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Panasonic Toughbook W2 Review

michael posted about 11 years ago | from the not-so-tough dept.

Portables 307

Anonymous Howard writes "For those of you who haven't heard about Panasonic's Toughbook W2, this hard to find laptop not only looks awesome but packs a serious punch for its size. Weighing in at 2.8 pounds with a 12.1" screen, this P4-M 900 Centrino based laptop is impressive. The drawback is its max memory support is only 512MB. However I think the laptop is absolutely gorgeous. Does anyone have any experience with one of these? Designtechnica gave it a 7 in their review. I tend to believe that 512MB of ram is a pretty limiting factor however."

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i really hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251121)

that this is a first post. or else i wouldnt achieve my purpose in life

Re:i really hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251140)

Congrats, it was a first post. Now please die.

Re:i really hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251143)

Now that you have achieved your purpose in life you can just die.

Re:i really hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251194)

Great, now that you've achieved your purpose in life, it's time to die.

hi (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251126)

fugyfrop posting spider

512 megs (1)

OwlofCreamCheese (645015) | about 11 years ago | (#7251128)

512 megs should be enough for anybody.

Re:512 megs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251150)

did't we hear something like that from Bill Gates?

Re:512 megs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251213)

That's his point. It's a joke.

Re:512 megs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251263)

That's his point. It's a joke.

Gates said 640K. Dumbass.

Re:512 megs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251344)

No, he never said that, either. Just because someone on the internet claims he said it, doesn't make it true.

Re:512 megs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251397)

but what if it is true?

Purpose is key. Re:512 megs (2, Insightful)

Forge (2456) | about 11 years ago | (#7251290)

This is not such a limiting factor. 512 Megs of RAM is far more than I need for the kind of work I would want to do on an ultralight with a mear 12" screan. I.e. That's not where I play games or edit graphics or rip DVDs. A desktop is used for that. Or a true desktop replacment like the 9 lb Dell Inspiron 8200 I am typing this on.

Playing videos, Listening to MP3s, Running a Web browser and most importantly; Terminal emulation software dosn't need 512 MB.

That last one is the single most important reason for an ultracompact. Sometimes I have to stand infrunt of a rack hooked to a network device via a Serial cable with my laptop on one palm while I type with the other hand. 9 lb starts to feal like 90 after a few minutes. 2.8 lb would take much longer to get there.

BTW: How is this significantly better than the Latitude X300 [dell.com]

Yawn.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251142)

Buy a Powerbook or ibook instead. What's the point of this?

Re:Yawn.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251151)

Your powerbook or iBook, can't take a licking and keep on clicking.

Re:Yawn.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251217)

For the hell of it.

In the picture on the first page of this pdf [panasonic.com] can you see someone other than a star of jackass putting an apple laptop in such a precarious position? No. Me neither.

Apples are great if one and two on your "Fuctions My Computer Must Perform" list are: "Look purtty" and "Show off how much money I have to waste" respectively. Some people who use laptops have more to worry about than the temperature of their frapachino. As comfortable as your little niche might be, the world is a whole hell of a lot larger, and your ingnorance of it is hardly interesting, informative, or insightful.

Re:Yawn.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251256)

But THIS toughbook isn't as bombproof as the ones used in industry... it's just a toy.

Re:Yawn.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251362)

Oh, that's why someone recommended the Apple product.

Re:Yawn.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251157)

Buying a computer that won't require a $129 annual tithing and won't fall apart when you drop it?

Re:Yawn.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251180)

Paying for operating systems is so 1998. Everybody's getting the newest OS from emule!
Ta ta!

Re:Yawn.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251186)

What's $500 [macresq.com] +$129/year and 10 hours/year watching the WELL RENDERED ANTI-ALIASED beachball between friends? ;-)

Re:Yawn.... (1)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | about 11 years ago | (#7251238)

hmmm...my iBook runs Linux, so there's no 129$ yearly tax.

CB

Re:Yawn.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251294)

Cool! So you only overpaid by $500 instead of $500+$129/year.

Golly, you're smart!

