'The Toughbook 55 doesn’t just meet expectations. It redefines what mission-critical tools should be,' says Panasonic when unveiling its latest semi-rugged PC

Panasonic Toughbook 55 Mk3 semi rugged laptop
(Image credit: Panasonic)

What you need to know

  • Panasonic just announced the Toughbook 55 Mk3.
  • The semi rugged laptop has seven user-replaceable areas, allowing owners to upgrade and repair the device easily.
  • This is the third generation of the Toughbook 55, and it runs on up to a 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor.
  • The Intel Core i7 version of the Toughbook 55 Mk3 is available now and the Intel Core i5 version will start shipping in February 2024.

When it comes to rugged laptops, Panasonic is the first name that comes to mind. The company has decades of experience making durable devices. Today, Panasonic unveiled the Toughbook 55 Mk3, a semi rugged laptop running on the latest internals from Intel. Pricing for the laptop hasn't been shared yet, but it is available starting today.

The Toughbook 55, first introduced in 2019, is now in its third generation. The Toughbook 55 Mk3 runs on a 13th Gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor. Its refresh also brings other modern internals, including Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.

Our Editor-in-Chief Daniel Rubino ran the last version of the Toughbook 55 in our Panasonic Toughbook 55 MK2 review. That PC earned a rare 5 out of 5 for its outstanding design, rugged build quality, and battery life of over 25 hours. It also earned praise for its three modular bays, loud 92dB speakers, and optional 4G LTE.

Toughbook 55 Mk3 Specs

• Up to 13th Gen Intel Core i7
• 14-inch FHD screen (1,000 nits)
• Up to 2 TB user-upgradeable SSD
• 92dB spekaers
• MIL-STD-810H
• IP53

The Panasonic Toughbook 55 Mk3 builds upon its predecessor, keeping the good and improving in a few key areas, at least based on its spec sheet. The semi rugged laptop still has 92dB speakers and dual array microphones to help in loud environments.

Panasonic added customizable color-selected keyboard with four preset options for custom colors. The latest Toughbook 55 also has programmable keys for assigning shortcuts.

The 14-inch display of the new Toughbook 55 can reach 1,000 nits of brightness, which is important as the laptop is meant to be used anywhere from outdoors to poorly lit areas.

The total number of USB ports has bumped up to five, providing better connectivity. Like several other Panasonic laptops, the Toughbook 55 Mk3 supports xPAKs, which are user-upgradeable expansion areas for connecting accessories like SmartCard readers. New USB-C and USB-A xPAKs will be available in February 2024.

Panasonic's xPAK strategy also makes laptops modular, allowing customers to replace a PC's battery, memory, storage, and other components with just a screwdriver. The Toughbook 55 Mk3 has seven user-replaceable modular areas.

Panasonic Toughbook 55 Mk3 | see at Panasonic

Panasonic Toughbook 55 Mk3 | see at Panasonic

This semi rugged laptop features loud speakers that can be heard on a construction site or in other noisy environments. It also has seven user-replaceable areas that make it easier to upgrade and repair.

Panasonic is the industry standard when it comes to rugged PCs, so the third-gen Toughbook is an exciting prospect for those who live the design of its predecessor but need more recent and powerful internals.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.