Secaucus (NJ) – Panasonic today introduced a new generation of its rugged notebook series “Toughbook”. Built around Intel’s Santa Rosa platform, the notebook now features draft-n wireless capability, updated Core 2 Duo processors and optional wireless broadband.
The new Toughbook 52 remains a notebook you can use out in the rain and drop from a table without being too concerned about damages. There’s still magnesium alloy casing, flexible internal connectors, shock-mounted hard drives and LCDs, a spill-proof keyboard, but the new generation of the 7.3-pound desktop-replacement system gets more mobile by incorporating Intel’s latest mobile platform, previously code-named Santa Rosa.
Starting at $1650, the base Toughbook 52 comes with a Core 2 Duo 7100 (1.8 GHz) processor, the GM965 integrated graphics chipset, 1 GB of memory, a 15.4” screen, a 80 GB hard drive, a draft-n wireless chipset, an 85 watt battery the manufacturer claims will last up to 7.5 hours, a Trusted Platform Module (TPM v1.2) security chip and a Computrace software agent in BIOS.
$850 more will buy a T7300 (2.0 GHz) processor, AMD’s X2300 graphics chip with 512 MB memory, and a 120 GB hard drive. Battery running time goes down to about 4.5 hours in this upgraded configuration, Panasonic said. A fingerprint scanner and a Smartcard reader are also available as options.
Both notebooks can be ordered with wireless broadband cards from Cingular (HSDPA) or Verizon Wireless (EV-DO).