Rugged Notebooks Reach the Masses
Panasonic ToughBooks, those rugged notebooks that survive extreme climates and severe poundings, aren’t just for Uncle Sam anymore. Sure, one-third of all ToughBook sales involve the federal government. But several other vertical markets are now hitting the road with ToughBooks in hand, The VAR Guy hears.
In fact, one-third of ToughBook sales now involve state and local government applications, including a heavy emphasis on public safety applications, according to Sheila Oâ€™Neil, senior director of channel sales for Panasonic ToughBooks. Thousands of police cars, for instance, are equipped with ToughBooks.
Outside of the government sector, ToughBooks are finding a home within the telco, utility, health care and construction verticals, among others.
Unlike traditional notebooks, rugged devices typically are designed with completely sealed cases and no fans. As a result, the devices are largely impervious to water spills, sand, snow and other extreme environmental conditions. “Itâ€™s about reliability,” says Oâ€™Neil. “As more and more companies look at the total cost of owning mobile units, they realize they need systems that don’t die.”
Although traditional PC companies are marching into the rugged market, Panasonic continues to differentiate itself from the competition. The ToughBook product line now includes a range of fully- and semi-rugged offerings, designed for everyone from military personnel to business professionals.
The ToughBook channel partner program includes several hundred resellers. By the way, the company’s new fiscal year begins April 1, which suggests Panasonic might launch new partner initiatives to ensure a strong Q1 performance.