More RAM = shorter battery life? (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | about 11 years ago | (#7251144)

Personally 256MB is fine for a laptop if it really is just used as a portable. You should (if using 2k/XP) remove/disable as much junk as possible. Make sure as little as possible is started on boot up, it's possible to have Windows only use around 60MB of RAM after bootup if you do this.

Re:More RAM = shorter battery life? (1)

NETHED (258016) | about 11 years ago | (#7251240)

In XP, how would you acomplish this?? I'd love to get XP to boot up in under 60 megs, even w/ extra RAM. (less windows mandatory swap=faster).

Re:More RAM = shorter battery life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251386)

Woa -- "remove as much RAM as possible" -- now THERE'S a Windows-like solution!

Makes me glad I got a Powerbook...

uh (1)

kewsh (655090) | about 11 years ago | (#7251146)

what makes this any more gorgeous than a powerbook?
the price is way too much for what it is as well. I think panasonic is shooting themselves in the foot with this one

Re:uh (2, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about 11 years ago | (#7251161)

Well, its a tough book. Last I checked powerbooks where not water proof and couldn't survive being driven over in a truck.

Re:uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251231)

In all fairness to apple hipsters, whens the last time a truck drove over your grande mochachino as you were loading itunes onto your ipod in starbucks?

Re:uh (3, Informative)

YahoKa (577942) | about 11 years ago | (#7251237)

Powerbooks may not be as tough as ToughBooks, but you might be really surprised by how durable they are. Read the story of this poor powerbook ... it survived getting run over by a truck. [iloha.net] Hehe =D

Re:uh (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | about 11 years ago | (#7251310)

Last I checked powerbooks where not water proof and couldn't survive being driven over in a truck.

Maybe not waterproof, but this guy ran over one with an SUV [iloha.net] (with pictures).

Re:uh (1)

entartete (659190) | about 11 years ago | (#7251367)

as the cliche goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. so maybe the reviewer just likes the way this thing looks. design style isn't something you can really benchmark, even if you did some amihotornot for computers it would still just be a survey of the preferences of a group of people. the powerbook look appeals to some people and really turns off others. though the all shiny metal look apple is going towards certainly appeals to me more than the candy colored computer phase they went through, i'm still not all that thrilled with apple's styling (i really don't like having a huge corporate logo emblazoned on my computer, but that's what stickers are for i guess) aside from the fact that it weighs a ton and it's way slower, i like the looks of my g3 powerbook more than the g4's. ymmv.

Memory Limit? (3, Insightful)

westyvw (653833) | about 11 years ago | (#7251147)

512 Megs a limiting factor? Really? On a notebook I would think that would be more the sufficient. Unlike a desktop computer, a notebook is less likely to be left on as long or to be used in a multitasking fashion. Even making movies music seems unlikely.

I am using a 1 gighz notebook right now with 512 megs or ram. I browse the web, do some music decompression (shn -> wav or vice versa) and cd burning, some light web work, and maybe some office apps.

I am using Linux and KDE and I am have never even hit 256 megs in use at any time.

Re:Memory Limit? (1)

optime (665133) | about 11 years ago | (#7251293)

> Even making movies music seems unlikely.

Hey that's what I use my Powerbook for.

agreed (1)

The Tyro (247333) | about 11 years ago | (#7251300)

My linux notebook is a 500 celeron with 256MB of RAM. Even running X and performing a bunch of tasks, it has yet to reach full use of the 256MB. I don't even remember the last time I ended up touching the swap partition.

Honestly, what notebook apps really need >512MB of RAM? I've seen servers run perfectly well with less than that. If it's simply a manifestation of a the-more-the-merrier philosophy, that's fine... we're all in touch with that.

Re:agreed (1)

Psychic Burrito (611532) | about 11 years ago | (#7251395)

Hey, I've got 640 Megs in my Powerbook and they are being used!

Here's what I'm running right now: Finder, Mail, Safari, Bbedit, Transit, Toast, iPhoto, Virtual PC, Notepad, BitTorrent and Photoshop, and all without a hitch - <flame on> can't you do these things with Windows that you don't consider them?</flame off> :-)

But seriously, I've seen 512MB notebook RAM for $80 yesterday - this Toughbook looks majorly limited to me...

