Toughbooks get tougher to resist with mobile broadband

Panasonic adds Sprint Mobile Broadband to its Toughbook W5 and T5 models.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman

These days, if you're not rocking some mobile broadband on your laptop, you might as well not even leave the house. The latest notebooks to jump on the EV-DO Rev. A bandwagon (for those speedy 800KBps downloads) are the Panasonic Toughbook W5 and the T5, originally released in September. The provider of choice in this case is Sprint.

Our enthusiasm is only somewhat dampened by the fact that those two models are what Panasonic calls "business-rugged." That means these laptops have a magnesium-alloy case designed to withstand a 1-foot drop, and shock-mounted hard drives rated for a fall of 30 inches. Sure, that's nice and all--but truly rugged laptops, like Panasonic's Toughbook 30, adhere to the Military Standard MIL-STD 810 specs--which pretty much means you can take them into combat.

But if the occasional Diet Coke spill or wobbly Starbucks table are the only fear factors facing your laptop, the business-rugged W5 and T5 models will be available with Sprint Mobile Broadband sometime next month.