While Panasonic's rugged Toughbook 30 has been strutting its stuff with a Core 2 Duo within, the poor, poor Toughbook 19 has been going without. No more, however, as Panny has just announced that it'll be boosting the speed and expanding the memory available in the beastly convertible tablet. Available now, the 5.1-pound rig is stuffed with a 1.06GHz U7500 processor (2MB L2 cache), up to 4GB of SDRAM, 80GB shock-mounted HDD, 10.4-inch daylight-readable display, a battery good for around seven hours, optional integrated WWAN / GPS / 2-megapixel webcam and a magnesium alloy case that won't mind getting trampled. So, what's the price for such an (almost) impossible-to-destroy machine? $3,199 and up, we're afraid.

PANASONIC UPGRADES ITS RUGGED TOUGHBOOK® 19 CONVERTIBLE TABLET PC TO DELIVER MORE COMPUTING POWER, MEMORY

Toughbook 19 joins flagship rugged Toughbook 30 in delivering Core 2 Duo technology for mission-critical applications in extreme environments; Eleven independently-verified mil-spec tests and more than 500 internal quality checks combine for unparalleled Panasonic reliability

Secaucus, NJ, March 25, 2008 – Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, manufacturer of durable, reliable Panasonic Toughbook® mobile computers, today introduced upgrades to its Panasonic Toughbook 19 rugged convertible tablet computer. The next generation Toughbook 19F convertible tablet PC joins Panasonic's flagship Toughbook 30F clamshell notebook with its incorporation of the Core 2 Duo processor and expanded memory capabilities. The 5.1 lb Toughbook 19 also offers an optional integrated camera for use in inspection and incident documentation applications for which the convertible tablet has become widely deployed in military, government and commercial applications.

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. Both the Toughbook 19 convertible tablet and the Toughbook 30 notebook include an anti-glare, anti-reflective sunlight viewable display, WiFi 802.11a/b/g, Bluetooth, a mobile broadband-ready (WWAN) design, along with backlit keyboard, GPS wireless and many more options.

"Panasonic has always been at the forefront of engineering and building mobile solutions that incorporate enhancements in processing power while advancing durability, screen brightness, battery life and embedded wireless technologies," said Kyp Walls, director of product management, Panasonic Computer Solutions Company. "Panasonic engineers tackle reliability from the inside out and we manufacture and real-world test to ensure that our technology can withstand the conditions our customers face every day-and over the long term. Panasonic's technical superiority is further supported by our deep network of channel partners and solution providers who understand the environments in which our customers work and the applications they require to meet the high standards expected of them."

Engineered for the Usage Environment
Rugged PCs must be purpose-built and engineered for the environments in which they will likely be used. This requires solutions for heat management and screens which can be read in bright sunlight.

Panasonic addresses heat dissipation-a critical component in truly water- and dust-resistant units running faster, hotter processors-through its heat-pipe technology, allowing next-generation rugged units to run fast but cool without using a fan. Internal fans create noise, add weight and are a significant potential source of failure in rugged computing environments where dust, sand, humidity and precipitation are common.

The Toughbook 19 has a sunlight-readable 550 nit tablet model or a 500 nit touchscreen – both come with an anti-glare, anti-reflective coating as well as innovative technology developed by Panasonic that dramatically improves contrast and viewability outdoors. In addition, the Toughbook 30 was the first notebook to achieve a 1,000 nit rating. Even with these bright screens, both PCs still deliver 7 hours of battery life. Panasonic also allows for its screens to be dimmed significantly for the security and safety of those working in dark environments, such as military or law enforcement operations.

Panasonic Factory and Independent Quality Testing
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 19 (and the Toughbook 30) is validated by independent lab testing.
In addition, rugged Panasonic Toughbook notebook screens, cases, ports, and keyboards are IP54-rated for water and particulates. The products have achieved UL1604 Class 1 / Div. 2 certification for use in hazardous environments.

At the Panasonic 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.

Superior Warranty, Support and Professional Services
Every Panasonic Toughbook mobile PC is sold with a standard three-year limited warranty 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.

Pricing and Availability
The Toughbook 19F is available now at an estimated street price of $3,199. The Toughbook 19 with integrated camera will be available in May 2008 with an estimated street price of $3,699. These and other Toughbook notebooks are available exclusively through authorized Panasonic Toughbook resellers nationwide. Please visit www.panasonic.com/toughbook for more information.

Panasonic Toughbook 19 Convertible Tablet PC: Select Features and Specifications

* Intel® Core™ 2 Duo Processor U7500 (2MB L2 cache), Processor speed 1.06GHz, 533MHz FSB
* 80GB HDD (shock-mounted and user-removable)
* 1 GB SDRAM standard, expandable to 4 GB
* Optional external USB Combo Drive
* Full magnesium alloy case with hand strap
* Touchscreen Display version: 10.4" 1024 x 768 (XGA) transmissive, 500 nit daylight-readable TFT Active Matrix Color LCD
* Tablet Display version: 10.4" 1024 x 768 (XGA) transmissive, 550 nit daylight-readable TFT Active Matrix Color LCD with Digitizer
* Dimensions: 1.9" (H) x 10.7" (W) x 8.5" (D)
* Weight: 5.1 lbs.
* Battery Life: 7 hours, depending on use conditions
* Intel® Wireless WiFi Link 4965AG 802.11a/b/g, Bluetooth v2.0+EDR
* Optional integrated WWAN (EV-DO Rev. A or HSDPA)
* Optional integrated GPS receiver
* Optional integrated 2MP camera with 5 ft. LED flash
* Security features include: wireless on/off switch; Password Security: Supervisor, User; Hard Disk Lock; Cable lock slot; Trusted Platform Module (TPM) v.1.2 security chip; Computrace theft protection agent in BIOS; optional fingerprint scanner; optional SmartCard reader
* Genuine Windows Vista® Business (with XP downgrade option), Setup, Diagnostics, DMI Viewer, Online Reference Manual, Adobe® Reader, Panasonic Handwriting (with signature capture on Tablet PC version), Software Keyboard, Display Rotation Tool, Hard Disk Data Erase Utility, Recovery DVD
* 3-year limited warranty, parts & labor