updated 09:00 am EST, Tue March 2, 2010
Panasonic Toughbook C1 weighs in at 3.2lbs
Panasonic claimed to solve one of the major problems of tablet PCs today by adding a new touchscreen Toughbook. The C1 is billed as the lightest convertible tablet with a 12-inch screen and weighs just 3.2 pounds with a regular battery; it only comes closer to rivals when it uses a two-battery pack. The design further brings a dual hinge that puts the opening and twisting motions into separate hinges and cuts down on the likelihood of the hinge breaking in regular use.
As with most Toughbooks, the C1 is hardened against above-average punishment and should survive a one-foot drop without any damage to the body as well as up to 2.5 feet for the hard drive. It carries a spill-resistant keyboard and should withstand about 225 pounds of pressure on either side.
Even with its low weight and tablet design, the system should be relatively fast and will have a 2.4GHz Core i5 along with a minimum 2GB of RAM and a 250GB hard drive. Battery life is normally five hours, but the previously mentioned dual battery pack should give it 10 hours. A Gobi modem is optional and provides 3G over either EVDO or HSPA, and security is kept tight with both fingerprint and Smart Card readers.
Panasonic doesn't expect the C1 to be ready until June, where its shell and speed will dictate a $2,499 price.