Panasonic's Toughbook

The Panasonic TOUGHBOOK 55 is one of the most secured semi-rugged Windows PCs

Panasonic's Toughbook

Panasonic’s Toughbook 55 is classed as a ‘semi-rugged’ laptop, which means it can cope with demanding environments, if not the very harshest — for that you’ll need a ‘fully rugged’ model. The Toughbook 55 features a highly customizable design that allows users to specify and swap in (or out) the components they need, which is very welcome. As ever with Toughbooks, this is not an inexpensive laptop but you’re paying for its ability to go where other laptops fear to tread.

Toughbooks are necessarily bulkier than the norm, and their brand, magnesium silver lid is a giveaway from a distance. The retracting carry handle — a must-have for field-based workers is another distinctive feature. If it’s not needed, the handle can be removed by undoing a couple of screws on the underside.

The protection that gives it semi-rugged status (IP53 and MIL-STD 810H) means the Toughbook 55 is larger and heavier than you’d expect for a 14-inch laptop. The 345mm by 272mm desktop footprint is unremarkable, but it’s 32.8mm thick and weighs around 2.08kg (the latter will vary depending on the precise configuration). 

“As cyberattacks and threats become increasingly sophisticated, customers are looking for new solutions to provide them with more comprehensive security,” said Luca Legnani, European marketing manager for Mobile Solutions Business Division – Europe. “This is particularly important in sectors where information is highly sensitive, such as the emergency services, defense or the public sector and for particular job roles, such as senior executives, R&D managers or mobile workers who carry important customer and company information on their device.”

A key selling point for the Toughbook 55 is that it’s user-expandable, via three easily accessible bays. The ‘front expansion area’ on the right front edge of the chassis can accommodate a second battery, a fingerprint reader, a contactless smartcard reader or a standard smartcard reader. The ‘rear expansion area’ at the back can house a number of different ports and connectors grouped together.

Ideal for mobile work

The TOUGHBOOK 55 is a semi-rugged device with a business notebook feel. It is lightweight (2.08kg), slim (32.8mm) and easy to move around with its premium designed handle. Yet it’s also tougher than its predecessor with an enhanced Ingress Protection Rating (IP53) against dust and water splash and protected against drops up to 91cm (MIL-STD810H[2]). Operation in extreme temperatures has also been enhanced, comfortably operating in temperatures ranging from -20°C to +60°C. 

With an increased battery life of up to 20 hours[3] and an extended capability of 40 hours, with the addition of a hot-swap second battery, the TOUGHBOOK 55 is as long working as it is adaptable.

Availability and pricing

The TOUGHBOOK 55 became available in September 2019 in 3 versions: HD, Full-HD and Full-HD Touch Screen. The price starts from £1,772 + VAT.

  1. Secured-core PCs require specific configuration to fully enable the highest level of protection against attack.
  2. Tested by an independent third party lab following MIL-STD810H.
  3. Mobile Mark 2014, 150 cd/m. HD Model.

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