Panasonic's tough new anti-Eee pc

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Panasonic thinks Eee Pcs are for cissies and has today unveiled a notebook it says is worthy of real men. The rugged, hardy, strong Toughbook CF-U1, is the latest UMPC to be added to the company’s Toughbook line.

Able to survive drops from 1.20 metres, encased in a magnesium and plastic casing, sealed with rubber around the edges, the Toughbook is the Eee PC of working men. Men who hike and camp in the woods and don’t shower very often.

Purportedly immune to dust, water and other particles, anyone planning a holiday to the Sahara or the Australian outback just shouldn’t be without one really.

Based on Intel's tiddly Atom processor and boasting a tiny 5.6-inch LED backlit LCD touch screen, which Panasonic says can be viewed in direct sunlight, the entire unit is 7.2 inches wide by 5.9 inches deep by 2.2 inches high. Tough and trim, the hard man’s tiny laptop weighs in at only 1.06 kgs. Running on either Windows XP or Vista, the CF-U1 uses a solid state hard drive and is completely fanless too. Because real men don’t need cissy fans.

The two batteries provided with the CF-U1 purportedly give out 9 hours of juice and can be "hot-swapped", meaning a battery can be taken out to be replaced without having to turn off the whole system.

Other features (most of which are optional for added cost) include a two megapixel Webcam, fingerprint scanner, barcode and RFID readers, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and 3G-mobile-broadband.

It also has a PC charging cradle with a dust and water-resistant connector.

But if there’s one thing that really separates the Toughbook, tough man's PC from the daintier, girlier eee, it’s the price. At $2,499 (about six times the price of an eee), even if you’re a real man, it still brings a lump to the throat and tears to ones eyes. (c) 2010 Incisive Media

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