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Panasonic Toughbook Y5

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

Panasonic's T and W Series of semi-rugged ultralights are remarkable achievements, and clearly the choice of those who value compact size and weight above all else. For those who want more, specifically in the display department where larger always seems to be better, well, the Y-Series is the answer. It has a larger 14.1-inch display with stunning picture quality and very high 1400 x 1050 pixel resolution. It also has an optical drive, yet the machine remains very compact and very light.

The Y5 continues the Y-Series tradition and there aren't many changes. The switch was primarily necessitated by moving from an older Pentium chip to Intel's new 1.66GHz Core Duo L2400 processor That necessiates faster memory (PC2-4200) and RAM can now be upgraded to 1.5GB. Battery capacity has grown from 52 to 61 watt-hours, so despite the more powerful Core Duo chip expect about the same 6-hour running time between charges as the Y4 offered. Weight is up a bit but we're still well under four pounds. The price is on the high side among today's ever less costly notebooks, but the Y5 is worth it.

Footnote: The Y-Series is so attractive that a Panasonic Toughbook Y4 is the only computer that was ever stolen from us in our 12-year publishing history.

Added/updated Added 02/2007: replaces Y4
Processor Intel Core Duo L2400
CPU Speed 1.66 GHz
Standard/Max RAM 512MB/1536MB (PC2-4200)
Disk/drive 60GB HD + DVD-CDRW
Card slots 1 PC Card Type II + 1 SD
Display type Transmissive anti-glare TFT
Display size/res 14.1" 1400x1050
Digitizer/pens none
Keyboard/scale integrated 87-key, 100%-scale
Housing magnesium
Operating Temp semi-rugged
Sealing semi-rugged
Shock semi-rugged
Size (WxHxD) 12.2 x 9.6 x 1.3-1.8
Weight 3.7 lbs.
Power 61 Watt-Hour Li-Ion ("6 hrs.")
Interface 2 USB 2.0, RJ11, RJ45 10/100
Interface Audio, VGA, 802/11a/b/g; optional EVDO, HSDPA, Bluetooth
List price seen at US$2,300-2,500
Contact www.panasonic.com
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