By TAN KIT HOONG firstname.lastname@example.org
The phrase “built like a tank” is often bandied about for various electronic products but Panasonic’s Toughbook series is probably one of the few that is built to take a beating.
Since the first ruggedised notebooks were made by the company in 1996, Panasonic is one of the few companies to have a notebook line that’s tough enough to withstand nearly everything that can be thrown at it — from dusts to water.
For example, the Toughbook CF-19 conforms to IP65 ingress protection standards, and can literally be dropped from chest height onto hard floors or splashed with water, as was demonstrated by Amos Tio, general manager for Toughbook Asia Pacific group.
In fact, the company dominates with some 60% market share for ruggedised notebooks worldwide, where it’s popular with the automotive and heavy machinery industries, as well as with the armed forces and law enforcement.
Locally, the Toughbooks are already in use in companies like Volkswagen, Renault and also by the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) and Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).
“With the Toughbook series, we don’t normally just sell it as is, but is customised for the customer according to their needs and their industry,” said Tio.
As such, instead of building based on specifications alone, a Panasonic salesperson will usually talk to customers about their requirements and workflow, after which a Toughbook is built to fit that need.
In recent years touchscreens have gained prominence and have been added into nearly every product in the Toughbook line, and with the increasing popularity of tablet computing, Panasonic has also added a 10.1in Android tablet, namely, the Toughpad FZ-A1.
Like its notebook siblings, the FZ-A1 is built to IP65 standards, which means it’s splashproof, dust resistant and can withstand drops.
Currently, Toughbooks come pre-installed with Windows 7 and feature Intel Core i5 processors and hard disks which are encased in a special cage and material which absorbs shock.
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