Panasonic Introduces 'Tough' Notebook

According to Panasonic Consumer Electronic not all notebook computers are delicate instruments. The company Tuesday launched its Toughbook 27, touting it as the "world's fastest ruggedized notebook PC."Based on Intel Corp.'s Pentium III 500MHz processor, the laptop features a magnesium alloy case and is priced at $US4,799.

Heavy for a laptop at 8 pounds, the Toughbook was built to withstand vibration, dust and moisture, according to Panasonic. The case has 20 times the tensile strength of plastic often used by other manufacturers in their laptop frames, Panasonic said in a statement. The 10G-byte hard drive is encased in a stainless steel box, ensuring a few bumps won't disrupt its contents. The 12.1-inch active matrix LCD (liquid-crystal display) screen is mounted in "an anti-torsion, water-resistant magnesium frame," according to the statement.

There's more to the laptop than just its ruggedness. Its in-built wireless capability ensures a higher degree of mobility, Panasonic claims. An internal retractable modem will enable a user to connect with some of the most popular wireless networks today, including Motient Corp.'s DataTAC, BellSouth's Mobitex and CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data). The Toughbook also has a 56K-bps (bits-per-second) internal modem.

The laptop comes with 64M bytes of EDO RAM (extended data out random access memory) and Microsoft's Windows NT 4.0 operating system preinstalled. The notebook's external storage options include a LS-120 SuperDisk drive (which also supports 3.5-inch floppy disks), a CD-ROM drive, a DVD ROM drive and hard disk drive options of up to 20G bytes.

More information on the Toughbook can be found at http://www.panasonic.com/toughbook/.

Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, the U.S. parent company of Panasonic, is based in Secaucus, New Jersey, and can be contacted at +1-201-348-7000 or http://www.panasonic.com/. Matsushita Electronic Corporation of America is part of Japanese vendor Matsushita Electric Industrial., based in Osaka, which can be contacted at +81-6-6908-1121 or http://www.mei.co.jp/.

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