Panasonic's UK wing has announced that two members of its Toughbook range have been given a performance boost. The semi-rugged CF-52 receives an Intel i5 processor and an extra gigabyte of RAM. The business-rugged CF-T8 is served by an Intel Core 2 processor running at 1.6GHz and doubles the storage available with a 250GB shock mounted flex-connect hard drive. Both systems benefit from a Windows 7 Professional makeover too.

The semi-rugged Toughbook CF-52 is now available with either an Intel Core i5-540M running at 2.53GHz or a slightly slower Intel i5-520M processor, includes 2GB DDR3 SDRAM and sports a 250GB shock-mounted hard drive with quick release.

Gobi 2000 wireless technology has also been added which helps simplify multiple carrier deployment as well as offering A-GPS capabilities for easy integration with mapping software. The 15.4 inch WUXGA 1920 x 1200 Active Matrix unit has Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR, Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6200 AGN wireless LAN and an integrated DVD multi-drive. An overhead keyboard light should help in low light conditions and its tough magnesium alloy case should help protect it from a little more than the occasional knock.

The 12.1 inch, 1024 x 768 touchscreen Toughbook CF-T8 has similarly received a processor update but this time it's an Intel Core 2 1.6GHz processor (although confusingly, the product page does state Intel Core i5-520M), 2GB DDR2 memory and a removable 250GB HDD. 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR also appear and there's an option to include Gobi 2000 too.

The touchscreen, keyboard and trackpad are all water-resistant and its magnesium alloy case can withstand pressure load of 100 Kg/f. Underneath the unit is a useful hand strap for ease of use in mobile situations but the CF-T8 is still without an optical drive.

Both Toughbook's come with Windows 7 Professional with an optional downgrade to Windows XP Professional SP3 if desired and are available now.

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