Re:Memory Limit? (1)

newr00tic (471568) | about 11 years ago | (#7251308)

I am using Linux and KDE and I am have never even hit 256 megs in use at any time.
The "unused" memory is used for caching, AFAIK.. One can ALWAYS find good use for every kb of ram in a decent os..

512 limiting? (1)

Valar (167606) | about 11 years ago | (#7251149)

What are you RUNNING home boy? For christ sake, it's a laptop, not a web server. If you think 512M is a limitation for a laptop, maybe you need to sit in a dark corner and think about what you are doing wrong. Maybe you're just thinking of using WinXP?

seems to be slow already, so here are the specs: (3, Informative)

RTPMatt (468649) | about 11 years ago | (#7251156)

Spcifications:

CPU

Ultra Low Voltage Intel(R) Pentium(R) M Processor 900MHz

1MB on-die L2 cache

STORAGE & MEMORY

256MB SDRAM (DDR) standard, expandable to 512MB (PC-2100 memory is required)

40GB HDD

Combo Drive (DVD-ROM*/CD-RW**) standard

DISPLAY
12.1" 1024 x 768 XGA anti-glare TFT Active Matrix Color LCD
External video support up to 1600 x 1200 at 16 million colors
Intel(R) 855GM integrated video controller max. 64MB (UMA) VRAM

AUDIO
SigmaTelTM STAC9753 AC-97 v.2.1 Compliant
Integrated speaker
Convenient keyboard volume controls (Fn+F5/F6 keys)

EXPANSION SLOTS
PC Card Type I or II x1
Secure Digital (SD) Memory / Multimedia Card

KEYBOARD & INPUT
85-key with dedicated Windows(R) key
Electrostatic touchpad with vertical scrolling support

WIRLESS LAN
Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 2100 network connection 802.11b

INTERFACE
Network Interface Card
-Integrated 10/100 ethernet
Modem
-Integrated 56Kbps
External Video
-D-sub 15 pin
USB 2.0 (x2)
-4 pin
Headphones/Speaker
-Mini-jack Stereo
Microphone/Line In
-Mini-jack Mono

POWER SUPPLY
Lithium Ion battery pack (7.4V, 6600mAh)
Battery operation: up to 4 hours***
Battery charging time: approximately 4.5 hours***
AC Adapter: AC 100V-240V 50/60Hz, Auto-sensing/switching worldwide power supply
Pop-up on-screen battery status reporting

POWER MANAGEMENT
Suspend/Resume Function, Hibernation, Standby, ACPI BIOS

SOFTWARE
Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Professional (Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 2000 Professional also available)
Setup, Diagnostics, On-line Reference Manual, Adobe(R) Acrobat(R) Reader

SECURITY FEATURES
Password Security: Supervisor, User, Coffee Break
Integrated Kensington Lock Slot

WARRANTY
3 year limited warranty, parts & labor

DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
1.2"/1.6"(H) x 8.3"(D) x 10.6" (W)
2.8 lbs., including battery

ACCESSORIES
Lithium Ion Battery Pack CF-VZSU27U
Battery Charger CF-VCBRT1U
AC Adapter CF-AA1623AM
256MB Memory Card CF-BAT0256U
External USB Floppy Drive

Re:seems to be slow already, so here are the specs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251284)

Sir Haxalot, is that you?
Damn karma whores.
-1: redundant, you dipshit

512? Honestly.. (1)

kid-noodle (669957) | about 11 years ago | (#7251159)

My laptop is a p150 thinkpad 560e, happily running the latest debian at an acceptable speed.

Seriously, in a portable machine, what do you need serious power for?

Surely how effective the ruggedizing methods are is just a touch more significant than having enough ram to play the newer pc games?

You need serious power in a laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251184)

if you're an oil field engineer for Schlumberger in Alaska. All your calculations are loaded into their extranet and checked before any pouring of concrete or drilling.

And they are tough, they have been thrown at grizzly bears, used to smash mosquitos, been run over by 4 wheelers without harm.

