News Bits: Three New Panasonic Toughbooks, Belkin CushTop and PockeTop

News Bits: Three New Panasonic Toughbooks, Belkin CushTop and PockeTop

Panasonic announces three new business-rugged Toughbook notebooks

12th– Panasonic Computers today announced availability of three new business-rugged Toughbook notebook computers: the ultraportable CF-W5, tablet alternative CF-T5, and thin-and-light desktop replacement CF-Y5.

All notebooks in the new series include magnesium alloy cases, flexible internal connectors, and shock-mounted/removable hard drives. They are tested to withstand a one foot drop; the hard drives are rated for 30 inches. All of the new models have a wireless-ready design, which allows users to purchase or upgrade to embedded access to next-generation data networks from all major wireless carriers.

Panasonic Toughbook W5

The Toughbook W5 is an ultraportable ideal for mobile professionals in need of features usually found on a larger machine in a small package. Specifications are as follows:

  • Intel Core Solo U1400 (1.2GHz, ULV)
  • 512MB DDR2, expandable to 1.5GB (533MHz)
  • 60GB HDD
  • Integrated combo drive
  • 12.1″ XGA anti-glare LCD
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG wireless card
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Dimensions: 1.0/1.8″ (H) x 10.6″ (W) x 8.3″ (D)
  • Weight: 3.1 lbs
  • Battery Life: Approx. 8 hours
  • Optional mini dock, integrated WWAN (EV-DO, HSDPA)

Panasonic Toughbook T5

The T5 features a 12.1″ touch-screen LCD in a compact and sleek design. It is ideal for offsite use. Specifications are the same as the W5, and differ as follows:

  • 12.1″ XGA anti-glare LCD with Touchscreen
  • Display image rotation software
  • Dimensions: 1.1/2.7″ (H) x 10.6″ (W) x 8.3″ (D)
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs
  • Battery Life: Approx. 10 hours

Panasonic Toughbook Y5

Even with a 14.1″ display, the Toughbook Y5 weighs in at only 3.7 lbs and delivers 6 hours of battery life. It offers a Core Duo processor and multiple wireless connectivity options. Specifications are as follows:

  • Intel Core Duo L2400 (1.66GHz, LV)
  • 512MB DDR2, expandable to 1.5GB
  • 60GB HDD
  • Integrated Combo Drive
  • 14.1″ SXGA+ anti-glare LCD
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG wirelss card
  • Bluetooth v2.0
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Dimensions: 1.0/1.8″ (H) x 10.6″ (W) x 8.3″ (D)
  • Weight: 3.7 lbs
  • Battery Life: Approx. 6 hours

Panasonic has been embedding wide area wireless solutions into its notebook for over 8 years, and was the first manufacturer to ship rugged and semi-rugged notebooks and tablet PCs with embedded 3G wireless access to UMTS/HSDPA and EV-DO networks.

All Panasonic Toughbooks come with a three-year standard warranty, and 24/7 phone support for the life of the product. Pricing: The W5 and T5 will both be available in with a suggested retail price (wireless ready) of $1,899. The Y5 will be available in for $2,199. More information can be found at

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Belkin CushTop and PockeTop make it more comfortable to use your laptop anywhere

12th– Belkin’s new CushTop and PockeTop make it more comfortable to use your laptop anywhere around the home. The CushTop provides a padded surface between the laptop and your lap. The PockeTop is designed to be used as a case and mobile workstation, with a built-in cooling pad and storage space for laptop accessories. North American availability is expected in , and it will launch in Asia, Europe, and Austraila shortly after.


Retailing for $39.99, the CushTop is made of high-quality, furniture-like upholstery. It provides increased padded comfort for laptop users. It features a storage pocket for mouse and power adapter storage, and can accommodate both small and large laptops. It is available in three colors: silver, orange, and green.


With a retail price of $49.99, the PockeTop doubles as a case and mobile workstation. It provides generous storage for a mouse and power adapter, as well as space for other accessories. It is ideal for lap or desk use. A built-in cooling pad keeps heat from penetrating the bottom surface. It provides superior protection thanks to a semi-rigid material construction. The PockeTop is available in three colors: silver, orange, and green.

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Amazon’s Unbox service is a fluke

Amazon’s recently released Unbox video store is apparently not ready for prime time. Although the site is easy to navigate, it is neither remarkable nor unremarkable. The real problems lie with the Unbox player. It wraps around Windows Media Player, and runs in the system tray. The interface for the player is abysmal – it does not follow the typical UI design principals shared by most Windows applications. Connectivity also has severe problems; random disconnects, and then further trouble reconnecting. Users are also reporting purchasing content, then never being able to download while still getting charged. What does Amazon need to do to Unbox? To put it bluntly – start over.

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Xbox 360 laptop mod

This could be the most extreme Xbox 360 mod yet – Ben Heckendorn transformed the 360 into a laptop-like form factor. It uses a 17″, high-definition LCD, built-in keyboard, and Wi-Fi into a shell no more than 2.8″ thick. It is water-cooled, and does a better job staying cool than the regular 360 does.

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New Acorn shows details of PC laptop website

Acorn Computers Limited has displayed the first details of their range of notebooks on its website. Acorn is a new Nottingham-based company, who builds computers locally. Their computers will use both Intel and AMD x86 mobile CPUs; they are said to be designed with close co-operation with Nvidia, ATI, and Microsoft.

The first of the six models that make up the Designed for Windows XP series is the Solonote. It is available with a choice of two dual-core processors – Intel’s Core Duo T2300E (1.66GHz) and AMD’s Turion 64 X2 (1.6GHz). They include a 12″ screen, 1.9kg weight, and five hour battery life. The flagship version is equipped with 1GB of DDR2 RAM and HD audio.

The Deskbook, the largest model, features an AMD Turion 64 MT-34 (1.8GHz) processor, 17″ WXGA display, 1GB RAM, and an 80GB HDD. Other specifications include an ATI Mobility Radeon X700 256MB graphics card, HD audio, a built-in 1.3mp webcam, and 3-4 hours of battery life.

And finally, the midrange includes two models, the desknote dn-1 (15.4″) and solobook sb-1 (14″). Both feature the Intel Core Duo T2300E processor, DDR2 RAM, built-in Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g WLAN, Bluetooth, and Windows XP Home Edition.

Acorn only has one exclusive technology incorporated into their notebooks: the Vybrio LCD technology. It is standard on all their notebooks, and has higher brightness levels than a standard display while reducing reflection and enhancing color darkness. Newly designed RGB filters improve pixel emission efficency and deliver higher contrast ratios.

Acorn is aiming to be very strong in the education market, yet their main market will be the small-medium businesses.

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