The new Panasonic Toughbook 40 takes modularity to another level
Panasonic describes the Toughbook 40 as the ’ultimate’ Toughbook thanks to its unrivalled combination of strength, security and, especially, modularity.
Key aspects of the latter are half a dozen dedicated expansion areas supporting a total of 70 different product configurations/ reconfigurations for customisation and future-proofing by customers in the emergency services, defence, utilities, automotive and agricultural sectors.
They include a user replaceable battery, RAM (upgradeable from 16GB to 64GB) and quick-release SSD, plus four multi-purpose expansion areas:
- 1 a palmrest expansion area for a contactless smart card reader or fingerprint reader;
- 2 an expansion area on the left of the device for a contact smartcard reader or a second battery, giving a total battery life of 36 hours;
- 3 an expansion area on the right of the device for a second SSD or DVD drive or a contact smart card reader (in case you need a smartcard reader and a second battery); and
- 4 an expansion area at the rear of the device for additional VGA, true serial, LAN, HDMI and USB ports.
Individual modules are user replaceable except for the fingerprint reader, which has to be configured by Panasonic or one of its partners.
In addition to its dedicated expansion areas, the Toughbook 40 features a choice of wireless connectivity, including 5G, 4G, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC, plus GPS (Bluetooth 5.1, 4G, 5G and GPS are optional).
Six antennae – two built in on both sides and above the screen – ensure good signal strength whether you are in the office/home, in the field or in a vehicle.
Other useful features when working outdoors include:
- A bright screen (1200cd/ms) for good readability in sunlight, with a lower limit of 2cd/m2 for comfortable viewing in the dark;
- An enhanced capacitive touchscreen that works with gloves, bare finger or pen and automatically detects which you are using (and whether it is raining) so that you don’t have to change settings manually; and
- Integrated speakers that go up to 95dB and noise cancellation microphones so that people working in noisy environments, such as police officers supervising security at a football match, say, can hear commands clearly and also be clearly heard by colleagues at HQ.
Security at its core
The ability to specify your own choice of user authentication method, including by webcam (if implemented), smartcard, contactless smartcard, fingerprint or NFC, highlights another selling point of the 14in rugged Windows 11 PC – its impressive security features.
These range from the Toughbook 40’s Microsoft Windows 11 Secure Core PC, with secure operating system and secure BIOS, to the option of customisation in Panasonic’s Cardiff factory to meet military security and communication standards.
Security is enhanced by the Toughbook 40’s military-standard, IP66-rated, dustproof, waterproof design, which helps keep data accessible and safe. This provides all the ruggedness and resilience you could hope for in a mission-critical, all-weather, all-terrain mobile PC, including a magnesium alloy casing that’s 20 times stronger than plastic, a working temperature range of -29 to +63 degrees, an integrated carrying handle (there’s no need for a separate case) and vehicle integration to secure devices used in vehicles, with the option of heavyweight docks for armoured personnel carriers.
Finally, the Toughbook 40 comes with a full range of accessories including desktop docking units (with connectivity and charging) and a 4-bay battery charger to ensure that a charged battery is always available for devices that are in constant use.