Panasonic ToughBook Y2

The Good Exceptional battery life; lightest in class; progressive design; unique optical drive location.

The Bad RAM is limited to 512MB; three-prong AC plug; no FireWire port; lacks writable DVD option.

The Bottom Line The thinnest and lightest laptop in its class, the ToughBook Y2 is worth its high price, thanks to its solid performance and five hours of battery life.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 6.0
  • Battery 7.0
  • Support 7.0
6.9 Overall

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Panasonic ToughBook Y2
Panasonic ToughBook Y2
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Price $2,875 MSRP $2,875 MSRP $1,250 Dell, Inc. $790 Amazon.com $235 Amazon.com
Design
8
10
9
8
7
Features
7
6
8
7
6
Performance
6
8
8
8
7
Battery
7
7
8
7
8
Support
7
... ... ... ...

Review

Panasonic ToughBook Y2

Sep 2004

Panasonic ToughBook Y2

Editor's note: We have changed the ratings in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Find out more here.

Forget everything you know about thin-and-light laptops because Panasonic just rewrote the rules with the new ToughBook Y2. This laptop not only undercuts the competition by more than a pound, it also offers good performance and major-league battery life, running for more than five hours per charge. With its 14.1-inch screen, Pentium M processor, and unique CD-RW/DVD drive integration, the ToughBook Y2 is a beautifully designed and well-built machine that hits all the right notes for business. Its entertainment capabilities leave a little to be desired, however; if you're more recreationally focused, check out the Sony VAIO VGN-A190. At $2,600 (as of September 2004), the ToughBook Y2 is definitely expensive, but its design and engineering make it worth the money.

Panasonic crams an awful lot into the ToughBook Y2's slim package. It tips the scales at just 3.3 pounds, making it the lightest laptop on the market to feature a 14.1-inch screen. Measuring 1.4 inches thick, 12.1 inches wide, and 9.4 inches deep, it's 2 pounds lighter than either the IBM ThinkPad R51 or the HP Compaq nx5000, and it's smaller than the Dell Latitude D600. Its 12-ounce AC adapter nudges the ToughBook Y2's travel weight to a mere 4 pounds, but the power pack's three-prong plug may be an inconvenience in older buildings with ungrounded outlets.

While it is a solid performer, the ToughBook Y2's components are mediocre. There's a 1.3GHz Pentium M processor, a 4,200rpm 40GB hard drive (which is a little on the small side for us), and just 256MB of 266MHz memory; the system's Intel Extreme2 graphics accelerator uses up to 64MB of precious system memory. Also unfortunate, the system tops out at 512MB of RAM, and there's no DVD burner option. The laptop's under-the-keyboard combo CD-RW/DVD drive, a guaranteed conversation starter in economy or business class, has a flimsy-feeling cover, and we worry about its durability.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $2,875
  • Brand Panasonic
  • Type Pentium M
  • Installed Size 256 MB
  • Edition Windows XP Professional
  • Capacity 40 GB
  • Diagonal Size 14.1 in
  • Chipset Type Intel 855GM
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