Panasonic releases new Toughbook

Panasonic Computer Solutions Company recently introduced the newest member of its Toughbook product line. The Panasonic Toughbook 52 is a semi-rugged, wireless-ready desktop replacement notebook. Built on the new Santa Rosa chipset from Intel, the Toughbook 52 offers all the processing power of a desktop replacement notebook in a form factor engineered from the ground up for mobility, the company says.

Building on the success of its predecessor, the Toughbook 51, the new widescreen Toughbook comes equipped with additional security features, a new carrying handle and optional embedded access to next-generation wireless data networks from major wireless carriers. In addition, the MIL-SPEC-certified notebook incorporates durable design features such as magnesium alloy cases, flexible internal connectors and shock-mounted screen, hard drives and LCDs, according to Panasonic.

With a battery life of about 4 to 6 hours, depending on use environment, the Toughbook 52 includes a spill-resistant keyboard and is certified to the MIL-STD-810F standard, tested to withstand drops of up to 2.5 feet on all six sides, the company says; the hard drive itself is tested to withstand a drop of 3 feet.

All Toughbook notebooks incorporate a wireless-ready design that allows customers to initially purchase, or later upgrade to, embedded access to next-generation data networks, including UMTS/HSDPA-based solutions from Cingular Wireless and the EV-DO Rev. A. networks of Sprint or Verizon. The Toughbook 52 initially will ship with optional embedded access to the EV-DO Rev. A. mobile broadband network of Verizon Wireless. Integrated WLAN and Bluetooth also ensure that users stay connected, wherever their work takes them.

The Toughbook 52 now is available in two configurations: standard (estimated street price of $1,699) or optimized for improved video and Vista-performance, including a faster CPU, 512MB dedicated VRAM and a larger 120GB hard drive (estimated street price of $2,499). All Toughbook notebooks are customizable and available through authorized Panasonic Toughbook resellers nationwide. For more information, go to