Panasonic is shipping what it says is Earth's lightest 12.1-inch laptop with a built-in DVD drive. At only three pounds, the Toughbook S9 is apparently leaner than competing mobile PCs, with specs including a 2.4GHz Core i5-520M vPro CPU, 2GB of RAM (supports as much as 6GB), 320GB of storage, a DVD burner, and up to 11 hours of battery life. It also sports a 1280x800 anti-glare display, a fingerprint reader, HDMI and VGA-out, as well as gigabit Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and optional WWAN connectivity.
Additionally, as its name indicates, Panasonic classifies the Toughbook S9 as being 'business rugged'. Its magnesium alloy chassis can sustain a base drop of 2.5 feet while operating or up to 1 foot from any angle while off, it can withstand 220 pounds of pressure on its lid and it has a spill-resistant keyboard. Unfortunately, all of this comes at a discouraging, but expected price premium. Panasonic says the Toughbook S9 is available in the US with an MSRP of $2,499, which includes a three-year warranty.