Panasonic Computer Solutions Company is making the Toughbook 51 rugged notebook PC, available at a more affordable levels, now with an estimated street price of US$1499.
The Toughbook 51 is based on Intel Corporation's Centrino mobile technology platform, and includes the Intel Pentium M processor 740 at 1.73GHz, a full magnesium-alloy case, an internally shock-and-drop resistant 40GB removable hard drive, 1GB Ethernet NIC 10/100/1000 support, Intel Pro/Wireless 802.11a/b/g connectivity and a 15-inch UXGA (1600x1200 pixel) TFT active-matrix color display mounted in a shock-and-vibration hardened encasement.
It ships standard with 256MB of DDR RAM (expandable to 2GB), a 15-inch TFT active-matrix UXGA display with 64MB VRAM, a DVD/CD-RW combo drive which can be user-replaced with a second battery for extended runtime of up to seven hours, a modular floppy drive, wired, wireless and analog modem support, and Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2. The Toughbook 51 is also available with a Smart Card reader.
Rance Poehler, president of Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, recently commented, "The Toughbook 51's hard-drive implementation significantly expands the definition of the term 'ruggedized' computer. With the 51 we have expanded the ruggedization process out of the box and applied it to specific individual components which are likely to be repeatedly removed and reinstalled," he said.
"The Toughbook 51 was specifically designed for customers with critical data-security requirements such as government employees who are required to pull their hard drives whenever they leave their computers unattended," he said. "They -- and we -- were rightly concerned about what might happen when a bare drive is accidentally dropped or subjected to some other shock. Our response to those concerns is the Toughbook's proprietary hard drive, which can withstand a three-foot drop to a solid surface."