Panasonic apparently has decided to wade into the consumer notebook arena with its Toughbook Elite line. To hawk these portables, it's using some fairly alluring photos of buff/hot supermodels holding the notebooks (apparently, Panasonic thinks it seems totally normal for a scantily clad babe wearing football shouldermapads to need a laptop).
Panasonic is also now making the Elite available in four colors -- white, red, black, and silver.
Just as a sidenote, these notebooks are excellent. Last summer, when the Toughbook line was marketed only as a specialty corporate purchase, I purchased the W2 (what Panasonic now calls the "Toughbook Elite") because it was the lightest notebook (2.8 lbs!) with an integrated DVD/CD-RW drive and a 12" screen. My dad was so impressed with it that he went out and bought its big brother, the Toughbook Y2 (14" 1400x1050 screen, 3.4 lbs). So far, we've both been very happy with them.
But whether these laptops, even with the new name and supporting supermodels, will appeal to Joe Consumer or not is yet to be determined. Let's hope they do, as it would be nice to have more devices like them available in the market.