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Panasonic Finds Solution In New Name

Ruggedized Notebook Leader’s New Identity Emphasizes System-Provider Role

Editor’s Summary:

Panasonic Personal Computer Company has changed its corporate name to Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, effective immediately. The new name more accurately reflects Panasonic’s increasing commitment to mating its Toughbook® ruggedized mobile computers with customized peripherals and software to create single-source turnkey solutions for major corporate and public-sector buyers.  Note to media: Company contact information remains unchanged.

SECAUCUS, NJ – Panasonic Personal Computer Company, the world’s leading provider of ruggedized notebook PCs and wireless-enabled, integrated mobile-computing solutions, today announced a change of corporate identity. Effective immediately, it will become the Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, a name more accurately reflecting the company’s role as a single-source provider of  ruggedized wireless computing solutions to business, industry, and government agencies.

“For the past several years we have been working hand-in-hand with many of our largest customers to deliver integrated packages of task-optimized Toughbook® computers, customized hardware peripherals and customer-specific software,” said Rance Poehler, Panasonic Computer Solutions Company president. “Not having to deal with three, four, or more specialized vendors saves the customer priceless executive time, shortens incubation periods and provides the customer with one-telephone-number support for the entire system.

“As one of the world’s few remaining ‘core manufacturers’ we control every stage of product development from design to final assembly. Every Toughbook® is manufactured in our ISO 9001 factory in Kobe, Japan. We all also design and build such key components as advanced TFT touchscreens, CD/DVD drives, motherboards, Lithium-ion batteries and magnesium-alloy cases.

“The bottom line is that we can respond to our customers’ constantly evolving needs for enhanced productivity and functionality faster than our competitors.”

Poehler cited a recent project in which Panasonic coordinated the efforts of a leading telephone test-equipment maker, a wireless modem manufacturer and an application writer to develop a Toughbook® CF-27-based telephone line-testing system that combines the functions of six standalone testing devices into one notebook computer.  

“We deployed fully functional prototypes in less than six months and delivered 25,000 units within nine months of that,” he said.  “It’s those kinds of achievements that convinced us that our name should incorporate the reality that we are a one-stop solutions company as well as a hardware manufacturer.”

In addition to single-vendor system design, manufacture, and implementation, Panasonic’s definition of “total solution” encompasses the industry’s most uncompromising service and support program.

“Our service area includes some pretty extreme environmental conditions,” notes the Operations Technology and Systems director of a major Midwest public utility. “Our fleet of 650 Toughbooks face in-truck temperatures from below zero to 150-160 degrees. There is constant vibration on the trucks and the working conditions aren't the cleanest.

“We had a problem with a few units not reacting correctly in cold weather so they flew technicians in from Japan to resolve it. Working as a team with Panasonic support personnel here in the states, they disassembled each unit, soldered in new components, reassembled them, and ran them through performance-verification tests. All the modifications were done in the field at our convenience so it wouldn’t disrupt our daily work.”

A unit of Matsushita Electric Corp. of America and its $70-billion parent, the Matsushita Electric Industrial Company of Japan (NYSE: MC), Panasonic has been manufacturing ruggedized portable computers for two decades and has racked up an impressive number of technological firsts since entering the U.S. notebook computer market under its own name in 1992.

Among them are the introductions of the first notebook PCs with magnesium-encased LCD displays, integrated DVD drives, integrated optical drives, the first fully ruggedized under-ten-pound, standard-form-factor notebook PC, the first fully ruggedized less-than-$4,000 notebook PC, the first fully ruggedized under-four-pound sub-notebook PC, and the first notebook PC with an integrated telephone-line tester and internal wireless communication capability.

Recent Panasonic Computer Solutions Company innovations include the world’s fastest, fully ruggedized notebook computer, the 600Mhz Intel® Pentium® III SpeedStep™ Toughbook® CF-28 and the revolutionary PDRC™, a two-piece system melding ultimate display-screen performance and maximum portability.

In addition to blazing speed, the eight-pound CF-28 features a TFT sunlight-readable transflective touchscreen, a newly designed hard-drive damper, four times the water resistance of previous models, a key-lock anti-intrusion system, and integrated wireless LAN, wired LAN, Global Positioning System and analog modem support.

The PDRC™ (Permanent Display Removable Computer) merges the best aspects of hard-mounted-to-vehicle and removable computers to offer mobile professionals in such critical areas as law enforcement and medical-emergency response unparalleled computing and communications performance and flexibility. The system integrates a 10.4-inch ruggedized Toughscreen™ permanently wired to the vehicle’s electrical system to achieve an extraordinary brightness level of 1000 NITs with a water, shock, vibration, dust, dirt and extreme-temperature-resistant Toughbook® CF-34 sub-notebook.

Half the size and weight of standard Windows®-based notebooks, the CF-34, like all fully ruggedized Toughbooks, was designed and tested using the Defense Department’s MIL-STD-810F procedures. Coupled with the Toughscreen™, it provides users with full computing and wireless communications capability away from their vehicles and state-of-the-art viewing while inside them.

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