Panasonic Toughbook 55 MK2 refresh brings Thunderbolt 4, dual SIM support

The majority of the laptops we cover here revolve around models designed for the consumer market, whether casual computer users, gamers, or anything in between. Those, of course, aren't the only ones that need portable computers, and those who work in industrial areas or field operations aren't well-served by this class of notebooks. Panasonic's TOUGHBOOK line has long catered to that market, and the latest Toughbook 55 MK2 brings the popular rugged laptop up to spec.

Panasonic launched the Toughbook FZ-55 back in 2019, and the rugged laptop won the hearts of many companies and reviewers. Its modular xPAK system was one of its key selling points, allowing for the easy replacement or addition of storage devices, input peripherals, and more. By this time, however, those 2019 specs look a bit aged, and this "Mark 2" model brings a well-deserved upgrade to the portable computing tank.

The biggest upgrade is the jump from 8th-gen Intel processors to the current 11th-gen Core i5 and i7 chips. With that generation comes the option to include Intel Iris Xe graphics, noted for significant improvements in graphics performance. RAM options have also doubled in capacity and speed with 16-64GB of memory.

Panasonic is also upgrading the connectivity options across the board, starting with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1. There's also a new Thunderbolt 4 for both fast data transfers as well as charging the laptop. Last but not least, Panasonic boasts that it is the first laptop to offer dual SIM support with one physical SIM slot and eSIM compatibility.

The Panasonic Toughbook 55 MK2 still retains some of the traits of its predecessor, like the 14-inch FHD screen, IP53 and MIL-STD-810H certification, and, of course, the modular expansion system. Panasonic hasn't confirmed availability details yet, but the rugged laptop could very well start at $2,000, just like the original Toughbook 55.