Panasonic CF-C1 Toughbook

By Mike Wheeler

When reviewing the Panasonic Toughbook notebook range, you have to constantly remind yourself that the way it’s designed is purposeful. If you didn’t, you’d get caught up in the aesthetics of the device, which wouldn’t bode well for the latop – words like ‘1990s’, ‘clunky, and ‘old-fashioned’ come to mind.

However, you have to realise that this is deliberate. It’s called a Toughbook for a reason, and that is because it is supposed to withstand liquid spills, being dropped, high temperatures and other conditions that average laptops probably couldn’t handle. And in order to fulfil these aspects of its functionality, the design is not as sleek or visually appealing as some of the more cool-looking notebooks. However, it does feel light even if at first glance its bulk gives the impression it might be quite heavy.

So if you can get past the look, what does it have under the hood? It comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, has a 250GB hard drive, and 2GB of RAM. In other words nothing too outstanding, but enough to get the job done if you are a small business – especially if you are a tradie who is on the go and want something that can handle the knocks.

It has a 12.1-inch screen, which again, while not top-of-the-line, certainly does a good enough job for what it is supposed to do, but I wouldn’t invest in the unit if your main aim is to watch movies or YouTube videos. It comes standard with Windows 7 – but be careful because it comes in either 32-bit or 64-bit configurations, which might not be obvious when on the shop floor.

The only real letdown I see for what is an average bit of kit? Its RRP on release was $3,299, which seems pretty hefty for what it is. Panasonic would argue that it is a Toughbook and a lot of that cost is hidden within its chassis. However, it is not top-end tough like some (that’s another story) and unfortunately perception also comes into play.

There was also slight disappointed in the battery life, in that after one charge it seemed to last just over five hours without much work being done.

Overall, it’s not a bad little unit. Nothing to shout about, but it will find its uses amongst those who don’t want to have to treat their laptop like fine piece of china

Pros: Tough, does the job that is it is designed for
Cons: Battery life, pricey

RRP
$3,299

3.6 Shacks Out Of 5

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