July 23, 2021
Panasonic has combined two of its popular 10-inch ruggedized mobile PCs into one with its new Toughbook G2 2-in-1 laptop. The new Windows-based Toughbook G2, launched Wednesday and now available, replaces Panasonic’s Toughbook G1 and Toughbook 20 portable PCs.
Panasonic designed the ruggedized Toughbooks for the harshest of environments. Extreme temperatures, exposure to water, dust and other elements — you name it. You can even drop them. Typically, field service, utility, transportation, construction, manufacturing and public safety workers are best-suited for ruggedized systems.
While the Toughbook G1 is Panasonic’s best-selling ruggedized Windows PC, the company introduced it in 2013, and didn’t include a keyboard. The Toughbook CF 20, released in 2015, includes a keyboard but is a lower-end computing device. At the time, the CF 20 replaced the CF 19, which was the company’s best-selling Windows systems for EMS environments.
Brandon Williams is the director of Panasonic’s U.S. mobility channel.
Panasonic’s Brandon Williams
“The CF 20 never really did catch on quite the same way as the CF 19 did,” Williams told Channel Futures. “But with the improvements that we have with the G2, it’s going to be a really important product for customers and for our resellers that are selling into EMS and health care environments.”
Claes Adler, a VP with Rugged Depot, said that the CF 20 is appealing because of the keyboard. But he told Channel Futures that the CF 20 lacks the performance of the G1.
“The CF 20 has a low voltage processor, made for cloud and internet activities, so it didn’t have a lot of performance behind it,” Adler said.
The most notable difference between the G1 and G2 is that the latter supports Panasonic’s removable expansion packs (xPAKs). Panasonic introduced xPAKs two years ago with the launch of its semi-rugged Toughbook 55. Panasonic said the new G2 has three expansion areas, allowing for up to 36 different xPAK combinations. That makes options such as seral ports, thermal cameras, barcode readers and docks, among other add-ons, interchangeable.
Rugged Depot’s Adler emphasized that’s important to customers who might want to add those and other peripherals in the future. You have to embed those peripherals on the older G1 and CF 20.
“Now with the G2, you just buy this little piece and click it on,” Adler said.
For a breakdown of Panasonic’s new Toughbook G2, check out our slideshow above.
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