In a nutshell: The chunky, magnesium alloy build of the Panasonic Toughbook 40 suggests that this machine has been designed to work in the field and challenging outdoor environments. The latest model in the series is IP66 certified and meets a number of US military standards, allowing it to withstand multiple 6ft drops. It also brings support for Panasonic's modular xPAKs system, giving users access to a host of expansion bays for a total of 70 different configurations.

The Panasonic Toughbook 40 and its 2.1-inch (53.3mm) thick shell results in a rugged 3.35kg (7.4 lbs) notebook that's highly configurable and modular, making it an ideal digital companion for the military, law enforcement agencies or utility companies with demanding work conditions.

This new model is a Windows 11 Secured-core machine that brings advanced firmware-level security features from Microsoft and partners to protect against data theft and sophisticated attacks. Under the hood is an 11th-gen Intel Core i5 or i7 vPro chip with 16GB of RAM (2 x DIMMS upgradeable to 64GB) and a quick-release 512GB SSD that can be increased up to 2TB.

An optional dedicated AMD GPU will be available sometime in the future. However, at launch, users can opt for an Intel Iris Xe iGPU over the slower UHD variant to power the 14-inch FHD touchscreen. This panel features auto-detection for various input methods like pen, finger, gloves, wet hands, and can reach a peak 1,200 nits of brightness for easier readability in direct sunlight.

Where the Toughbook 40 really shines, though, is configurability. In addition to user-replaceable battery, memory, storage and keyboard, Panasonic's xPAKs modular system gives access to four additional expansion bays where users can add even more battery capacity or storage, as well as other hardware like optical drives, authentication readers and more I/O (VGA, D-sub).

The Toughbook's battery is also hot-swappable and doubles the usage time to 36 hours with the optional secondary pack onboard. The laptop is loaded in terms of connectivity and ports, featuring optional 4G and 5G modems, alongside Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. The built-in connectors include a single Thunderbolt 4 port, 2 x USB-A ports, microSD, HDMI, Ethernet and an audio jack.

A 5MP FHD webcam with privacy shutter sits atop the display, alongside four mics and dual top-facing 95db speakers for audio output in noisy environments. There's also a one-touch Concealed Mode function that can be used during an emergency to instantly cut off any light and electronic transmissions.

Panasonic says the Toughbook 40 is the company's most rugged model in the series to date. It's not surprising that even the base model will cost a hefty $4,899 when the PC becomes available in late spring.