Panasonic soups up the Toughbook 19

Panasonic is doubling down on its rugged tablet PC, one of the first of that type of device the GCN Lab ever tested. This is little surprising given that Panasonic has always been a leader in the rugged field, and the Toughbook 19 combined both the toughness needed by the military and the convenience of a tablet that could be converted to a notebook.

Now armed with a new chipset, the rugged tablet is ready to take on the next generation of challenges out in the field, especially when that could mean an actual field.

Panasonic Toughbook 19

The updated Toughbook 19 now comes with an Intel Core i5-3320M vPro processor that runs at up to 3.3 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology. Other enhancements include expanded storage, a more responsive touchpad and an innovative ambient light sensor, allowing automatic backlight shut-off to improve battery life.

Key improvements in addition to the faster processor include expanded storage, with a 500G, 7200 rpm hard drive that’s shock-mounted with a flex-connect with quick release, better battery life with up to 10 hours of usable work time on a single charge, a USB 3.0 port, and a more responsive touchpad with Interlink’s VersaPad. The new Toughbook also includes a nod to Green IT, with an ambient light sensor that turns off the backlight when it's not needed, and improves battery life.

“The rugged Toughbook 19 convertible tablet PC has been reliably serving mission-critical mobile workers for more than half a decade,” said Kyp Walls, director of product management for Panasonic Solutions for Business. “These upgrades will give users improved performance and functionality along with the quality and durability they have come to trust.”

Optional integrated 4G LTE wireless or 3G Gobi mobile broadband is another key feature of the Toughbook 19, allowing workers to stay connected virtually all of the time. Optional GPS technology enables improved accuracy, fast satellite acquisition time and low power consumption. The Toughbook 19 also features Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth v. 4.0 + EDR (Class 1) and numerous other connectivity options.

As before, the new upgraded Toughbook 19 goes beyond the MIL-STD-810G certification with the ability to withstand a six-foot drop. The device also features a shock-mounted hard drive, full magnesium alloy case and available explosive atmosphere certification (Class 1 Div 2) for hazardous environments. The Toughbook 19’s IP65 certification provides water and dust resistance, enabling field workers to maintain their productivity in challenging scenarios such as heavy rains or sandstorms.

In addition, the device has a fanless design, unlike other convertible tablets, improving reliability by reducing the opportunity for dust or liquid-related ingress issues, typical of challenging works environments. The 10.1-inch XGA touchscreen TransreflectivePlus display with anti-reflective and anti-glare screen treatments, plus a circular polarizing filter, provides an unparalleled outdoor viewing experience, even in direct sunlight.

In the United States, the Toughbook 19 is available from authorized Panasonic resellers starting at an estimated retail price of $3,549.

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