Panasonic's Toughbook family has always been tough, but it's about to get even tougher. Or, at least more powerful. The Toughbook
C1 has been a proven contender for the company, and it has certainly been around the block a time or two. And now it's coming around again, this time with increased RAM, more hard drive capacity, and improved battery life. And that's just for starters. There's also Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, optional GPS and an optional Gobi2000 3G mobile broadband module from Qualcomm. All that, of course, is wrapped up a tight, rugged package that's meant for the field.
It remains the world's lightest 12.1-inch convertible tablet
PC, and this new model holds a 320GB HDD, up to 12 hours of battery life, 2GB of RAM (up to 8GB is supported), and a speed 2.50GHz Core i5-2520M vPro processor. It starts up around 30% faster than the prior model, too. The whole thing weighs only 3.28lbs., which is mighty light for a rugged notebook. There's even a spill-resistant keyboard, which protects against liquid spills of about 6 ounces. The 12.1" LCD has a 1280 x 800 resolution, and is available with a choice of multi touch and digitizer screen or gloved multi touch screen and an anti-glare screen treatment.
In the United States, the upgraded Toughbook C1 is expected to be available in July 2011 from authorized Panasonic reseller starting at an estimated street price of $2,599. Not cheap by any means, but given the beating it can take, it's probably worth shelling out for this instead of buying replacement after replacement.