updated 01:00 pm EDT, Tue September 29, 2009
Panasonic adds new ToughBook models, Win7
Panasonic on Tuesday morning debuted six new Let's Note models in Japan, which are the equivalent of the maker's ToughBook rugged notebook PCs in North America. There were updated versions of the F8, R8, T8, W8 as well as two new models in the S8 and N8. The main change is the inclusion of 32-bit Windows 7, with some models getting the option to downgrade to Windows XP. The new S8 and N8 PCs also get much more powerful processors, with Intel's 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo, whereas the R8 makes do with a low-power 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo. The main difference between the S8 and N8 is the inclusion of a DVD drive in the S8 and a lack of one in the N8.
Otherwise, they share the same CPU, a 250GB hard drive, a GM45 Express chipset with GMA 4500 video, and either 2GB or 4GB of RAM. Both have a 12.1-inch LCD screen with a 1366x768 resolution, and the same support for WiMAX, Wi-Fi, gigabit Ethernet, SDHC memory cards and HDMI. The S8 weighs just under 2.6lbs, while the N8 is slightly lighter, at 2.4lbs.
Panasonic is also touting 8 hours of battery life for the new Let's Note models in standard trim, and up to 16 hours for Enhanced models.
The same ToughBook features are retained, including a water-proof keyboard, the ability to withstand 225lbs/ft of pressure and drops from up to 2.5 feet.
Despite the introduction, no release dates or prices for the new Let's Note/ToughBook models were revealed. At least one of the models is expected to eventually show up in North America, albeit renamed. [via Impress]