Panasonic launches semi-rugged Toughbook CF-53, with optional LTE and CircuLumin touchscreen (video)

Panasonic's been slimming down the ToughBook lineup as of late, but today it goes state-of-the-art -- today, the company's finely replacing the venerable Toughbook 52 with a 14-inch machine sporting Intel's new Sandy Bridge processors, a larger touchpad, and a USB 3.0 port. The Toughbook 53 is also smaller, lighter at 5.6 pounds, and doesn't sacrifice the company's reputation for taking a licking and ticking right through -- it passes eight MIL-STD-810G tests for durability, comes with the same shock-resistant removable hard drive cartridge and spill-resistant keyboard, and is priced at a (relatively) reasonable $1,599 for the Core i3 model with 2GB of RAM and a battery rated for six hours. You'll see that one appear in August of this year.

It's the optional extras that really make this new Toughbook, though, as the $1,899 version will include a 2.5GHz Core i5-2520M processor, 4GB of RAM, 7200RPM hard drive and a 10-hour Li-ion cell when it arrives in June, and in July your $2449 can add a backlit keyboard and a Panasonic CircuLumin polarized anti-glare touchscreen which can vary the brightness up to 800 nits for outdoor use. We didn't ask how much the optional car dock costs, but there's one of those too, and Panasonic will also be offering LTE modems for both Verizon and AT&T later this summer for on-the-go communication. You won't be chaining this one to a snowmobile, but the rig sounds pretty versatile -- all it'd need is a discrete GPU and a high-res screen to lure us away from our consumer-grade clamshells. Find a video walkthrough and PR after the break.

Show full PR text


Powerful device includes 4G LTE wireless and other enhanced features designed to maximize productivity for mobile professionals

Secaucus, NJ, May 10, 2011 – Panasonic Solutions Company, provider of collaboration, information-sharing and decision-support solutions for government and commercial enterprises, today announced the Toughbook 53, a 14" High Definition LED display, semi-rugged notebook. Starting at only 5.6 pounds and delivering up to 10 hours of battery life, the Toughbook 53 provides mobile professionals, such as inspectors and claims adjusters, a highly reliable and versatile device that delivers high performance computing. The latest in the line of products that created the semi-rugged category, this new notebook is the first Toughbook device offering optional 4G LTE mobile broadband and a host of other features designed to improve productivity and maximize return on investment.

Desktop-Class Performance with Rugged Reliability
The Toughbook 53 is powered by a second generation Intel® i5 or i3 processor and maintains the ruggedness Panasonic's customers have appreciated with the current semi-rugged line. The Toughbook 53 is designed to survive 30" drops on six faces, features a spill-resistant keyboard and passes nine MIL-STD-810G tests. The Toughbook 53 is also the first Panasonic notebook to support a high definition LED display and offers an optional 2-800 nit sunlight-viewable Panasonic CircuLumin™ touchscreen plus an adjustable backlit emissive keyboard, making the Toughbook 53 the ideal candidate for use in any lighting condition. Panasonic has also increased the size of the touchpad by 25% while giving it multi touch with zoom and scroll capabilities. The Toughbook 53 also offers USB 3.0, VGA, HDMI and an SDXC slot for even greater flexibility.

"The next-generation Toughbook 53 was designed with a substantial amount of customer input and is the result of Panasonic's goal to offer the most functional and reliable devices for today's mobile workforce," said Kyp Walls, director of product management, Panasonic Solutions Company. "The Toughbook 53 is ideal for mobile professionals in industries such as insurance, construction and field service, where a standard commercial-grade laptop does not provide sufficient durability. Panasonic has added enhanced features to this new device providing added flexibility for professionals who spend a significant amount of time working from the road."

Embedded Wireless Connectivity
The Toughbook 53 offers a variety of embedded wireless technologies, including Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, optional Bluetooth® 2.1 and Gobi2000™ 3G mobile broadband technology from Qualcomm. The device is certified on the Sprint and Verizon Wireless 3G networks, allowing workers to stay connected at all times. The 53 is also the first member of the Toughbook family to offer embedded support for 4G LTE networks, with certifications coming later this year.

Integrated Options for Mission-Critical Computing
The Toughbook 53 also delivers an optional dual antenna pass-through for in-vehicle use in passenger cars and light-duty trucks, perfect for professionals whose vehicles regularly serve as mobile offices.

