Panasonic Introduces Toughbook 31 Rugged Ultraportable

Panasonic's Toughbook line has become a staple in the rugged PC arena; it's an area with few competitors, few customers and typically slower innovation, but the newest Toughbook bucks those trends with some pretty impressive specifications. The Toughbook 31 is one of the first truly tough notebooks to ship with Intel's Core 2010 range of processors, meaning that brains have finally joined brawn.

Equipped with a Core i3 or Core i5 processor, an 1100 nit touch panel, rugged certifications beyond MIL-STD-810G and IP65, ATI's Radeon HD 5650 GPU and enough armor to protect it from falls of up to six feet. It's also rather small and portable, with a 13.3" XGA LCD touch screen, which can be viewed outdoors with the CircuLumin technology built-in. It can even get as dim as 2 nits for use in night situations where it's crucial that your LCD not give away your location (yes, James Bond would love this).

It's also able to last for around 11 hours on a full charge, and the battery fully charges up to 47 percent faster than its predecessor, the Toughbook 30. Internally, you'll find integrated 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, optional WiMAX and even a Gobi2000 chip for connecting to GSM and CDMA WWAN networks. Three different configurations are available, all of which are detailed below. The Toughbook 31 goes on sale in the U.S. today, with the base price set at $3,799.

 Panasonic Toughbook 31: Select Features and Specifications
    * Choice of three models
          o Intel® Core™ i5-540M CPU 2.53GHz with vPro™ (with Turbo Boost up to 3.07GHz)
                + 250GB HDD, ATI Radeon™ HD5650 & Intel QM57 video controller
          o Intel Core i5-520M CPU 2.40GHz with vPro (with Turbo Boost up to 2.93GHz)
                + 160GB HDD, Intel QM57 video controller
          o Intel Core i3-350M CPU 2.26GHz
                + 160GB HDD, Intel HM55 video controller
    * Genuine Windows 7® (with XP downgrade option)
    * 13.1” XGA LCD touchscreen
          o Panasonic CircuLumin™ technology (1,100 nits, AR, AG and Circular Polarizer*)
          o LED backlighting
          o Concealed mode – turns off or dims screen, all LED lights and sound with touch of one button
    * 2GB RAM (DDR3 -1066MHz), expandable to 8GB
    * 7.9 lbs (with light weight battery on i3 model), 8.2 lbs. (with long life battery on i5 models)
    * 11.5” (L) x 11.9” (W) x 2.9” (H)
    * Fully-rugged
          o MIL-STD-810G (6 foot drop) and IP65-certified
          o Full Magnesium alloy case
          o Spill-resistant
          o Hybrid cooling system
          o Reinforced locking port covers
          o Shock-mounted flex-connect HDD with quick-release
    * Up to 11 hours battery life
          o Long Life Battery Pack (i5 CPU models)
    * 7 hours battery life
          o Lightweight Battery Pack (i3 CPU model)
    * Trusted Platform Module (TPM) v1.2*
    * Embedded Connectivity
          o Wi-Fi 802.11 a*/b/g/n
          o Bluetooth® v2.1 + EDR
          o Optional Gobi™ mobile broadband
    * 3-year limited warranty, parts and labor
    * Interfaces
          o Port replicator
          o External video (HDMI, VGA)
          o Headphones/speaker
          o Microphone/line-in
          o Serial
          o USB 2.0 x 4
          o SD card (SDHC)
          o PC card
          o ExpressCard
          o 10/100/1000 Ethernet
          o Optional 2nd 10/100 LAN* or Modem or FireWire
    * Optional integrated features
          o Webcam*
          o GPS receiver
          o Backlit keyboard (emissive or rubber)
          o SmartCard reader
          o Fingerprint reader
          o HDD and battery lock