Re:You need serious power in a laptop (1)

kid-noodle (669957) | about 11 years ago | (#7251203)

Sure. So buy a SPARC laptop. Given the target market of this one, 512Mb of ram is more than enough.

Hell, I've got 80Mb and that's plenty to run Gnome 2.0 even.. I built a PC for my mum that happily runs even XP on a 933Mhz VIA CPU, with only 128Mb of RAM..

Re:You need serious power in a laptop (1)

yomegaman (516565) | about 11 years ago | (#7251244)

I hope you're joking about the SPARC bit, they've been left in the dust even by Intel's consumer chips.

You know, many people (including myself) have decided to have a laptop as our sole computer. They are so powerful now that there's no need to waste space on a big computer desk. That's why we are interested in fast processors and lots of memory, just the same way people want those things in desktop machines.

The memory isn't the bottleneck. (3, Insightful)

AntiOrganic (650691) | about 11 years ago | (#7251162)

Face it, you're not going to be rendering in Maya, encoding DVDs to XviD/OGM or editing 60,000x20,000 pixel images in Photoshop on a 900 MHz CPU; Unreal Tournament 2003 isn't going to suck up all that memory running at 12 FPS on the integrated Intel graphics. And given the screen size, your ability to multitask is limited, since only so much will fit at once, so unless you feel like leaving open 70 minimized windows for some reason, that won't be an issue either.

With some services disabled, Windows XP will run fine on 96 MB of memory and Linux/BSD will do with the same or less depending on your WM du jour. I can't see why this much memory would be needed on a machine designed with productivity and groupware in mind. The default 256MB should be plenty.

AMEN!. (1)

fmaxwell (249001) | about 11 years ago | (#7251235)

Face it, you're not going to be rendering in Maya, encoding DVDs to XviD/OGM or editing 60,000x20,000 pixel images in Photoshop on a 900 MHz CPU; Unreal Tournament 2003 isn't going to suck up all that memory running at 12 FPS on the integrated Intel graphics. And given the screen size, your ability to multitask is limited, since only so much will fit at once, so unless you feel like leaving open 70 minimized windows for some reason, that won't be an issue either.

Thank you!

I have an HP laptop that I just upgraded from 128MB to 384MB and, for a laptop, that's a stout quantity of RAM. It never ceases to amaze me how much crap people think needs to be in a laptop. It's a friggin' laptop. You surf the web, check your e-mail, edit some text files, and maybe do some word processing or spreadsheet work on it. If you get bored, you might play solitaire or minesweeper. A 12" screen, 900mhz laptop doesn't have the screen, CPU horsepower, or hard drive speed to make apps that take 512MB of RAM practical.

If it wasn't for that kind of penis-substitute-mindset, we would have practical laptops with eight-plus hour battery life rather than ones with 2.8ghz P4s that can't make it to three hours.

so whats tough about it ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251165)


it looks like it would shatter into a thousand pieces if i dropped it, it wouldnt last an hour on a building site either hardly "tough"

Re:so whats tough about it ? (1)

AntiOrganic (650691) | about 11 years ago | (#7251174)

I can't think of anything tougher or more manly than reading your email on a sleek and slim computer at an 802.11 hotspot, can you?

toughbook... (1)

apoch2001 (701484) | about 11 years ago | (#7251167)

For a 12.1" laptop, there's no real reason to have more than 512meg. It's not like it's going to be a desktop replacement or anything. I've had tons of experience w/ sub and 12" notebooks. Never have I actually needed that much RAM.. only if I were running a pig OS like Windows ;). Anyway, the W2 isn't going to be used playing games or runnign a webserver... or am I mistaken by this? :)

Grey market (1)

Rex Code (712912) | about 11 years ago | (#7251170)

512MB is no problem. The big problem is that it's not directly available outside of Japan, so it's essentially unsupported anywhere else, and you'd have a hard time getting any service or support.

It's one thing to buy a new grey market trinket that's only available in Japan (digital cameras, DAT, etc), but not many people I know would consider purchasing a laptop with no support or warranty when they can get one at the electronics store down the road.

