The toughest, baddest laptop on the planet is now ready to join the AI party

The new Panasonic Toughbook 40 for 2022.
The new Panasonic Toughbook 40 for 2022. (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

What you need to know

  • Panasonic Connect has revealed the updated Toughbook 40 Mk2 is available to order now from $4,699. 
  • The refreshed model uses Intel Core Ultra 5 or 7 chips, an optional AMD dedicated GPU, and a long list of features desirable by its user base. 
  • The xPAK module system now has 9,600 different combinations, and the latest new addition is a simple add-on to give users more ports. 

The Panasonic Toughbook 40 likely isn't for you. But that doesn't mean it isn't both popular and important, and today, the king of the rugged laptop world is getting some important updates. 

The Toughbook 40 Mk2 takes everything that made the first-gen version great and juices it a little. If ever there was a company that listens to its customers and builds the laptops they actually require, it's Panasonic Connect. 

Thanks to the addition of Intel Core Ultra 5 or 7 chips, the performance gains on the Toughbook 40 Mk2 are significant. And not just when you consider AI. Naturally, we're not talking about a Copilot+ PC here, but Intel's current NPU can handle other AI workloads, including those that can be deployed by professionals. 

“We are dedicated to developing solutions that not only address the current needs of our customers, but also anticipate their future requirements,” said Dominick Passanante, Vice President and GM of Panasonic Connect. “The TOUGHBOOK 40 Mk2, equipped with advanced AI capabilities, is another example of how we’re providing the mobile workforce with tools to enhance productivity and efficiency on the job.”

The Toughbook 40 Mk2 also benefits from Intel's move to put Arc graphics on the Core Ultra chips, which in turn leads to significant gains in performance over the previous generation. There's still an optional AMD dedicated GPU available, but even without going for that, buyers will have much more graphics horsepower to play with this time. 

This is also the first time the Toughbook 40 has been available with DDR5 RAM. It also has dual SSDs, both of which are user-replaceable, to cope with ever-increasing storage requirements. Oh, and despite all of the added hardware goodies, Panasonic Connect claims a real-world battery life improvement of up to 20% over the previous model. And who doesn't want that? 

On the outside the new Toughbook 40 looks pretty much the same as its predecessor.  (Image credit: Panasonic)

Here's a quick cheat sheet on the specs:

  • 14” FHD 1-1200 nits capacitive gloved touch display
  • Rugged certifications include 6’ Drop, MIL-STD-810H, MIL-STD-461H, C1D2, and IP662
  • Intel Core Ultra 5 vPro 14-core processor 135H (optional Ultra 7 vPro processor 16-core 165H)
  • Intel Arc graphics or AMD Radeon™ Pro W6300M dGPU
  • 512GB - 2TB Main SSD & Second SSD (both user-replaceable) – up to 4TB total
  • 16 - 64GB DDR5 RAM 
  • 4G or 5G connectivity options support FirstNet® (band 14), CBRS private cellular (band 48), and dual 
  • SIM (physical + eSIM)
  • 5MP infrared webcam with privacy cover
  • Superior voice accuracy with tetra array microphones and now with AI noise reduction
  • 95db front speakers
  • 24 hours of battery life (MobileMark 25) with optional second battery
  • Local Platform Erase option to easily and securely wipe the entire contents of the device in less than 10 seconds
  • New COM splitter software allows WWAN-GPS or dedicated GPS to assign multiple COM ports to integrate with various applications requiring GPS information simultaneously
  • Easier to open latch and improved touchpad buttons

New xPAK modules and a crazy amount of possible combinations

The Mk2 is an upgrade over the original Toughbook 40 pictured here.  (Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

All this is great, but it's not only the raw specs that's what the Toughbook 40 Mk2 is all about. Naturally, Panasonic Connect's customers want to get the latest and greatest, but what's built around it continues to make it shine. 

For example, the expansion (xPAK) system, of which there are four available slots on the Toughbook 40 Mk2, is now up to an insane 9,600 different combinations. If you need a very specific niche requirement from your rugged laptop, it's almost guaranteed that Panasonic Connect has what you're looking for. Some of these have been upgraded, too. For example, the updated contactless smart card reader meets all the latest security and identification requirements. The barcode scanner has double the sensor pixels, is three times faster, and has a wider scanning area. 

There's also a brand new xPAK module designed to expand the ports available on the Toughbook 40 Mk2. Another example is listening to customers' needs and coming up with goods. It'll give owners additional USB-C, USB-A, and HDMI ports. As with other xPAK modules, it can be configured during purchase or added separately later, continuing the Toughbook reputation of longevity and future-proofing. 

Despite not being remotely designed for the type of use I need, the Toughbook 40 Mk2, like its predecessor and many before, is among the most interesting and exciting laptops I've seen. It's the type of machine that makes a lot of the world go around and is used in important roles in areas such as law enforcement and healthcare. It's big and heavy, but who isn't impressed by a laptop you could throw out of a window and still use afterward? Our Editor-in-Chief, Daniel Rubino, always has enormous fun reviewing Toughbooks. They're unique in a world dominated by sleek-looking Ultrabooks. 

The Toughbook 40 Mk2 will be available to order starting today, June 19, 2024, with prices starting at $4,699. Yes, that's a lot, but remember, it isn't for consumers and will be worth every cent. I don't need one of these at all, but I still really want one. 

TOUGHBOOK 40 mk2 | From $4,699 at Panasonic Connect

TOUGHBOOK 40 mk2 | From $4,699 at Panasonic Connect

The Panasonic Toughbook is a legendary family of rugged laptops and the newest is ready for everything you can throw at it, and some AI thanks to the latest Intel Core Ultra processors. 

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at