updated 03:55 pm EDT, Thu September 27, 2007
Panasonic Toughbook Sept
Panasonic today launched a sweeping change of its Toughbook line in its home country and set the groundwork for future American updates. Known as Let's Note, the series is generally built on Intel's faster Santa Rosa platform and now has 1GB of onboard memory in built-in models with a free slot for expansion; every model also has gigabit Ethernet and card readers with support for large-capacity SDHC cards. Most every system runs Windows Vista Business but can now downgrade to XP Professional for cautious users, Panasonic says.
The 14-inch Y7 sees some of the most significant upgrades, according to the company. A tougher frame and hard drive damper now let the notebook drop from as high as 30 inches without destroying the system or its data. It runs on a 1.6GHz low-voltage Core 2 Duo with an 80GB hard disk and a DVD burner and will sell for roughly $2,335. Two somewhat smaller 12-inch models, the optical driveless T7 and the W7, both share their own stronger frame and are powered by a 1.06GHz ultra-low voltage Core 2 Duo that extends battery life to five hours for the W7 and ten for the T7. Both share 80GB hard disks and should be available at prices of $1,903 for the T7 and $2,162 for the DVD-equipped W7.
Panasonic's smallest system, the 10.4-inch R7, also sees a reworked chassis and the same performance as the T7 in its regular form for a price of $1,773. The special, all-black Premium Edition boosts clock speed to 1.2GHz and adds a much larger 250GB hard disk plus 1GB of flash memory that speeds access times; it sells for $2,318.
Most systems are slated to ship on October 19th, with the exception of the R7 Premium Edition that ships on October 26th and the W7 which arrives on November 16th. US release dates were not part of the announcement but may arrive before the end of the year. [via Impress]
R7 Premium Edition