Tough notebook a life-saver

Everything about Panasonic's Toughbook CF-30 feels high quality but you certainly wouldn't buy it unless you had a good reason for it

If Toshiba's shiny, black and white Portege R400 laptop — reviewed last week — is among the supermodels of laptops, the Panasonic’s Toughbook CF-30 would be the notebook equivalent of a bushman, a dirty hunter dragging home a dead deer or the toughest of rugby players.

When I turned this little beast on and started using it I instantly felt like a fearless reporter, filing stories from the Gaza strip, the mountains of Afghanistan or somewhere in the Middle East, while under fire. It sure does look like it could stop a bullet, and in fact it can. A Panasonic Toughbook laptop allegedly saved a life when it took a bullet for a US soldier in Iraq.

I was a bit disappointed, though, to discover that the one sent to me for review didn’t have that funky little extendable antenna at the top of the screen (that I had seen in pictures).

Panasonic’s CF-30 weighs around 4kg mainly due to the robust magnesium alloy casing, the battery pack and the shock-mounted and removable hard drive, contained in a stainless steel case.

The laptop has a handle which makes it easy to carry around. The stylus for the touchscreen is stored in the handle, by the way. It took me a little while to figure that one out.

The CF-30 ships with Windows XP Professional and a 1.66GHz L2400 Core Duo processor. The base model comes with 512MB of RAM and a 60GB hard drive. It has integrated 802.11 a/b/g wireless LAN. Enhancements like EV-DO and HSDPA connectivity and a GPS receiver are optional.

The 13.3-inch XGA touchscreen has a brightness of 1000 nits (or candela per square metre), which should make use and viewing in full daylight a piece of cake.

I tried it with the screen facing our floor-to-ceiling office windows and had no problems reading the screen.

I love the battery life. When I tested the laptop it was showing five hours at full speed. The word is that it lasts for up to seven hours.

Everything about the CF-30 feels high quality — the little latches, the strong shell and hinges, the ultra-bright screen and the sealed keyboard and ports.

But it is chunky and heavy and you certainly wouldn’t buy it unless you had a good reason for it. However, it does make you feel like your job is really important — in a life-saving kind of way.

The CF-30 with touchscreen will set you back $6699, while the non-touchscreen model costs $5599.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags laptopPanasonicnotebookToughbook

Show Comments
[]