The word ‘Tough’ seems to be an apt prefix for the line of rugged laptops launched by Panasonic way back in 1996 with the aim of slashing away the vulnerability quotient from the laptops. Designed to serve the industry verticals in the likes of defence, manufacturing, construction, oil & gas, government and telecom, the adjective ‘tough’ was the underlying principle. With CF- 25 as the first semi Toughbook to make its foray in the laptop market some 19 years ago, Panasonic undoubtedly paved the way for innovation in terms of both the form and functionality. As per the historical data, the pioneering model CF 25 was designed from the standpoint of resisting harsh conditions like dust, humidity and an unbelievable fall of 70 cm.
With the passage of time, the Panasonic Toughbook laptop line underwent a plethora of changes and what emerged truly by 2016 justified the adage that, ‘ when going gets tough, the tough gets going’. Let’s undertake a brief journey into the exciting world of evolution of the toughest line of laptops from the stable of Panasonic.
Evolution of the toughest and Survival of the fittest
The rise and growth of Panasonic toughbooks is a story to be told. Somewhere around 1987, from the release of its early notebook designs, the company gained considerable insight into the growing demands for sturdy computing devices with minimized cost of ownership. In 1994, exactly after seven years of extensive research & development, Panasonic released CF-41, the world’s first notebook with a CD-ROM drive and a precursor to the current line of Panasonic Toughbook laptop line. In the following year, Panasonic built the historic Panasonic Kobe factory dedicated towards only manufacturing tough notebooks under the Panasonic patent. In 1996, the first semi rugged toughbook CF-25 was launched into the market and this pioneering model established the benchmark for all the future Toughbooks.
In 1999, Toughbook CF-27 was released with the unique touch screen feature and a wireless function. In the same year, the model CF-M34 with Bluetooth capabilities was released and till date, this model is deemed as the first wireless computer. So with the release of every new technology in the field of communications and networking, Panasonic developed ways and means of incorporating it in their Toughbook models thereby raising the bar for innovation in both form and function. In 2000, Panasonic adopted the MIL-STD which is a series of test standards developed by the military of United States to test equipment against the environmental conditions which it will eventually experience. With this Panasonic Toughbook laptop, completely captured the market for rugged & mobile computing devices. In 2001, Toughbook CF-07 was launched and was readily accept by the industry as a business tablet. In the following years, the introduction of 3G networks and new military testing standards propelled the launch of some of the awe inspiring Toughbook models such CF-28, CF-R1, CF-50, CF-30, CF-U1 were introduced in a span of 8 years.
In 2011, as the 4G networks took the world by storm, Panasonic was smart enough to expand its Panasonic Toughbook laptop vertical of business with Toughbook CF-D1. 2012 marked the introduction of the Toughpad vertical with the launch of its Toughpad models FZ-A1, FZ-G1, and JT-B1, and FZ-M1 in three successive years. A couple of months back, somewhere around June 2016, Panasonic India launched its two in one rugged laptop Toughbook CF-20, delivering unparalleled versatility of a detachable notebook with six different work modes.
The Top 5 that gets the tough going
Let’s take a look at a case study that would justify the adoption of some of the toughest of the Toughbook models namely CF-20 and Toughpad FZ-G1 tablet. One of the largest water suppliers in UK, Affinity Water, is in the process of deploying 325 of Panasonic’s best Toughbooks and Toughpads in order to boost the operational efficiency and customer experience. The entire crew has been using Toughbook devices for past 20 years and the process of upgrading the Toughbook model to CF-20 and Toughpad model to FZ-G1 would go a long way in implementation of GIS maps and effective communication through 3G/4G and Wi-Fi with colleagues both at office and at work site. These sturdy devices are believed to be instrumental in boosting the entire digital strategy of connecting the customers to teams and the assets in a challenging work environment. The multi touch display function along with flexible ports and digitizer pen makes these two devices the best business tools for outdoors.