Panasonic's latest ToughBook laptop is not only more rugged than other laptops, it also has a touchscreen. Is this enough to justify its high price? Read our review to find out.
With all the fuss about tablets such as the iPad, you'd be forgiven for forgetting about convertible laptops such as the ToughBook CF-C1 that can turn into a tablet thanks to a twist-round and fold-back display. The ToughBook is also a ruggedised laptop so it can withstand more abuse than a standard notebook.
The CF-C1 is part of Panasonic's 'business ruggedised' range, so it can't survive dust and extreme temperature changes like Panasonic's 'fully ruggedised' models. Nonetheless, Panasonic claims the CF-C1 has been designed to protect the most vulnerable components – the hard disk, screen and keyboard. According to the Japanese electronics giant, the hard disk can withstand falls from a height of 76cm, the screen lid can withstand an evenly distributed weight of 100kg and up to 200ml of liquid can be spilled onto the keyboard.
Although we wouldn't want to abuse any laptop, the CF-C1 certainly survived our rough treatment unscathed. It continued to work after being pushed off the side of a desk onto a carpeted floor and after a 75kg man stood on it while the lid was closed. We also poured a glass of water over the keyboard and the CF-C1 continued to work, as the water was safely channelled away from the internal components and out of the laptop via two outlet holes on the bottom of the laptop. The screen flickered on and off until all the water was drained out, after which it worked normally.
Despite the robustness of the ToughBook, Panasonic's standard three year collect and return warranty doesn't cover accidental damage. The company does sell three, four and five year extended warranties though which do cover accidental damage, although these must be purchased at the same time as the ToughBook.
Processor: Intel Core-i5 520M, 2.4GHz
Memory: 2GB 1333MHz DDR3 RAM
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics
Hard disk: 250GB hard disk
Display: 12.1in 1,280 x 800, LED-backlit touchscreen
Features: TPM 1.2, microphone, stereo speakers
Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
Ports: 3 x USB2, VGA output, CardBus slot, 3.5mm headphone and microphone audio sockets
Dimensions: 298x223x57mm (WxDxH)
Weight: 1.5kg with one battery; 1.73kg with two batteries
Warranty: three years C&R warranty
OS: Windows 7 Professional 32-bit
Image editing 121
Video encoding 95
Multiple apps 66
Light usage battery life - one battery 4h24m; two batteries 10h27m
Heavy usage battery life – one battery 1h31m; two batteries 3h03m