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Toughbook is a trademarked brand name owned by Panasonic Corporation and refers to its line of rugged computers. The Toughbook, introduced in 1996 with the CF-25, is designed to withstand vibration, drops, spills, extreme temperature, and rough handling. Toughbook mobile computers are used in a wide variety of industries, including construction, defense, emergency services, government, healthcare, law enforcement, manufacturing, oil, gas, telecom, and utilities.
- 1 Testing
- 2 Design
- 3 Toughbook fully rugged models
- 4 Convertible Toughbook tablets
- 5 Toughbook semi-rugged models
- 6 Toughbook tablets
- 7 Toughbook UMPC
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Several independent tests have been conducted to determine the resistance of Toughbook computers to external forces. Fully rugged Toughbook models undergo independent lab testing to become certified to meet MIL-STD-810 standards for operation in a range of extreme conditions. Fully rugged models are also tested for particle resistance and liquid resistance and are rated according to international standards for ingress protection (IP).
All Toughbook models have a magnesium alloy case, which provides durability without significant weight. 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-rugged" and "semi-rugged" to "fully rugged" in laptop, convertible tablet and tablet configurations, and in several specialty designs with numerous customizable add-on features. Some models also include features such as secondary batteries, GPS receivers, integrated 4G LTE multi carrier mobile broadband, backlit keyboard, built-in handles and hand straps.
Toughbook fully rugged models
Availability of models varies by country.
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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. The Toughbook 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 Toughbook CF-31 units come standard with touchscreen capability, a daylight readable screen and a pre-installed LCD film protector.
Specifications for the Toughbook CF-31 include a shock-mounted hard drive, removable through locking reinforced port doors. It runs on either a Intel Core i3, Core i5 or Core i7 processor with 4-16 GB of DDR3 SDRAM.
Integrated options include 4G LTE multi carrier mobile broadband with satellite GPS. CF-31 units may also be equipped with a sealed backlit keyboard or a rubberised backlit keyboard, as well as a fingerprint scanner or smartcard reader for additional security. Just like the CF-30 and below, it also supports a DVD drive, secondary battery, or if one removes a rubber "bumper" strip on the inside of the media bay door, a dummy insert.
The Toughbook CF-30 is a significant upgrade from previous models, incorporating low voltage dual core processors. The MK1 version shipped with a Core Duo processor, while the MK2 and MK3 versions shipped with Core 2 Duo processors. As with the CF-19 Mk1 to Mk3, it uses DDR2 SDRAM. It is another in the fully rugged line of their laptops. It came in many configurations, some including: Emissive backlit keyboards, touchscreens, WWAN radios, Bluetooth, WiFi b/g/n. Like the other fully rugged models, the CF-30 has a hard drive heater for cold environments. On some models Panasonic disabled access to the Gobi WWAN cards GPS function; a different WWAN card or a dedicated GPS card in the WWAN slot must be used. The CF-30 supports a second battery in the media bay, as well as DVD drives and other accessories. This Toughbook was generally shipped with Windows Vista, with the Mk3 models shipping with Windows 7.
The CF-29 is another fully rugged of Panasonics Toughbook line. It came in 5 versions, or Marks. It featured an Intel Pentium M processor in speeds ranging from 1.2 to 1.6 GHz in either Ultra Low Voltage (1.2GHz) or Low Voltage (1.3GHz and up), depending on mark of laptop. The laptop featured Intel Centrino technology with this chipset for power saving ability. The Mark 1, 2 and 3 used DDR RAM and the Mark 4 and 5 used DDR2. The Cf-29 Toughbooks offered multiple configurations from the factory including backlit keyboard and touchscreen. Notably, from the CF-29 on, Panasonic changed the power supply connector previously used on the CF-25, CF-27, CF-28, etc. for a new connector. This Toughbook generally shipped with Windows XP with Windows 2000 as a downgrade option.
The CF-28 is a Pentium 3 era version of Panasonic's fully rugged laptops. Radically redesigned, the CF-28 sports a silver lid and a completely different chassis, whilst keeping compatibility with the CF-27 docks. The laptop was available with Intel Pentium 3 CPUs ranging from 600 MHz (Mk1 28), 800 MHz (Mk2 28) to 1GHz (Mk3 28). This Toughbook featured 2 PCMCIA slots, a RS232 port (serial port),1 parallel port, VGA port, docking station port, 3.5mm MIC jack, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB, PS/2 port. Some models have IrDA ports or built-in 802.11b WLAN. The case and mounting points on the outside of the laptop exhibits evolution in the computers design by Panasonic as it looks different than the previous CF-27 model. This Toughbook generally shipped with Windows 2000 or XP.