Re:Grey market (1)

Tyrdium (670229) | about 11 years ago | (#7251206)

The big problem is that it's not directly available outside of Japan

It isn't? [panasonic.com]

Re:Grey market (1)

Rex Code (712912) | about 11 years ago | (#7251229)

The article says it's only available in Japan:

The W2 comes standard with a DVD/CD-RW drive. Unfortunately, it is only available in Japan, but can be imported, complete with an English version of the bundled software, from several companies, such as iCube.

You can get them in Vancouver Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251366)

In the computer department of London Drugs, for CAD 2800

Jay

I've seen these (1)

Tyrdium (670229) | about 11 years ago | (#7251172)

Someone I know just got the W2. It's a pretty good laptop. Feels sturdy, and is nice and small. However, it's a bit on the thick side for something that small (think the ThinkPad X31). He says the battery life is about 5 hours, and that's pretty believable given the specs. He hasn't tried killing it yet, but I'm actually not sure how much the outer case could take. I took a look at it, and it seems to be made of plastic, not magnesium (I don't know about the inner case). The only things I don't like about it are the trackpad (circular?) and the crummy graphics card (the processor could use a boost, too). It's also pretty expensive for a notebook of its class, but I assume you're paying for the build quality.

I've used the older ones. (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 11 years ago | (#7251177)

These things are tanks. I've seen them take punishment that would have killed lesser notebooks.

PS: Panasonic specs on the W2 [panasonic.com]

links? (1)

SophtwareSlump (595371) | about 11 years ago | (#7251178)

I think [designtechnica.com] there may be some [designtechnica.com] links to Desgin Technica [designtechnica.com] somwhere in the submission.

link [panasonic.com] to the Panasonic page for the laptop.

That looks very farmiliar... (1)

Game Genie (656324) | about 11 years ago | (#7251188)

That's got to be the best knock off of the TiBook yet. The only difference is that it's more expensive, and slower! Really, if you want an Apple, buy an Apple; if you want a PC, buy a PC. Posers.

Re:That looks very farmiliar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251220)

how will your tibook stand up to the MIL-STD-810F test procedures? Or do you not understand that this type of durability is what you are paying for? Unlike Apple users, some of us care about more than how pretty it is.

Integrated 56k?! (1)

ciroknight (601098) | about 11 years ago | (#7251190)

<petpeeve>
why do companies still think it's acceptable to integrate things like 56k modems, when it's a centrino capable laptop, meaning it can be fully wireless. also noted is the lack of gigabit nic, as this is starting to make it's way into offices, however slowly.
</petpeeve>

beside that, it sounds like a great laptop, now if only i could afford it...

Re:Integrated 56k?! (1)

Rasta Prefect (250915) | about 11 years ago | (#7251215)

why do companies still think it's acceptable to integrate things like 56k modems, when it's a centrino capable laptop, meaning it can be fully wireless. also noted is the lack of gigabit nic, as this is starting to make it's way into offices, however slowly.

Why, exactly, do you feel that integrating an 56k Modem is unacceptable? It's a laptop. It travels. It travels by plane, train, automobile and just being lugged around the great big world in a bag. Most of that great bit world has POTS telephone cables. Most of it doesn't have 802.11b.

Re:Integrated 56k?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251400)

Hey, leave the poor kid alone, he's only 17 years old [no-ip.com] , he's still an idiot. Give him time, he'll learn our big-boy ways.

Re:Integrated 56k?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251246)

why do companies still think it's acceptable to integrate things like 56k modems

You don't travel much, do you? As much as I like wireless ethernet and hotels with wired ethernet, there are a LOT of places where you can't find either.

A modem is a necessity in a business laptop. Sometimes dialup is the only option. Plus, you can send/receive faxes.


beside that, it sounds like a great laptop, now if only i could afford it...


It's not that much, 2 grand from a US reseller.