The Toughbook 53 also offers options for an integrated webcam, plus fingerprint and SmartCard readers for enhanced security. Enhanced connectivity includes options for FireWire, 56K modem or 2nd LAN port.

Panasonic Toughbook 53: Select Features and Specifications

  • Genuine Windows® 7 Professional (32-bit or 64-bit)

  • Intel® Core™ i5-2520M vPro™ Processor (2.5GHz)

  • Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz

  • Intel® Core™ i3-2310M Processor (2.1GHz)

  • 14.0" High Definition (720p) LED 1366x768 display

    • Optional touchscreen (i5 model only) with Panasonic CircuLumin™ technology (2 to 800nits, AR, AG and Circular Polarizer)

    • Concealed mode – turns off or dims screen, all LED lights and sound with touch of a button

  • 4-8GB RAM (i5 models) & 2-8GB (i3 model).

    • DDR3 -1333MHz

  • Oversized touchpad with multi touch support

  • 5.6 lbs. (i3 model), 5.8 lbs. (i5 model), 6.5 lbs. (touch model)

  • 11.1" (L) x 13.4" (W) x 1.8-2.2" (H)

  • Semi-rugged

    • MIL-STD-810G

    • Drop-resistant to 30" on 6 sides

    • Spill-resistant keyboard

    • Optional hard drive heater

    • Magnesium alloy case with handle

    • Shock-mounted flex-connect HDD with quick-release

    • Pre-installed replaceable screen film (touchscreen model)

  • Up to 10 hours battery life

    • Long Life Battery Pack (i5 CPU models)

  • Up to 6 hours battery life

    • Lightweight Battery Pack (i3 CPU model)

  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM) TCG v1.2 compliant*

  • Embedded Connectivity

    • Wi-Fi 802.11 a*/b/g/n

    • Bluetooth® v2.1 + EDR (Class 1)

    • Optional LTE 4G mobile broadband (Summer 2011)

    • Optional Gobi™2000 mobile broadband

  • 3-year limited warranty, parts and labor

  • Interfaces

    • Docking connector

    • External video (HDMI, VGA)

    • Headphones/speaker

    • Microphone/line-in

    • Serial

    • USB 3.0 x 1 , USB 2.0 x 3

    • SD card (SDXC)

    • PC card

    • ExpressCard

    • 10/100/1000 Ethernet

    • Optional 2nd 10/100 LAN or FireWire or Modem or Dual antenna pass-through

  • Optional integrated features

    • 1.3MP webcam and digital mic

    • Backlit emissive keyboard

    • SmartCard reader

    • Fingerprint reader

    • Hard drive heater

    • 128GB solid state drive (SSD)

*On i5 CPU models only

Pricing and Availability
The Panasonic Toughbook 53 is available in three configurations from authorized Panasonic resellers and distributors in the United States. The Toughbook 53 i5 model will ship in June at an estimated street price of $1,899; the touchscreen version will ship in July and is available at an estimated street price of $2,449. The Toughbook 53 i3 model will ship in August at $1,599.

The Toughbook 53 includes a standard three-year limited warranty.

Panasonic will continue to sell the 15.4" widescreen semi-rugged Toughbook 52 i5 Discrete for customers who require a larger screen and the video performance of a discrete (dedicated) graphics chip.

Toughbook 53 Images & Video
A video overview of the Toughbook 53 can be found on the Toughbook brand's YouTube channel; images of the Toughbook 53 can be found on the brand's Flickr page, and a post discussing the evolution of semi-rugged computing can be found on the brand's blog -

Follow the Toughbook Brand
The Panasonic Toughbook brand can be followed on various social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and via our blog on mobile technology,

For more information on the Toughbook 53 and other Toughbook mobile computers, go to

About Panasonic Solutions Company
Panasonic Solutions Company empowers people whose jobs depend on reliable technology. The company delivers collaboration, information-sharing and decision-support solutions for customers in government, healthcare, education and a wide variety of commercial enterprises. Products and services within the company's portfolio include Panasonic Toughbook mobile computing solutions, projectors, professional displays (including both plasma and LCD), and HD and 3D video acquisition and production solutions. As a result of its commitment to R&D, manufacturing and quality control, Panasonic is known for the reliability and longevity of its products. Panasonic Solutions Company is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, which is the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE: PC).

All brand and company/product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies. All specifications are subject to change without notice. Information on Panasonic Solutions Company's full line of products can be obtained by calling 877-803-8492 or at