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Panasonic reveals lighter, stronger Toughbook CF-54

Michael Passingham
13 Feb 2015
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Semi-rugged laptop is more portable than ever and infinitely customisable

Panasonic has launched the Toughbook CF-54, its latest "semi-rugged" laptop for workers who need a drop-proof, water-resistant machine for use in less extreme environments than so-called "fully rugged" laptops.

The CF-54 follows on from the CF-53, although its predecessor will continue to be sold alongside the CF-54. Major improvements between the two generations include a much lighter design, a 14in Full HD screen and more powerful processing and graphics chips.

The laptop will come in three distinct models: an "HD" (1,366x768 pixels) device with a Core i5 processor, and two Full HD screen models, with the most expensive getting a ten-point capacitive touch screen that can be used with safety gloves such as those seen in the automotive sector. All models come equipped as standard with an Intel Core i5 5300U vPro processor with integrated Intel HD Graphics 5500 included, but optional extras include a 2.9GHz Core i7 processor and an AMD FirePro M5100 GPU for graphics-intensive tasks such as CAD and CAM work. The base model also comes with a 500GB mechanical hard disk, while the two more expensive models come with a 128GB SSD as standard.

Without any extras, the CF-54 weighs 1.9kg (2.1kg for the touch screen model) compared to its predecessor's base weight of 2.7kg. Its standard thickness is 29.8mm, although with extra hardware such as the FirePro graphics card installed a larger base plate will be used, adding 10mm of thickness.

Base pricing for the three versions are as follows, with estimated UK prices excluding VAT in brackets: €1544 (£1141), €1792 (£1324) and €2247 (£1661).

The Toughbook CF-54 has been tested to survive a 76cm drop and the entire front, including keyboard and screen, is water resistant for minor spills and short spells of rain.

The laptops all come with extensive customisation options. For small businesses these extras will be decided by the Panasonic resellers, while larger firms will be able to customise their devices individually.

Optional extras include a third battery (the second battery is a low-capacity set of cells to allow a battery swap without having to turn off the laptop), extending the estimated 11h battery life up to 18h, a DVD drive, a GPS module, a 4G modem, a fingerprint reader, a smart card reader and a rear-facing camera. Panasonic will also manufacture bespoke parts for larger buyers on a case-by-case basis.

Panasonic says the models will be available from this month in Europe.

 

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