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Ruggedized Notebook First To Run On Sonoma Chip

Panasonic Computer Solutions Company today launched the first ruggedized notebook with Intel Centrino mobile technology (formerly codenamed Sonoma).

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Panasonic Computer Solutions Company today launched the first ruggedized notebook with Intel Centrino mobile technology (formerly codenamed Sonoma).

"Re-designing our best-selling Toughbook CF-73 to incorporate Intel's latest Centrino mobile technology was not a matter of simply inserting a faster CPU or a different circuit board. The new platform is based on stronger CPUs, faster RAM, more robust system chipsets and more efficient power consumption curves than anything we've seen before. It uses entirely new graphics and sound engines, enhanced hard-drive technology, and upgraded Wireless LAN support," said Panasonic Computer Solutions Company president Rance Poehler.

The CF-73 features Intel's M processor 750 1.86GHz CPU with a 533MHz front-side bus, Dual-Channel lower-power DDR2 memory, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology, the Mobile Intel 915 Express chipset family (formerly codenamed Alviso) , an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 900 graphics core, PCI Express Giga Bit Ethernet, USB/PCI I/O support, and Intel PRO/Wireless 2915ABG integrated wireless chips.

Implementation of Centrino technology has resulted in a significant, measurable performance boost. The new CF-73's power-optimized 533MHz processor-system bus provides up to 33% faster transfer rates than similar models from competitors, according to Panasonic. Other advances include a 60 percent improvement in peak bandwidth, enhanced wireless LAN security, significantly reduced screen backlight power consumption with minimal visual impact, and 2X I/O bandwidth for improved system, application, and multimedia performance.

The CF-73 offers a shock-and-intrusion hardened 13.3-inch daylight readable, anti-reflective, transmissive touch screen with XGA (1024x768 pixel) true-color resolution and external video support up to 2048x1536 pixels at 4 billion colors, integrated DVD/CDRW drive, and integrated 802.11abg Wireless WAN, wired LAN, analog modem, and GSM/GPRS support.

Like all Toughbooks, the CF-73 used a rugged magnesium-alloy case designed and cast in Panasonic's own state-of-the-art fabrication facility. Two models are available, but both ship with Windows XP SP2 pre-installed, weigh under 5.7 pounds and achieve battery runtime of up to 4 hours. The CF-73SCUTSBM has 256 MB RAM, a 60 GB hard disk, Intel 802.11g, a DVD/CDRW drive and costs about $3500. The CF-73SCVTSBM features 512 MB RAM, 80 GB hard disk, Intel 802.11g, a DVD/CDRW drive and costs about $3750.

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