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Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 review: Panasonic Toughbook CF-19

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The Good Those old boots? This is tougher than them. Convertible into tablet form. Takes a licking without any of that unnecessary ticking business. Even tougher than its predecessors. It's tough. You may have gathered that by now.

The Bad Did you look at the RRP?. Keyboard and trackpad are tough to use for extended periods Battery life could be better.

The Bottom Line Like its predecessor, the updated CF-19 is an extremely rugged notebook that is purpose-built for a tiny niche of the computing marketplace.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.9 Overall

Review Sections

Design

Panasonic's Toughbook line isn't made up of delicate little shrinking violets. They're the industrial jackboots of the computer world, made tough and designed to look the part. This gives them something of a brutal chic, but it's not a design that anybody sane lays money down to specifically acquire, especially at the kind of price point that the Toughbook CF-19 commands.

At 271x49x216mm and 2.3kg, the tablet-convertible CF-19 isn't all that small and light for a tablet, either, although this isn't a tablet in the iPad 2 sense; this is a work machine built specifically for tough environments.

Features

The CF-19's innards include an Intel Core i5 vPro 1.2GHz, 2GB of RAM (upgradeable to 4GB) and a 160GB internal hard drive. Windows 7 Professional 32-bit is the preinstalled operating system. Under a number of rubberised flaps you'll find 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 serial port, RJ-11 modem port, RJ-45 Ethernet ports, headphone jacks and even the AC adaptor socket.

By modern specifications, the CF-19 carries quite a light set of components, but then this isn't a machine that's likely to be playing too much Call Of Duty. Rather, it's a machine with a specific call to duty, namely servicing environments where a normal off-the-shelf laptop would expire rather quickly, such as mining and industrial services. As such, the important specifications are those that relate to exactly how tough the CF-19 is. This isn't the first CF-19 unit that Panasonic's shipped, but in this configuration, the major upgrades have been in durability — and that means it's time to dip into the wacky world of military specifications once again. Panasonic rates the CF-19 as compatible with MIL-STD-810G and IP65. For those of you who don't snuggle up at night with specifications manuals, you're missing out, you really are. In any case, the MIL-STD-810G rating covers a variety of environmental test factors. For those who love specifics — and to Panasonic's credit — it supplies a PDF of its exact testing of the CF-19 model from its website for you to peruse before you go to sleep at night. Possibly if you're having trouble sleeping.

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