Panasonic’s newest version of its Toughbook series isn’t sleek and pretty like the iPad 2 or many of the other consumer tablets making their way into the hands of field technicians — and it doesn’t aim to be. Panasonic built the device to withstand whatever punishment techs in the field can mete out.

The Toughbook C1 is a 12,1” a semi-rugged hybrid device features a swivel screen that turns the laptop into a touchscreen tablet. In a recent review, PCWorld Australia lauds the device’s functionality:

[The Toughbook] is designed to withstand vibration, drops [up to 30 inches] and accidental spills. It doesn’t look pretty, nor does it feel great to use, but it’s very useful. … the Toughbook CF-C1 is a deceptively light notebook that’s not quite as rugged as previous Toughbooks we’ve seen (such as the CF-19MK3). Instead it’s designed to be tough, yet still resemble a normal tablet-convertible PC.”

The Toughbook even features a hand strap mounted to the back of the device, a familiar feature for technicians used to clipboards.

A few more specs:

  • 12.1” multitouch screen that responds to gloved hands
  • 250 GB hard drive
  • Hot-swappable ion batteries (7-hour battery life each)
  • 3.28 lbs
  • Liquid and shock resistant shell made of magnesium
  • 3-year limited warranty

The Toughbook’s pricetag, nearly $2,500, is cost prohibitive for many field service businesses, but the device’s near-indestructability make it a compelling purchase for managers whose workforces are especially tough on their tools.

Read more about rugged tablets on The SmartVan

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