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September 25, 2012

Panasonic Puts Extra Punch in Toughbook 53

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

The Toughbook line from Panasonic (News - Alert) is often regarded as one of the best laptops to take into an area where most laptops fear to tread: outdoors. Rocky terrain, wet conditions, and just being outdoors in general can be rough on many laptops, but the Toughbook line has shown itself well-equipped to handle the slings and arrows that the outside can throw at it. Earlier today, Panasonic announced that the Toughbook 53 line wouldn't just be tough on the outside, but also on the inside, by way of some new upgrades to make them even more potent notebooks.

Perhaps the biggest upgrade to the Panasonic Toughbook 53 line comes in the expanded processor, which now offers up an Intel (News - Alert) Core i5-3320M processor, complete with a three megabyte cache, a clock speed of up to 3.3 GHz, and Intel's Turbo Boost technology. Storage has also been expanded and diversified, offering up a 500 gigabyte hard drive or a 128, 256, or 512 gigabyte solid state drive as well as four to eight gigabytes of RAM (News - Alert)

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They've upped the number of USB 3.0 ports to two total, and augmented the battery life to fully 11 hours, based on MobileMark 2007 testing. There's even an optional integrated GPS receiver that's accurate to within five meters, an RFID / Contactless SmartCard Reader (or Insertable SmartCard reader) as well as the ability to run the Battery Calibration Tool in the background. The display, however, still seems to be about the same, but an impressive same featuring a 14 inch LED display with an optional sunlight-viewable touchscreen and a backlit keyboard.

While the spec upgrades are pretty substantial on their own, it's clear that the star of this particular show is, as ever, its sheer resistance to everyday bumps and jostles, and then some. The Toughbook 53 has a spill-resistant keyboard, as well as successfully passing nine separate MIL-STD-810G tests. One of those tests was a three foot drop on 26 faces, and other tests deal with vibration, humidity, freeze / thaw, acidic atmosphere, and even ballistic shock, though just how many of those tests apply to the Toughbook 53 is unclear.

Those interested in picking up one of these particularly resilient laptops can do so from Panasonic resellers right now, with a starting price of $1399 and an included three year limited warranty.

Not everyone is going to need the kind of robustness that the Toughbook 53 offers. But for those who have to have their computing hardware outside on a regular basis, like insurance claims adjusters or military personnel, the Toughbook 53 is going to offer a whole lot of extra power, and do so in a very secure package.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2012, taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX. Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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