When the going gets tough, most technology throws up its hands in defeat and wilts like a flower. The majority of gadgets on the market just aren’t built to face the drop-down, submerged-in-liquid realities of everyday life – just ask anybody who ever had to replace his smartphone after spilling just a few drips of soda on it.
You won’t find any of that wussy gear in this gallery.
For the few that need a computer that can survive a 10 foot fall or keep ticking in a sandstorm, Panasonic has refreshed their line of Toughbook convertible tablet laptops with the Toughbook 19. Not much has changed on the outside of this version, but the internals got a big bump up.
In 1967, AT&T and the Federal Communications Commission sat down to hammer out the details of a national standard for requesting help from emergency services that we still use today—dialling 911. While dialling this simple three digit number may seem like a no-brainer to us now, when 911 was first introduced, it was a paradigm shift in communications that allowed for example, an individual in Toledo on a business trip to call for an ambulance the same way he would have done back home in San Francisco. Kind of a big deal, right? Here's how it works.
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.
The Panasonic Toughbook has always been the gold standard for butterfingered executives, but the new CF-C1 actually offers up more than just rugged good looks, it’s actually a convertible tablet. The swivel around display boasts a resistive touchscreen which normally wouldn’t impress us, but the ability to register gloved input certainly gives it an edge over anything we’ve seen in the capacitive world.
By default the new Toughbook tablet sports a 2.4 GHz Core i5, your choice of spindle or SSD based storage, along with all the wireless connectivity options you would ever need including optional 3G. At $2,700 were are going to suggest that only the super clumsy need apply, but it’s always interesting to see what these guys come up with from an industrial design standpoint.
Panasonic this week introduced several upgrades to its existing Toughbook 19 rugged convertible tablet PC, including the addition of an Intel Core i5 540UM processor clocked at 1.2GHz (with Turbo Boost up to 2.0GHz).
Other features include 2GB of DDR3 memory (expandable to 8GB), a 10.4-inch LED backlit touchscreen display, 160GB SATA hard drive (optional 128GB SSD), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, two USB 2.0 ports, SD card slot, and other ho-hum specs.
The real selling point here is the rugged design. According to Panasonic, the Toughbook 19 exceeds the MIL-STD-810G certification and can withstand a six-foot drop. The hard drive is shock-mounted and the magnesium alloy case has been certified for all kinds of nasty conditions, such as sand storms and heavy rain.
The Toughbook 19 is available now starting at $3,400 street.
At a glance, it might hard to take Panasonic's new H1 Field too seriously. After all, it looks like you could find one in Toys-R-Us right between the LeapPad and those gimmicky cartoon character notebooks. But upon closer inspection, you'll see this is nothing of the sort.
Panasonic's H1 Field is actually a ruggedized tablet that's part of the company's Toughbook series. The H1 Field can withstand a 6-foot drop, scorching hot or freezing temperatures, and even a bit of water. It even boasts a sunlight-viewable dual-touch LCD designed to recognize both finger and stylus input. Try doing all that with your LeapPad.
Unlike anything else you're likely to find in the toy section, the H1 Field comes equipped with an Intel Atom Z540 processor (1.86GHz), 2GB of RAM, a 64GB reinforced flex-connect SSD, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RFID reader, and other odds and ends.
Panasonic says the H1 Field will start shipping in March with an estimated street price of $3,379.
The new Core i5 and Core i7 mobile CPUs are already finding their way into some products. Panasonic has announced that the Japanese version of the Toughbook laptops, known there as Lets Note, will be getting some speedy new Nehalem-based processors. The new rugged (and a little ugly) offerings will come in four flavors.
The S9, N9, and F9 will have a Core i5-520M CPU. Screen sizes range from 12.1 inches (S9 and F9) up to the 14.1 inch screen on the F9. This screen will probably look quite nice with a resolution of 1440 x 900. The real gem here is the R9 model which will have a Core i7-620M, 250GB HDD, and 2GB of DDR3 RAM crammed into a chassis the size of a netbook. A 10.1 inch screen with that kind of power makes for a desirable ultraportable computer.
A Japanese launch is scheduled for February 17th. No word on if these PCs will find their way here. If you were able to get one of these, what would you pay for it?
Intel’s new Atom mobile processor has been adopted by Panasonic which has incorporated it into their new UMPC the Toughbook CF-U1. The Atom Z520 with it’s power sipping 1.33GHz processor is living with it's new friends a Solid State Drive, WIndows OS, and 1024MB of DDR2 RAM, in the ultra mobile rugged U1 with it’s magnesium alloy chassis, spill-dust resistant, sealed, all weather enclosure. It is sure to be a hit with anyone that likes it rough. The backlit QWERTY keyboard and a 5.6" WSVGA sunlight-viewable touch screen, makes it usable in almost any lighting conditions. It sounds like just the thing, I need to replace my poor laptop that I beat to death and keep resurrecting.
According to eWeek.comit is expected to go on sale in August with a starting price of $2,499.