At a glance, you'd be hard pressed to discern between Panasonic's new Toughbook and the one it's replacing. Both sport a thick, rugged exterior made of magnesium alloy and rated for MIL-STD-810G tests, both offer a spill resistant keyboard, and both just look tough. But the new Toughbook 53 weighs more than a pound less at 5.6 pounds and features a smaller 14-inch HD screen instead a 15.6-inch panel.
Inside the Toughbook 53 is an Intel Core i3 2310M or Core i5 2520M processor, higher hard drive capacities up to 320GB (7200RPM for the i5 model and 5400RPM for the i3 model), optional 128GB reinforced flex-connect SSD, up to 8GB of DDR3-1333 RAM, ExpressCard slot, SD card slot, DVD burner, optional touchscreen panel (i5 model), and an oversized electrostatic touchpad with multi-touch support.
The latest Toughbook also now offers 4G LTE service, which has never before been an option on the Toughbook line. If that's too much, Gobi2000 3G is still available as well.
Panasonic will start shipping the Toughbook 53 in June starting at $1,899 for the Core i5 model ($2,499 for the touchscreen model), and $1,599 for the Core i3 model starting in August.