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Panasonic Toughbook CF-29 (approx. 2006)

Toughbook is a trademarked brand name owned by Panasonic Corporation and refers to its line of rugged computers. The Toughbook, introduced in 1997,[1] is designed to withstand vibration, drops, spills, extreme temperature, and other rough handling.[2] Toughbooks are used in a wide variety of industries, including construction, defense, emergency services, government, healthcare, law enforcement, manufacturing, oil & gas and telecom/utilities.[3]


According to Panasonic, over 501 tests and quality checks are performed during production and all units are subjected to a factory burn-in period.[4][5]

Several independent tests have been conducted to determine the resistance of Toughbooks to external forces.[6][7]


A Toughbook case

All Toughbook models have a magnesium alloy case. Many current models have liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels designed specifically for visibility during daylight use. Other design elements include a shock-mounted hard drive and, on many models, a moisture and dust-resistant LCD, keyboard and touchpad.

Panasonic markets the Toughbook series in several configurations ranging from business and "semi-rugged" to "fully rugged" in both laptop and tablet personal computer configurations, and in several specialty designs with numerous customizable add-on features.

Panasonic's fully rugged Toughbooks originally had no cooling fan and instead dissipated heat "evenly" through the chassis. Having no fan ensures a better seal against dust and moisture. Further, a lack of a cooling fan can lead to longer battery life, quieter operation, and fewer moving parts.[8] However, this means Panasonic must design additional proprietary solutions at additional costs. To reduce heat and power consumption, many laptops come with lower voltage Intel processors and have numerous automatic power management functions. Some newer models do incorporate a cooling fan in what Panasonic calls a "hybrid cooling system" in order to compensate for the additional heat generated by newer and more advanced processor chips.[9]

Some models, such as the lightweight W8, are U.S. versions of thin and light consumer laptops sold in Japan under the Let's Note name. The Toughbook PDRC (Permanent Display Removable Computer) has a 1250 nits, 12.1" touchscreen. This unit permanently mounts, usually to a vehicle’s dashboard, and connects to a removable computer mounted elsewhere in the vehicle.

Besides laptops, the Toughbook branded range includes the CF-P1 (PDA) and the CF-P2 (GSM mobile telephone).

Current models[edit]


Toughbook 31[edit]

The Toughbook CF-31 is the sixth generation of Panasonic's flagship line of fully rugged laptop computers, touted for its high levels of ruggedness and performance.[10] The CF-31 is MIL-STD-810G and IP65 certified, meeting standards for survival of drops up to 6' as well as high levels of resistance to dust, water, and other environmental threats. The model also features a full magnesium alloy case and built-in handle. All current CF-31 units come standard with touchscreen capability and a pre-installed LCD film protector.

Specifications for the CF-31 include a shock-mounted hard drive, removable through locking reinforced port doors. Processor options range from the 2.1 GHz Intel Core i3 to the 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost up to 3.3 GHz. Units come standard with 2 - 4 GB of RAM, depending on processor selection. Upgrade capacity is dependent on processor and the Windows OS version loaded on the machine.

Integrated options for the Toughbook 31 include internal WWAN for 3G or 4G LTE wireless, as well as a Gobi 2000 GPS module. CF-31 units may also be equipped with a sealed backlit keyboard, as well as a fingerprint scanner or smartcard reader for additional security.

Toughbook 52[edit]

The Toughbook CF-52 is the sixth generation of Panasonic's line of semi-rugged laptops. The unit meets standards for semi-rugged levels of environmental resistance, including MIL-STD-810G certification for drops of up to 3'.

The current iteration of the Toughbook CF-52 is a higher-end unit designed for graphical performance.[citation needed] Enhanced performance features include a 15.4" widescreen display and an ATI Graphics chipset. Other enhancements include an Intel Core i5 processor and expanded capacity for both hard disk storage and RAM.

Toughbook 53[edit]

The Toughbook CF-53 is Panasonic's latest semi-rugged laptop iteration. The device is MIL-STD-810G certified for 1' drops as well as resistant to shock, dust, vibration, altitude & other environmental factors. The CF-53 also comes equipped with a spill-resistant keyboard and multi-touch touchpad. as well as standard integrated DVD drive. A sunlight-viewable touchscreen protected by a replaceable film screen is also available as an integrated option.

The CF-53 features a design that is 17% more compact than its CF-52 predecessor. This result is attained by incorporating the hard drive within the body of the unit, as well as the "Bonnet" structure of the top panel. The unit is also lighter than previous models, weighing between 5.6 lbs. and 6.5 lbs., depending on choice of processor, touchscreen, and other options. Processor options include both i3 and i5 Intel Core processors, with respective speeds ranging from 2.1 to 2.5 GHz. Drive options include 320 GB HDD or 128 GB SSD, and memory is expandable to 8 GB on all current models.[11]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Rugged Laptops - Official Panasonic Toughbook Rugged Computers". Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Toughbook Extreme Testing". Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  5. ^ "Extreme Testing". Toughbook Universe. 2009-07-28. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  6. ^ "The Tiger-Resistant Laptop". 2009-06-23. Archived from the original on 2012-09-18. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  7. ^ "FiveFWD - The Gadget Show: Best buys, reviews and videos from the show". The Gadget Show. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  8. ^ "Toughbook CF-30 ruggedised notebook [CF-30Mk1 Field Rugged] - Panasonic Australia". Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  9. ^ "Rugged Notebooks: Panasonic Toughbook CF-31". Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  10. ^ "Toughbook 31". Retrieved 2013-09-17
  11. ^

External links[edit]