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Panasonic Reaffirms Commitment To In-House Notebook Construction

Move comes in face of Hewlett-Packard, Itronix Decision to Rebadge Taiwan Product

SECAUCUS, NJ -- Panasonic Computer Solutions Company, world's leading provider of ruggedized portable computers, today reaffirmed its commitment to in-house design, engineering, construction, and after-sale service for its line of Toughbook®  ruggedized notebooks.

The Panasonic announcement came after Hewlett-Packard revealed plans to enter the rugged portable computer business by re-branded the third-party, Taiwan-built, Itronix  GoBook and Intronix Tablet PC as the HP Rugged Notebook nr3600 and the HP Rugged Tablet PC tr3000.

Toughbooks are all Panasonic from their cast-magnesium clamshell cases to their inner guts," Panasonic Computer Solutions Company President Rance Poehler said. “Our competitors commitment to proprietary engineering and in-house construction stops at the nameplates on their boxes. The bizarre thing is that they freely admit their so-called rugged notebooks are 'designed' around parts from a Taiwan vendor's wholesale catalog."

Poehler noted that Panasonic's commitment to building most key Toughbook components to its own specifications in its own factories is a crucial reason for the company's dominance in the ruggedized notebook market sector.

“When one of our industrial, utility, public service or military customers deploys a fleet of Toughbooks they know they are getting heavy-duty Panasonic-engineered-and-manufactured hard drives, display screens, cases, hinges, fanless cooling systems, and other critical parts designed specifically for service anywhere, any time, under any conditions.

“Our competitors, like Itronix and HP, are selling 'white-box' notebooks with essentially the same consumer-grade components that their Taiwan manufacturers are using in their non-ruggedized models.”

Of all U.S.-based rugged notebook vendors, Panasonic is the only one with a multi-billion infrastructure devoted entirely to the design, construction, sales, and service of ruggedized portable computers.

“Panasonic built the ruggedized notebook market and we will be there providing our customers with hard-working, long-lasting, Panasonic-tough solutions for many years to come,” Poehler said. “Our competitors order from third-party, mass-production Taiwanese computer makers and have no real investments in people, factories, robotics, environmental and wireless testing chambers, quality control processes, etc. They're just putting their name on the product and can pull out of the market anytime.”

Unlike competitors with only one or two “rugged” models, Panasonic offers a full line of 11 semi-rugged and fully ruggedized, MilSpec STD-810F-tested, portable computers ranging from the programmable handheld Toughbook 01, to the unique, 1.5-pound Toughbook MDWD wireless display, to the award-winning, Centrino-compliant, virtually bulletproof Toughbook  CF-29.

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Panasonic Computer Solutions Company

Panasonic Computer Solutions Company is the leading provider of ruggedized notebook   PCs for mobile professionals in the USA.   The company is a unit company of Matsushita Electric Corporation of America, the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. of Japan (NYSE: MC), which recorded annual sales of $61.70 billion in the most recent fiscal year. Matsushita Electric is one of the only manufacturers today that directly controls the process of design, manufacture and quality assurance of its notebook PCs.  Many key components, including LCD panels, Lithium-

Ion batteries, DVD and CD-ROM drives, and board-level electronics are the products of its divisions.  The products, people and business of Panasonic Computer Solutions Company are entirely dedicated to the needs of the professional user, including Fortune 1000 business and government professionals. Panasonic also supplies mobile computing solutions to over 3,000 police departments in the United States.

Note to Editors:
All brand and company/product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies. All specifications are subject to change without notice.

Information on Panasonic's full line of notebook PCs for the mobile professional can be obtained by calling
800 662 3537 or at
http://www.panasonic.com/toughbook

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