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The secret behind superior business-rugged operation: Innovative design.

Business-ruggedUnique Technology

Part 5. The secret behind superior business-rugged operation: Innovative design.
Even when time and space restrictions are imposed on a mobile computing environment, you still want to be able to use it like a desktop computer. Your needs have been effectively answered by original development of the built-in optical drive and pointing device for Toughbook Business-rugged. Here you can find out how this innovative design was achieved.

Light and strong, easy-to-use, compact shell drive

When an optical drive is put inside a notebook computer, naturally the weight of the unit adds to the total weight of the computer. In a mobile computer, however, everything must be done to minimize weight. As a drive maker, during a repetitive development process, Panasonic applied its superior skills to reduce every last gram of drive weight. We took a hint from the audio disk players built into portable CD players and as a result went on to successfully develop an open-top shell drive.

open-top shell drive

To insert a disk in an open-top drive, you raise the lid.It is called a shell drive because it works like a clam shell.

Why is our open-top drive shell drive so light? Basically, it does away with the tray that is used in conventional laptop optical drives. By getting rid of the tray, screws, and other parts used in tray drives (total weight typically about 210 g), we’ve cut the weight down to 45.9 g*. Four shell drives can weigh less than a single tray drive!
* 45.9 g in CF-W7; 59.5 g in CF Y7

Tray-type drive unit
W7 Shell drive unit

You might think that weight reduction involves sacrificing strength. On the contrary, the new design is actually stronger than if tray loading were used. Tray-type drives are designed to slot into a cut-out opening in the edge of the laptop body. By contrast, without the need to leave a gap in the edge of the body, the shell-drive unit is integrated directly into the body. Because of this integration, the mobile computer body is stronger.

Tray-type drive/Shell drive

By not compromising the structure, the strength with a shell drive is 3 to 7 times greater than with a tray-type drive.

As well as lightness and strength, the shell drive has another advantage: it is easier to use. When space is limited, such as on a crowded worktop or on an airplane, you will appreciate how easy it is to insert a disc through the top-opening lid.
Light, strong, easy to use: the shell drive is all three. It’s the smart and easy way to use an optical drive in a mobile environment.

Tray-type drive/Shell drive/For disc insertion, the computer footprint is all the space you need.

Wheel pad so easy to use that you don’t have to pack a mouse

In a mobile environment, it is often hard to plug in and use a mouse. On the go, built-in pointing devices can be a source of frustration. For pointer operation, Toughbook Business mobiles now provide a wheel pad. You can be forgiven for thinking that a round design is no more than a cosmetic improvement over the square pointing devices that are commonly used. In fact, the round design did start out with the intention to differentiate Panasonic from other brands of notebook computer. At one glance, it adds a certain distinction to Toughbook Business mobiles.

A designer involved in development was concerned that, with less area, a circular pad would be harder to use. Then he happened to notice that only the round middle area of the square pad of an old notebook computer was worn from use.Despite the area of square pads, it was clear that fingertips do not naturally reach into the extra space at the four corners. This insight removed any lingering reservations about committing to a round design and development of the wheel pad progressed.
The lead engineer conceived of providing scroll capabilities by moving the fingertip with arcing motions. So was born a new type of pointing device, the wheel pad.

Distinctive wheel pad

Distinctive wheel pad

Wheel pad operation is extremely simple. By moving the fingertip clockwise near the edge of the pad, you scroll down; to scroll up, the motion is counterclockwise. In the lower half of the pad, left and right motions provide horizontal scrolling in those directions. Vertical and horizontal scrolling is free and continuous.

Scroll vertically/Scroll horizontally

Moreover, you can use the wheel-pad utility to customize operation to suit yourself. You can reverse the scrolling directions, extend the arc used for horizontal scrolling, and change the speed of pointer movement the way you like it. You can even widen the margin of the pad that detects scrolling movements. Committed to being distinctive, the round wheel pad symbolizes the technical excellence embodied in Toughbook Business mobiles. While appealing in style, it is also popular because it is so easy to use. After trying out the wheel pad, more than a few users have said they simply had to have a Toughbook Business mobile.

Wheel pad utility screen

Wheel pad utility screen

To increase the width of the scroll detection zone, just use move wheel-pad utility [Initial scope] slider towards [Wide].

For further information about our products, how to purchase them and more, please visit the website of your region.

Specification and configuration may vary depending on country. Accessories may vary depending on your mobile PC configuration.
Specifications subject to change without notice.
Consult a Panasonic sales office near you for more details and availability of integrated options.

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