Re: @John H Woods: Ouch
I agree with everything you are all saying, but I was really contesting the perspective of the article which seemed to me to be epitomized by this:
"In fact, they are suggesting that the CF-54 is the first semi-rugged laptop you may just want to splash out for, even if you are just a regular consumer. Albeit one with deep pockets."
"Still, at least you’ll be getting a laptop that you can safely let the kids loose on from time to time and even pass it on to them when the time comes"
"Probably the most useful feature to the man in the street is the swappable DVD drive and battery"
So 'ouch' was a little dumb for a post title, because it looks like I'm saying there's no need for anyone to buy devices like this. But there's no way I'd buy something like this without having very specific requirements, and I didn't think that was really reflected in the write up. Possibly the reviewer was disadvantaged by the sales people being averse to allowing testing of many of the claims regarding impact, drop, and spillage - if Panasonic are as confident as they should be, this reluctance doesn't put the product in the best possible light.