Exclusive: Panasonic's new F8 14-inch Toughbook

Besides the new F8 system, Panasonic's existing 12-inch W7 and tablet T7 Toughbooks are getting upgraded to the W8 and T8.

The new 14-inch Toughbook F8 Panasonic

Panasonic's fabled Toughbook line of rugged laptops gets a new addition Thursday, with the Toughbook F8, a 14.1-inch system that Panasonic calls the world's lightest 3G-ready notebook. The F8 has a built-in carry handle and weighs 3.7 pounds, and includes a standard Intel Core 2 Duo CPU, up to 4GB of RAM, and a 160GB shock-mounted hard drive.

The new F8 has the same semirugged features the Toughbook line is known for, such as a magnesium alloy chassis, spill-resistant keyboard, and flexible internal connectors. It also boasts wireless options, including 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Gobi 3G technology, which should let the system stay connected on different mobile broadband carriers around the world.

Besides the new F8 system, Panasonic's existing 12-inch W7 and tablet T7 Toughbooks are getting upgraded to the W8 and T8. All three new Toughbooks are designed to survive drops of 12 inches for the laptop itself and 30 inches for the shock-mounted hard drive, as well as 6-ounce spills and up to 220 pounds of pressure on the lid.

All three new systems will be available in November 2008, and we've got specs of each model after the break:

Panasonic Toughbook F8

  • Intel Core 2 Duo Processor SP9300, 2.26 GHz (6MB L2 cache, 1066 MHz FSB)
  • 1GB DDR2 SDRAM standard, expandable to 4GB
  • 160GB HDD, shock-mounted
  • Integrated DVD Multidrive
  • 14.1-inch 1280 x 800 WXGA antiglare TFT active matrix color LCD
  • TPM Security Chip, v1.2
  • Intel Wi-Fi Link 5100 802.11a/b/g/draft-n
  • Genuine Windows Vista Business (with XP downgrade option)
  • Dimensions: 9.9 inches long x 12.8 inches wide x 1.0 inch /1.9 inches high (front/rear) (without protrusion)
  • Weight: Approximately 3.7 lbs
  • Battery life: Approximately 6 hours
  • Wireless on-off switch (WWAN, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth)
  • Bluetooth® v2.0 + EDR
  • Optional integrated Gobi(TM) 3G global mobile Internet (EV-DO and HSPA)

Panasonic Toughbook W8

  • Intel Core 2 Duo Processor SU9300, 1.20 GHz (3MB L2 cache, 800 MHz FSB)
  • 1GB DDR2 SDRAM standard, expandable to 4GB
  • 120GB HDD, shock-mounted
  • Integrated DVD Multidrive
  • 12.1-inch 1024 x 768 XGA antiglare TFT active matrix color LCD
  • TPM Security Chip v1.2
  • Intel Wi-Fi Link 5100 802.11a/b/g/draft-n
  • Genuine Windows Vista Business (with XP downgrade option)
  • Dimensions: 8.4 inches long x 10.7 inches wide x 1.4 inches/1.9 inches high (front/rear)
  • Weight: Approximately 3.3 lbs
  • Battery life: Approximately 7 hours
  • Wireless on-off switch (WWAN, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth)
  • Bluetooth® v2.0 + EDR
  • Optional integrated Gobi(TM) 3G global mobile Internet (EV-DO and HSPA)

Panasonic Toughbook T8

  • Intel Core 2 Duo Processor SU9300, 1.20 GHz (3MB L2 cache, 800 MHz FSB)
  • 1GB DDR2 SDRAM standard, expandable to 4GB
  • 120GB HDD, shock-mounted
  • 12.1-inch 1024 x 768 XGA antiglare TFT active matrix color LCD with touch screen
  • TPM Security Chip v1.2
  • Intel Wi-Fi Link 5100 802.11a/b/g/draft-n
  • Genuine Windows Vista Business (with XP downgrade option)
  • Display Image Rotation software
  • Dimensions: 8.4 inches long x 10.7 inches wide x 1.4 inches/1.9 inches high (front/rear)
  • Ergonomic rubber hand strap
  • Weight: Approximately 3.3 lbs
  • Battery life: Approximately 7 hours
About the author

Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of laptops, desktops, and Windows tablets, while also writing about games, gadgets, and other topics. A former radio DJ and member of Mensa, he's written about music and technology for more than 15 years, appearing in publications including Spin, Blender, and Men's Journal.

 

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