Panasonic Toughbook and offers a full line of ruggedized mobile computers. Their current line of Toughbooks generally fit into three categories, based on the degree of ruggedness of the laptop or tablet PC. Or, another way to look at it is that the three categories represent the intended usage of the portable computer.
Fully Rugged Toughbooks
The first category is Fully Rugged Computers. A fully rugged computer is one that is designed to be used outdoors in the elements, indoors but in a cold temperature location such as a meat packing facility, indoors but in a hot and/or dusty environment such as a factory or warehouse, or in or on a vehicle. A fully rugged laptop, notebook, tablet pc, UMPC (ultra-mobile personal computer) or handheld computer will have numerous ruggedization features, but the primary reason they are termed "fully rugged" is because they are sealed to keep out moisture, dust and heat and cold. They are normally sealed to Ingress Protection level 54 (IP-54). This means they can handle a heavy spray of water from any direction but cannot handle full submersion in water.
The flagship of the Toughbook series, the Toughbook 31, fits into the fully-rugged category. The Toughbook 31 is the latest in a line of full size laptop computers that began with the Toughbook 25 many years ago and has progressed through the Toughbook 27, the Toughbook 28, the Toughbook 29, the Toughbook 30, and now the latest-technology endowed Toughbook 31. The Toughbook 31 is the best selling rugged laptop computer in the world.
The Toughbook 19 is the other fully rugged laptop in the Toughbook line up. The Toughbook 19 is called a rugged convertible pc, as it can be used as a laptop or as a tablet pc by swiveling the display screen. The Toughbook 19 can be ordered in two flavors. The first version of the Panasonic Toughbook 19 comes with a standard-type touchscreen. This is the more traditional style of touchscreen that can be activated by finger or stylus pen. This version is favored by those in a vehicle or when the application software has been developed with large on-screen buttons to select. This model can even work with a gloved hand. The second version is dual mode model that includes both the standard touchscreeen and a digitizer touchscreen. A digitizer touchscreen provides the ability to handwrite directly on the display screen and will capture those notes. This model is particularly useful to those wanting to fill out forms or capture a customer’s signature on a document. The digitizer version requires the use of a special stylus pen to activate the touchscreen.
Semi Rugged Toughbooks
A semi rugged computer is one that has numerous ruggedization features, but is not sealed against the outdoor elements. A semi-rugged laptop or semi-rugged tablet pc can be used outdoors, but would not provide protection in a rainstorm or in dusty conditions. A semi-rugged mobile computer can also be used in a vehicle, but would not perform reliably in extremely hot, extremely cold or again, dusty conditions. Panasonic offers two semi rugged laptop computers.
The Panasonic Toughbook 53 and Toughbook 54 are called "desktop replacement" laptops, because they are designed with just about every feature one would find in a desktop computer on board. The Toughbook 53 and Toughbook 54 feature the latest Intel® Core™ processors. The remarkable aspect of the Toughbook 53 and Toughbook 54 is their low price…starting at under $1,500. This makes them some of the most economical semi-rugged laptop computers on the market.
Business Rugged Laptops
Panasonic has a category for ruggedized laptops called the Business-Rugged Laptop. The business rugged series does not offer the same ruggedization features as the semi-rugged or fully rugged categories, but they are more rugged and more durable than a standard, commercial laptop or notebook computer. The two important ruggedization features of Panasonic's business-rugged series is their magnesium casing and their shock-mounted hard disk drive. These two features provide protection for the laptop in case it is dropped (or handled in a rough fashion by airport security personnel).
Panasonic designed the business rugged laptop for road warriors — people who travel a lot, either in their car or on airplanes, and need something more durable than a Dell or HP notebook. They also need a lightweight computer that does not cause one arm to be longer than the other. Lastly, they require a slim laptop that can easily fit in a briefcase or on an airplane pull-down tray table. The thin and light business rugged series from Panasonic meets all these criteria.
There are two models in the series. Model one is the Toughbook C2 convertible, which weighs only 3.6lbs. It has a 12.5" 10-point capacitive multi-touch display with optional digitizer and features an array of industry-leading advancements, such as a durable triple-hinge design, as well as a unique bridge battery enabling hot-swappable battery replacement without interruption. Model two is the Toughbook SX2 notebook, which weighs only 3.15 lb. It has advanced features such as 14.5 hours of battery life, a turbo-enhanced processor, and a lightweight, drop-resistant design.
Both of these business rugged computers are ideal for the frequent traveler and they are economically priced, so that a high school or college student could afford one.