Tuesday, January 13, 2015

NRF News: New Tough All-in-One Point of Sale Tablet from Panasonic

Below is a press release related to a new all-in-one tablet point of sale system from Panasonic as I sort through the various news and announcements coming from the NRF 2015 Big Show.

It is great that the device includes the important EMV reader as the liability shift date of EMV in the United States is coming up in October of this year. I also like that the hardware has been "ruggedized" as I've had some concerns over the last couple of years related to using consumer devices, like iPads, in environments were the device is exposed to heat, cold, grease, and rough handling.

The press release is somewhat vague when it comes to explaining exactly what point of sale application is running on the tablet in terms of specific functions and what market/types of businesses the tablet is designed for (retail? food service? museums? nurseries? etc.).

As the device is not yet available, it will be interesting to see how this solution competes with the other mobile point of sale solutions already on the market. As always, you can contact me for free and unbiased point of sale advice.

Here is the full press release:

Panasonic Announces First All-in-One Mobile POS Tablet with Integrated EMV Payment Technology for Retail Running Windows 8.1

The 7-inch Toughpad FZ-R1 empowers retailers with a true omni-channel mobile platform for today's evolving shopping experience
NEWARK, NJ, January 11, 2015 – Panasonic, an industry leader in reliable and innovative mobile computers for retail, today announced at the 104th annual National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show the launch of the Toughpad® FZ-R1 the industry's first*1 7-inch all-in-one mobile POS tablet running Windows 8.1 for retail environments and to meet the changing omni-channel customer expectations while providing secure transaction capabilities.
With its integrated EMV reader with PIN pad, mag stripe reader and NFC compatibility, the Intel®-based Toughpad FZ-R1 can handle all forms of electronic payment, giving retailers and their customers confidence that financial data is secure.
"The retail world is changing dramatically. Fraud liability is shifting from credit card companies to retailers in the U.S. this fall if they don't adopt EMV, and the widespread adoption of smartphones has upended brick and mortar retail strategies," said Dan Diliberti, senior product development manager – tablet and payment systems, Panasonic System Communications Company of North America. "The Toughpad FZ-R1 addresses these dramatic changes in the retail landscape with its integrated EMV payment technology and equips a retailer's salesforce with a powerful platform to help turn browsing shoppers into buyers and close sales right from the sales floor."
With the Toughpad FZ-R1 and the retailer's own store applications, salespeople can assist customers with product comparisons, check inventory or change an item's style color or size right from the sales floor in real time. By enabling checkout anywhere on the sales floor, the salesforce can emerge from behind the register and instead focus on the customer. They can easily pull up customer information including purchase history and other preferences, enabling associates to create cross sell opportunities and deliver that unique in-store, omni-channel experience customers now expect.
Additionally, the tablet is ideal for other customer engagement applications in retail, table service restaurants and hospitality including line busting, order taking, kiosk usage and inventory management.
Powered by an Intel® Celeron® processor and running Windows 8.1 Pro, the Toughpad FZ-R1 offers exclusive, enterprise-grade security features such as Trusted Platform Module (TPM). Other features not available on consumer-grade tablets include: a fast-charging, user-replaceable full-shift battery with optional bridge battery and high-capacity battery, ten-point capacitive multi-touch screen, integrated EMV reader with PIN pad, encrypted magnetic stripe reader, optional POS cradle, and a wide range of configuration options to allow retailers to build the ideal Toughpad FZ-R1 for their specific needs on the sales floor.
"Intel® Celeron® processors enable the media and graphics performance needed for the Toughpad FZ-R1 to drive customer interest, increase customer loyalty and turn showrooming into sales," said Joe Jensen, general manager, Retail Solutions Division, Intel. "The staff is empowered with an omni-channel mobile platform and, with a few taps or swipes, customers can adjust the design, size, color of an item and more." "Retailers today can use the point of sale to understand their customers better and provide more customized service from anywhere in the store," said Brendan O'Meara, managing director, Worldwide Retail and Consumer Goods at Microsoft Corp. "Panasonic's Toughpad® FZ-R1 mobile POS solution running Windows 8.1 will give retailers the expanded capabilities they need on a familiar platform for their employees, with an innovative, fully-integrated EMV card reader implementation in a mobile POS tablet."
Designed for the retail environment, the thin and lightweight rugged Toughpad FZ-R1 features a pre-installed replaceable screen film for LCD protection. Panasonic's entire range of enterprise-grade mobile computers are designed for reliable performance and long deployments, delivering a low total cost of ownership.
Panasonic offers a comprehensive POS system including the Toughpad FZ-R1 as part of its retail technology solutions engineered to increase management capabilities, operational efficiencies and productivity while improving the customer experience and boosting sales.
Toughpad FZ-R1: Key Specifications
· Durable: Semi-rugged, water resistant, fanless design
· Portability: 1.43 lbs., 10.12" x 5.12" x 1.08" (without protruding parts)
· Display: 10 Finger touch (Capacitive), 7" WXGA(1280x800), Aspect ratio 16:10, Anti-Reflection, includes capacitive stylus pen
· Payment: Integrated EMV reader with PIN pad, mag stripe reader
· Processor: Intel® Celeron® processor N2807 (1MB Cache, 1.58 GHz up to 2.16 GHz)
· Operating System: Windows 8.1 Models available*2
· Storage and Memory: 2-4GB SDRAM and 64GB eMMC storage, up to 64GB additional with optional micro SDXC card
· Battery: Approx. 8.0 hours (Tablet Only)3 and approx. 7.0 hours with payment4 Optional bridge battery, enabling users to switch out batteries without powering down the device.
· Charging Time: Power On (approx. 4 hours), Power Off (approx. 2.5 hours) *5
· Camera: optional 5MP, 2048 x 1536 dots, 15fps(Video) / 2592 x 1944 dots(Still), with Camera light
· Connectivity: Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC7260 Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth® v4.0 (Class 1), USB 3.0, micro SDHC card slot, headset jack and docking connector. The Toughpad FZ-R1 offers optional 4G LTE wireless broadband with satellite GPS
· Available Configuration Options: Barcode reader
Accessories The Toughpad FZ-R1 is compatible with a variety of accessories, including hand and shoulder straps, holsters, countertop POS cradle, cases, charging solutions and mobile printers.
Pricing, Availability and Warranty The Toughpad FZ-R1 will be available through authorized and select resellers and distributors in late Spring 2015. The Toughpad FZ-R1 Base model including Windows 8.1 and a standard MSR starts at $1,799. Limited development equipment is available now for lab testing and pilot tests. Please contact your Panasonic representative for more information.
Like all Toughpad devices, the Toughpad FZ-R1 comes backed by the industry's most comprehensive 3-year warranty and includes U.S.-based customer support.
For general sales inquiries, email or call Panasonic at sales.psc@us.panasonic.com or 877-803-8492.

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