The latest model in Panasonic Computer Solutions' Toughbook line of ruggedized laptop computers offers built-in modems for the next-generation 3G wireless data networks, as well as enough processing power to classify it as a desktop replacement notebook.

The Toughbook 52 uses the new mobile powerhouse Santa Rosa dual-core chipset from Intel housed in a magnesium alloy case that makes it suitable for use in maintenance shop, loading dock or truck cab, according to Panasonic.

Weighing in at less than 7.5 lb., the wide-screen Toughbook 52, which replaces Version 51, comes equipped with additional security features plus a new carrying handle and optional embedded access to next-generation wireless data networks from major wireless carriers.

In addition to its magnesium alloy cases, the newest Toughbook has flexible internal connectors and shock-mounted hard drives to help it earn its MIL-SPEC certification. In fact, the new unit has been tested to withstand drops of up to 2.5 ft. on all six sides, and the hard drive itself is tested to withstand a drop of 3 feet. The Toughbook 52 also includes a spill-resistant keyboard. Battery life is approximately 4-6 hours, depending on use environment, according to Panasonic.

To safeguard data and enable customers to comply with increasing data security regulations, the Toughbook 52 is also equipped with the Trusted Platform Module (TPM v1.2) security chip, the Computrace software agent in BIOS and an optional fingerprint scanner and SmartCard reader.

The new Toughbook, like other Panasonic models, comes with a standard three-year limited warranty, which includes around-the-clock U.S.-based phone support for the entire life of the product.

The Toughbook 52 is now available in two configurations — standard or optimized for improved video and Vista-performance with a faster CPU, 512MB dedicated VRAM and a larger 120GB hard drive. book