Panasonic releases Toughbook mobile computers for explosive applications

Panasonic releases Toughbook mobile computers for explosive applications
SECAUCUS, NJ, August 24, 2007 – Panasonic Computer Solutions announced the certification and availability of two rugged Panasonic Toughbook UL 1604, Class 1, Division 2-certified computers: The Toughbook 19 convertible tablet PC, and the Toughbook 30 clamshell notebook.

UL 1604 certified Panasonic Toughbook notebook computers deliver a safe and reliable mobile computing solution for spark free use in potentially explosive environments, such as those experienced in the oil and gas, petrochem, aviation and other production environments. Combined with software solutions from Panasonic partners, Toughbook notebook users can take advantage of mobile computing solutions to achieve reliable access to mission-critical information as a means to improve data accuracy, reduce man-hours and increase overall productivity.

“Many companies in industries that present potentially explosive environments are only just now beginning to evaluate how mobility could benefit their operations, explains David Krebs, Director of Venture Development Corporation’s Mobile & Wireless Practice. “As increasingly more companies explore the advantages associated with workflow automation and improved data security, we expect to see an increase in adoption rates.” According to a recent study conducted by the firm, the overall market for Class 1, Division 1 / Class 1, Division 2 and ATEX (Potentially Explosive Atmospheres (94/9/EC) Directive) certified mobile computers is forecasted to exceed $120 million by 2011, reflecting a compound annual growth of 10%.

"Durable, reliable mobile computers are becoming increasingly critical to efficient operations in upstream, downstream, and manufacturing environments," said McMahon, Director Workforce Automation, Panasonic Computer Solutions Company. "UL 1604-certification enables mobile workers in potentially explosive environments to surpass previous safety limitations and carry computers closer to the action, improving real-time decision-making.”

Designed and tested with the severest conditions in mind, MIL-STD-810F tested Panasonic Toughbook notebooks are built to withstand drops, shocks, vibration and extremes in temperature. They are also sealed and rated at IP54 (ingress protection) level for water and dust resistance. The fully rugged Toughbook 19 and Toughbook 30 come equipped with Intel Core Duo processors, daylight-readable screens and durable features—such as magnesium alloy cases, sealed keyboards and ports, flexible internal connectors and shock-mounted hard drives and LCDs—to ultimately deliver the highest levels of reliability in the industry.

Panasonic is delivering the brightest displays available today, without compromising battery life. With battery life of approximately 6 hours, the Toughbook 19 features a bright 550 Nit (candelas per square meter, a measure of brightness) screen with a new low-reflection coating and the Toughbook 30 boasts an industry-leading 1,000 Nit LCD, delivering the brightness of a fixed mount display in a portable computer, critical for mobile workers required to use computers in direct sunlight. The Toughbook 19 and Toughbook 30 also boast extensive security features to protect critical data, including a cable lock slot, Trusted Platform Module (TPM v1.2) security chip, Computrace software and optional fingerprint scanner. The CF-30 can also be configured with an optional SmartCard reader.

Pricing and Availability
UL-1604 certified Toughbooks are available now at an estimated street price from $3899 (Toughbook 19 convertible tablet) and from $4499 (Toughbook 30 notebook). These and other Toughbooks are customizable and available through authorized Panasonic Toughbook resellers nationwide.

About Panasonic Computer Solutions Company
Panasonic Computer Solutions Company empowers the mobile workforce. The company is a unit of Panasonic Corporation of North America, which is the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE: MC). Panasonic has delivered reliable, durable mobile solutions through its Toughbook line of notebook computers for fourteen years and has expanded the boundaries of wireless communications technology through a broad portfolio of products, ranging from fully rugged, industrial strength notebook computers and tablet PCs to semi-rugged and business-rugged thin and light and ultraportable notebooks. A core manufacturer, Matsushita and its subsidiaries control the entire process of design, manufacture, quality assurance, service and support. As a result, Panasonic Toughbooks are known for having the lowest failure rates in the industry. Government, industrial, and commercial users—from Fortune 1,000 companies to small businesses—rely on solutions from Panasonic, wherever their work takes them.
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