updated 08:55 am EDT, Wed October 10, 2007
Panasonic Toughbook 3G
Panasonic on Wednesday unveiled two Toughbook portables that now have high-speed Internet access through AT&T's cellular network. Both the Toughbook 19 convertible tablet (pictured) and the more conventional Toughbook 30 now have the option of a Novatel HSDPA modem that will let them connect at 3G speeds both in those AT&T areas with full access as well as when roaming in Europe through HSDPA or UMTS networks. In most other areas the Toughbooks can fall back to 2.5G-level EDGE or even the most basic GPRS if the area is on the very fringe of coverage, Panasonic says.
Either model is fully ruggedized and designed to survive even harsh drops; the Toughbook 30 meets military standards for dust, shocks, and other poor conditions, Panasonic says. Both systems with the AT&T link-up are available now and start at $3,800 for the Toughbook 19 tablet, which ships with a 10.4-inch touch display, an ultra low-voltage 1.06GHz Core Duo, 512MB of RAM, and an 80GB hard disk. The $3,900 Toughbook 30 keeps the memory and storage options but uses a faster, low-voltage 1.66GHz Core Duo as well as a larger and traditional 13.3-inch LCD.