Panasonic Toughbook C1 claims world’s lightest 12.1-inch convertible tablet crown

Just 3.2 pounds, folks. That’s all. Jetsetting, globetrotting, running after trains and then jumping into that one open car with all the hay in it. That could be you. Except once you’re in the hay car you could get on Twitter and be like, “Just ran alongside train and jumped in open car filled with hay. Need a Claritin! Blah! ROTFLOL!”

The features, please:

  • Intel Core i5 CPU at 2.4GHz (with “Turbo Boost” up to 2.93GHz)
  • 12.1-inch LED-backlit multi-touch screen at 1280×800 resolution
  • “Up to ten hours of battery life, enabled by a twin hot-swappable battery design” – one battery for five hours, both batteries for ten hours
  • 3.2 pounds with single battery, 3.7 pounds with both batteries
  • Able to withstand a drop from 30 inches
  • Windows 7 with XP downgrade option
  • 250GB hard drive, 2GB of RAM (expandable to 6GB)
  • Wi-Fi (b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1, optional Gobi networking

Initially, the screen will be available as a “Multi-touch + digitizer screen allowing input via finger, gestures and electronic stylus pen” but in the Fall, there’ll be a “Gloved multi-touch screen allowing input via finger and gestures.”

Now before you get too excited, this thing’s meant for the health care, field service, and education sectors and, as such, carries a pretty gigantic starting price tag of $2500. It’ll be available for purchase sometime in June of this year.

Here’s a YouTube video from Panasonic:

And some hands-on photos that CrunchGear’s own J. Biggs took recently.

Full Press Release:

Panasonic Introduces the Toughbook® C1 – World’s Lightest 12.1” Convertible Tablet PC

Innovative design and exceptional performance ideal for professionals in healthcare and other highly mobile markets

SECAUCUS, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, manufacturer of durable, reliable Panasonic Toughbook® mobile computers, today introduced the Panasonic Toughbook C1, the world’s lightest 12.1” convertible tablet PC. The new device delivers up to 10 hours of battery life, a 30” (to base) drop rating, optional Gobi2000™ mobile broadband and a host of other features designed to maximize return on investment and reduce the total cost of ownership. Powered by the Intel® Core™ i5 520M vPro™ processor and weighing only 3.2 pounds (with one battery, 3.7 lbs with two), the Toughbook C1 offers desktop-class performance in a lightweight, convertible tablet form factor that is ideal for road warriors and mobile workers in a variety of markets, including healthcare, field service, sales and education.

Innovative Design

The Toughbook C1 is one of the first laptops to support multi-touch and digitizers, offering the input of a finger, gesture or an electronic stylus pen for handwriting recognition and greater precision. By leveraging Panasonic’s advanced battery technology, the Toughbook C1 delivers up to ten hours of battery life, enabled by a twin hot-swappable battery design that allows for continuous use, pushing productivity in the field to a new level. The Toughbook C1 also features a shock-mounted, flex-connect 250GB hard drive with a quick-release feature that allows for enhanced data protection.

The Toughbook C1 is the first convertible to employ a unique triple hinge design – one set of hinges for opening and closing the screen and another hinge for rotating the screen to tablet mode. The Toughbook C1’s triple hinge design significantly reduces hinge failures (a common problem with current generation convertible tablets) by separating the two actions normally required of a single hinge. Toughbook C1 also offers a ‘hand-free’ ergonomic strap and dome hand support system that cradles the hand for comfortable long term use as well as providing a natural keyboard tilt.

Meets Needs of Medical Professionals

“One of the main markets for the Toughbook® C1 is healthcare,” said Greg Davidson, healthcare senior business development manager, Panasonic Computer Solutions Company. “We have been working with our healthcare customers to design a convertible tablet that truly addressed their needs. To date, the market has been making do with tablets that fail to offer the light weight, ergonomics and battery life needed by healthcare professionals. We believe the new Toughbook C1 addresses all these issues, while offering the additional benefits of excellent performance and durability.”

Desktop Performance

The Toughbook C1 is powered by the Intel® Core™ i5-520M vPro™ Processor (2.4 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.93 GHz, Intel® Smart Cache 3MB), giving the device desktop performance in a lightweight and highly mobile form factor.

