12.1” Toughbook weighs three pounds, has DVD drive

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.

Comments closed
    • wira020
    • 9 years ago

    That circular touchpad reminds me of an Onion News video about a mac laptop with dials as keyboards..

    • trackerben
    • 9 years ago

    Deployed military units use even more ruggedized systems. Apparently the problem is not only operating shock resistance, but keeping things running despite severe dust or cold (You know it’s bad when drive heating is necessary).
    §[< http://www.buytough.com/toughbook_31.asp< ]§ BTW, for powering a toughbook, a Personal Energy Generator: §[<http://soldiersystems.net/2009/08/13/personal-energy-generator/<]§

    • link626
    • 9 years ago

    but will it blend?

    • wiak
    • 9 years ago

    HELLO 1998 :p

    • bdwilcox
    • 9 years ago

    I remember I was asking a Panasonic rep in online chat how a Toughbook is better than a normal laptop with an SSD in it, considering the Toughbook’s claim to fame was shock resistance due to a floating hard drive mount. They said it had a magnesium frame. I told them that a number of other brands’ laptops have magnesium frames…so what else? They said it can withstand drops and spills. I told them a number of other company’s laptops can do the same for much less. They cut off our chat, twice.

    The Toughbooks have always been overpriced and underpowered, but their cushioned hard drive mounts made them worth it in punishing situations like car mounting. Nowadays, SSDs have taken away a lot of the Toughbook lines’ thunder but Panasonic’s prices don’t reflect that.

    • Kurotetsu
    • 9 years ago


      • OneArmedScissor
      • 9 years ago

      Having more storage space? It’s also still going to need a fan.

        • ImSpartacus
        • 9 years ago

        Nah, this thing is just asking for an SSD.

        I can’t believe a laptop can even be called “rugged” without an SSD.

    • Farting Bob
    • 9 years ago

    What the hell is up with that circular touchpad??
    It also looks like a $300 cheap plastic laptop, especially the keyboard/touchpad area, not a $2500 super sturdy powerful ultra portable.

      • Ethyriel
      • 9 years ago

      Well, it is a $2500 super sturdy ultra portable, so what difference does it make?

    • adisor19
    • 9 years ago

    TOSHIBA ?!I I thought this thing was a Panasonic.


      • ludi
      • 9 years ago

      Yeah, saw that, too. Looks like it’s fixed now.

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