Panasonic launches 'business-rugged' Toughbook CF-XZ6 hybrid

This slimline but durable 12-inch detachable is designed to cope with the rough and tumble of a mobile professional's routine.

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The Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6

Image: Panasonic

Panasonic has unveiled the latest member of its Toughbook range of business laptops. The model name, Toughbook CF-XZ6, gives little away, but this is a 12-inch 2-in-1 detachable laptop/tablet hybrid that slots into the lowest 'business rugged' rung of Panasonic's ruggedness ladder (next up is 'semi-rugged', followed by 'fully rugged'). This means that while it's considerably slimmer, lighter and more elegant than Panasonic's military-grade 12-inch detachable, the Toughbook CF-33, it's not rated to withstand anything like the same levels of abuse.

Designed for mobile professionals requiring a flexible laptop/tablet hybrid that can handle "the knocks and drops of business life", the Toughbook CF-XZ6 has neither a MIL-STD certification nor an IP (ingress protection) rating. However, Panasonic says that it passes 76cm (desk height) free-fall and 100-kilogram-force pressurised vibration tests.

"I think, in Panasonic terms, the product itself is -- dare I say it -- sexy," said Jon Tucker, Head of Product Marketing for Panasonic Computer Product Solutions (CPS), at the UK launch of the Toughbook CF-XZ6 in Cardiff, Wales. "We're used to doing fully rugged, industrial-looking types of products," Tucker added, "and design-wise this is the sexiest product we've ever brought to market."

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In laptop mode the CF-XZ6 weighs 1.18kg and is 22mm thick. The tablet section weighs 640g and is just 9mm thick. The device has two webcams: 2 megapixels (with IR for Windows Hello) at the front, and 8 megapixels at the rear.

Images: Panasonic

The Toughbook CF-XZ6 measures 288.5mm wide by 223.7mm deep by 22mm thick (11.36in. × 8.81in. × 0.87in.) and weighs 1.18kg (2.6lbs), or 640g (22.6oz) just for the tablet section. It's powered by a latest (7th) generation Intel Core i5-7300U vPro processor and comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. The screen is a 12-inch 10-point IPS touchscreen with a quad-HD resolution of 2,160 by 1,440 pixels (216ppi). The anti-reflective 'dual-touch' capacitive touchscreen works with finger input or with an optional Active stylus pen. Other 'project-based' options are available with 4GB or 16GB of RAM and 128GB or 512GB SSDs. The OS is Windows 10 Pro.

For wireless connectivity there's dual-band (2.4/5GHz) 802.11ac wi-fi and Bluetooth 4.1, with 4G LTE broadband available as an option. Panasonic offers plenty of physical connections too: USB-C and 3.5mm audio on the tablet section, plus three USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet (RJ-45) and an SD card slot on the keyboard section.

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Unusually, Panasonic includes both legacy VGA and HDMI ports on the CF-XZ6, along with a full-size RJ-45 Ethernet port.

Images: Panasonic

There are 4-cell batteries in both the tablet and keyboard sections, with claimed lives of around 6.5 hours and 7.5 hours respectively, making a total of 14 hours. As usual with detachables, the (removable, hot-swappable) keyboard battery drains first when the device is in laptop mode, leaving maximum charge for use in tablet mode. There's also a dedicated switch that allows you to toggle keyboard-to-tablet charging on and off.

"Any executive would be proud to use this business laptop in front of a customer or prospect," said Jan Kaempfer, General Manager for Marketing at Panasonic CPS in a statement. "Its stylish good looks and super slim design, alongside its powerful business capabilities and durability bring together all the manufacturing excellence of the Panasonic Toughbook range in one device."

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 comes with a three-year warranty and will be available in July 2017 at £1,539 (ex. VAT).

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