Some folks who work in outdoor or hazardous environments might enjoy a reliable 2-in-1 for getting their work done. Sure, there are options for Windows hybrid PCs out there, but none of them are built to be truly rugged. Until now, the only option for this type of workstation has been either a laptop or a tablet, but not both. Panasonic, a world leaders in rugged computing devices, has a pretty good handle on how to build a device for use in challenging environments.
Panasonic’s latest is called the Toughbook 20, a customer-driven solution to what has been missing from the world of tough laptops. Not only is it the first 2-in-1 of its kind, it “delivers the durability, reliability, and performance Panasonic is known for, while adding the increased level of flexibility and functionality customers want in a single fully rugged computer”. If you think that’s a lot to swallow, let me go into some detail by presenting to you the spec list.
The detachable hybrid, first of all, reaches MIL-STD-810G rating, meaning it can withstand a variety of conditions like dust, rain (although its waterproofing score, at IP65, could be better), sand, extreme hot and cold, and shocks. As Slash Gear reports, the 3.9 lb, 10.1-inch hybrid boasts a 1920 x 1200 touchscreen (with the option of a digitizer for stylus input), runs a 6th gen Intel Core chip at 1.1GHz to 2.8 GHz, comes with 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD (expandable to 256GB or 512GB). Of course, the Toughbook 20 comes running Windows 10 out of the box.
The added perk of being a removable screen laptop means multi-functionality, which is becoming popular. We are headed into a new space where the 2-in-1 device is going to be norm. The ability to work with 360 degrees of motion means you can set up your laptop or tablet in any position for any situation. Hence, the Toughbook 20 has six potential configurations with a variety of accessories for getting any job done, while on the job. These include desktop docks, vehicle docks, rotating hand straps, vehicle chargers, 4-bay battery chargers, and smart card readers.
You see, not only does the Toughbook 20 have a design made for field workers that need highly mobile and interchangeable computing (some situations may only call for a tablet hold, while others allow for a laptop to be sit on a flat surface), it holds a large enough amount of data to get the job done. Speaking of jobs, the Toughbook 20 is purpose-built for environments like field services, utilities, oil and gas, transportation and logistics, healthcare, insurance, public safety, and defense (Business Wire). Designing a tough hybrid such as this is apparently no small feat, as it takes “a significant amount of engineering to ensure it would deliver the reliability the Toughbook brand is known for”, says Panasonic’s Jan Ruderman. Pricing starts at $3,099, which is quite competitive to comparable laptops in the military equipped niche.
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