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New Panasonic Notebooks

Toughbook CF-73

The CF-73 is aimed at someone that needs a bit more power, a few more features and a slightly more rugged finish.

Like the CF-W2, the CF-73 is resistant to drops from 30cm, but the keyboard and touchpad are also splash resistant. There are also rubber covers protecting all the ports on the chassis. Ideal for those days out in the field while the rain is drizzling down. The casing is, of course, constructed entirely from magnesium alloy.

Incorporating Intel Centrino Technology, the CF-73 sports a 1.4GHz Pentium M CPU backed up by 256MB of RAM, a 40GB hard disk and an ATi Mobility Radeon 7500 graphics chipset displaying a 1,024 x 768 image on a 13.3in TFT screen.

For versatility there’s a hot swappable bay that can accommodate a second battery or even a DVD-RAM drive. And for true wireless connectivity the CF-73 can be configured with an integrated GSM/GPRS module so you can stay connected even when there isn’t a hotspot nearby.

The CF-73 weighs in at 2.2kg, measures 297 x 42.5 x 254mm (WxHxD) and has a predicted battery life of six hours. Unfortunately there was no confirmed RRP at the time of writing.

Toughbook CF-18

The Toughbook CF-18 is the ultimate in rugged computing and should go down a storm with field engineers the world over.

The CF-18 looks really tough with all the edges and corners reinforced and every port and switch either covered with rubber or completely sealed. Inside the hard disk is encased in a special aluminium housing that provides extra shock and vibration protection. This amounts to an amazing safe drop height of 3ft or 90cm.

Again you’ve got an Intel Centrino solution with a 900MHz Pentium M processor backed up by 256MB of RAM and a 40GB hard disk.

But it’s the screen that’s really special on the CF-18. What you have is a 10.4in TFT display running at 1,024 x 768, but it’s also touch sensitive and it can be swivelled around to lay flat against the notebook body. This means that you can use the CF-18 as either a normal notebook or a tablet PC.

Battery life is a very impressive 7.5 hours and the 2kg weight makes it very easy to carry around with you in any situation.

We’ll be posting full reviews of all these notebooks as soon as Panasonic gets them to us, so check back soon for an in depth assessment.

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