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

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The IP65 specification relates to the CF-19's ingress protection rating, with the first digit relating to the ingress of solid objects and the second to liquids. IP65 suggests that the CF-19 is entirely dust-proof, and that it can stand up to low pressure water jets while retaining functionality. We'll leave why you might use low pressure water jets on an AU$5499 tablet up to your imagination.

Performance

The CF-19's moderate internal specifications don't lend themselves to spectacular performance. Its PCMark05 score of 3133 and 3DMark06 score of 517 back that up. In fact, the recently reviewed business-grade CF-C1 outscored it in both tests, despite being nearly half the asking price. Then again, the CF-C1 is nowhere near as tough as the CF-19.

Tough is also a good way to describe using the CF-19. This isn't a machine that's comfortable to use to for extended periods, with cramped keyboard spacing, an odd layout for the cursor keys and a touchpad that works through gloves — but at the cost of being rather slow and unresponsive. Again, it's the balance between the sacrifice for durability and utility, and durability has clearly won.

Battery life for a portable tablet such as this is a key concern, and here the Toughbook gave us two hours and 49 minutes of playback of a full-screen XviD file, with all battery saving measures disabled. That's a deliberately tough test; most users should expect more in real world usage with battery saving enabled, although usage of Wi-Fi might see it dip a bit. Still, this isn't an all-day notebook by any means.

Conclusion

Panasonic's tagline for the CF-19 is that it's for when "failure is not an option". We agree; if you desperately need a notebook that can stand up to some brutal punishment and can afford both the asking price and the compromises in functionality that it brings, it's a good offering. That's a somewhat small niche outside certain business cases, but then those businesses are exactly the ones that should be able to afford and desire this kind of durability.

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