Panasonic Upgrades Rugged Toughbook 19 and 30 Notebooks

By PRESS RELEASE — February 02, 2009

Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, manufacturer of durable, reliable Panasonic Toughbook mobile computers, introduced upgrades to its Panasonic Toughbook 30 clamshell rugged laptop and its Toughbook 19 rugged convertible tablet computer. Both Toughbook notebooks incorporate 1,000 nit LCDs, circular polarization technology and anti-glare (AG) plus anti-reflective (AR) screen treatments to enhance screen viewability, further improving in-field usability for mobile workers. Additional upgrades to the Toughbook 30 and Toughbook 19 include improved security and remote management thanks to Intel Centrino 2 with vPro technology, expanded memory capabilities, 40% longer battery lives, larger capacity hard drives, and optional SSDs.

Working outdoors in the bright daylight or in a vehicle with sunlight streaming through the windows is a fact of life for field workers, military personnel and first responders. Having a computer screen that is bright and crisp enough to be easily viewed, while not depleting essential battery power is crucial for a mobile workforce. The updated Toughbook 30 and Toughbook 19 offer improved full sunlight-viewability by incorporating circular polarization and other technologies, including 9 to 1,000 nit LCD brightness as well as AG and AR screen treatments. Not only has screen viewability been improved, but Panasonic's engineers have also enhanced the battery life of both devices, now delivering up to ten hours of field-usability on a full charge with the standard battery.

"For many of our users, the ability to work effectively in all conditions, from pitch darkness to direct sunlight, is critical," said Kyp Walls, director of product management, Panasonic Computer Solutions Company. "Panasonic has always created rugged mobile devices that offer exceptional viewability in all environments. The more useable our Toughbook notebooks are, the more productive our customers can be. The Toughbook 30 and Toughbook 19 are great examples of the exceptional engineering found in all Toughbook mobile computers. This level of engineering has made the Toughbook brand so popular with users in mission-critical environments."

Panasonic has achieved engineering milestones with the extraordinarily bright screens it has developed for its rugged notebook computers. Toughbook 30 and 19 notebooks have LCD brightness measuring at 1,000 nits -- a milestone first achieved on the Toughbook 30 in 2007. Both devices also offer exceptional low nit ratings -- critical for operation in low light environments where less illumination improves user safety. A nit is a measurement of light in candelas per square meter, essentially how much light is coming from the display.

New Toughbook 30 and 19 mobile computers also include a "concealed mode" which allows users to easily turn all device lights off -screen and LEDs -- using a function (Fn) key, without having to power down the machine. The feature allows users to customize which attributes get turned off when the Fn key is pressed including screen, LEDs, backlit keyboards, volume, and wireless radios (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile broadband). Furthermore, users can select if they wish the screen to be turned off, or just set to the minimum brightness level. The "concealed mode" feature is ideal for military and law enforcement applications and for jurisdictions requiring vehicle-mounted PCs to have their screens turned off while the vehicle is in operation.

Every Toughbook notebook uses some form of AG screen treatment because, even inside, fluorescent lights may impair screen readability. Rugged units -- like the Toughbook 30 and 19 -- designed for use in vehicles or outdoors, incorporate more advanced AR screen treatments. All Toughbook notebooks also include individual control options for a wide range of screen brightness so users can make appropriate adjustments, depending on the ambient light in their work environment.

These Mil-Spec-certified notebooks incorporate the rugged features -- such as magnesium alloy cases, sealed keyboards and ports, hard drive heaters, flexible internal connectors and shock-mounting -- that combine to deliver the highest levels of reliability in the industry. Besides improved screen viewability, both the Toughbook 19 convertible tablet and the Toughbook 30 notebook include Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/draft-n, Bluetooth , as well as capabilities for Gobi global mobile internet (WWAN), backlit keyboards, GPS and many other options.

Rugged Panasonic Toughbook notebooks are tested using the MIL-STD-810F methodology for a range of extreme conditions including drops (36", unit and hard drive), shocks, vibration, humidity, altitude, water-, rain- and dust-resistance, temperature extremes and thermal shock. Each of the eleven Mil-Spec tests conducted on the Toughbook 30 and 19 are validated by independent lab testing. In addition, rugged Panasonic Toughbook notebook screens, cases, ports, and keyboards are IP54-rated for particulates and water. The products have also achieved UL1604 Class 1 / Div. 2 certification for use in hazardous environments.

At Panasonic's own computer factory, in addition to Mil-Spec tests, Toughbook notebook hinges endure 50,000 cycles and keyboards are subjected to 25 million keystrokes. 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.

Panasonic recently introduced flexible financing options to enable customers to purchase and implement the reliable mobile technology they need to drive long-term value for their organizations. Financing choices include fair market value leases, deferral programs, lease back financing and step payments. The new finance options are being made available as part of the company's longstanding relationship with Panasonic Finance Solutions, provided by CoActiv Partners.

Every Panasonic Toughbook mobile PC is sold with a standard three-year limited warranty (expandable to five years) and access to 24/7/365 U.S.-based phone support for the entire life of the unit. Panasonic boasts an average call center hold time of less than 75 seconds. In addition, in the unlikely event of a hardware-related failure, Panasonic covers the cost of overnight shipping to and from its national service center, where the average turnaround time for repairs is less than two and a half days. Panasonic also offers a full range of professional pre- and post-deployment services, including on-site support.

The Toughbook 30 is available at an estimated street price starting at $3,649. The Toughbook 19 is available at an estimated street price starting at $3,749. These and other Toughbook notebooks are available exclusively through authorized Panasonic Toughbook resellers nationwide.

Panasonic Computer Solutions Company empowers the mobile workforce. The company is a unit of Panasonic Corporation of North America, which is the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation . Panasonic has delivered reliable, durable mobile solutions through its Toughbook line of notebook computers for fifteen years and has expanded the boundaries of wireless communications technology through a broad portfolio of products, ranging from fully rugged, industrial strength notebook computers and tablet PCs to business-rugged thin-and-light and ultraportable notebooks. A core manufacturer, Panasonic controls the entire process of design, manufacture, quality assurance, service and support. As a result, Panasonic Toughbooks are known for having the lowest failure rates in the industry. Government, industrial, and commercial users -- from Fortune 1,000 companies to small businesses -- rely on solutions from Panasonic, wherever their work takes them.

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