— June 2003
By Ben Ellison
Panasonic Toughbook MDWD
While not specifically designed for boats, this innovative addition to the Toughbook line will interest navigators who want flexible access to a yacht's PC system. It weighs only 1.5 pounds, and its 8.4-inch, 800x600 pixel, color touchscreen LCD is both transflective and powerfully backlit. All of this adds up to an exceptionally vivid display. The Wi-Fi connection to the mother PC seemed nearly as fast as a wired monitor/keyboard, though it slowed toward the edges of its 300-foot range. A stylus is included, but a finger will often do the job, especially with software like The Cap'n (shown below), which has extra-large screen buttons. The unit is reportedly water-resistant and able to survive a drop of four
feet to a concrete surface, but I didn't have the heart to subject the little dear to such testing. It's priced at $1,500.
Panasonic Phone: (800) 662-3537. www.panasonic.com.
This article originally appeared in the May 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.