Panasonic plans new Toughbook PCs, expects big growth

Panasonic will release a range of tougher Toughbook PCs in October and November. They should still work after a fall of 76 centimeters, the company said.

Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic) is refreshing its Toughbook rugged laptop PC line and aiming for a big jump in international sales of the computers over the next three years.

The company, already a leader in the rugged PC market, aims to ship 7.5 times more rugged PCs outside Japan by 2010 than it did in 2006, said Toshiyuki Takagi, director of the IT product division and Panasonic's AVC Networks division, at a Tokyo news conference. In Europe it is aiming for a ten-fold increase in shipments.

The new 7-series machines, aimed at corporate users, are beefier than the current 5-series machines and can survive a fall from a greater height.

The new models can be dropped from 76 centimeters -- the height of an average desk -- while switched on and still work, according to Panasonic. Its current Toughbook models for the corporate PC market are rated for a 30 cm drop but only when switched off.

The 76-cm claim was backed up at the news conference as the laptops were dropped numerous times without any problem.

Panasonic also demonstrated a new irrigation system in the keyboard that can funnel water through the machine and out of a drain hole in the base. It can handle up to 200 milliliters of water -- about the amount in a medium-sized glass -- without the PC experiencing any problems.

The four new laptops -- one of which will be available in Japan only -- are based on Intel's Santa Rosa platform, which combines a processor, chipset and wireless adapter. They have double the memory of their predecessors, at 1G byte, and the hard-disk capacity is one-third larger, at 80G bytes, than in the previous models. They all include 802.11 a/b/g wireless LAN but the new 802.11n variant is not supported.

The Japan-only CF-R7 has a 10.4-inch screen with 1,024 pixels by 768 pixels (XGA) resolution but no optical drive. It will be launched on Oct. 19 and will cost about YEN Â205,000 ($US1,780).

The CF-T7 has a 12.1-inch XGA screen and will be launched in Japan on Oct. 19. It will cost YEN Â220,000.

The CF-W7 adds a DVD Super-multi drive to the mix and will go on sale in Japan on Nov. 16 for around YEN Â250,000.

Finally, the high-end CF-Y7 has a 14.1-inch screen with 1,400 pixels by 1,050 pixels (SXGA) resolution and the DVD Super-multi drive. It will launch on Oct. 19 and will cost about YEN Â270,000.

The CF-T7, CF-W7 and CF-Y7 will be launched in Europe on Nov. 27. The CF-W7 will cost YEN Â1,950 $US2,760), the CF-T7 will have a YEN Â2,100 price tag and the CF-Y7 will be YEN Â2,170.

North American and Asian prices are yet to be announced. Launch dates will be around the same time as those in Europe.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?