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Panasonic Cf19 news

January 27th, 2009 Sasha Muller

Panasonic are today launching the latest updates to their Toughbook laptop range. The fully ruggedized CF-30 and CF-19 Tablet models have now reached mk3 status, while the semi-ruggedized CF-52 crashes the party in its newly revamped mk2 guise.

Take a quick glance at the photographs and even the most avid of Toughbook laptop-spotters would have trouble noticing any revolutionary changes, but as Panasonic were keen to stress, the new models show the all the hallmarks of a subtle, careful evolution.

In fact, the most novel addition is a new variant of the semi-ruggedized CF-52 laptop. While the existing model sports a 15.4in, 1,280 x 800 pixel screen, Panasonic has gone back to the drawing board - at the behest of the MOD no less - and come back with a model with a 13.3in touchscreen.

The 13.3in display’s 1,024 x 768 resoution might come as a bit of a disappointment, but like the other models in the range it finds its vital statistics bolstered by LED backlighting and an impressive 1000nit brightness rating. And that modest resolution begins to make a great deal more sense when you consider that it now also boasts a pressure sensitive touchscreen, a choice which precludes the need for a dedicated stylus - although there is one mounted in the wide screen bezel if you need it - and allows users to navigate Windows with the prod of a finger. Other notable features include a spillproof keyboard, the ability to survive a 76cm fall and optional HSDPA. On sale from mid-February, the CF-52 demands an equally resilient bank balance, as it will be retailing at a hefty £1,851 excluding the VAT.

Turn your atttention to the CF-19 and CF-30 models and the chassis’ are as impressively stout as ever, with build quality that makes the average laptop feel distinctly delicate. However, Panasonic has also made them stronger than ever; redesigned corners improving rigidity and damage resistance over previous models. Like their semi-ruggedised compatriot, the CF-52 mk2, they too now share LED backlit screens with 1000nit brightness ratings, but the CF-30 mk3 adds an improved polarizing filter - a measure which allows the screen to remain legible in the most extreme of lighting conditions.

Look past the laptops armour-plated exterior and the Centrino 2 platform has now spread across the entire range, bringing low-voltage Core 2 Duo SU9300 processors to the CF-19 and CF-30 laptops along with Intel WiFi Link wireless modules. Single platter hard drives maximise shock resistance while claimed battery life figures have swelled thanks to the better energy-efficiency of the LED-backlit panels.

If you’re in the market for a hard-knock portable then stay tuned for the forthcoming PC Pro review. Rest assured we’ll be unleashing the full fury of our most heavy-handed staff members (Yes, I’m looking at you, Mike) to make sure we give them a suitably rough and tumble stay in PC Pro’s labs.

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