Think your Gorilla Glass-protected waterproof smartphone is durable? It’s a proverbial wimp next to Panasonic’s new ToughPad, an ultra-rugged 5-inch tablet that sometimes does double duty as a phone.

That kind of ruggedness has a cost, however: This baby is anything but elegant. “Brick” is an apt descriptor for the 15-ounce, 1.2-inch-thick handheld, so it’s just as well the ToughPad is aimed at the business and industrial market, designed to take the kind of punishment that factory floors, highways and battlefields occasionally dish out.

Previously, Panasonic only offered ToughPad tablets in 10- and 7-inch sizes; this is the first one to have a 5-inch screen, which is a market dominated by Honeywell and Motorola Solutions. The tiny ToughPad comes in two options: the FZ-X1, which runs Android 4.2.2 “Jelly Bean,” and the FZ-E1, which is one of the first devices to ship with Windows Embedded 8.1, a special flavor of Windows for business handhelds… see more