Panasonic releases new line of 'business-rugged' portables

Panasonic Computer Solutions, maker of the popular Toughbook line of ruggedized notebook PCs, has introduced three new units ' the Toughbook W7, T7 and Y7 ' that fit into a new category it calls 'business-rugged.'

Units in this new category are designed to be tougher than standard notebooks, though not up to fully ruggedized standards, such as those in the MIL-STD-810F standard.

The W7 is an ultralight notebook with a 12.1-inch display. The T7 is a 'tablet-alternative' notebook with a swiveling touchscreen. The Y7 is a somewhat larger notebook that sports a 14.1-inch display and yet still weighs only 3.7 pounds.

All of the units ' which are built around the Intel Core 2 Duo processor ' are drop- and spill-resistant thanks to solid magnesium-alloy cases and shock-mounted drives. The units were all tested using MIL-STD-810F methodologies. While Panasonic's fully rugged Panasonic Toughbook notebooks are mil-spec drop-rated to 36 inches (for both the unit and the hard drive), the 7 series notebooks are rated to 12 inches for the unit itself and 30 inches for the shock-mounted hard drive.

In an effort to make its case for added toughness, Panasonic also released the results of a survey it commissioned that showed that 42 percent of notebook owners reported some sort of mishap with their computer, including dropping it or spilling something on it. In addition, the survey showed that 90 percent of those surveyed would be willing to pay something of a premium for added toughness.

The Toughbook Y7 is available now and has an estimated street price of $2,449. Toughbook W7 and T7 units will be available in December; Panasonic estimates their street price will be $2,099.

About the Author

Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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