Panasonic is a leader in ultra-rugged PCs, which are generally intended for military and construction workers in harsh environments. But if you’re somewhat familiar with Panasonic’s TOUGHBOOKs, you’ll find yourself awestruck by the company’s new TOUGHBOOK G2. It’s one of the most outrageous PCs we’ve ever seen.
The TOUGHBOOK G2 is a convertible, modular PC. Its keyboard can detach for tablet use, and it has three xPAK (expansion pack) slots that allow you to hot-swap accessories and components—like Blu-Ray drives, credit card readers, thermal cameras, storage drives, and RFID readers. You can also swap out the TOUGHBOOK G2’s 18-hour battery, a feature rarely found in portables today.
While modular components and user-replaceable batteries are quite rare, they’re easily overshadowed by some of the TOUGHBOOK G2’s bizarre features. Its 10.1-inch display, for example, has a brightness range from 2 nits to 1,000 nits. Its touchscreen is also capable of ignoring water or dirt, and even works when you’re wearing gloves.
Other interesting specs include an 88db speaker, backlit keys (with several color options), three shortcut keys mounted to the display’s bezel, and of course, a carrying handle.
As XDA-Developers points out, these features are made to accommodate harsh environments, including war zones. A 1,000 nit display will stay visible in bright sunlight, while a 2 nit display could help with covert operations at night. Loud speakers can make the TOUGHBOOK G2 more useful in noisy environments, like construction zones or the scene of a car accident, and backlit keys … well, they look cool.
But should you buy a TOUGHBOOK G2? Well, it starts at $3,000 and runs on a 10th gen Intel Core chip, plus its display is only 10.1 inches diagonal and gaming performance is basically non-existent. If you want to buy it, go ahead, its swappable components and minimum 16GB of RAM ensure that it will last a long time—and it works with old TOUGHBOOK docking stations! Just keep in mind that this device is really for military, EMS, and other occupations that aren’t very Chromebook friendly.