Panasonic FZ-G2 Toughbook – any tougher it would rust (review)

On my testbed is the Panasonic FZ-G2 Toughbook Mark 1. I am so far resisting the urge to torture it and maybe throw it onto a concrete floor. I am sure it would survive. Maybe later😂.

Panasonic wrote the rules for the Toughbook range of rugged tablets, handheld tablets, laptops and two-in-one convertibles and a range of accessories like docking stations, vehicle docking, carrying solutions, hot-swap and extendable batteries and more.

But it is the expansion options that make this a terrific tool. These include smart card readers, HF-RFID NFC readers, 2D barcode readers, True serial ports, Gigabit Lan and Thermal imaging camera. It is flexible in the field, warehouse, freight, Dock, mine, emergency services, military, police, health care (sanitise with Clorox), you name it.

The Panasonic FZ-G2 Toughbook is essentially a 10.1” capacitive touch/pen/glove, 1920 x 1200 display, Windows 10 or 11 Pro (tested), Intel Core i5-10310U vPro processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, LTE eSIM/nano-SIM in an IP65 MIL-STD 810H certified tablet format. You can turn it into a laptop (of sorts) with the backlit keyboard dock.

There is nothing subtle about this – it is strictly for risky business.

Panasonic FZ-G2-1 Toughbook (MK 1) Model FZ-G2AQMBEVA

WebsiteProduct Page, range page and manual  
PriceStarting from about $4000 and up to $6000
FromPanasonic Business (13 26 00) or Multimedia Technology (03 9837200 [email protected]) or a registered Panasonic Business dealer
Warranty36-months ACL
Country of originDesigned in Japan and made in Taiwan

First impression – imposing

The Japanese have a reputation for perfecting industrial and mechanical design. This Toughbook is the epitome of precision design excellence – everything is perfectly in its place.

It is 297 x 188 x 23.5mm x 1.19kg (tablet only – 2.4kg with keyboard dock) – less in size than a sheet of A4 paper. Imposing – perhaps it is the Magnesium chassis with ABS and Elastomer edges all around.

To know what it can do, you first need to explore the various buttons and hatches and three
expansion areas offering 36 different combinations.


  • USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 10Gbps (with ALT DP and 100W PD upstream charge and 15W downstream charge). Suitable for expansion docks for dual 1080p@60Hz monitors
  • USB-A 3.0 5Gbps
  • Gigabit Ethernet RJ-45
  • Dual SIM (Nano-SIM 4FF x1, eSIM x1) also includes GPS
  • Dual LTE TS-9 antenna ports

I really would like to see an HDMI port to enable presentations on a TV screen. As it is, you have to use Miracast limited to 1080p or the USB-C to HDMI for up to 4K@60Hz.

We tested with a Plugabe USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 dock, and it runs 2 x 4K@30fps monitors – all is within spec.

Expansion bays

Top Expansion Area (fits one of the following)

  • 1 and 2D Barcode Reader FZ-VBRG211U
  • 2nd USB-A FZ-VUBG211U
  • 2nd LAN FZ-VLNG211U
  • True Serial port Dongle FZ-VSRG211U
  • FLIR Lepton 3.5 Thermal Camera FZ-VTSG211U

Rear Expansion Area (fits one of the following)

  • Insertable Smartcard FZ-VSCG211U
  • Contactless Smartcard FZ-VRFG211U

Expansion bus connector

  • Pogo pins to attach to optional keyboards and docks

SSD Expansion Area (fits one of the following)


Program buttons

  • Three A1, 2, 3 programmable buttons


  • Wi-Fi 6 AX Intel AX201
  • Bluetooth 5.1
  • Optional LTE for Australia – nano and eSIM
  • Optional 30 satellite dedicated GPS U-Blox NEO-M8N

Wi-Fi connects at 2400Mbps (1200 full-duplex) and holds the signal well to about 5 metres, where it starts to drop to 866Mbps at 10m.

We did not test LTE.


  • Intel Core i5-10310U vPro, 14nm Quad-core, 1.7/4.4GHz (an i7-10810U vPro may be available to order), TPM 2.0
  • 16GB DDR3-532MHz dual-channel 1064MHz (32GB to order) – Note Panasonic advertises DDR4, so this may just be the review unit.
  • 512GB or 1TB quick-release NVMe M.2 OPAL (hardware encryption standard tying the SSD to the PC)

While the current Intel Core generation is 11 (12 just announced), this 10th Gen Core is fine for this device. The U stands for ultra-low power configurable from 10-25W, typically 15W, giving better battery life. GeekBench 5 single/multi-core test is 1118/3778, about 20% faster than the equivalent AMD Ryzen 5 3500U.

