Panasonic announcing Toughbook-74 with Core Duo at CTIA

Panasonic will be introducing a new semi-rugged member of the Toughbook family at CTIA next week: an "ultimate road warrior PC" that adds speed, a ton of battery life, and a little bit of weight to its predecessor. The CF-74 (or simply Toughbook-74) is an upgraded version of the company's Toughbook-73 13.3-inch XGA model (pictured), and thus shares many of the same features (touchscreen, 512MB of RAM, shock-mounted hard drive, DVD combo drive, WiFi, optional EV-DO and Bluetooth), but jacks up the processor from a 2.0GHz Pentium M to a 1.83GHz Core Duo, more than doubles the maximum allowable RAM, and perhaps best of all, also more than doubles the battery life from 3 hours and 15 minutes to a claimed Mobile Mark-tested 7 to 8 hours. Power and durability don't come cheap, though, so expect to shell out at least $3,000 for one of these starting next month, and that doesn't even include the vital fingerprint scanner for airtight security.