Design-wise, Panny's ToughBooks have always been a little rough around the edges. In an attempt to fix that, the new eLite W5 now comes in seven different color tones ranging from Merlot to Blueprint. We think the system is still under powered (it's packing a 1.2GHz Core Solo processor), but for running basic office apps, the 12.1-inch laptop is highly portable weighing in at just over 2 pounds. The rugged notebook is priced high though at $2,339. Dual core fans will be able to get the $2,569 eLite Y5 starting in December which squeezes in a more acceptable Core Duo processor and bumps the screen size up to 14.1 inches while gaining only 1.4 pounds.
The Toughbook Y5 will be an awesome machine! I used the Toughbook Y2 for over a year, and its weight to power ratio was incredible. The 14" screen was a welcome size, the 1400 pixel wide screen great for Excel spreadsheets and field Photoshop work.
This article says December, but I have been talking to one of Panasonic's 'major' dealers USAT Corp— and they said the Toughbook Y5 does have an official part number yet even. The USAT rep I talked to told me January was the earliest they expected to see these shipping.
Also— supposedly they will have integrated WAN (Sprint EVDO rev a or Cingular HSDPA!) available in the Toughbook Y5 (and the Toughbook W5) but USAT wouldn't even quote costs on these options yet. So it might be worth waiting a month or two or getting an HSDPA aircard for the unit.
For me in the meantime I am using their Toughbook 74, and it is a very good unit... just a bit heavy since I was spoiled by the y2!