Panasonic’s Toughbooks may be extra-rugged and modular, but they haven’t exactly defined portability. That’s about to change, however slightly. The brand has introduced a new Toughbook 40 that weighs over a pound less than its predecessor despite a larger 14-inch display. It’s still not svelte at 7.4lbs and 2.1in thick. Still, that’s no mean feat given the military-grade outdoor resistance as well as modularity that includes four expansion slots (for extra ports, drives and readers) as well a replaceable battery, keyboard, RAM and storage.
You won’t find cutting-edge performance, but you’ll still get an 11th-gen Core i5 or i7 processor, up to 64GB of RAM, up to 2TB of SSD storage, ports that include Thunderbolt 4 and your choice of 5G and LTE modems. The field-friendly design is reflected in the specs, too. The 1080p screen can ramp up to 1,200 nits for use in bright sunlight, and a second battery can stretch the runtime to 36 hours.
The Toughbook 40 will be available in late spring with a $4,899 starting price. That’s more expensive than even some other Toughbooks, but Panasonic isn’t aiming this machine at everyday users who would buy an XPS 13 or MacBook Pro — it’s meant for on-site staff, first responders and military personnel who may need to work in very unforgiving conditions.