The CF-27 is a Pentium II era Toughbook, and the first one to bear the "TOUGHBOOK" logo on its back cover. This was the first Toughbook with a XGA display and Wireless WAN built-in.
The CF-25 is the first Panasonic Toughbook ever released. This Toughbook was released in 1996. So early on in the Toughbook life that it said "Matsushita Electric Industrial Co" when booted. Also unlike other Toughbooks, it does not have the "Toughbook" logo on the outside (back) of the LCD case. Instead it said Panasonic in extruded plastic which was adhered with adhesive. The CF-25 featured an Intel Pentium processor with MMX and could support a maximum of 96MB of PC100 system RAM. This Toughbook did not have any USB and because of IRQ limitations could not allow any via PCMCIA. This Toughbook generally shipped with Windows 98.
Convertible Toughbook tablets
The Toughbook CF-19, in its 8th mark/generation, is a fully rugged device that can be used as a laptop or swiveled into a tablet. It is tested to withstand a six-foot drop and IP65 certified fanless design providing water and dust resistance. The device also features a shock-mounted hard drive, full magnesium alloy case and available explosive atmosphere certification (Class 1 Div 2) for hazardous environments.
Features of the Toughbook CF-19 convertible tablet include a 10.1" (pre-Mk3 models had a 10.4" screen) daylight readable screen with touchscreen designed to work with gloves, integrated wireless connectivity like GPS and 4G WWAN, and a range of integrated options like a fingerprint reader or smartcard reader.
Like the other fully rugged Toughbooks, it is also available with a rubberised backlit keyboard, or a backlit chiclet keyboard.
As of July 2017, after nearly eleven years, the CF-19 has been discontinued and succeeded by the CF-20 2-in-1 tablet.
The Toughbook CF-C2 is a semi-rugged convertible tablet. Its triple-hinge design allows it to be converted from a tablet to a laptop configuration. It has a magnesium alloy case and shock-mounted flex-connect hard drive allowing it to handle up to a 30-inch drop to six sides, as well as a 12-inch drop from 26 angles. The computer also features a spill-resistant keyboard (up 6 ounces).
The Toughbook CF-C2 weighs 3.99 pounds and has a built-in ergonomic hand strap for handheld use. It has a 12.5" HD touchscreen, Intel Core i5 processor and a range of integrated options.
Panasonic announced the End of Life of the CF-C2 product line in October 2016.
On June 12, 2008, a mandatory safety bulletin was published for this model and the CF-SX. Battery Diagnosis Control software should be installed in order to prevent battery related incidents. Panasonic states that, "This mandatory software update incorporates safety measures to monitor the condition and health of the battery."
Toughbook semi-rugged models
This was the very first model of the Panasonic CF-XX series, released back in March 1995. It was not marketed with the name "Toughbook" at that time, and although dismissed by Toughbook enthusiasts as not being worthy of the Toughbook name due to having no handle and lacking robust features that the CF-25 has, it is technically the first model released in the Toughbook line of laptops, also marketed under the "Panasonic Pronote AV" name in Japan. It was on the market until the October 1996 and was built in 3 models that had improved specifications over time; the CF-41 Mk1, the CF-41 Mk2 and the CF-41 Mk3. The range of processors fitted ranged from the 486DX2 up to the Pentium 120. The included memory ranged from 4MB up to 16MB with an expandability up to 32MB for some models. All models featured ESS soundcard audio, a quad speed CD drive, 1.4MB 3 1/2 inch floppy drive and 2 PCMCIA slots. The screens on most of the models are 640x480 TFT modules, with the very early models offering 640x480 STN modules and some of the later MK3 models offering 800x600 TFT modules. The installed 2.5 inch hard drives ranged from 260MB up to 1.35GB. A unique feature of the CF-41 is that the CD drive is accessed by lifting the keyboard; the under keyboard compartment also provided storage for another CD. IBM did a similar thing on the ThinkPad 760 series, where one could lift up the keyboard and swap out the CD drive, hard drive and battery.
