The Panasonic Toughbook series is not mass hardware. It’s the only branded notebook PC available in the United States, and it accepts that it’s thicker than the average consumer system. It’s a bit more durable as a trade-in. The new Toughbook comes with IP53 certification, which is durable enough for most harsh environments, but you won’t feel overloaded.
Every detail of the Toughbook feels solid, and every part of the experience is considered. The lid opens with a pushed latch. This is a much more comfortable experience compared to older laptops with sliders to open the latch. Rather than throwing away the ToughBook 55 for thinness, many things make the modularity and durability of a lightweight business notebook feel like an ever-improving parallel universe artifact.
The top cap is silver with black accents. The display hinges are probably the strongest .Even if lift the computer and shake it in the open state, the screen does not move from the open-angle. Panasonic calls this “the thinnest and lightest laptop in its class,” but the number of durable systems is not very large.
The best panasonic toughbook has two SO-DIMM RAM slots behind the bolt-on access panel, which offers considerable expansion potential. The primary SSD is housed in a cabinet that opens with a latch. The SSD is a standard M.2 2280 SSD, but Panasonic used SATA SSDs in the main and extended SSDs provided for this review. Given the premium price Panasonic is looking for parts, it’s even more encouraging to see a full-featured NVMe SSD here. Two SSDs can be configured as a RAID-1 volume.
The individual shapes of the keys are unique, but the keyboard is solid and provides good movement. A Panasonic representative said it was “designed to reduce the chance of misspellings compared to traditional square keys.” You don’t have to get used to it as you type, but it gives your system its characteristics as a visual clue.
The F11 key is red and is insulated with a plastic shield that prevents keystrokes. The keyboard is modular, user-replaceable, and for some reason, has an RGB backlight (not for each key, but entirely). The touchpad is large enough with two discreet mouse buttons to counter the tendency to have a single surface. The standard keyboard indicator sits above the keyboard and includes a status LED for disk and SD card activity.
The best panasonic Toughbook comes with Windows 10, which remains Windows 10 from start to finish. (Please indicate an OEM complaint that forced Candy Crush Saga to ship on a commercial system.) Panasonic OEM software allows you to configure the keyboard backlight to create recovery media, but vendor add-ons Not so many.
From an ease of use point of view, the Toughbook is impressive. Many things work, and you can quickly scale to suit your needs. The hardware is clearly of high quality and can withstand above-average abuse unless you drown in coffee.