updated 08:55 am EDT, Mon June 4, 2007
Panasonic Toughbook 52
Panasonic on Monday morning rolled out the Toughbook 52, the company's first semi-rugged notebooks in the range to include 15-inch widescreen displays and the first North American Toughbook to use Intel's new Santa Rosa platform. Every configuration uses the newer Core 2 Duo processor with an 800MHz bus, and also brings the option of 3G Internet access: internal adapters connect the PC either to EVDO networks from Sprint and Verizon or HSDPA and UMTS access provided by AT&T and European carriers respectively. The casing till achieves the same military-grade durability for drops (up to 2.5 feet from any angle), Panasonic says, and has a liquid-proof keyboard that prevents accidents.
Two models are available that split the line into basic and performance models. The entry-level 1.8GHz version at $1,649 has a standard 1280x800 resolution screen as well as 1GB of RAM, an 80GB hard disk, and a DVD-RW drive. The premium 2Ghz version ($2,499) features both the faster processor and an HD-capable 1920x1200 screen driven by faster Mobility Radeon HD 2300 video. A larger 120GB hard drive also accompanies the top-end system.
Panasonic hopes to ship all versions of the new Toughbook in July with slots for both ExpressCard and PC Card devices, 802.11a/b/g wireless, Bluetooth 2, and security through a fingerprint reader.