The cornerstone of the Panasonic Toughbook series has always been its rugged reliability to keep going under any circumstances. The Panasonic Toughbook 55 adds to this with removable modules that allow users to customise it for different tasks in the field on the fly. The hope is to improve workforce flexibility and productivity.
From the front, the Panasonic Toughbook 55 looks like any other office laptop albeit with wider bezels than those found on newer laptops these days. Battery life sounds impressive with the company claiming that the Toughbook 55 lasted 20 hours during a benchmarking test. Also, note the old-school trackpad design, which is designed for reliability than pleasing people with one of the new-fangled single-piece glass trackpads.
Viewed from the bottom, you can see the carrying handle at the top, and some of the push-clips used to remove or add modules. The Toughbook 55 comes with an 8th generation Intel Core i5 vPro Quad-Core CPU, RAM options ranging from 8GB to 64GB, and a 256GB / 512GB / 1TB SSD or a 256GB / 512GB / 1TB OPAL SSD that is designed with security in mind and makes data retrieval difficult if it comes under the possession of unauthorized users.
Here you can see where some of the modules fit into the Toughbook 55 to expand and update its capabilities of the model you're currently operating. Standard Interfaces include two USB3.1 ports, one USB 3.1 Type-C PD port, one HDMI port, one LAN port, one micro SDXC slot and an optional Dual-Path Through.
These are some of the modules users have to tailor the device based on their working requirements while on the move. They can choose to boost the device’s graphics capabilities, add a smartcard reader, add additional storage or a DVD or Blu-Ray drive. In addition, the front expansion slot can be used to quickly integrate a fingerprint reader, RFID or regular smart card reader or the addition of a second battery.
Here's a photo supplied by Panasonic highlighting how one of the modules can be swapped; in this case, some of the rear-I/O ports.
A standout feature for any Toughbook is its rugged and durable build and the new Panasonic Toughbook 55's chassis features MIL-STD and IP53 certified magnesium alloy design with a built-in carrying handle.
If you're jaded by all the MIL-STD tested notebooks coming out these days, do know that there are very few notebooks in the world that are put through the same kind of testing rigours as a Panasonic Toughbook as we've personally reported direct from their Japan factory.
The Panasonic Toughbook 55 will be available in Singapore from 21st November via authorised distributors. They will come in three versions defined by their screen type – HD, Full-HD and Full-HD Touch Screen – with prices starting from US$2,227.
More details and variants are as published in our news story.