Panasonic Upgrades Semi-Rugged Toughbook 53 Notebook

Panasonic’s Toughbook 53 notebook gets new Intel Core i5 processors, Turbo Boost technology and USB 2.0 ports, among other upgrades.

With many computer manufacturers focusing on making the lightest, thinnest and potentially most damage-prone notebooks on the market, Panasonic is going in the other direction, opting to provide road warriors and field agents with durable and versatile machines that can handle a little rough love. Case in point is Panasonic’s update to the semi-rugged Toughbook 53 notebook, which follows an update to the company’s fully rugged convertible tablet PC, the Toughbook 19, and the fully rugged Toughbook 31 notebook.

The Toughbook 53 notebook PC is now available with Intel Core i5-3320M vPro processors (with 3MB cache and up to 3.3 GHz), which includes Intel’s Turbo Boost Technology. Turbo Boost enables the processor to run above its base operating frequency via dynamic control of the CPU's clock rate and is activated when the operating system requests the highest performance state of the processor. Available through authorized Panasonic resellers starting at $1,399, the notebook also comes with a standard three-year limited warranty.

Other upgrades to the Toughbook 53 include expanded storage -- up to 500GB hard disk drive (HDD) with 4-8GB of random access memory (RAM) or optional 128GB, 256GB or 512GB solid state drives (SSD). The notebook also boasts improved connectivity options through two USB 2.0 ports, as well as an optional integrated GPS receiver capable of accuracy within 5 meters (15 feet) or less, improved battery life delivering up to 11 hours of use, and an optional integrated RFID/Contactless SmartCard reader or Insertable SmartCard reader.

On the durability side, the Toughbook 53 features a spill-resistant keyboard and has been tested to survive 3-foot drops on 26 faces. The notebook is also optimized for use in a variety of different light conditions, thanks to its high-definition, 14-inch LED display and optional sunlight-viewable Panasonic CircuLumin touch screen, in addition to an adjustable backlit emissive keyboard. Rounding out the package is a variety of embedded wireless technologies, including Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0 and optional 4G LTE or 3G Gobi mobile broadband connectivity.

“For mobile professionals in industries where a standard commercial-grade laptop does not provide sufficient durability, the Toughbook 53 is an ideal choice,” Kyp Walls, director of product management for Panasonic Solutions for Business, said in a prepared statement. “This device is a proven performer that delivers a clear return on investment. With the updates we’ve made to the Toughbook 53, its value is enhanced even further.”

The company also announced a slew of upgrades for its Toughbook 52 semi-rugged notebook PC, which sports a 15.4-inch widescreen display, including an ATI Radeon HD7750M dedicated graphics card for video-intensive applications, an expanded 500GB hard drive, enhanced wireless technology, including Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235 WiFi connectivity and Bluetooth 4.0, as well as expanded connectivity with USB 3.0. Other improvements to the Toughbook 52 include Intel Core i5-3360M processors with Turbo Boost.