Interestingly running on battery or power returns the same results, so we can safely assume it is throttled to 80%.

System noise is negligible (<20Db-37dB under load) courtesy of the low-power processor, and it is tough to fan cool an IP65 sealed device.

It has embedded Intel UHD 620 graphics (24 execution units GeekBench 5 OPEN CL score 5967 and Vulcan score is 5995). It supports three displays in total – you could a single display from the USB-C port and dual 4K@30Hz monitors with the right USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 dock. It is fit for purpose.

RAM and Storage

The 512GB drive (380GB free) is a mid-range Micron MTFBHBK512TDP which is a PCIe 3.0 x4 NVME 1.3 capable of sequential read/write speeds of 2200/1700MBps. It has a 2M hours mean time between failure and power-loss protection (data at rest). CPDT test (Cross-platform disk test) clocks 1550/949.98MBps sequential read/write. Using a different test – Crystal Disk Mark clocks 2019.04/1647.90MBps. Note that you can use any brand of OPAL compatible SSD.

Interestingly the M.2 SSD is easily removed (for chain-of-custody/evidence) but remember that it contains the Activated Windows OS and Panasonic software that you would need to disk-clone to another SSD before replacement.

RAM is the older DDR3-532Mhz dual-channel 10-64Mhz, and the processor can handle up to LPDDR4-2993, so if this becomes an issue, ask for the 32GB at a faster speed.


  • Lithium-Ion 11V.4V/4.36A/47.9Wh (as tested) or optional 10.8V/6.3A/68W
  • Charger (plug pack) 15.6V/7.05A/109.9W
  • Optional Bridge battery for 1-minute hot-swap
  • Charge time 3 hours
  • Battery life: Standard battery 12 hours and optional battery up to 18.5 hours (on-device 1080p video at 150nits, aeroplane mode).

Now here is the good bit. It will USB-C PD3.0 charge from 65-100W, so you don’t need the power brick. That also means it can recharge from a PD USB-C power bank, and the charge time is about the same.

When it is on and idling, it uses about 3.5W and then hits 35W (allowable) for heavy load, but that drains the battery.

Standard battery test

Panasonic claims up to 12 hours on the standard battery and 18.5 on the extended battery using Mobile Mark 14; a 2014 test program long superseded that sets the screen to 150nits and in aeroplane mode. It gives an impressive marketing result. The reality is when you see battery claimed battery life, you can reduce that by 3 to 4 hours to be realistic. Why?

It is hard with Windows to estimate a realistic use battery time as it depends on Windows performance settings, application complexity, disk access, screen brightness, speakers, etc.

For example, the standard battery life (in theory) Panasonic FZ—G2 Toughbook with screen-on at 10W discharge is about 5 hours, and at 25W (100% load), that comes down to 1 hour and 50 minutes.

  • PC Mark 10 Modern Office Battery test: 5hrs 34 minutes
  • Netflix 1080p SDR, Wi-Fi, 50% volume, 150 nits:  8 hours 11 minutes
  • 1080p Video loop, 150 nits, aeroplane mode, on-device storage, no keyboard: 11 hours 27 minutes

We feel that this is at best an 8-hour device as a tablet and less with the backlit keyboard. You could extend this a little by selecting aggressive battery saving settings.


  • 10.1” 1920×1200, 16:10, 60Hz, 8-bit 16.7m colours, Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) IPS LCD with an ambient light sensor
  • Capacitive with 10-finger glove touch setting and pen digitiser (supplied)
  • Replaceable anti-reflective screen protector

it is a very bright display at 1000nits (Ambient light sensor enabled – verified) and a contrast ratio of 2000:1 (verified). The anti-reflective screen protector dims this a little. It is fit for purpose and reasonably daylight readable. However, you will use this at 150-250 nits for the most part.

Surprisingly it has about 80% sRGB and 50% DCI-P3  with a Delta E of 4.2 (<4 is good). Response times are slower (due to the screen protection) at around 50ms GtG. It uses Pulse Width Modulation – PWM at around 210Mhz (that is very low and won’t be an issue at typical brightness.

