Panasonic launches ultra-rugged Toughbook 31 notebook; starts at $3,799

Panasonic has rolled out their fierce-looking Toughbook 31 laptop computer, and the word "tough" seems to be an understatement based on the looks of this massive notebook.

Panasonic has rolled out their fierce-looking Toughbook 31 laptop computer, and the word "tough" seems to be an understatement based on the looks of this massive notebook.

This Panasonic clam shell notebook is ready for some serious action, with shock protection (can sustain a drop from up to six feet), a hybrid cooling system for work in extremely hot temperatures plus some stellar dust and water protection thanks to that magnesium alloy casing. Don't worry about the hard drive too much either as Panasonic has implemented a shock-mounted HDD with quick-release.

For extensive outdoor work, Panasonic has also built in a 13.1-inch XGA LCD touchscreen that has a brightness range from 2 to 1,100 nits for either spy work at nighttime or working outside in the middle of a sunny day. Plus there's full-circle view-ability so the whole team can crowd around and get an equally good view of the screen.

While there's a lot that can be configured on this particular Toughbook, here's a list can be found under that very durable hood:

  • Processor options: Intel Core i3-350M 2.26GHz; Core i5-520M 2.40GHz; or Core i5-540M 2.53GHz
  • Windows 7 OS (Optional downgrade to XP)
  • 2GB of RAM (Optional upgrade to 8GB)
  • 160GB hard drive (Optional upgrade to 250GB)
  • Intel HM55 or Intel QM57 chipset
  • Optional ATI Radeon HD5650 GPU
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR
  • Optional WiMax, Gobi2000 3G and GPS
  • Back-lit keyboard
  • Fingerprint reader
  • SmartCard reader
  • Webcam
  • Connectivity: Four USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, VGA, Microphone line-in, Ethernet
  • Battery life: Up to 11 hours (with long-life battery)
  • Weight: 7.9 lbs (with lightweight battery on i3-based machine), 8.2 lbs. (with long-life battery on i5 machines)

The base price for the Toughbook 31 is set at $3,799. That will get you a machine with an Intel Core i3-350M 2.26 GHz processor and a 160GB hard drive.

UPDATE: While the release states drops up to six feet, Panasonic developers decided it would be a good idea to test the Toughbook 31 from a higher distance (20 feet) - and it survived. Click here to view the proof.

[Image via CNET]