Panasonic claims to have broken a world record with its new Toughbook S9 notebook: that of the “lightest 12.1″ laptop with an integrated DVD drive.” I don’t think many will dispute that claim, especially considering the S9 is no netbook—it’s a full-featured laptop with a 2.4GHz Core i5-520M processor, Windows 7, a PC card slot, and a battery rated for 11 hours of run time.
True to the Toughbook brand’s tradition of ruggedness, the S9 is also designed to withstand all kinds of punishment: one-foot drops on the sides and top, a 2.5-foot drop on the base, liquid spills of up to six ounces on the keyboard, and pressure of up to 220 lbs on the base and lid.
Panasonic is hardly giving these things away, though. The Toughbook S9 has an “estimated street price” of $2,499, which is, oh, about five times the cost of run-of-the-mill 11.6″ ultraportables. Considering that price tag, it’s a shame the S9 only includes 2GB of DDR3 RAM and a 320GB mechanical hard drive—I’d think 4GB of RAM and an SSD would be more appropriate for a system like this.