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The Panasonic Toughbook 55 Mk3 arrives with swappable modules and a rugged design

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Panasonic unveiled the third generation of its semi-rugged laptop, the Toughbook 55 Mark 3. It is aimed at professionals conducting on-site inspections, managing infrastructure or responding to emergencies.

There are multiple configuration options, but the highlights start with the 13th generation Intel processors – you can pick between a Core i5-1345U (2P+8E cores, 4.7GHz boost) and a Core i7-1370P (6P+8E cores, 5.2GHz boost).

The laptop can have 2 DIMMs of user-upgradable RAM (16-64GB of DDR4-3200MHz) and a main OPAL NVMe SSD (512GB to 2TB). There are more storage options, but it’s more complicated than a second SSD bay, so we’ll get to that.

This laptop has a 14” display – either a 1,366 x 768px one or a 1,920 x 1,080px one with touch. While both are IPS panels, the higher resolution touch panel also boasts a peak brightness of 1,000 nits along with anti-reflective and anti-glare coatings.


Panasonic Toughbook 55 Mark 3
Panasonic Toughbook 55 Mark 3
Panasonic Toughbook 55 Mark 3
Panasonic Toughbook 55 Mark 3

Panasonic Toughbook 55 Mark 3

The Toughbook 55 Mk3 is equipped with an extra loud 92dB Waves MaxxAudio speaker system. It also has dual-array mics with AI noise reduction so that it can pick up your voice clearly even in a noisy environment.

Panasonic calls it “semi-rugged”, but it’s actually pretty rugged. It has been rated for drops up to 3’ (MIL-STD-810H), in addition to shock, vibration, altitude, freeze/thaw and temperature shock. The device is rated IP53 for dust and water resistance. Here’s something you don’t see every day – the main SSD has a heater. Not a heat spreader, a heater. This allows it to operate in extra cold environments.

The body is made out of a magnesium alloy and has an integrated handle. The keyboard is spill resistant and the display has a raised bezel for protection. There’s also a replaceable screen protector if it does take a whack.

Despite its tough looks, the laptop has advanced connectivity options. This includes a Thunderbolt 4 port with up to 40Gbps data transfer, plus Display Port and Power Delivery support. It even has Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 support.

But it’s the xPAK modules where it gets interesting. There are three expansion slots – rear, left and right. Each can accept various modules, so professionals can add serial and LAN ports if they need them. Or a fingerprint reader, barcode reader, smart card reader, optical drives, more SSDs and even a second battery. That last option boosts the battery life from 10 hours to 20 hours (or more – the second battery is hot-swappable).

The Panasonic Toughbook 55 Mk3 arrives with swappable modules and a rugged design

Integrated options include a gigabit Ethernet port, dual-SIM connectivity (one nano-SIM + one eSIM) with a 4G modem with FirstNet and CBRS Band 48 compatibility, dedicated GPS receiver, an infrared camera and more. The keyboard has customizable keys that can launch specific applications or trigger certain actions like shortcuts.

The Panasonic Toughbook 55 Mk3 with an Core i7 processor are available in North America now, check the official site for more details. The version with an i5 is coming in February 2024.

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