Re:Integrated 56k?! (1)

Aliencow (653119) | about 11 years ago | (#7251250)

Gigabit ethernet is so useful when you're using a 4200rpm laptop hard drive ! Much more useful than a 56k modem when you're in the hotel...not.

pictures (1)

jest3r (458429) | about 11 years ago | (#7251195)

http://www.dynamism.com/w2/gallery.shtml
http://r eviews.cnet.com/4505-3122_7-30525272.html

Slashvertisment or genuine review ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251198)


you decide

alternatives (2, Funny)

deviator (92787) | about 11 years ago | (#7251199)

If you want something that's almost as rugged but easier on the wallet, check out a product called the "iBook" (pronounced eye-book) by a company called "Apple Computer." Pretty rugged.

Re:alternatives (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 11 years ago | (#7251226)

So the iBook has a shock mounted hard disk, is water proof and has a magnisiam shock resistant case? Since when?

iBook has rubber mounted drive and magnesium frame (1)

tRr (691527) | about 11 years ago | (#7251278)

Everything but water proof yes. Read up on it here...

http://www.apple.com/ibook/

Space-age materials
The iBook was designed with durability in mind. That's why it's made of ultratough polycarbonate plastic -- the same material used in bulletproof glass -- and has an internal magnesium frame for added strength. The hard drive is rubber-mounted for impact resistance. And there are no doors, protruding latches, or levers to break or get snagged.

Re:alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251279)

What's "magnisiam"?

Re:alternatives (1)

ewwhite (533880) | about 11 years ago | (#7251285)

Does *this* Toughbook (the subject of the review) have a waterproof case or shock-mounted hard drive?

NO! You're off-topic.

Re:alternatives (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 11 years ago | (#7251299)

Acording to Panasonic it does, but hey, what do they know. I've used both iBooks and Tough Books. The Tough Books are much MUCH tougher. However most people have no use for that. However there is no other notebook that I'll go hiking/kayaking with.

Re:alternatives (1)

RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) | about 11 years ago | (#7251264)

I have something that's as rugged as the iBook (magnesium case), just a bit bigger, and $350 on eBay. Dell CSX. 500mhz PIII, 20GB HDD, 256M PC100, Windows 2000 Included, DVD/CD burner included.

If you are on a budget, the $1000 iBook is a lame deal compared to the $350 CSX. The CSX is plenty fast to surf the net or run Word. Yes, the iBook is better. But is it 2.85x better? Probably not.

(Sidenote: I'm not just criticizing the iBook - $1000 PC notebooks are too expensive as well)

Re:alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251266)

What if I want something that runs at an acceptable speed, is not deliberately crippled in a pathetic attempt at market segmentation, and has a large software library available for it?

Re:alternatives (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251292)

Better not use Linux then!!

Ok, Windows is a pig, but??? (1)

perotbot (632237) | about 11 years ago | (#7251202)

512mb of RAM is enough for an on the go, get email, make a presentation, and go back in the bag portable. You don't need 1GB of RAM to do these things Even from "experts" recommendations for Windows 2000, 512mb of RAM is PLENTY for 98% of what people do with laptops. I know of of business laptops with 512mb of RAM and 30gb hard drives that never see anything close to max performance or useage. In this machine's niche, it's a great thing. The price is a little much but that's to be expected with the feature set (Centrino isn't cheap). Size, weight, design, this one is good to go. Use it as a laptop, don't use it as Server (that's what Xeons are for). This is just the beginning of the hardware separating between user and enterprise space.

512mb is NOT enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251204)

512MB may be sufficient now, but how about when the next Windoblows OS comes out. I remember when Windows 98 recommended 128mb, now XP wants 256MB, 512mb is not that much more and if this laptop only is upgradeable to that much memory, it is certainly not going to last that long.

Sony's TR1A comes with 512MB of memory and is upgrdeable to 1GB, now that is what I am talking about.

512mb is plenty. (1)

fmaxwell (249001) | about 11 years ago | (#7251297)

I remember when Windows 98 recommended 128mb, now XP wants 256MB

Where do you get those numbers and is there toilet paper stuck to them?

According to Microsoft [microsoft.com] , Windows 98 required a 486DX 66 megahertz (MHz) or faster processor (Pentium central processing unit recommended), 16 megabytes (MB) of memory (24 MB recommended), and about 175MB of free hard disk space. Yeah, put 256MB into that Pentium 100 system and you're ready to rock and roll with Windows XP!

