Semirugged Toughbook offers dual-core processing

The Toughbook CF-74 provides enough protection to withstand the bumps and spills of business travel

Panasonic’s newest semirugged notebook, the Toughbook CF-74, will send you on business trips with the latest specifications and enough protection to withstand the bumps and spills of business travel.

In fact, a term we’ve seen bandied about lately in place of semirugged is business-rugged. The term is apt and describes a level of ruggedization designed to withstand indoor hazards such as drops, air turbulence and coffee spills, but not outdoor hazards such as rain or sand.

The Toughbook CF-74 looks and feels sturdy with a silver-and-black magnesium alloy case, carrying handle, spill-resistant keyboard, shockmounted hard drive and daylight-readable screen.

The handle integrates nicely into the notebook’s silhouette, and hinges allow it to extend when in use. And we applaud Panasonic for designing port covers that are sturdy, secure and easy to open, thanks to large grips on each one.

The Toughbook CF-74 is equipped with a 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo Processor T2400, an 80G removable hard drive and 512M of memory expandable to 4G.

The notebook also comes standard with 802.11a/b/g wireless networking, and you can order it with optional Bluetooth and/or wide-area wireless. Wide-area wireless gives you cell phone-like coverage, and the Toughbook CF-74 has been certified on Sprint and Verizon’s Evolution-Data Optimized networks.

Government users will appreciate the security of the Trusted Platform Module Version 1.2, and for additional security, you can order the system with an optional fingerprint scanner and/or smart card reader.

The screen is on the small side at 13.3 inches, but a larger screen would have translated to more weight. The 5.95-pound weight is reasonable for a ruggedized notebook.

The standard configuration, which we examined, carries an estimated street price of $2,999.

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