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Panasonic Toughbook W2

Superb semi-rugged ultra-light with optical drive
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)

Panasonic designed the Toughbook W2 for those who like the T2's size and weight, but also want an optical drive and even longer battery life. Normally, you'd expect the resulting machine to be larger and heavier. Amazingly, the W2 has a footprint identical to that of the T1, and despite the built-in DVD-CDRW drive it's barely thicker and weighs about the same. That's even more amazing considering the W2's significantly larger battery (49 versus 33 Watt-Hours) that allow battery life in the six hour range. The W2 is part of Panasonic's "semi-rugged" lineup; what this really means is that it's largely made of magnesium and benefits from the company's expertise in building longer-lasting computers that can take more abuse. However, don't drop it off a cliff or leave it in the rain. The W2 ranks as one of the very best compact notebook solutions anywhere.

In typical Panasonic fashion, the T2 has been kept technologically up-to-date. The original 1.1GHz Pentium M ULV 713 was replaced with a 1.2GHZ ULV 753, base RAM was doubled to 512MB, expaandable to 1024MB, and the original 802/11b/g wireless module was replaced with an Intel PRO 2915ABG that supports 802.11a/b/g.

Added/updated Updated 02/2007: replaced by W4 and then W5
Processor Intel Pentium M ULV 753
CPU Speed 1.2 GHz
Standard/Max RAM 512MB/1024MB (PC2700)
Disk/drive 40GB HD + DVD-CDRW
Card slots 1 PC Card Type II + 1 SD
Display type Transmissive anti-glare TFT
Display size/res 12.1" XGA, Intel 855GM video 64MB
Digitizer/pens none
Keyboard/scale integrated 85-key, 100%-scale
Housing magnesium
Operating Temp semi-rugged
Sealing semi-rugged
Shock semi-rugged
Size (WxHxD) 10.6 x 8.3 x 1.2-1.6
Weight 2.8 lbs.
Power 49 Watt-Hour Li-Ion ("6 hrs.")
Interface 2 USB 2.0, RJ11, RJ45
Interface Audio, VGA, 802/11a/b/g
List price from US$2,284
Contact www.panasonic.com
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