NEW YORK - Panasonic officials were aboard the USS Intrepid here May 11 to introduce their newest fully rugged Toughbook laptop and share news that they are creating a new solutions organization. For the first time in its 90 years, Panasonic will be deploying a single B2B strategy across its numerous divisions.
"We want to be your partner - not just your device partner, but your solutions partner," Panasonic President Rance Poehler told those assembled inside the massive gray aircraft carrier. "This is where we want to go with our business - we want to continue to grow in the solutions area."
Emphasizing, should anyone have missed them, the parallels between the Intrepid and Panasonic - both tough, dedicated to service - Poehler additionally gave a quick, don't-want-to-bore-you-with-my-vacation-photos introduction of the Toughbook 31, calling it the "most powerful rugged device right now on the planet."
Panasonic officials said the 31 offers "the highest degree of ruggedization" - which Panasonic emphasized in a video in which a 31 was tossed 20 feet from deck on the Intrepid, landed with an unsettling, metallic thud and still booted to life. This is coupled with 11.5 hours of battery life. Additionally, it's said to be the fastest fully rugged mobile PC available and to deliver up to seven times better 3D graphics performance than previous models.
The 31 pairs a 13.1-inch, 1,100-nit sunlight viewable display with a choice of Intel Core i5 or i3 processors and Microsoft's Genuine Windows 7 Professional operating system, with the option to downgrade to XP.
There's 2GB of SDRAM (DDR3 1,066MHz), expandable to 8GB; a choice of a 250GB or 160GB CPU; and an optional 256GB solid-state drive.
Bluetooth and WiFi are on board, along with Gobi 2000 technology - so it's compatible with CDMA, GPRS and UMTS-based cellular networks - and a GPS receiver is optional. Further, Panasonic points out that the Toughbook 31 offers simultaneous access to WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and Gobi 2000.
Despite the video - and an invitation, later in the evening, for NYPD Deputy Commissioner and CIO Jim Onalfo to fling a 31 off the stage, which he did - the 31 is said to have a 6-foot drop rating. It's also military spec rated STD-810G and IP65 certified - though Poehler insisted that Panasonic surpasses mil-spec testing stipulations by dropping open, powered-on devices, instead of closed, powered-off devices, and from higher heights than required.
The 31 also packs in a Web cam, a backlit keyboard, a DVD Super MULTI drive, and fingerprint and SmartCard readers. Additional security options include BIOS-level password and operating system passwords, embedded WiFi and mobile broadband security, Computrace protection, and hard drive and battery locks.
The Panasonic Toughbook 31 measures 11.5 by 11.9 by 2.9 inches, and depending on the battery weighs either 7.9 or 8.2 pounds. Pricing, like the rest of the device, is no joke, starting at $3,799.