gets. The device comes with noise-canceling technology and 100dB front-facing speakers to ensure seamless communication in the loudest settings.
Another great thing about SonimWare is that it lets you get rid of any distractions in the workplace. By configuring devices and turning off unnecessary features, you’ll can keep your employees remain locked in. For example, you can turn off Instagram and Twitter to prevent your workers from performing unrelated activities. This helps you keep productivity at a desired level.
The software offers the following advancements as well:
- MDM Helper – Organizes crucial business aspects by specifying accessible and inaccessible features
- Setup Wizard – Sets up the device quickly and allows effortless adjustments to the system
- Kiosk Mode – Manages apps by determining how they look and feel; eliminates any potential distractions for your team members involved in perilous environments
- SafeGuard – Controls all applications and ensures devices have work-related configurations
Additional equipment is one of the aspects customers tend to overlook when purchasing their rugged device. However, this can be a costly mistake since extra gear can give your workers the edge in the field.
When it comes to the Panasonic Toughbook L1, there are several noteworthy accessories:
- Single-bay desktop USB
- USB charger
- Stylus pen
Sonim also offers several helpful accessories with their RS80:
- Logitech mouse and keyboard
- Hand strap
- USB-C headset
- Capacitive touch stylus
- In-vehicle holder
- Desktop charger
- Charging equipment
- Carrying solutions
The Panasonic Toughbook L1 can be purchased for around $1,500 and the price does vary based on the model you choose. Tablets with integrated scanners will cost more than those without, so it’s something to keep in mind when purchasing.
Conversely, the Sonim RS80 comes at a pretty cost-efficient price point. Available for only about $1,200, it offers quite a bit in terms of specs for a very reasonable price.
In terms of the Panasonic Toughbook L1, there’s a standard one-year of coverage that comes with the device.
Sonim gives you a two-year comprehensive plan that protects your device against any material or workmanship flaws. Plus, you can also opt for a three-year plan and take your protection to another level.
All things considered, the Sonim RS80 outranks the Panasonic Toughbook L1 in nearly all aspects, giving you not only a better value, but a better product at a lower price. Between the upgraded operating system, faster processor, powerful battery, added durability, and increased memory, the RS80 offers quite a bit more than the Toughbook L1. It’s an ideal solution for workers across a range of industries including, manufacturing, law enforcement, utility, field service, logistics, emergency services, and warehousing.
To receive a bulk quote, contact Energy Electronics. We’re a premium provided of mobile communications solutions and a certified reseller of the Sonim RS80.