Face it: By the time that the next version of Windows rolls out, the 900mhz CPU in that laptop will be wheezing. Besides, you don't have to buy a new OS just because Microsoft releases one.

Re:512mb is plenty. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251391)

Why does everyone have to be an ass on this site. If you want your "Linux pwns" community to grow, start welcoming people regardless of their technical abilities.

Its a Saturday evening, go spend time with your family you freaking dork.

error in post (0)

ibmman85 (643041) | about 11 years ago | (#7251205)

*cough* P4-m centrino? make up your mind..

Re:error in post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251251)

*cough*

here, have some dxm.

what i am gonna do (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251207)

is go to a sheetmetal supply ang build a homemade laptop out of 16 guage polished stainless steel...

i dont care if it takes a year i am going to build the best damn lappy the world has ever seen...

This "toughbook" is nothing of the sort. (1)

Greg Merchan (64308) | about 11 years ago | (#7251209)

Look at the keyboard. See the space between the keys for stuff to fall through? Like most other laptops, this is designed to break in a few years. It even looks like the return key is already popping out of place in the photos.

Re:This "toughbook" is nothing of the sort. (2, Insightful)

randyest (589159) | about 11 years ago | (#7251288)

RTFA: it's waterproof. If water falling in those "spaces" won't kill it, your pop-tart crumbs won't either.

Not P4-M (1)

yomegaman (516565) | about 11 years ago | (#7251210)

The "Centrino" label implies a Pentium-M processor. The P4-M is a completely different beast. The Pentium-M is the newer one with 1MB L2 cache, and is more like a P3 internally.

The biggest drawback.. (1)

wargolem (715873) | about 11 years ago | (#7251224)

is that Intel hasn't provided a Linux driver for their Centrino PRO/Wireless adapter. This is one of the main reasons I went with a PowerBook instead of a Centrino.

Re:The biggest drawback.. (1)

probbka (308168) | about 11 years ago | (#7251318)

Hear hear...

I bought a Gateway 450X, it came with XP Pro on it, which works well enough. But I want to install Linux on it! And Intel won't let me.

You know, the thing about it that pisses me off the most is that INTEL PROMISED LINUX SUPPORT [com.com] when they released it...

HIGH ON DXM AGAIN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251239)

and posting. remeber, only drink cough syrup with dextromethorphan as the main ingredient, anything else and your asking to bleed out of your eyes or have your heart stop
-cheers
im on dxm right now!

512 - limiting? (1)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | about 11 years ago | (#7251249)

limiting for what? if you want a laptop to do high end video editing you wouldn't be getting a 'top with such a small screen anyway. I have a 12" 800Mhz iBook that is now maxed out with 640Megs RAM, but I don't consider that 'limited'. I'm running Linux as well, and opening terms, checking my mail and playing mp3s isn't taxing my memory.

CB

Re:512 - limiting? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251313)

Try running WebSphere App developer + MQ series + Oracle + WMQSI + DB2 + various Webmethods servers.
Just because you're stuck on a laptop doesn't mean you should not be able to do development. I'm 'getting by' with one Gb. Another Gb would be nice though.

Sigh (2, Insightful)

Judg3 (88435) | about 11 years ago | (#7251253)

Yet again another "review" by a site which has very little information.

Basically it's the author's "feeling" about the notebook, a few pictures, some "testing" which means little to a typical laptop user and absolutely no "Print Article" button so I can bypass the "Hot Words" with advertising, side bar with advertising, top frame with advertising, and bottom frame with advertising.

They manage to stretch out 2 paragraphs over 5 pages. Yuck.

You'd get more information from Panasonic's website [panasonic.com] and their Toughbook W2 Datasheet (PDF) [panasonic.com] then you will at this site.

Designtechnica are clueless (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251254)

Designtechnica gave it a 7 in their review.

NERO Magazine, which actually has some credibility plus a more technically accurate and precise slant (this is "news for nerds", right?), recently wrote a roundup on Centrino-powered laptops. The Toughbook W2 only scored 3 of 10 [nero-online.org] ! They mention its poor support for Linux, among other things.

