Panasonic's Toughbook 20 Rugged 2-in-1 Gets Faster CPU, Standard SSD

Panasonic has revamped its Toughbook 20 rugged 2-in-1 portable to include a faster Intel Core processor and a 256GB SSD storage drive in its standard configuration.

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Panasonic has revamped its Toughbook 20 rugged 2-in-1 portable with a faster Intel Core i5-7Y57 vPro processor and an included 256GB SSD storage drive in its standard configuration, offering enterprises another choice for workers who are on the go.

The Toughbook 20, which starts at $3,099 and is available immediately in the U.S. from Panasonic resellers, can be used as a laptop machine or transformed into a tablet computer by detaching its 10.1" WUXGA 1920x1200 touch-screen component from its laptop base.

In addition to the base model 1.2GHz Intel 64-bit, dual-core 7th Generation processor and the standard 256GB SSD (up from the original 128GB SSD in earlier models), the Toughbook 20 also ships with 8GB of DDR3L-1866MT memory, Intel HD Graphics 615 capabilities, Windows 10 Pro and WiFi and Bluetooth v4 connectivity. The machine can also be upgraded with an optional 512GB SSD drive, 16GB of DDR3L-1866MT memory, an OPAL encrypted SSD and optional 4G LTE (for use with Verizon, AT&T or Sprint networks) and GPS connectivity.

Enterprise users who are still running Windows 7 inside their companies can also purchase a Windows 7 version of the Toughbook 20, which replaces the standard Intel Core i5-7Y57 processor with an Intel Core m5-6Y57 vPro 1.1GHz 6th Generation processor, according to Panasonic.

Both Toughbook 20 models include a magnesium alloy chassis and is are built to meet MIL-STD-810G and IP65 standards, which certify the machines as able to withstand a wide range of extreme environmental conditions, including shocks, vibrations, humidity, rain, dust, dirt, sand, temperature extremes and thermal shock. The Toughbook 20 is also certified to withstand direct drops onto impervious surfaces from up to four feet without damage, allowing workers to use them reliably in many difficult indoor and outdoor worksites.

Both Toughbook 20 versions also include one standard 2600mAh Li-on battery and can be configured with an optional second battery in its keyboard base to provide extended use. Optional fingerprint readers and insertable or contactless SmartCard CAC readers are also available as security options.

The machines, which weigh about 3.9 pounds, also include an integrated, waterproof stylus pen for writing on the touch-screen display, an 8-megapixel autofocus rear camera, a 1080p webcam and a three-year warranty.

The tablet includes a USB 3.0 port, a microSDXC reader, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port and a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack, while the keyboard base includes a docking connector, two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, an HDMI port, a VGA 15-pin connector, an Ethernet port and a Serial 9-pin port. The machines measure 10.7 inches long, 9.2 inches wide and 1.3 inches thick.

A new option for Toughbook 20 buyers is a much-requested magnetic stripe reader, which will provide new capabilities for users in law enforcement and other operations.

"When we introduced the Toughbook 20, we knew it would redefine what people expect from a fully-rugged device," Brian Rowley, vice president of marketing and product management for Panasonic North America, said in a statement. "Mobile, powerful and flexible, this was a device that truly reflected how our customers want to work. Now, with a refreshed processor and even more impressive features, we are excited to show our new and existing customers how the Toughbook 20 will continue to make their jobs simpler and more efficient."

Panasonic celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Toughbook line, in September 2016. Panasonic introduced the first model—the Toughbook CF-25—in 1996. That first machine was essentially a laptop computer built into a bulky briefcase with a handle. Today, the Toughbook line has grown to include a wide range of rugged models, including Toughpad tablets, a detachable notebook and more.