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Christmas Gift Guide
Laptops

Panasonic ToughBook CF-U1: The handheld terminator

Panasonic's latest rugged ToughBook is part PDA, part laptop

Panasonic is the latest player to join the Mobile Internet Device (MID) market with something that looks like a giant PDA.

The ToughBook CF-U1, as it is to be known, is a handheld unit with a 5.6-inch, 1,024x600-pixel touchscreen. Below that, there's a full Qwerty keyboard, which looks like it will be difficult to type on while holding the device in your hands.

The face is littered with shortcut buttons and status LEDs, the most important of which are the zoom buttons -- given how high the screen resolution is compared to the size of the screen, we think you'll be getting plenty of use from these.

True to the ToughBook philosophy, the CF-U1 is ruggedised. That means it can withstand a drop of up to 1.2m, and has rubber seals on all the ports, which prevent dust and water from seeping into it. If you're clumsy, or just have a fetish for throwing machines on the floor, this will be right up your street.

The whole lot runs on a 1.33MHz Intel Atom CPU, 1GB of RAM and either a 32GB or 64GB solid state hard drive. Unfortunately it'll cost you an arm and half a leg. When it appears in the US in August it will set you back $2,499 (£1,250). We're waiting to hear when it will come to the UK.

We'll bring you a full hands-on just as soon as we can. -Rory Reid