The CF-45 model is one of the earliest models of the Toughbook series. Equipped with an Intel Pentium MMX running at 200 or 233 MHz, it has a base memory of 32MB and is extendable up to 96MB EDO SODIMM via a socket accessible underneath the hard disk.. A 2.5" IDE hard disk interface is included (with stock sizes of 2 and 4GB), slim-line CD and 3.5" floppy drive, as were two PCMCIA slots. Other interfaces on the device were: Infrared port, USB 1.1 interface, one PS2 for either keyboard or mouse, RS232 serial, parallel printer port, 15-pin VGA output, and head-phone and microphone jacks. On the left it sports a small hardware reset button that can be tripped with a pen or other small object. On the bottom of the device, a 100-pin expansion slot is available for docking stations/extensions. The display is a 12.1" TFT with 800x600 pixels resolution and 256k colors.
The battery is a rather compact housing Li-Ion with 10.8V 2.3Ah, which is accessed through a small lid on the bottom, as is the hard disk bay. The power supply supports input voltages of 100–240 V AC, with an output rated at 15.6 V 3.85 A.
The Toughbook CF-54 is the latest in Panasonic's line of semi-rugged laptops, announced in February 2015. It is available in four models: Lite, Prime, Gloved Multi Touch and Performance. Each model features a 14-inch HD (768p) or Full HD (1080p) display, hard drive heater, backlit spill-resistant keyboard and integrated handle. As a semi-rugged laptop, it meets standards for semi-rugged levels of environmental resistance, including MIL-STD-810G certification for drops of up to 3 feet.
It is powered by an Intel Core i5 Skylake processor with an Intel HD Graphics 520 iGPU, or an optional AMD FirePro M5100 dedicated GPU, with 4–16 GB RAM depending on the model. At 1.2 inches thick and weighing between 4.2 and 4.6 lbs, it is significantly thinner and lighter than previous models.
The Toughbook CF-53 is a previous semi-rugged laptop iteration. Like the Toughbook CF-54, it is MIL-STD-810G certified for 3' drops as well as resistant to shock, dust, vibration, altitude & other environmental factors. The Toughbook 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.
Processor options include both Intel Core i3 and i5 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.
The Toughbook CF-52 is a 15.4" widescreen semi-rugged laptop. It also meets semi-rugged standards for environmental resistance and enhanced performance features include an ATI Graphics chipset. Other enhancements include an Intel Core i5 processor and expanded capacity for both hard disk storage and RAM.
The Toughbook CF-SX2 is a business-rugged laptop designed for mobile professionals. It has a drop-resistant magnesium alloy design and shock-mounted flex-connect hard drive, allowing it to handle up to a 30-inch drop to the base of the unit while operating, as well as a 12-inch drop from all other angles.
The Toughbook CF-SX2 features a 12.1" HD display and runs on an Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB or 8GB SDRAM.
The Toughbook CF-AX3 is a business-rugged Ultrabook with a 360° flip-over hinge design that converts into a tablet. It is tested to withstand a 76 cm drop and passes a 100-kgf pressurized vibration test.
It has an 11.6" 1080p HD 10-finger capacitive display touchscreen and runs on an Intel Core i5 processor.
The Toughbook CF-LX3 is a business-rugged notebook that is tested to withstand a 76 cm drop and passes a 100-kgf pressurized vibration test. It has a 14" HD display and runs on an Intel Core i5 processor.
The Toughbook CF-MX4 is a business-rugged device with a 2-in-1 flip-over design that converts into laptop, tablet and presentation modes. It has a 12.5" touchscreen display and runs on an Intel Core i5 processor.
The Toughbook CF-H2 is a fully rugged handheld tablet PC. It has a sealed all-weather design and a magnesium alloy chassis encased in polycarbonate, and is IP65 and MIL-STD-810G certified with the ability to handle drops of up to six feet.
Features of the Toughbook CF-H2 include a 10.1" sunlight-viewable LED touch screen, hot-swappable twin batteries, optional integrated barcode and SmartCard readers, and embedded wireless options including 4G LTE mobile broadband.
The Toughbook CF-D1 is a fully rugged diagnostic tablet designed to allow field engineers to run real-time diagnostic programs, read telematic data and view schematics and designs. It has a 13.3" anti glare widescreen LCD with a shock-protected HDD. It is ruggedized to withstand drops of up to three feet and is IP65 rated for water and dust resistance.
The Toughbook CF-U1 is a fully rugged ultra-mobile PC that runs the full Windows 7 Professional operating system. It has a 5.6” LCD touch screen and dual hot-swappable batteries. It has a sealed, fanless design that meets MIL-STD-810G and IP65 standards for environmental conditions, including withstanding a drop of 6 feet from any angle. 
The CF-U1 was withdrawn in 2014.
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