Panasonic Toughbook 55 Review

by birtanpublished on November 2, 2020

This is lisa from mobile tech review and now for something different how many laptops have a handle you've probably seen rugged laptops before this is the panasonic toughbook 55 specifically fz-55 this is what they call their semi-rugged laptop so that means it's not as super chunky and super heavy as a fully rugged laptop their version of that is the model 31 but still this is it's not just about the ruggedness though it's pretty impressive as as rugged as it is given that it's not that huge a 14-inch ultrabook but

It's the modularity something that i think a lot of you aren't that familiar with and that's something that it's stands apart still i mean dell has gone and made some rugged latitudes particularly a latitude tablet that we looked at but this modularity on this is just amazing we're going to look at it now all right so let's get a handle on this system sorry i couldn't resist it so yes it's a laptop we've heard of things like removable batteries lenovo has been doing that for quite some time you've seen the removable optical drive

They used to be more of a thing like in multimedia and gaming laptops now optical drives are going away but that's what this is this is a removable blu-ray but look at this stack of components here all of these are just slide a latch slide them in and out pretty much every side of this laptop has modular bays that you can put in things like you need to double the battery capacity there's your 68 watt hour battery you need a fingerprint scanner there's a module for that there's an rfid module there you need different ports for

Example these are vga with ethernet maybe you say hey i'm modern i need hdmi yes there are port modules for that sort of thing so it's it's crazy right and the one large bay which is the one that is the optical drive size bay can hold a second ssd for example because it's got the fastest data connection so all the the drives will go into that main bay even if they don't need that much space because this uses m.2 ssds and also there's an optional amd radeon

Gpu granted it's an amd radeon wx and it's not you know super fast this is still a 14-inch ultrabook so you're not going to be looking at something like gamerific or cad jockey level but it's enough to be three times faster than the integrated graphics on this and again it's modular you swap it in when you need it you swap it out when you don't so for a lot of you this is probably something you've not seen before like they said beyond the optical drive and

The battery bay on some laptops of a couple of years ago but this complete customization is really interesting and obviously the toughbook is mostly for vertical markets companies buy these and deploy folks into the field depending on the level of ruggedness the military might get the toughbook 31 which is the fully rugged model or if you just you're not doing quite as much say you're working in oil and gas or whatever it is even folks who are inspecting construction sites then

Probably this one the 55 is sufficiently rugged for you and you can make it whatever it is that you need for your folks who are going out in the field interesting concept isn't it despite the fact that it is modular and all that sort of thing and pretty rugged it's not that thick and that heavy for a rugged laptop it ranges from 4.6 to 4.9 pounds and the thickness well you can see it it's not skinny but it's not like the biggest suitcases of old for rugged laptops

It's ip53 rated for water and for dust so before you go oh my god my dainty little galaxy s20 is ip68 keep in mind phones are a lot easier to waterproof and dust proof because they have one port these days the usb c port and they don't have ventilation ports everywhere and let alone these modular accessories that plug in and out so that's pretty good the toughbook 31 the more rugged model is ip65 rated but it's also rated for all sorts of physical abuse so with the toughbook 31 for example they showed being dragged behind an

Atv on a chain over rugged terrain that looks about as hospitable as mars so you get the idea now rugged laptops aren't cheap you could probably have guessed that already starts around twenty five hundred dollars you can get a core i5 model for that and you can go to town and spend even more money and for the module pricing it really depends on which module it is how much it's going to cost you inside we have intel 8th generation ultrabook 15 watt cpus i'm no doubt now that vpro cpus are

Available in 10th gen they'll probably be doing a refresh but these are vpro because businesses tend to like vpro you can get i5 i7 cpu inside with intel uhd 620 graphics but again you have that amd module should you need to have a little more graphical umph you got two ram slots on here nice for a 14 inch ultrabook and as you would expect it should be serviceable and upgradable this kind of product and there's a second door on the bottom that gives you access to both the wi-fi card which is a 95

60 ac wi-fi five card on this again that'll probably get up to wi-fi six with the next revision and there's also the optional 4g lte model which is a snapdragon cat 16 lte module that's accessible as well and that's an option that you can get with it if you need the 4g lte now the displays on this you can go with just the hd ie 720p non-touch display if you want but if you say hey i'm not good i want better than that you can get a full hd display that supports touch

Surprisingly and also surprisingly compared to rugged laptops of old that had very low resolution grainy displays the full hd touch model that we have is pretty nice looking and fairly sharp you have two display options we have the brighter one which is the thousand knits so it's meant for outdoor workers that sort of thing and it is insanely bright it didn't quite hit a thousand nits in our colorimeter testing but hey when you're pushing close to 900 i

Think that is sufficient color accuracy on it and color gamut not really good that's not the target audience here obviously you know the next picasso in digital drawing is not going to be buying one of these it's fine to look at i think most business users look using this thing are not going to complain about the way the display looks but no it's not wide gamut or anything like that but it's pretty decent looking it's a little glossy there's a little bit of reflection for you out there

Working types but it's not super glossy performance on this is where you would expect it to be for this class of cpu and nothing really to see here it's just like it's non-rugged brethren that have the same internals which just say it's quite competent for most everyday work if you throw in that amd gpu it gives you a little extra off if you're doing some 2d cad work probably that's more what it's geared towards heat and noise on this really it's pretty darn quiet and it's so thick the chassis you're not gonna ever feel any heat

The keyboard on this we haven't seen an emissive backlight for a long time it's got a green emissive backlight on the keyboard which is actually pretty easy on the eyes and sort of has that retro feel it's green keyboard has reasonable feel it's not wow wonderful think pad level but it's perfectly good and concerning the fact that it's waterproof and all that sort of thing not bad two button track pad is really retro quite small on this i guess that's what a mouse is for now

To get inside this thing well there's latches on the bottom everywhere you can slide the modules in and out as you can see like i said the big bay is for drives basically because they need the fastest data the side modules where the ior you can interchange any set of modules you want we have ethernet on board gigabit if you need two ethernet ports on this you can do that via modules if you need rfid if you need the fingerprint scanner if you need a smart card reader all of

Those things can be swapped in so battery life is going to depend because you have one built-in battery and a 68 watt hour but you can double that with well hey the battery module and double that's another 68 water you get the idea so they claim between i think 11 and 22 hours of battery life and then you know optimistic certainly depends on where you set your brightness level at especially you have a thousand knit display if you're using it outdoors probably not so much but suffice to say that thanks to the dual battery modules

Here you're going to get pretty long battery life in the field it should work for a full workday for most people i would think so that's the panasonic toughbook 55. again for some of you this was pure entertainment and educational for those of you who are working in it departments and you do have some folks you need to deploy into the field but maybe you found something you could actually use i'm lisa from mobile tech review be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel for more cool tech

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