There’s build quality and there’s build quality. Panasonic Toughbooks are the ultimate standard in durability. Yours for under $1500. Every interface is sealed with rubber, and the hard drive is mounted in a special toughened shock-absorbing plastic. Hence the CF-53 is droppable from up to 76cm, and water can be spilt on the keyboard without worrying. In the Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 we have a 55mm magnesium-thickened chassis helping take its weight to 2.6kg. Here are some nice Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 pictures:
Under the tough exterior there is enough computing power to support intrepid explorers everywhere, but with a constant eye on power consumption.The 2.5GHz Intel Core i5-2520M is coupled with 4GB RAM. The necessity of good battery life in such a machine means the CF-53 has no dedicated graphics card, but this pairing is sufficient for the vast majority of applications; however, demanding programs might not run as quickly if you have twenty browser tabs open whilst running a virus scan. And the latest games won’t be playable, though games from two or three years back run fine, so we aren’t talking Pacman or Asteroids.
How about that battery life of Panasonic Toughbook CF-53? In the event of a nuclear holocaust, you’ll be one of the last people editing their documents and watching youTube vids – the Panasonic 73Wh battery offers a bunker-busting 10hrs 46 min, or 13 hours with the high-capacity 92Wh version. Or buy both, and have 24 hours of battery life in reserve. There’s an optional webcam with which to capture footage of yourself sticking a flag into the ice at the north pole or for chatting on Skype while rowing through the Amazonian rain forests (connection permitting), and for a further premium a fingerprint reader and smart card can help hold marauding natives at bay.
Connectivity of Panasonic Toughbook is good, with rubber flaps hiding a USB-3 and three USB-2 ports, others concealing a PC card and SD slot, an ExpressCard and a switch for WiFi-n. There’s also HDMI and D-SUB sockets and even a serial port. A removable SATA caddy holds the 320GB hard drive for easy swapping. On the front edge Panasonic provide a retractable carry handle to help with portability. The connector on the base connects with port replicator. But the CF-53 is optimized for ruggedness and durability rather than featuring high-spec components. So the 14″ 1366 x 768 view is faintly dull and doesn’t offer such high pixel density as most of the notebooks in its price range. Naturally the screen is acceptable for most tasks, but unlike other similarly-priced machines, the Toughbook display wields a protective layer. And for people wanting extra functionality in extreme environments, or anywhere else for that matter, the Touchbook CF-53 is available with a touchscreen.
Panasonic Toughbook keyboard is has good old edge-to-edge keys to prevent trapping dust and dirt, and good deep travel to leave users in no doubt that they have pressed a key while blizzards or desert storms rage about them. The touchpad itself works fine, multitouch gestures too, but we felt the mouse’s buttons were tame, with over-cushioned feedback.
This is clearly a robust laptop able to survive the harshest environments, whether that means withstanding the elements or just a hectic household, with curious toddlers spreading jam everywhere between throwing toys around and grabbing at wires. Check eBay for testimony to the hardihood of the Toughbook range – there are models from 8 or 9 years ago, with their 600MHz processor and various components still going strong. It will be a while before these specs are outdated.
Toughbook CF-53 LED Notebook with 2.50 GHz Intel Core i5 (i5-2520M) in Magnesium Alloy sells at Amazon for $1458. You’d be hard pressed getting this below $1800 anywhere. A solid investment.
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