Friday, July 1, 2022

Panasonic releases the new fully-rugged Toughbook 40

Panasonic has released a new fully-rugged Toughbook 40 laptop, a modular enterprise-focused workstation prepped for the harshest conditions.

Designed for utilities, government and public safety applications, the Toughbook 40 is hardened against impact, extreme temperatures, and inclement weather. It’s been tested against the MIL-STD-810H and 461G specifications, the IP66 water/dust ingress protection certification, and can survive a 6ft drop.

The new Toughbook 40 integrates Intel’s 11th-gen vPro processors, coming with up to an Intel Core i7-1185G7 that turbos up to 4.8GHz. For memory, the device starts with 16GB DDR4, but users can install up to 64GB in the dual DIMM slots. And although the internal storage starts at 512GB SSD, users can install a second 2TB quick-release OPAL NVMe drive with a heater in the left expansion area.

An overview video of the Panasonic Toughbook 40

The 14-inch FHD IPS display boasts an anti-reflective coating and 1,200 nit peak brightness to increase visibility in sunny, snowy conditions. The multitouch touchscreen still supports glove input.

Naturally, being an enterprise-level device calls for enterprise-level security. In addition to offering multiple optional fingerprint readers to choose from, the Toughbook 40 also supports Windows Hello sign-in and smartcard readers. It also supports encrypted storage options to keep data secure on the device. Moreover, the Toughbook 40 is a Microsoft Secured-core PC that features additional enhancements against malware.

The Panasonic Toughbook 40 and its various XPak expansion addons.
The Panasonic Toughbook 40 and its various XPak expansion addons. Image credit: Panasonic.

At the heart of the Toughbook are its XPak modular addons, which range from extra storage and batteries to sensors and scanners. These modules can adapt the Toughbook 40 for domain-specific applications and offer more flexibility when in the field. The Toughbook 40 has eight XPak slots, which Panasonic says amounts to 6,048 possible combinations for the device.

Most of the scenarios the Toughbooks are suited for are either outdoors or in isolated areas. To support the communication needs of remote work, the Toughbook 40 is equipped with an infrared 5MP 1080p webcam with a quad-array microphone. And to ensure connectivity on the go, it comes with dual-SIM support and a choice of a FirstNet Ready 5G modem or a 4G modem. Panasonic says that the 5G modem supports up to speeds of 5.5Gbps and can seamlessly connect to the best available network. However, Canada will only have the 4G modem option for now. The company says it’s focusing on making the device 5G-ready and will expand capabilities once Canada is further along in its 5G network rollout.

Furthermore, the device has two 95dB speakers to overcome the loud environments in which first responders often find themselves. In a product briefing, Panasonic told the publication that operators will still be able to hear the speakers in a “windows down, sirens on” environment.

The Panasonic Toughbook has eight modular expansion slots.
The Panasonic Toughbook has eight modular expansion slots. Image credit: Panasonic.

To cut downtime to a minimum, the device can take a second battery via the right-side expansion slot. Panasonic quotes 18 hours of use on a single battery.

Another nice feature is that the keyboard is now user-replaceable. There’s no need to send the device in for repairs. Panasonic only needs to send the replacement, which can be installed with a few screws by an IT professional.

The device will be available in late spring starting at a C$4899 MSRP. The XPak addons are separate purchases. For the full list of available addons and ruggedized design features, refer to the product spec sheet.

Correction May 27, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. The Panasonic Toughbook 40 is a new device, not an update to an existing device. The original article has been updated to reflect this change. 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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