New Panasonic Toughbook S10 Will Take Whatever You Can Dish Out, For a Price



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Panasonic Toughbooks always have been (and I am convinced they always will be) a JOKE. Just about any computer that is advertised as "tough" or "rugged" or any other adjective suggesting the ability to handle severe abuse is way off from reality. I have worked with HUNDREDS of Toughbooks over the years in the USAF on the flight-line as a fighter aircraft crew chief. The USAF has made a huge push to go paperless and that includes our technical orders and manuals we use to maintain our aircraft. So they have installed all of these tech orders and manuals on to Panasonic Toughbooks (and other "rugged" laptops) so we can use them out doors where they are subjected to the elements (severe heat/cold, rain, snow, etc.), all manner of aircraft fluids (fuel, hydraulic fluid, oil, grease, etc.), and the general neglect of the maintainers. We crew chiefs by nature are not known for our finesse or gentleness, but when a Toughbook falls off of a toolbox on to the floor 2 feet below and becomes a BRICK, I tend to doubt the ruggedness of the machine. This has not only happened once, but over and over again. In fact, I have a file cabinet drawer in my office with 8 bricked Toughbooks that probably have a combined total of 200 hours of use between them all before they ate it. Just not worth the money at all.

Toughbooks may be good for "rugged" use at home, but certainly not for an industrial area. I think the USAF is better off getting el cheapo laptops and replacing those as needed instead of shelling our $2,500 to $5,000 for these toughbooks that don't stand up to our "normal" use.



I use them in our machine shop on all of our CNCs. Only have had a few fall on the ground, but they survived. They get greasy and have coolant splashed on them every so often, but they are all still ticking. Though I do hear a lot from my military buddies that they don't really like them, but more from a performance standpoint than a toughness.

I've had a roommate kick a T5 out of my hand while I was using it. Hit the carpeted floor, but I was able to pick it back up and keep working.

Few questions though. Do you think you'll be able to go back to a non touchscreen laptop? How well do you think the cheap laptops and (if they're stupid enough) the ipad are going to hold up?



None of the Toughbooks I have seen around my job are touchscreens...I don't think they'd survive a day with the grease and crap that is ever present on maintainer's hands. Cheap laptops can be had easily for $500 and they'd out-perform the Toughbooks I've used...and given how many I have seen break from a relatively short fall or otherwise mild mishandling a normal laptop would probably hold up just as well. As far as the Toughbooks go, the case/shell is a bit more sturdy, but the insides are all the same as any other run-of-the-mill laptop.

iPads would be an outrageously stupid decision...but if they showed up I would not be surprised...I've seen some pretty idiotic decisions made at some pretty high levels.

The biggest problem though, is that the guys don't treat the laptops like they are their own...if they did that I'm sure the laptops/Toughbooks would fare much better than they do now.

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