Although it was first revealed back in June, Panasonic has finally officially launched its Toughbook Android tablet at the Defence and Security International (DSEi) exhibition in London. It has also announced upgrades to its Toughbook laptop range in the shape of the fifth generation of its CF-19, second generation of the CF-31, and the all new CF-53.
The Android tablet carries a 10.1-inch XVGA touchscreen, which offers high brightness and is daylight viewable so that operatives can use it in any lighting conditions. It also dispenses with the normal gleaming glass front, and therefore cuts down on reflections.
An active stylus is also included with the tablet, which helps with more precise input.
In addition, considering that its application could include military use, the tablet has deep rooted security measures embedded at hardware level. Other features include satellite-based GPS, full-shift battery life, professional-grade accessories and optional in-built 3G mobile broadband connectivity.
No price is listed yet (or version of the operating system), but we'd expect it to come in at considerably more that a normal tablet device.
The Panasonic Toughbook CF-19MK5 retains much of the build quality and abilities of its former models, but has double the system performance and sports the new, more visible 10.1-inch touchscreen Panasonic Transflective Plus technology.
In its bowels, it now features an Intel Core i5-2520M 2.5GHz standard voltage processor with Intel HD 3000 graphics. There's also 4GB of RAM on board and Windows 7 Professional (in 32-bit or 64-bit). A 320GB hard drive comes as standard, but can be upgraded in both space and technology (to SSD).
The new, proprietary screen technology also means that battery life is improved to up to nine hours as no backlight is required in bright conditions.
The CF-19MK5 is available for 2,950 euros (£2,545 approx.).
Similar enhancements have been made to the flagship Panasonic Toughbook CF-31MK2, at least in performance.
There are two models in the range, with Standard and Performance editions. The Performance model offers up an Intel Core i5-2540M processor with AMD Radeon HD 6750M switchable graphics, allowing the user to switch between enhanced and integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics performance to save power when necessary. Whereas the Standard model sports Intel Core i5-2520M vPro processing with locked Intel HD 3000 graphics.
Both models feature Panasonic's Toughbook Dashboard for easy access to the company's Power Management Utilities technology and PC Viewer utility. Plus, there's a concealed mode for military use in mission critical environments. It sends the laptop into silence mode by disabling the fan, the backlight, status LEDs, speakers and communication at the touch of a button.
The CF-31MK2 has a 13.1-inch XGA touchscreen, with a floating mounted LCD design to protect from screen shocks. It's available now, with the Standard model costing 3,699 euros (£3,185 approx.).
Finally, the Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 is an all new addition to the rugged notebook range. It's essentially designed for mobile technicians and is the lightest, slimmest Toughbook of the lot.
Driving the action is an Intel Core i5-2520M vPro processor coupled with the Intel Q67 Express Chipset for enhanced multimedia capabilities. There's a 14-inch widescreen HD LED display, which has been treated with an anti-reflective and anti-glare combination coating. And the new laptop even comes with USB 3.0 connectivity.
A host of upgrades are also available, including enhanced security options, a high capacity "road warrior" 9-cell 92Wh battery, and front mounted webcam.
No pricing or release details for the CF-53, in any of its configurations, have been revealed as yet.
Do you use Toughbooks on a daily basis? If so, what are they like in comparison to regular laptops? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...