Panasonic’s New Toughbook Is Lighter, Faster, Thinner And Tougher Than Ever Before

Panasonic has boosted its range of ‘rugged’ Toughbook PCs with the launch of what it says is its most durable device yet.

The company revealed the ‘semi-rugged’ Toughbook CF-54, the latest generation of its Toughbook range, at an event in Leipzig yesterday, unveiling a product that is significant lighter, thinner and more powerful than its predecessors.

Powered by a fifth generation Intel Core i5 vPro processor and running Windows 8.1 Pro with an option for Windows 7 (meaning customers can upgrade to Windows 10 upon later availability), the CF-54 delivers faster computing power, better graphic performance and lower power consumption than previous devices, as Panasonic looks to replace traditional ‘business laptops’.

However, thanks to these greatly improved specifications, it is still able to offer high performance and a battery life of up to 11 hours, which can even be extended up to 18 hours with an optional second battery.

When the going gets tough

The latest device features an all-new ‘honeycomb’ design (pictured left) with magnesium plating on all four sides, which allows for thinner yet stronger build. Weighing just 1.99kg (enough to be carried on its built-in handle with just one finger) and 1.17in thick, the CF-54 is 50 percent thinner and 25 percent lighter than its predecessor, yet is still able to withstand a serious amount of knocks and bumps, with Panasonic saying it could even withstand being stepped on by a fully grown man.

But asides from sporting drop protection from heights of up to 76cm, the Toughbook CF-54 also features improved dust, water and temperature resistance, alongside improved spill protection for the keyboard and display area.

The device is able to operate in temperatures ranging from -10°C to +50°C, and can be stored in temperatures ranging from -20°C to +60°C, demonstrated at the launch by a Panasonic executive keeping one in a freezer for an hour before starting up.

The tough get going

The 14in CF-54 will be available in three versions, each packing a sliding scale of features which Panasonic hopes will appeal to a wide range of verticals. Starting with a basic model, which features a HD (1366×768) display, the Toughbook CF-54 will also be available with either a FullHD (1920×1080) or FullHD with capacitive multi-touch touchscreen.

The HD model comes with a 500GB HDD as standard and the FullHD models (with and without touchscreen) have 128GB SSD as standard.

But the choice doesn’t stop there, as Panasonic is offering a comprehensive suite of customisation options in order to appeal to multiple verticals. Among the huge range of additional options available are an 8MP camera, DVD drive, Smart Card reader, fingerprint reader, additional battery, PC card slot and many more. Panasonic says all customers utilising the Toughbook CF-54 for their work will be able to work with the company to ensure their needs are met.

“This latest Toughbook redefines the semi-rugged notebook category,” said Jan Kaempfer, general manager of marketing for Panasonic Computer Product Solutions. “Its slim design and customisation options combined with its durability make it the new semi-rugged PC benchmark for operatives in automotive, field services, utilities, Telecom and desk-based defence.”

Available from the end of February, the Toughbook CF-54 will be on sale for £ 1142 onwards for the HD Model (with 500GB HDD), £ 1325 onwards for the FullHD Model (with 128GB SSD), and £ 1662 for the Touchscreen Model (with 128GB SSD).

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Panasonic Toughbook CF-54

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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