first_imgJust when you thought that every laptop was equipped with Intel’s second generation of Core processors (aka Sandy Bridge) Panasonic has announced the release of the Toughbook S10. The 12-inch laptop replaces the Toughbook S9 as Panasonic’s business-rugged ultraportable, and is basically a component upgrade to the older model.On the exterior the S10 is practically the same as the S9. There is still the same 12-inch widescreen display (1280×800), optical drive living in the palmrest, and circular trackpad. The only notable change on the exterior is the inclusion of a single USB 3.0 port, in addition to the two USB 2.0 ones. Don’t worry, the rest of the good stuff is still there: including VGA, HDMI, and a lock slot… in case you want to make sure the laptop doesn’t go anywhere without you.The important changes to the Toughbook happened on the inside. The 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-2520M processor (with vPro) means a lot more power than the previous generation, better graphics, and an extended battery life as well. The Core i5 is doing most of the heavy lifting when it comes to the S10’s improvements, but Panasonic did see fit to bump up the minimum amount of RAM from 2GB to 4GB. The system can run up to 8GB if buyers need more.Panasonic rates the S10’s battery life at 12.5 hours under optimum circumstances, which they say will make for about 8-9 hours of real-life use (with the WiFi on). That’s the Core i5 shining through again, though Panasonic has always prioritized battery life with the Toughbooks.As for a bit of trivia: At 3.0 pounds the S10 will be known, by some, as the lightest 12-inch laptop with an optical drive in its class. It is disputably the lightest 12-inch laptop with an optical drive in the world, but apparently somewhere in Japan the successor to the 2.4-pound Toshiba R600 is still sold. That model is quite long in the tooth, effectively giving the S10 the crown.The Toughbook S10 will have a street price of $2449 and will start shipping in limited quantities this month. It will be more readily available in September and will be getting its 3G certification then as well. After that happens the Gobi-equipped model will start shipping as well.s10mk2_open right LR-2s10mk2_open right LR-2s10mk2_head on LR-2s10mk2_head on DVD open LR-2s10mk2_dramatic angle left LR-2s10mk2_dramatic angle left LR-2last_img