Pansonic’s rugged Toughbook lineup expanded this week with the Toughbook 40. The new laptop carries over many of its predecessor’s features, including military-grade durability specs and replaceable parts, with some upgrades in size and design. ‘display.
Toughbooks have durable designs built to withstand long drops (up to six feet, in this case) and harsh conditions, like rain. But another remarkable feature is their modularity. The Toughbook 40 has eight components designed to be easy to repair or upgrade: battery, RAM, storage and keyboard, plus four expansion areas. Different types of expansion packs are available, including optical drive, fingerprint and barcode readers, as well as additional I/O ports, batteries and storage.
In an FAQ (PDF), Panasonic said that you can access most expansion areas with a screwdriver and a few screws, while some only require the use of a sliding lever. IT managers can lock the SSD or expansion areas with a screw. According to Panasonic, there are 6,048 ways to build the Toughbook.
At 7.4 pounds, the 14-inch Touchbook 40 is 1.2 pounds lighter than the previous laptop, the 13.1-inch Toughbook 31. That’s several pounds heavier than today’s ultralight laptops, but Toughbooks are designed for extreme cases, like military and law enforcement use.
At 1,200 nits, the laptop’s 1920×1080 touchscreen can be used in a sunny room or outdoors. Panasonic hasn’t specified battery life at this extreme brightness, but says the PC can last up to 18 hours on the MobileMark 2014 benchmark and 36 hours if you get a second battery.
The laptop’s resistive touchpad has a 60% larger surface area and can be used with gloves or in the rain.
Inside, the Toughbook 40 has up to an Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics (a discrete, unspecified GPU will arrive at some point). The laptop is configurable with up to 2TB of storage, expandable via a quick-release latch, and up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM. Additionally, there is a 5 MP webcam and the option of 4G or 5G connectivity.
In Panasonic’s announcement, Toughbook General Manager Craig Jackowski said the Toughbook 40 is the “toughest” in the series. It meets military specifications MIL-STD-810H and MIL-STD-461H and is CID2 certified for use in hazardous environments. It is IP66 certified, protecting it from dust and powerful water jets.
On the security side, the laptop has an optional FIPS encrypted OPAL SSD, TPM 2.0, Intel Hardware Shield and Microsoft Secure-core PC. The Toughbook 40 also introduces a “Secure Wipe” feature that “wipes disc contents in seconds”, according to Panasonic.
Aimed at businesses and the public sector, the Toughbook 40 will start at $4,899 when it releases in late spring, Panasonic’s announcement said. If you’re looking for something with a more digestible price, the 13.5-inch DIY-ready Framework laptop just got 12th Gen Intel processors.