When the going gets tough, the tough get Toughbooks
In the early days of cell phones, the Nokia 5210 was a common sight on construction sites across the world. Encased in a strong, rubberized casing, the phone was about as bullet-proof (or drop-proof) as any phone could be.
Some manufacturers today are capitalizing on niche requirements for hardware, including the kind of resilience that some working environments require. The Oukitel K10000 Pro, for example, sports (as its name suggests) a 10,000 mAh battery and a week-long battery life. The Blackview BV8000 Pro, while not cheap, can be used in effectively aquatic conditions, performing quite happily for around 30 minutes while being utterly submerged in liquid.
When taking technology like phones into those workplaces which prove challenging, one choice often forced on the user has been to rely on cheap hardware and having to bear the cost of replacement every year or even months.
With mobile computing such as laptops, however, breaking or ruining hardware comes not only with a higher replacement cost, but also the risk of data loss. Every time hardware goes offline, there’s a big hit on individuals’ productivity while reparations are made. Plus, there’s the added headache of reconfiguring new hardware and the issue of restoring data.
In the past, it’s always been impractical to take high-end tech into particular environments. While the reliability and battery life of the MacBook Air or Microsoft Surface are excellent, models of their ilk are just not suited to receiving the type of treatment which is unavoidable in some situations.
To address this problem, and to empower mobile workers with the computing power needed in challenging outdoor or workplace environments, Panasonic has released a range of laptops (and tablets) which combine high-end hardware components and industry-leading durability. The Panasonic Toughbook range boasts build quality which can endure the punishments that even heavy industry and the military mete out.
But with Panasonic technology, you won’t be carrying the computing equivalent of a wardrobe to the coal face (though the Toughbook range is eminently suitable for use in the mining industry!). Instead, Toughbook combine lightness & form factors with levels of ruggedization which suit a range of difficult applications.
Toughbook generally divide into three tiers: business-ruggedized, semi-ruggedized, and fully-ruggedized – and each of those tiers can be customized according to specific requirements. Plus, there’s a whole host of options and accessories all built to the same high-grade standards.
The Windows 10 Pro-equipped CF-SZ6, for instance, weighs in at 0.9kg and is only 25mm thick. Its magnesium alloy construction protects the PC from shocks and knocks, and it has a hot-swappable battery, should its 8-hour life be insufficient.
But this machine isn’t a run-of-the-mill executive’s road-going workhorse. The magnesium reinforced case (the lid will stand 100kgF pressure), durable keyboard and specially designed components will make even being dropped (or sat on) no problem in its everyday use.
The CF-XZ6 (with a screen fully detachable for tablet-mode use) comes equipped with Intel i5 processor and a range of interfaces including three USB 3.0 ports. All Toughbook have Bluetooth v4.1 wireless 812a/b/g/n/ac as standard and were built with Trusted Platform Module (TPM V2) capability to ensure safe encryption & authentication.
Both models in the business-ruggedized range are configurable with 4G LTE, plus there is a large range of portable printers, external keyboards designed to cope with misuse, screen filters, and a 4G router available.
For the most challenging work environments, the Toughbook “Fully Ruggedized” range of laptops should fit the bill. Aimed at use in heavy industry, utilities, mining, construction and ideal for outdoor use, the CF-33 withstands drops from nearly 1.2 meters and can endure temperatures from -20°C to +60°C. In fact, the “Fully Ruggedized” range is MIL-STD 810G-accredited, making it approved for military-level punishment on a daily basis.
Like its road-warrior compatriots, this heaviest-of-duties range is customizable (with an in-built carrying handle, for instance), plus there is a range of befitting options: different hardware mounts & chargers, plus a comms antennae for outside a vehicle.
Panasonic sees the Toughbook range as serving where most hardware (and its precious data) might be at risk. Envisaging scenarios like busy hospitals and emergency service use, policing, engineering, airplane maintenance and servicing as well as transport-based and military use, Toughbook are positioned as go-anywhere computing leaders.
Between the two outer tiers of the military-grade range and the tough business-class build of the CF-SZ6, there is also the semi-ruggedized CF54 model. This machine, in terms of physical protection, lies somewhere in the middle. But like its fellow Toughbook, it sloughs off dust & moisture and withstands a very decent degree of physical mistreatment.
The CF-54 keeps on working happily even following a drop from waist height (76cm, according to Panasonic), and comes with an option for interchangeable batteries to increase an already-substantial 7-hour life.
A GPS location chipset can be added as an option, plus the pull-out handle of its fully-ruggedized cousins is available. The 12.5″ screen of the range is easily legible when used outside, and the reinforced lid makes it ideal for use, for example, in light industrial settings, such as automotive diagnostics and field service operations.
The high degree of customization and hardened peripherals available make the Panasonic Toughbook range the logical choice for those needing to take and collate data in the field, but who simply mustn’t rely on second-rate build quality or hardware that won’t stand up to the working environments outside the office.
Panasonic’s expertise and market-leading position mean that customers who need rugged and reliable hardware, backed by enterprise-level maintenance and upgrade backing, will choose Panasonic. The take-it anywhere nature of Toughbook means that business can continue just about anywhere it might need to go.
To learn more about Toughbook and speak to a representative in your area, speak to Panasonic today.
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