Panasonic expanded its line of rugged devices with the launch of the Toughbook 20, a detachable notebook featuring 6th Generation Intel Core vPro processor technology, 128GB SSD, 8GB RAM and a choice of Windows 10 Pro or Windows 7 Professional.
The Toughbook 20 offers six usage modes, and the tablet can be detached and used by itself or flipped 180-degrees to show content in presentation mode.
The convertible mode allows users to see the display with the keyboard attached. Using the built-in handle, the device can operate in carry mode or hang on a wall. Its vehicle mode provides functionality and operation of the device when on the move.
The Toughbook 20 is designed to meet MIL-STD-461F for electromagnetic interference and MIL-STD-810G for drop, shock, vibration, explosive atmosphere, temperature, humidity, rain and sand, as well as waterproof and dust-proof ingress (IP65).
The device features a magnesium alloy case, fan-less design, locking port covers, raised bezel, heater and a built-in handle for ease of use, which also serves as a kickstand for desktop stability and enables use while hung.
“Panasonic’s commitment to quality—at both the component and finished goods level—results in a total of more than 500 checks and tests before, during and after production, on every unit built,” Kyp Walls, director of product marketing at Panasonic System Communications Company of North America, told eWEEK.
He explained Toughbook mobile computers must endure torturous tests at Panasonic R&D and quality assurance facilities on a daily basis.
“These rigorous tests have been ongoing for more than a decade as Panasonic technicians continue their quest for even higher levels of computer reliability and performance under the harshest conditions,” he said. “The technicians are so demanding that more than 1,000 Toughbook mobile computers are deliberately damaged every year, just to determine how tough they really are.”
Beyond the internal testing, each of Panasonic’s devices must have all rugged claims verified by an internationally recognized third-party laboratory, which is not required under MIL-STD guidelines, but it is a Panasonic requirement.
Although Walls declined to name the lab, he could say it is located in the southwest.
“To be clear, our rugged claims often exceed the testing limits put forth in the MIL-STD-810G testing procedures,” he explained. “For example, MIL-STD drop testing requires a device withstand 26 drops onto every side, corner, edge and face from a minimum height of three feet to be considered fully-rugged. To achieve a pass, a manufacturer can use up to five devices. As long as one device is working at the end of the 26 drops, it has passed. To pass Panasonic’s test, we require a single device to pass these tests, not multiple.”
For many of the company’s fully rugged devices, like the Toughbook 31, Panasonic requires a single device to endure 26 drops from multiple levels (4 feet, 5 feet and 6 feet), which means one unit must survive 78 drops between heights of 4 to 6 feet to meet Panasonic’s criteria.