Rating the Toughness of the Toughbook 55
It’s easy for computer companies to describe their notebooks as durable or hardened without testing them against any standards. Panasonic has never done that. Since the very early days of ruggedized computing, Panasonic tested its rugged line against the demanding MIL-STD-810G standards deployed by the Army.
MIL-STD testing is configured into 28 different mini-tests including things like shock testing, vibration, high and low temperature, sand and dust exposure, blowing wind, humidity, altitude and many others. This allows users to evaluate the potential survivability of a prospective device against the expected environment that it will face.
The Toughbook 55 is rugged against drops (which the military calls shock), dust, vibration, water and actual electrical shocks. We tested most of these factors against the MIL-STD-810G standard.
It was dropped onto each of its surfaces while both powered and turned off. It’s landing zone was, as specified, plywood sitting over concrete, so there were no soft falls. And drops got as high as 3 feet. The 55 survived it all and operated perfectly right afterward, even though the plywood landing area was pulverized.
Liquid was spilled onto it and also blown through a fan over the unit. The same procedure was used to check for dust ingress. Although the 55 got quite dirty, it never quit and was easy to wipe off and clean.
Finally, it was placed on a shaker table to simulate computing while mounted in a vehicle — one driving on a very bumpy road. Probably thanks to the fact that the device has no moving parts, it experienced no data loss and no read or write errors after 30 minutes of testing.
There is always the possibility in rugged computing that new features will add vulnerability, but the Toughbook 55 is just as sturdy as the rest of the line despite its modular design and new FirstNet radio. For first responders looking for a notebook that can survive just as adeptly as them, the Toughbook 55 is the perfect partner.
Panasonic Toughbook 55
Processor: Intel Core i7-8565U 1.9GHz
Display: 14-inch LED touch screen
Operating System: 64-bit Windows 10 Professional
Hard Drive: 512GB solid-state drive
Dimensions: 10.7x13.6x1.3 inches
Weight: 4.89 pounds