Do you want a rugged laptop or do you prefer a thin and light notebook? Typically you had to choose between one or the other, though Panasonic is looking to change the game with its new Toughbook CF-54, a semi-rugged system that's the thinnest and lightest Toughbook in its category. So, it has that going for it, but it's also well equipped with the latest 5th Generation Intel Core i5-5300U vPro CPU.
The Toughbook CF-54 is a 14-inch laptop with HD (1366x768) and Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) display options, the latter of which uses an In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel with glove-enabled touch support. It's also viewable in sunlight, whereas the HD model uses a TFT panel to keep costs down.
According to Panasonic, its latest laptop is 50 percent thinner and 25 percent lighter than the current market leader in the semi-rugged category. Panasonic didn't say which specific model it was referring to, so we'll have to take the company at its word on that one. For reference, the Toughbook CF-54 measures 13.6 (W) x 10.7 (H) by 1.17 (D) inches / 254 (W) x 272 (H) x 29.8 (D) millimeters and weighs 4.63 pounds / 2.1 kilograms with touchscreen, or 4.19 pounds / 1.9 kilograms without. Not quite ultrabook territory, but mighty impressive for a tough and tumble notebook.
"This latest Toughbook redefines the semi-rugged notebook category," said Jan Kaempfer, General Manager of Marketing for Panasonic Computer Product Solutions. "Its slim design and customization options combined with its durability make it the new semi-rugged PC benchmark for operatives in automotive, field services, utilities, Telecom and desk-based defense."
In addition to the vPro processor, the Toughbook CF-54 sports up to 16GB of RAM, 500GB or 128GB/256GB SSD options, optional AMD FirePro M5100 discrete graphics, three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI output, LAN port, SD card slot, and a few other goodies.
Availability is later this month in Europe with pricing starting at £1142 + VAT (around $1,760). No word yet on when this one will make a trip to the U.S.