Interview | Director, System Solutions Division, Panasonic India, Vijay Wadhawan

Panasonic Re-Engineered the Resistive Touchpad to be 60 Per Cent Larger While Being Usable When Wearing Gloves For Increased Flexibility

Vijay Wadhawan

What is unique about Panasonic’s Toughbook 40? How is it different from its previous version?

Toughbook 40 laptop combines the Toughbook brand’s dependability and toughness. It has been updated with further innovation to provide unrivalled power, speed, and connectivity to meet the evolving needs of mobile workers in today’s digitally revolutionised world. Toughbook 40 is the first fully ruggedised Toughbook laptop with a 14-inch screen (the first in our product portfolio), designed for usage in harsh environments and equipped with military-grade security and communications features to enable mission-critical activities.


How will it help soldiers deployed in the remotest areas?

The new Toughbook model is the first fully ruggedized laptop designed for operations in harsh weather conditions. It brings upgraded feature such as increased screen brightness, a colour-selectable backlit keyboard, and an illuminated power button and keyboard icons for easier visibility at night in low-light conditions. Panasonic also re-engineered the resistive touchpad to be 60 per cent larger while being usable when wearing gloves for increased flexibility. The battery life is designed to sustain mission-critical operation for roughly 18 hours from one battery and 36 hours from two batteries, with hot-swap capabilities that ensure the device remains fully operational when batteries are replaced. True to its rugged heritage, the Toughbook 40 laptop takes ruggedness to a new level with IP66 dust and water protection.


Does Panasonic plan on offering Toughbook 40 to the Indian armed forces?

Panasonic rugged devices continue to be in high demand across defence, paramilitary, oil and gas, emergency services, manufacturing, automobile, logistics and pharmaceuticals. In India, our leading segments for Toughbook are Defence, Paramilitary & Emergency services for mission critical applications. In Emergency services, we have some references like 3,500 devices with UP police and 3,800 devices with Maharashtra police.


How many units of Toughbook 40 has Panasonic sold so far all over the world? Which countries have bought Toughbook 40 or its previous versions from so far?

We are well regarded as global leader in the ruggedized computer solutions industry. Toughbook recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and serves a specialized market, where we have introduced new models in response to user demand and feedback. Our customers eagerly await the release of our new products in order to upgrade their ruggedized models. We introduced the Toughbook 40 simultaneously in India, the United States, and Europe, and are confident that our consumer base for ruggedized goods will continue to increase in the future.


What business has Panasonic seen in India? How does the company look at furthering its business with the armed or paramilitary forces among other sectors?

Panasonic has long considered India to be a strategic market. Even though the ruggedized devices market is relatively a niche industry, we release one or two products each year, and our average new product launch period is eight to nine months. Our ruggedized products offer the ideal combination of performance, modularity, durability, and innovation.

In India, we service 90 per cent of the automobile sector, 60 per cent of the pharmaceutical business, and 60 per cent of the manufacturing industry. Post-Covid, we are witnessing an increased demand from the pharmaceutical industry for standardising ruggedised products. Toughbook is expected to contribute considerably over the next three to five years because of digitisation, transformation, and increased awareness of business continuity and sustainable products that can be upgraded anytime citing future business requirements.


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