Panasonic Toughbook 19 Rugged Tablet Gets Intel Ivy Bridge Chip Update

Panasonic gives the rugged Toughbook 19 a power upgrade with Intel's Ivy Bridge Core i5 vPro CPU to increase durability for first responders and field service workers.

Panasonic has upgraded its rugged Toughbook 19 convertible tablet PC with Intel's Ivy Bridge chip.

The Toughbook 19 will now come with the Intel Core i5-3320M vPro processor (up to 3.3GHz) featuring Intel Turbo Boost Technology, according to a Sept. 4 announcement from Panasonic.

Intel's Ivy Bridge processors integrate a three-dimensional Tri-Gate transistor architecture. The 3D structure leads to better performance and power efficiency than the older flat "planar" circuitry.

Other devices to recently get Ivy Bridge processing capabilities include Acer's M5, S5 and S3 Ultrabooks, as well as Dell's Latitude and OptiPlex business laptops. Motion Computing also recently added Ivy Bridge CPUs to its F5 and C5 Series tablets.

The $3,549 Toughbook 19 includes a battery calibration tool. With its 10 hours of battery life, the tablet lasts 10 percent longer than its previous models, according to Panasonic.

In addition, the company has upped the storage capacity of the Toughbook 19 with a 500GB, 7,200rpm hard drive. The drive is shock-mounted with flex-connect quick release.

The unit also includes Interlink Electronics' VersaPad to provide more responsive touch capabilities. VersaPad appears on industrial PCs and provides signature capture for workers in shipping or retail. The touch pad is also moisture-resistant and can be used with a finger, stylus or glove in harsh environments, according to Interlink.

An ambient light sensor automatically shuts off to boost the unit's battery life. A USB 3.0 slot also means faster file-transfer speeds.

"The rugged Toughbook 19 convertible tablet PC has been reliably serving mission-critical mobile workers for more than half a decade," Kyp Walls, director of product management for Panasonic Solutions for Business, said in a statement. "These upgrades will give users improved performance and functionality along with the quality and durability they have come to trust."

Wireless capabilities in the tablet include Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. Medical devices from companies such as A&D Medical, Nonin, 3M and Omron can connect heart rate, temperature and blood pressure monitors using the low-energy capabilities of Bluetooth 4.0.

Panasonic's Toughbook models are designed to aid workers in extreme work environments, including the military, police and emergency services personnel as well as utility and maintenance technicians.

The Toughbook can survive 6-foot drops, a capability that exceeds the requirements of the MIL-STD-810G certification, according to Panasonic.

For extreme working environments, the Toughbook 19 also features a full magnesium alloy case and has received explosive atmosphere certification for hazardous environments governed by the U.S. Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA). The Class 1 Division 2 certification means the device can withstand abnormal conditions of gas or vapors. Other rugged models such as the Juniper Mesa Rugged Notepad also feature Class 1 Division 2 certification.

Like similar devices, the Toughbook has an Ingress Protection certification for resistance against water and dust. Field workers could use the device in heavy rains or sandstorms, Panasonic reported.

In addition, the lack of a fan makes the unit suitable for dust and liquid exposure, according to Panasonic.

Meanwhile, the 10.1-inch XGA touch-screen TransreflectivePlus is ready for outdoor viewing in direct sunlight with its antireflective and antiglare treatments as well as a circular polarizing filter.