Panasonic unveils enhanced ‘Mark 2’ version of fully rugged TOUGHBOOK 33

Panasonic’s top-seller has the same form factor and durability features as before, but performance, flexibility, functionality and security improvements have been made.

The TOUGHBOOK 33, with keyboard attached

Today, Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Division of Panasonic Canada is announcing a revamped version of its TOUGHBOOK 33, which they are terming Mark 2. The new model has significant enhancements to performance, as well as improvements to functionality, flexibility and security.

The TOUGHBOOK 33 is Panasonic’s fully rugged offering, with a 2-in-1 form factor.

“The TOUGHBOOK 33 was introduced in 2017,” said Logan Stewart, Business Manager of Computer and IT Solutions, Panasonic Canada. “This is an upgraded version which we are calling the Mark 2. This has been our number one product – globally, in the US, in Canada – all of them. It is also the best seller of any rugged model.”

A feature of the TOUGHBOOK 33 has been the ability to have it in a tablet format but drop in a keyboard when required.

“It means field service operators can use it in the field, and then later slap on the keyboard to write reports,” Stewart said. “We sell it as a tablet, with the keyboard as an add-on. We will sell the Mark 2 the same way.”

Stewart said that the improvements from the Mark 1 fall into four key areas.

The first is performance.

“The NVMe SSD goes from a minimum of 256 to a minimum of 512 GB, with a maximum of 1 TB, double what it was before,” Stewart noted. The DD4 RAM standard and maximum capacities have also been doubled, to 16 and 32 GB respectively.

“This becomes important in use cases where they are running programs with things like mapping technology that require more processing power,” Stewart said. “The standard amounts are generally good unless they are running graphics- heavy software.”

Wi-Fi 6 speeds are now up to 2.4 Gbps (2.8x faster) and Bluetooth 5.1 is 2x faster.

“This means much improved speed and range,” Stewart noted.

The chip is a new 10th Gen Intel Core 15 processor, with an i7 option.

The second set of improvements relate to functionality.

“The speakers are up to 50% louder,” Stewart said. “This is popular in public safety, for scenarios where sirens are on and windows are down. The speakers are designed to be functional in that environment.”

The camera has been improved, with up to 30x faster focus speed, and an added privacy cover. The barcode reader has been improved by being made brighter, and brighter keyboard backlighting, which was an option in Mark 1 is now standard.

Flexibility, the third category, includes the core 2-in-1 form factor and a 3:2 display ratio,

“We have also added a USB-C port, and a new digital pen with two function buttons, up from one,” Stewart said. “The Mark 2 version is also backward compatible with the Mark 1 accessories and infrastructure.”

Finally, security enhancements include Intel Hardware Shield, which is now part of Intel vPro, and meeting Microsoft’s Secured-core PC requirements, something that is new to the market. OPAL SSD’s are standard for an extra layer of encryption capabilities.

“Users can now choose if they want OPAL hardware encryption, software encryption with BitLocker, which was there before, or no encryption at all,” Stewart said.

A privacy cover has been added to the webcam, something that was not available in the Mark 1.

The Mark 2 has the same IP Rating (65 – Waterproof) and the same 4 foot 810G drop rating as the Mark 1.

The Mark 2 TOUGHBOOK 33 is available now.