Panasonic Upgrades Semi-Rugged Mobile PCs

The Toughbook CF-52 and CF-74 will include more storage capacity, faster wireless connections, and Intel's latest platform for mobile PCs.
Panasonic on Wednesday introduced upgrades of its semi-rugged notebooks that include more storage capacity, faster wireless connections, and Intel's latest platform for mobile PCs.

The Toughbook CF-52 and CF-74, which are scheduled to ship in August, will include "significantly enhanced" video and graphics capabilities, which are helped by the incorporation of Intel's new Centrino 2 platform. In addition, the notebooks will be available with a 160 GB hard disk drive and support for the 802.11n Wi-Fi standard, which is capable of wireless video streaming.

The CF-52 is Panasonic's semi-rugged desktop replacement, while the CF-74 is the company's "mobile workhorse." The former has a 15.4-inch display, and the latter a 13.3-inch screen. Both have a carrying handle and optional embedded support for wireless carriers' high-speed data networks.

The notebooks are listed as "semi-rugged" because of a number of durable design features, such as magnesium alloy cases, shock-mounted hard drives and LCD screens, and spill-resistant keyboards. The Toughbook line carries a three-year limited warranty and includes 24-hour phone support for the life of the product. Panasonic also offers a range of professional services for businesses.

The Toughbook CF-52 will be available in a "value" configuration with an estimated street price of $1,949, and a premium model with improved video and system performance for $2,849. Starting price for the CF-74 will be $3,199.

Computer makers have been announcing Centrino 2-powered notebooks since Intel officially rolled out the platform on Monday. Originally codenamed Montevina, Centrino 2 includes a second-generation Core 2 Duo processor, codenamed Penryn. The chip, which has clock speeds ranging from 2.26 GHz to 3.06 GHz, is built using Intel's latest manufacturing process that multiplies the number of transistors on a die by shrinking them to 45 nanometers. More transistors deliver higher performance within the same level of power consumption.

Other computer manufacturers that recently announced Centrino 2 notebooks include Fujitsu, Lenovo, and Toshiba.

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