As increasingly portable as modern electronics have become, they haven’t exactly kept pace in terms of ruggedness. Glass backs and touch screens don’t always survive being dropped on rocks or other hard surfaces, so if you want to stay connected whilst in the middle of nowhere, you probably want something a little tougher. Like a ToughBook.
Panasonic has produced its new ToughBook 20, a hardy 10-inch, 2-in-1 laptop/tablet combo. And it sounds like the right tool for the job.
As well as being compact and portable, the ToughBook 20 is dustproof, water-resistant (IP65), and its 1080P 10.1 inch touchscreen works when you’re wearing gloves, so if you’re somewhere cold you can continue to use it as a tablet without risking frostbite.
It also has a built-in handle and kick-stand, a rotatable hand strap, and a specialized magnesium-alloy chassis with ABS and elastomer edges, making it an incredibly tough package that would survive more than a little scuff here and there.
OS choice is limited to Windows 10, though users can downgrade to Windows 7 professional if they prefer.
Internally, the ToughBook 20 packs an Intel Core m5-6Y57 CPU (with a TDP of just 4.5w), 8GB of SDRAM running at 1,600MHz and a 128GB SSD. The storage options, as well as the secondary — optional — drive, also come with a built-in heater to warm them up should the entire system be too cold to boot properly.
The keyboard is backlit for use in darkened conditions, though the touchscreen can also operate with an on-screen keyboard. Although there is a 1080p webcam as standard, buyers can also add in an extra 8MP rear-facing camera for showing surroundings that bit easier.
For those who really like to get about, there are optional extras like GPS and 4G LTE support, as well as additional functionality in the form of SmartCard, magstripe and barcode readers. And if you’re worried about security, there’s also a fingerprint scanner that can be added as an extra.
Pricing starts at $3,100 according to Liliputing, with availability expected to begin in February 2016.