Panasonic introduces 'tough' notebook

According to Panasonic, not all notebook computers are delicate instruments. The company has launched its Toughbook 27, touting it as the "world's fastest ruggedized notebook PC". The system is designed to withstand environments where you wouldn’t want to take an ordinary laptop, for example for editing video up mountains or in war zones. Based on Intel Pentium III 500MHz processor, the laptop features a magnesium alloy case. Heavy for a laptop at eight pounds, the Toughbook was built to withstand vibration, dust and moisture, according to Panasonic. The case has 20 times the tensile strength of plastic often used by other manufacturers in their laptop frames, Panasonic said in a statement. The 10GB hard drive is encased in a stainless steel box, ensuring a few bumps won't disrupt its contents. The 12.1-inch active matrix LCD (liquid-crystal display) screen is mounted in "an anti-torsion, water-resistant magnesium frame", according to the statement. There's more to the laptop than just its ruggedness. Its in-built wireless capability ensures a higher degree of mobility, Panasonic claims. An internal retractable modem will enable a user to connect with wireless networks. The Toughbook also has a 56Kbps internal modem. The laptop comes with 64MB of EDO RAM and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT 4.0 operating system preinstalled. The notebook's external storage options include a LS-120 SuperDisk drive (which also supports 3.5-inch floppy disks), a CD-ROM drive, a DVD ROM drive and hard disk drive options of up to 20GB.

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