updated 12:11 pm EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Haswell-based Toughbook 53 survives 3-foot drops, splashes
Panasonic has unveiled another semi-rugged notebook in its Toughbook computer range. The Toughbook 53 is a hard-wearing notebook capable of surviving a three-foot drop and survive in challenging environments, while still offering a 14-inch 720p touchscreen and stylus-enabled display and a fourth-generation Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 3GHz.
Offering a choice of 4GB or 8GB of RAM, the Toughbook 53 includes Intel HD 4400 graphics, a 500GB 7,200rpm drive in its Elite model,with a 320GB 5,400rpm version in the Lite edition and SSD options, a DVD drive, integrated stereo speakers, an 87-key keyboard with an oversized multi-touch touchpad and optional backlighting, and options for a fingerprint or smartcard reader for extra security.
External connections include HDMI and VGA video, three USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone ports, gigabit Ethernet, and options for a second Ethernet port, 56k modem, and firewire. While it offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR, it includes options for built-in LTE and GPS. While the Lite model will ship with a 4,500mAh battery said to last for up to ten hours, the Elite version has a 6,750mAh power pack, lasting for up to 15 hours and can be charged within two hours.
Just as with earlier editions in the notebook range, the Toughbook is rugged enough to receive MIL-STD-810G certifications for drops, shocks, vibration, humidity, altitude, dust, temperature extremes, and thermal shock. Contributing to its durability, the drives can be protected from cold temperatures using an optional drive heater, with the drives also having shock mounts and a quick-release system, while the screen has a pre-installed removable protective film. The notebook also has a built-in handle for easier carrying.
Panasonic will start shipping the Toughbook 53 from August, starting from $1,399.