The biggest change to the new Toughbook 31 is the battery, which is now capable of running for 18 hours on a single charge. With an optional second battery, users can expect up to a whopping 27 hours of life. As with all batteries, actual usage time will vary depending on the tasks performed.
Another notable adjustment change is to the processor, which is now a 5th Generation Intel Core i5-5300U vPro. The power of this processor ranges from 2.3GHz to 2.9GHz. Previous models were available with both i3 and i5 processors, but of course, they were 4th-gen models with lower performance than the new ones. No GPU is available, but Intel HD Graphics 5500 is included, which will do the job for a work-focused laptop like this.
802.11ac Wi-Fi support has beed added to offer the rugged laptop a little more connectivity. Older Wi-Fi standards are also supported, so anyone using this laptop out in the field should be able to connect anywhere.
Of course, the ruggedness of the laptop remains from previous models. It included a 6-foot drop rating, and a fully-sealed design that meets MIL-STD-810G and IP65 specifications for water and dust, so users know that their laptop can handle the dangers of the job site.
Other features that have carried over from previous Toughbook models include the sunlight-viewable touchscreen, flex-connect quick-release hard drive, and a full magnesium alloy case with handle. Vehicle docking features remain, and Panasonic claims that the footprint is virtually identical to previous models. That means businesses can upgrade without needing to put forth the additional expense of buying new docks.
Panasonic plans to sell its updated Toughbook 31 in February with a starting price of $3,699, with the price jumping up with adjustments to the hardware. That’s a lot of cash, but this laptop isn’t mean for the average home user.