Bravo. (1)

pr0ntab (632466) | about 11 years ago | (#7251385)

Wait, NERO, that sounds familiar. Anyway, that DesignTechnicia article was ass, let's see the scathingness...

Oh crap. That's right, I'm an idiot.

# killall mozilla-bin

No Intel PRO/Wireless 2100 Linux drivers (1)

andersen (10283) | about 11 years ago | (#7251276)

I will not be buying any such thing till Intel pulls their head out and releases Linux drivers for their wireless card. A wireless card w/o drivers does me absolutely no good...

but i thought (0)

beyonddeath (592751) | about 11 years ago | (#7251296)

a toughbook's were supposed to be... well tough? i remember seeing one on tech tv and they were dunking them in water and stuff...

For what it's worth... (1)

frostman (302143) | about 11 years ago | (#7251323)

I know someone who has used various Toughbook models in harsh environments (flight testing etc), and he recently commented that the things seemed virtually unbreakable.

I would, of course, love to test that out myself, but if I can ever afford milspec anything, I'm getting a ruggedized iPod first.

Here's a link... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251332)

to the Google Cache [216.239.41.104] . Go go Slashdot Effect.

Potential Linux Laptop Buyers: stop here first (2, Informative)

Great_Jehovah (3984) | about 11 years ago | (#7251340)

There's a nice list of non-windows x86 laptop vendors at mcelrath.org/laptops.html [mcelrath.org]

Don't pay the windows tax (or the Apple tax for that matter).

I settled on a Sager 4060 from PCTorque. It's heavier than the toughbook but all its included devices are well supported under linux and it's got a lot of nice features for the price.

512 Megabytes ought to.... (1)

breman (683776) | about 11 years ago | (#7251348)

be more than enough for anyone.

:)

Looks good, pretty expensive... (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | about 11 years ago | (#7251371)

Okay, looks pretty good. Right now, I love my 15.4" widescreen Dell Inspiron 8500, but I'm looking for another laptop, something more transportable (5 pound range is fine, but that needs to include CD-RW/DVD driver, 6-7 pounds is really too much).


This doesn't need to be a powerhouse, or a desktop replacement. But I don't want a 2 pound flimsy thing that requires an external CD/DVD drive and costs 2500 from Sony. This Panasonic looks mighty close to what I'm looking for, but I wish it weren't 2200 dollars - I think I should be able to find what I'm looking for in the 1500-1700 dollar range.


Also, 3 year warranty is an absolute must, and Dell-style service (in home) would be really nice.


Yeah, I know, you could tell me to just Google around, but I've tried that and can't seem to find anything. Also, don't tell me to look at the iBook, that doesn't fit the bill for my purposes. Any suggestions are much appreciated, I can't believe I'm the _ONLY_ person out there who doesn't want either a huge desktop replacement or to spend 2500 on an overpriced laptop that breaks in less than a year (EVERY PCG-Z series Vaio I've ever seen breaks or fails completely in about a year of moderate use).

512 meg limit == astroturf campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7251381)

The submission sounds like an astroturf campaign. "The notebook is gorgeous, I love everything about it! Too bad it ONLY support 512 megs." Then everyone here jumps on and says "512 megs?! That's no problem! The laptop really IS perfect." Get it? Gotta love that guerilla marketing...

W2 (2, Informative)

doogles (103478) | about 11 years ago | (#7251384)

Got my Panny W2 on August 3rd, this is the best laptop I've ever had. It's the right mixture of horsepower, display, connectivity, and battery life. I do truly get 5 hours out of it, it's got a nice keyboard (with only a few quirks; particularly the arrow keys and tilde) and since the addition of the PCS Vision 1xRTT card .. totally connected.

Don't be confused by the Toughbook name; it's got a shockmounted HDD, motherboard, and display, but it's goal is mobility, not toughness.

I bought mine from Kevin Fawl at Bizco (www.toughonline.com) -- I'd buy another one if I needed another laptop tomorrow.
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