Panasonic's Toughbooks have always been ultra-rugged warhorses, but at least the competition could titter about how bulky they are. Until the Toughbook S9 struts into the room: every bit as sturdy, with the lightest 12.1-inch frame (with optical drive) around.
The Toughbook S9 manages a 30-inch drop rating, can withstand 100kg of pressure to its top or base and is spill-resistant up to 177mL of liquid, all while weighing 1.4kg. And they haven't skimped on the rest of the specs - it's got Core i5 inside, 11 hours of listed battery life and a 1280x800 LED-backlit LCD display.
There are a couple chinks in the Toughbook's armour, though. The design, which I'm sure is perfect for being dropped and sat on, looks like a leftover prop from a Gulf War movie. The first Gulf War. And the $US2500 price tag pretty much ensures that this'll be used mostly on construction sites of companies with big budgets or by extremely wealthy klutzes.
PANASONIC INTRODUCES THE TOUGHBOOK® S9 - WORLD'S LIGHTEST 12.1" LAPTOP WITH DVD DRIVE
Ideal Road Warrior Device Features Intel® Core™ i5 Processor, 11 Hour Standard Battery and 30" Drop Rating in 3lb Package
Secaucus, NJ, September 28, 2010 – Panasonic Solutions Company, provider of collaboration, information-sharing and decision-support solutions for government and commercial enterprises, today introduced the Panasonic Toughbook® S9, the world's lightest 12.1" laptop with an integrated DVD drive. Powered by the Intel® Core™ i5-520M vPro™ processor, delivering up to 11 hours of battery life with a standard battery and weighing only 3.0 pounds, the Toughbook S9 offers high performance in a lightweight and highly mobile form factor that is ideal for road warriors and mobile workers in a variety of markets. The new notebook offers exceptional durability, optional Gobi2000™ mobile broadband and a host of other features designed to maximize return on investment and reduce the total cost of ownership.
Real World Durability
In order to withstand the demands of a highly mobile work environment, the Toughbook S9 has been designed to endure drops, bumps and spills. The notebook is engineered to survive a 30" (just over the typical height of a desk or table) drop to the base of the unit while operating. Despite its widescreen LED display, the Toughbook S9 successfully survives drops of 12" from any angle using the MIL-STD-810G drop procedure. The unique Panasonic spill-resistant keyboard design protects against liquid spills of up to 6 ounces (200 cc), and both the lid and base of the notebook are designed to withstand more than 220 lbs (100 kg) of pressure. In addition, Panasonic's commitment to quality-at both the component and finished goods level-results in a total of more than 500 quality checks and tests during and after production.
Embedded Wireless Connectivity
The Toughbook® S9 offers a variety of embedded wireless technologies, including Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth® 2.1 and optional Gobi2000™ mobile broadband technology from Qualcomm. Gobi simplifies complex multi-carrier wireless deployments for IT departments and allows mobile employees improved connectivity options while travelling at home or abroad. The Toughbook S9 will be certified on the Sprint and Verizon Wireless networks, allowing workers to stay connected at all times.
Security Options Vital for Mission-Critical Computing
The Panasonic Toughbook S9 notebook provides significant data security features including trusted platform module (TPM) security chip version 1.2, the Computrace theft protection agent in the BIOS, Intel Anti-Theft technology, a cable lock slot, password security and an optional fingerprint reader.
"Increased workforce mobility can improve efficiency and drive profit as long as the mobile device on which your business depends does not become a burden to your IT department," said Kyp Walls, director of product management, Panasonic Solutions Company. "The only way to ensure you maximize your mobile computer investment is to purchase a device with proven reliability. The Toughbook brand has an average annual failure rate in the low single digits, while most commercial-grade laptops have double digit failure rates. Not only will the new Toughbook S9 provide exceptional reliability, it will also deliver the light weight, long battery life, connectivity and performance needed to satisfy the most demanding mobile users."
Panasonic Toughbook® S9: Select Features and Specifications
• Genuine Windows 7® (with XP downgrade option)
• Intel® Core™ i5-520M vPro™ Processor (2.4 GHz)
o Turbo Boost up to 2.93 GHz
o 3MB Intel Smart Cache
• 320GB shock-mounted flex-connect hard drive
• 2GB RAM (DDR3), expandable to 6GB
• 12.1" widescreen WXGA (1280 x 800) LCD display with LED backlighting
• Anti-glare screen treatment
• Up to 11 hours of battery life with standard battery (MobileMark)
• 3.0 lbs
• DVD super multi-drive
• HDMI and VGA video outputs
o 30" operating drop (to base only)
o 26 sides 12" drop (non-operating)
o 220 lb compression-resistant
o Magnesium alloy case
o Spill-resistant keyboard/touchpad (protects against 6 ounces spills)
• Embedded Connectivity
o Optional integrated WWAN / Gobi2000™ mobile broadband (EV-DO and HSPA)
o Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6200 802.11a/b/g/n
o Bluetooth® v2.1 + EDR (class 2)
o Gigabit Ethernet
• Optional Integrated Security Features:
o Fingerprint reader
• 11.1" (H) x 8.3" (W) x 0.9-1.5" (D)
Pricing and Availability
The Panasonic Toughbook® S9 is available in the United States at an estimated street price of $US2,499 from authorised Panasonic resellers and distributors.
The Toughbook S9 includes a standard three-year limited warranty.