Panasonic releases new Toughbook 53 rugged laptop

By on May 11, 2011, 10:00 AM

Panasonic has unveiled the latest addition to its line of rugged notebook computers: the Toughbook 53. The machine sports second-generation Intel Core i3 and i5 processors, 3G and 4G LTE mobile broadband connectivity options, a 14-inch display, 2 to 8GB of RAM, USB 3.0, and a design that's 15% lighter and 5% thinner than its predecessor. That's not to say it qualifies as a thin and light by any means. The Toughbook 53 is as bulky as ever built with a magnesium-alloy case that can withstand drops up to 30 inches, as well as vibration, humidity and dust.

The system meets MIL-STD-810G certifications for ruggedness, its keyboard is spill resistant and there's even a hard drive heater available for working in extremely cold conditions. Security features include a fingerprint reader, a Smartcard reader, TPM, AMT, vPro, a Kensington lock slot and Panasonic security utilities.

In terms of connectivity you can expect two USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0 port, an SDXC card slot, HDMI and VGA video output, built-in gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, 802.11n Wi-Fi, as well as optional FireWire, a second LAN card and optional Gobi 2000 mobile broadband for connecting to Sprint or Verizon 3G mobile broadband networks. An option for connecting to 4G LTE networks will also be made available in the summer.

Panasonic says the Toughbook 53 is capable of running for up to 10 hours with a long-life battery back or 6 hours with the Lightweight battery pack. A model based on the Intel Core i5 processor will launch in June with prices starting at $1,899. The touchscreen version of the same model should come in July with an estimated street price of $2,449, while a more affordable Core i3 model will land in August starting at $1,599.




User Comments: 5

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Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

1599 for the more affordable one... ya right. I'd just get a kickass laptop for 1000 and buy 599 worth of padding... enough to drop from the top of a building like the egg experiment we use to do in elementary school. You guys remember doing that? couldnt let the egg break.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

trillionsin said:

1599 for the more affordable one... ya right. I'd just get a kickass laptop for 1000 and buy 599 worth of padding... enough to drop from the top of a building like the egg experiment we use to do in elementary school. You guys remember doing that? couldnt let the egg break.

The difference is, barring from an engineering breakthrough you would not be able use your laptop in your cocoon enclosure of bubble wrap,rubber bands, and packaging peanuts. Nor would you be able to use it during a sub zero night during a saharan dust storm. You're completely missing the point: These laptops are designed for heavy duty military/government/industrial use where they HAVE to be able to take an immense beating while running in a possibly hazardous environment. Hell, I've seen vids of panasonic Toughbooks having their outer enclosures being wailed on by a baseball bat and barely taking a scratch. That kind of durability costs some real money.

peperonikiller peperonikiller said:

I've got to mess with a few of the models before this one and man are they tough. The only thing they really need to fix is the crappy touchpad, so annoying to use when the mouse would twitch all over and sometimes not even move. Had the same results across 5 BRAND NEW units.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

peperonikiller said:

I've got to mess with a few of the models before this one and man are they tough. The only thing they really need to fix is the crappy touchpad, so annoying to use when the mouse would twitch all over and sometimes not even move. Had the same results across 5 BRAND NEW units.

Sounds like normal touchpad nonsense to me. =p

optimistnyc said:

How about a Really Rugged tablet which could drop out of your backpack rock climbing and probably survive intact? Maybe this looks a little smoother but how rugged is survival of a 30inches drop? See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0HtfkySHWI for the Xplore C4 being dropped from atop a ladder and the just released C5 must have at least equal ability to survive a NINE foot drop repeated. Of course the video doesn't actually show it working again but wouldn't be very honest if it didn't....

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