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  • A matter of trust. A buyer satisfaction survey of rugged mobile computing providers, 2018
A buyer satisfaction survey of rugged mobile computing providers.


Choosing the right provider for any organisation’s mobile computing solution is a business-critical decision. It requires a solution provider that can offer the right advice and support at every stage of the product’s lifecycle. That advice begins with understanding the requirements of the mobile workforce and the critical business workflows to ensure the most appropriate rugged device can be specified. The close working relationship must be maintained during the testing and implementation phase to enable the deployment to deliver the return and business advantage that the organisation envisaged. Finally, ongoing service and support is an essential element to ensure any downtime is kept to an absolute minimum to allow the business to capitalise on its investment.

Although simple to articulate, this level of expertise and service is difficult to achieve and maintain for any provider. That’s why I am delighted that mobile computing buyers across Europe and North America have repeatedly picked Panasonic as their most trusted provider of rugged PC solutions in the latest VDC Research survey.

In this research, buyers reported that we are the rugged PC vendor that they would most recommend. It is Panasonic Toughbook notebooks and Toughpad tablets that perform the best and it is our listening, expertise, responsiveness and service that set the benchmark in the industry.

Panasonic works tirelessly to ensure it can offer this level of support to our customers and this commitment has shone through in these research results. However, we will not be complacent and will strive to continuously improve in all areas. If you are considering a mobile computing solution for your workforce, I encourage you to read this executive summary to consider just what buyers like you value in their mobile deployments and their provider.

Jan Kaempfer, General Manager for Marketing at Panasonic Computer Product Solutions

Key findings

Buyers say Panasonic is most trusted rugged notebook and tablet supplier

Panasonic is most trusted rugged notebook and tablet provider across Europe and North America, according to buyers polled in the latest research from international technology specialists VDC Research. The global market-leading provider of rugged Toughbook notebooks and Toughpad tablets, topped the list in a wide range of categories including understanding business needs, hardware performance, technical support and total satisfaction. The research questioned more than 600 buyers of mobile computing devices.

Using a Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure the loyalty that exists between a provider and a customer, alongside satisfaction ratings of zero to 10, Panasonic beat its rugged competitors in key areas throughout the lifecycle of a rugged device.

Panasonic tops recommendation poll

When considering rugged computing vendors Panasonic topped the NPS scoreboard with a rating of 33, 6 points clear of its nearest competitor. The score
is based on how likely a buyer is to recommend the company and product. 

Net Promoter Score (NPS)*

Understanding needs and implementation

Buyers said Panasonic outpointed its rugged industry peers with its ability to understand needs and match them with proper technical solutions. Panasonic also came out on top for solution implementation and technical support. 

Satisfaction rating (0-10)

Strongest in hardware performance

In terms of overall satisfaction with hardware performance, Panasonic also topped the rugged leaderboard. When scoring this result, buyers considered daylight viewability, battery life, drop and impact resistance and vibration and water resistance.

Satisfaction rating (0–10)

Service satisfaction

In addition, VDC Research reported that Panasonic excelled at service quality in comparison to its peers. This category of questioning covered maintenance, quality of service and customer service.



“Panasonic’s technologies are being leveraged for a variety of integrated business and mission critical workflows,” said David Krebs, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Mobility and Connected Devices at VDC Research. “A key point of differentiation for Panasonic from its rugged peers is the ability to understand customer requirements and identify opportunities to align its technologies to support these applications. Panasonic also excels at post deployment professional services and addressing any unique requirements or adjustments required once their solutions have been fielded. This is a particularly critical and competitive service capability for Panasonic.”

All graphs are based upon findings from the VDC whitepaper, “Beyond the Device: Evaluating the Solutions Capabilities of Leading Rugged Mobile Computing Vendors”.

*The NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who are ‘Detractors’ from the percentage of customers who are ‘Promoters’.



The Panasonic difference

So, what makes Panasonic stand out as a rugged mobile computing provider?


Not all rugged devices are created equal

There is no standard definition for the term ‘rugged PC’. It can mean something very different from vendor to vendor. For example, rugged protection is not just about drop specification and ingress protection.

Panasonic devices are tested to and protected against:


I can see clearly now

Most vendors claim outdoor visibility, but a professional display is not just about being outdoor readable and touch capable. Most Panasonic touchscreens can accept input in high and low temperatures, can be used with a capacitive or digitizer pen, are able to be used with gloves and can even be operated in the rain. The Panasonic anti-reflective layer also provides the best viewability even under direct sunlight. At the same time our screens consume less power, extending battery life. In the recent buyer research, buyers said Panasonic’s display daylight viewability was clearly best among rugged PC providers. 


Stay connected

Many modern devices often don’t have the necessary business interfaces. With the introduction of USB Type-C many interfaces are being removed from units, at the same time as adapter cables and dongles are introduced. Panasonic still provides a variety of common and legacy business interfaces and ports to support seamless business usage. Remember to ask which ports and interfaces are included in the main unit without adapter cables. In the buyer survey, Panasonic’s wireless connectivity was also voted one of the best in rugged devices.


Left feeling run down

Most batteries in business devices cannot be replaced, and last less than a work shift. High capacity battery options and replaceable batteries lead to lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and better Return on Investment (ROI). Panasonic batteries provide long battery life on a single charge. Most Panasonic units have exchangeable batteries so you can run multi-shift duties with the lowest downtime. High capacity battery options are available to support long shifts without downtime or access to power. Always ask for a device with a high capacity battery option and exchangeable design to improve TCO and ROI.


Making your IT investment last 

More features in smaller form factors lead to devices that are difficult to customise and impossible to service. This can impact on TCO. Panasonic understands that serviceability is important for businesses. So, all our components are replaceable and parts are guaranteed to be available for a minimum of five years. We also work hard to build backward compatibility into all our products to ensure that power packs, docks and accessories can be reused from one generation of device to the next.

Ask your supplier how components in their device are replaced and how quickly and easily their device can be repaired.

Repair quality

First time fixes

Rugged device failure rates are very low but if something should go wrong, you want to be confident that it will be repaired properly so there’s no further impact on productivity.

Our repair service is only carried out by authorised Panasonic Toughbook Service Teams. All technicians are dedicated rugged specialists and have access to information on all products.

Our Service Centre is located on the same site as our configuration centre for synergy and efficiency between operations.

We offer an online self-management tool to speed up repair and maintenance, giving customers more visibility and control. Collection of faulty devices can also be booked via the system with our logistics partner.

All units that go through the Service Centre are treated just like production units with the same exacting quality control process, ensuring the highest standards of repair.

Turn around time

No hanging around

Device downtime cuts productivity and can also have an impact on reputation, customers, and employee morale. Panasonic’s 48–hour repair time is one of the best in the rugged market. With our Rapid Replacement Service, we can deliver next day, ready-for-use replacement units straight out of the box.

Ask your supplier how quickly they can deliver a like-for-like replacement device, or indeed what their net device repair time is.

End-to-end warranties

It’s a fact that the older your device, the more likely it is to fail. Panasonic offers a range of warranties that can be extended on request beyond the standard coverage.

We can tailor special levels of service according to how your business needs to work.

Challenge your supplier by finding out how far they are willing to extend their warranty cover and asking what it covers.