“The Toughbook C1 is an example of a convertible tablet PC that has been designed for a mobile workforce,” said Erik Reid, mobile client marketing director, Intel Corporation. “Intel® Core™ i5-520M vPro™ Processor technology makes the Toughbook C1 more valuable by helping to address remote management and security issues. This creates a compelling solution for organizations that want the most out of their mobile employees.”

Real World Durability

In order to withstand the demands of a highly mobile work environment, The Toughbook C1 has been designed to endure drops, bumps and spills. The Toughbook C1 successfully survived drops of 12” from any angle for the unit itself and from 30” for the shock-mounted, flex-connect hard drive. Additionally, the Toughbook C1 survived a 30” (just over the typical height of a desk or table) drop to the base of the unit while operating. The unique Panasonic spill-resistant keyboard design protects against liquid spills of about 6 ounces (200 cc), and both the lid and base of the notebook are designed to withstand more than 225 lbs (102 Kg) of pressure. In addition, Panasonic’s commitment to quality—at both the component and finished goods level—results in a total of more than 500 checks and tests during and after production.

“An exceptional level of engineering has gone into the Toughbook C1,” said Kyp Walls, director of product management, Panasonic Computer Solutions Company. “The unique triple hinge design, ‘hand-free’ ergonomic strap, twin hot-swappable battery system and quick-release HDD Pack exemplify our commitment to go beyond ‘good-enough’ and delivering products that map to how our customers use them. The Toughbook C1 sets the standard for what an enterprise convertible tablet should be.”

Embedded Wireless Connectivity

The Toughbook® C1 offers a variety of embedded wireless technologies, including Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth® 2.1 and optional Gobi2000™ mobile broadband technology from Qualcomm. Gobi simplifies complex multi-carrier wireless deployments for IT departments and allows mobile employees improved connectivity options while traveling at home or abroad. The Toughbook C1 is also designed so Wi-Fi, WiMAX and 3G mobile broadband modules can be embedded in the same unit, while allowing exceptional reception and flexibility for data access on the go. The Toughbook C1 will be certified on the Sprint and Verizon Wireless networks, allowing workers to stay connected at all times. Other wireless carrier certifications will be announced soon.

Integrated Features

To enable advanced communication and collaboration, the Toughbook C1 offers integrated features, such as an optional modem or a webcam for mobile video conferencing and a standard built-in dual array microphone for superior speech recognition. Multiple security features are also available, including options for SmartCard and fingerprint readers, to ensure sensitive data is kept secure and private.

Panasonic Toughbook® C1: Select Features and Specifications

Genuine Windows 7® (with XP downgrade option)

Intel® Core™ i5-520M vPro™ Processor (2.4 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.93 GHz)

250GB shock-mounted flex-connect hard drive with quick-release

2GB RAM (DDR3-800), expandable to 6GB

Choice of two 12.1” WXGA (1280 x 800) displays with LED backlighting

Multi-touch + digitizer screen allowing input via finger, gestures and electronic stylus pen

Gloved multi-touch screen allowing input via finger and gestures (available Fall 2010)

Anti-glare screen treatment

6 backlit tablet buttons (5 user-definable)

Hot-swappable twin battery design

5 hour battery life (with one battery); 10 hour battery life (with two batteries)

3.2 lbs (with one battery); 3.7 lbs (with two batteries)

Optional webcam

Built-in dual array microphone


30” operating drop (to base only)

26 sides 12” drop (non-operating)

225 lb pressurized vibration

Magnesium alloy case

Spill-resistant keyboard (protects against 6 ounces spills)

Triple hinge design with screen rotation lock

‘Hand-free’ ergonomic strap and dome hand support

Embedded Connectivity

Optional integrated WWAN / Gobi2000™ mobile broadband (EV-DO and HSPA)

Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6200 802.11a/b/g/n

Bluetooth® v2.1 + EDR (class 2)

Optional Integrated Security Features:

Fingerprint reader

SmartCard reader

11.8” (H) x 8.9” (W) x 1.2”-1.7” (D)

Optional desktop dock with DVD multi-drive and dual monitor support

Optional 4-bay battery charger

Pricing and Availability

The Panasonic Toughbook® C1 will be available worldwide starting June 2010. In the United States, the Toughbook C1 is expected to be available at an estimated street price of $2499 from authorized Panasonic resellers and distributors.

The Toughbook C1 includes a standard three-year limited warranty.