Panasonic unveils world-first fully rugged detachable laptop

With the push towards innovation a major factor in the future of the resources sector, Panasonic has continued to expand in this area with their latest Toughbook 20, the world’s first fully rugged detachable laptop.

The combined rugged tablet and notebook provides enhanced versatility and functionality for mobile workers, allowing users to increase productivity, streamline work processes, and reduce operational costs.

It is the slimmest and lightest device of its kind, the company said.

“The drive for mobility in Australian businesses continues to accelerate,” Stuart Buxton, senior product marketing manager, Toughbook, Panasonic, said. “Users are constantly pushing the boundaries of how and where devices are used.”

Buxton added that as users are becoming increasingly aware of the true costs of consumer-grade devices failing in the field, their latest device provides lower lifetime costs.

The device has the advantages of both a laptop and tablet, with six usage modes that make it suitable for a range of applications. As well as being used as a traditional laptop, the tablet can be detached and used by itself, or flipped 180-degrees to show content in presentation mode. The convertible mode allows users to see the display with the keyboard attached and ready when it is needed. Using the built-in handle, the device can operate in carry mode or hanging on a wall, while vehicle mode provides full functionality of the device when on the move. The device also has a glove-enabled touchscreen, purpose-built vehicle mount, and desktop port replicator.

The laptop is suitable for field workers that need a highly mobile computing solution and the ability to capture large amounts of data. It is purpose-built for challenging environments, including mining and gas, emergency services, government, transport and logistics, defence, and field service. It is a versatile device for applications such as insurance assessors, fleet management and car hire, as well as maintenance and service technicians in utilities and communications.

With mobile workers being responsible for increasingly complex tasks in the field, the device offers a set of interfaces with customisable options. It ships with Windows 10 Pro and is powered by 6th Generation Intel Core vPro processor technology. The laptop draws upon its heritage for ruggedness with a magnesium alloy case and IP65 and MIL-STD 810G rated design, making it suitable for all outdoor usage from below zero temperatures to the height of Australia’s summer. In addition, the latest generation of Toughbook is more mobile than its predecessors, weighing 1.76kg in notebook mode with the detachable tablet weighing 950g, below the 2kg industry standard for a device of this kind.

With its integrated handle, the device is easy and stable to use, with larger keys than the previous generation device for simple data input.

The laptop meets MIL-STD-461F for electromagnetic interference and MIL-STD-810G for drop, shock, vibration, explosive atmosphere, temperature, humidity, rain and sand, as well as waterproof and dustproof ingress (IP65). It features a magnesium alloy case, fanless design, locking port covers, raised bezel, a Solid State Drive (SSD) heater, and a built-in handle for ease of use, which also serves as a kickstand for desktop stability and enables use while hung.

The device is designed for tough outdoor use from bright sunlight to heavy rain. It has a 10.1″, 10-finger capacitive multi-touch WUXGA screen (1920 x 1200 pixels), suitable for workers that need to operate touchscreens with gloves. The device uses the latest IPS Panel technology, providing a new level of viewing quality for tablet users working outside, with 800cd/m² brightness. In addition, there is an optional IP55 Digitiser pen for workers that enhances accuracy when writing during tough weather conditions.

The laptop includes Intel Core m5-6Y57 vPro processor technology (4MB cache, 1.1GHz up to 2.8 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology) with a fanless design, Intel HD Graphics 515, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD and a full Windows 10 Pro operating system with the option to downgrade to Windows 7. It has hot swap capabilities, allowing the batteries to be switched by the user while in operation. There is a battery powering the tablet and another optional battery that can be inserted into the keyboard base unit to provide double the battery capacity. The batteries can also be hot swapped between the tablet and base unit.