Panasonic would be well advised to create a Windows Colour Profile as this panel can be better tuned.


  • Front: 2.1MP 1080p with Windows Hello IR camera login and dual microphones and privacy shutter
  • Rear: 8MP Autofocus and oversize LED CRI flash

It is nice to see a decent 1080p@30fps webcam for video conferencing. Windows Hello is useful for Face login when you have your hands full, and it can also log you off when you leave. It is fast and highly recommended.

The rear camera is 3264×2448 in 4:3 format and 1080p@24fps video. It has a high-intensity CRI LED flash and HDR-Pro (no flash). Autofocus means it can focus down to about 4cm for close-up shots – useful for reading the fine print or serial numbers.


  • Dual Front-facing at base of tablet 88dB capable (tested 85dB)
  • Intel sound – no EQ
Sound quality 
Deep Bass 20-40HzNo
Middle Bass 40-100HzNo
High Bass 100-200HzSlowly building but not stong
Low Mid 200-400HzSlowly building to a peak
Mid 4000-1000HzDips 400-500Hz then starts building to peak and flatten at 1kHz
High-Mid 1-2kHzFlat
Low Treble 2-4kHzDecline and erratic (jitter)
Treble 4-6kHzBuilding to a peak at 6kHz
High Treble 6-10kHzDecline
Dog Whistle 10-20kHzFlat but erratic to 13kHz, then a steep decline
Sound Signature typeThis is a mid sound signature (bass recessed, mid boosted, treble recessed) for clear voice, not music.
   SoundstageForward firing speakers limit the stage to just in front of the tablet. Good L//R separation

To be fair, the speakers are behind an IP65 rubber shield, so they will sound muffled no matter what you do. They have no mid-low-high bass, slowly building low-mid-mid and flat from high-mid to mid-treble. Its strength is in 1kHz-4kHz for clear voice.

Bluetooth is SBC and is fine for headphones. There is no 3.5m port, but the USB-C port can use a 3.5mm DAC.

If you want to know more about sound signatures and the test tracks we use, read How to tell if you have good music (sound signature is the key)

Optional keyboard dock

Without a keyboard and mouse, you cannot really use Windows as a content creation device. The Dock connects via pogo pins and adds a ¾-size backlit keyboard (no numeric keypad) and trackpad. It also has an additional USB-A and USB-C 5Gbps port.

Like the tablet, it is rugged, which means heavier key presses and a firm finger on the touchpad. The Dock is handy in that it becomes a laptop with the handle having double duty as a stabiliser to allow the screen to tilt back to 150°.

Typists may be relieved that they can use a cabled or Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.

We could not find a safety and crash test certificated vehicle dock – the previous model FZ-G1 had one.


It’s a passive (non-powered) stylus with a pen-like point. A small diamond shape appears when you touch the screen, making it quite accurate. It supports Windows Ink, so handwriting is acceptable.

There is also a coiled lanyard to attach to the tablet to avoid losing it.

Panasonic FZ-G2 Toughbook software

Pre-installed Panasonic applications include

  • 2D Barcode key emulator
  • Asset Tag entry
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Camera Utility with OCR, Night mode, and refined Windows Camera
  • Day/Night Mode Utility
  • GPS viewer
  • On-screen manual
  • Recovery Disk creation
  • PC settings (easy access to most Panasonic apps)
  • Support File Copy (analyses any errors and sends a file to Panasonic tech)
  • Thermal viewer

Many of these require the xPAK installed.

CyberShack view – Danger is the Panasonic Toughbook FZ-G2 middle name

The Panasonic FZ-G2 Toughbook Mark 1 is a Windows Pro laptop with benefits – rugged to the extreme and huge expansion capability.

Its only real competition is the Dell Latitude Rugged Extreme in 12 and 13” models, but these are currently Intel Core 8th generation.

It is exceptionally well-designed, from the carry handle stabiliser to the detail everywhere. We have nothing to compare it to, so we will rate it as a class leader.

Panasonic FZ-G2-1 Toughbook (MK 1) Model FZ-G2AQMBEVA

From $4000 plus options







Ease of Use





  • Rugged to teh extreme
  • Reasonable battery life
  • No difference in performance on battery or mains power
  • Bright screen
  • 36 combinations of xPAKs


  • Heavy keys and trackpad – in fact, it is all heavy
  • Price – you have to need this