Panasonic's newest Toughbook Y7, T7 and W7 are designed to combat the Homer in you: that is, they're for people who work with sensitive data yet are prone to dropping laptops, spilling drinks and generally messing stuff up. Forget accelerometers, the hard drives in this can take a serious hit at 2.5 feet and on 26 different axes. The LCDs, typically shatter-prone glass, can survive a one-foot drop without cracking. As far as proofing against the inevitable beverage malfunction, the Toughbook can take over six ounces of liquid continuously, meaning if you spill half a can of soda on that sucker, you can pour an equal amount of water through there to flush out the bad stuff. Just pour slow: if the drain backs up, you can still cause damage. Here's how the three different systems fall into place:
All three systems sport a 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, between 1GB and 2GB of RAM, Bluetooth, an SD card slot and a shock-mounted 80GB hard drive. They are all mobile broadband "ready," which means integrated antenna and Mini PCI slot for the wireless WAN card of your choice.
The Y7 has a 14.1" screen, weighs just 3.7lbs and can run for five hours on a single battery charge. The W7, with 12" screen, weighs just 3lbs even, and can make it seven hours on a charge. Both of those systems have DVD Super Multi Drive for massive multiple-format burning.
The T in T7 stands for "tablet," complete with touchscreen. The trade-off is there's no optical drive. The T7 weighs about 3.3 lbs, and can last the longest of them all, up to eight hours, on its battery. A hand strap on the T7 (shown in the gallery) means you can hang on tight, just in case you don't want to test the shock-proof claims.
In case you are interested in these tough little buggers, pricing is still a bit on the high side, but getting closer to earth: roughly $2,400 for the Y7, and around $2,100 for the W7 and T7. [Panasonic Toughbook]