If you are accident-prone and like choices, perhaps the new Panasonic 7 Series Toughbook is for you.
Panasonic will introduce three versions of the new business-rugged notebook Monday evening. The ultraportable W7, tablet T7, and slim Y7 notebook. All come loaded with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor and weigh between 3 and 3.7 pounds. (The 14-inch notebook is the heaviest of the three, if you can call 3.7 pounds "heavy.") They also come equipped with Bluetooth 2.0, and built-in Wi-Fi and mobile broadband from AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon. The notebook and ultraportable have DVD Super multi drives, while the tablet nixes the optical drive in light of space and weight considerations.
The company has termed these three notebooks "business-rugged." What they mean by that is that these will likely survive a decent amount of abuse sustained over the course of a normal business day for people on the go. They have magnesium-alloy casing, shock-mounted hard drives, and flexible internal connectors, and the casing can survive a 1-foot drop, while the hard drive can withstand a 2.5-foot drop.
In addition, it should stand up under heavy pressure. The 7 Series was designed with the Tokyo subway system in mind, where business folk pack themselves in like sardines for the daily commute, according to Panasonic. Its engineers found that standing on a train with people crushed in on all sides can create more than 220 pounds of compression force on you and your briefcase and notebook.
The 7 Series also adopts the "spill-through" keyboard used in the Toughbook 52 Series.
The notebook version is available now for $2,449, while the tablet and ultraportable will be for sale next month starting at $2,099.