A line of notebook computers by Panasonic. They claim to be ruggedized and durable, usually sporting magnesium LCD cases and antishock mounted hard drives and components.

At my job we bought a Toughbook 47 as a loaner for users travelling to other divisions. The thing really didn't last that long, It got loaned out twice, then I used it for a few months. By then the cdrom wouldn't be recognized to Windows, the LS-120 drive wouldn't open or eject and it would never boot on the first try. It probably needed a stern reloading of Windows, but it obviously had hardware problems. Later, I bought a....

Toughbook CF-27 for myself. A tank among notebooks, this thing's whole case is a magnesium alloy with sealed port and connector covers, with a moisture and dust resistant everything. It was designed with MIL-STD-810E tests in mind and has cool features like a touchscreen display, backlit keyboard (optional), wireless capability, and even a POTS line tester option.

A drawback is that it only can support up to a Intel PIII 500, since it doesn't have any air vents or fans. Panasonic is still trying to figure out drivers for the touchscreen under Windows 2000. The integrated modem never wants to connect on the first dial. It is also a fairly weighty beast, but I don't mind any of this stuff. With it's suitcase like handle, it looks serious when you walk onto a customer's site. It also has a suprisingly loud speaker for those MP3's. I love this thing.

I remember the Panasonic represenative showing us the demo mpeg for the CF-27. It showed military guys running the books over with humvee's and stuff. Another guy spilt hot coffee into the keyboard, then sprayed the whole book off with a hose, no problem.

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