Matsushita is adding a Tablet PC model based on Intel's yet-to-be launched Centrino package to its Panasonic Toughbook range.
The Centrino product combines a Pentium-M processor with companion chipset and wireless LAN support.
The Toughbook CF18 will be launched in mid-March and is based on a 900MHz version of the Pentium-M ULV (ultra-low voltage) processor, which was previously known as Banias.
Like some other Tablet PCs, the CF18 features a display that can be swivelled around and folded down face-out. This means it can be used as a conventional notebook computer or as a slab-type tablet computer.
The CF18 also has 256M bytes of DDR (double data rate) SDRAM (synchronous dynamic RAM), a 40Gbyte hard disk drive and a 10.4-inch TFT LCD with 1,024 pixel by 768 pixel (XGA) resolution.
On the networking side, wireless Lan (IEEE802.11b) support comes as standard, while options include Bluetooth, CDMA2000 1x or GPRS. GPS support can also be included. The Toughbook will come loaded with Windows XP Professional Tablet Edition, an online manual and Acrobat reader.
A magnesium alloy case, moisture and dust-resistant LCD, keyboard and touchpad, sealed connector covers and a shock-mount for the hard disk drive all contribute to the product's ruggedness.
A touchscreen version of the machine is also available, but it does not support functions such as handwriting recognition. There are two touchscreen models, one with an XGA resolution outdoor-viewable display and one with a lower resolution SVGA (800 pixels by 600 pixels) sunlight-viewable display.
The machine measures 4.8cm by 21.6cm by 27.2cm) and weighs 2kg. Pricing begins at $3,200 (£2,022) for both the tablet and touchscreen models.