updated 01:45 pm EDT, Wed March 26, 2008
Panasonic Toughbook 19
Panasonic on Tuesday announced an update to its convertible tablet notebook, the Toughbook 19, that includes a newer chipset and more standard and optional memory. The next generation Toughbook 19F now includes a Core 2 Duo processor at 1.06GHz and twice as much standard memory, at 1GB versus 512MB, as well as a newly optional integrated camera. RAM is also expandable to 4GB, as opposed to 2GB with the earlier version.
Hard disk space, at 80GB, remains unchanged. Windows Vista Business is the standard OS, with XP available as a downgrade option. Communication is key in the field, and Panasonic equipped the 19 with Bluetooth v2.0 and an 802.11a/b/g WiFi link. A WWAN module in either EV-DO Rev. A or HSDPA guise are options, as is GPS.
The 5.1 lb Toughbook 19 features a swiveling 10.4-inch XGA (1024x768) resolution screen with a bright, 500-nit (or 550 in the Tablet version), glare-resistant LCD made for outdoor, direct sunlight conditions. A dimmer for the screen along with an optional backlit keyboard mean the Toughbook is efficient in low-light conditions as well. The equally key battery life is rated at up to 7 hours.
Panasonic's Toughbook range also sports sealed keyboards and ports, shock-mounted and heated hard drives as well as carrying straps. Durability is ensured with MIL-STD-810F testing in a range of extreme conditions that include 3-foot drops, humidity, altitude, water-, rain- and dust-resistance, among others.
The Toughbook 19F can be purchased now at a price of $3,199, with the integrated camera version launching in May with a $3,699 price tag.