Panasonic Toughbook CF-C1 review

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-C1 is a tablet-convertible notebook that can handle a few bumps

Panasonic's Toughbook CF-C1 laptop is equipped with a touchscreen.

Panasonic's Toughbook CF-C1 laptop is equipped with a touchscreen.

Panasonic's Toughbook CF-C1 is a 12.1in laptop equipped a touchscreen. Its most important feature, however, is its semi-rugged design. It has a spill-resistant keyboard, which is great for caffeine addicted klutzes, it can survive 76cm drops, and the body can withstand more than 100kgs of pressure, according to Panasonic.

Despite being tougher than the usual notebook, the Panasonic Toughbook CF-C1 weighs about 1.5kg.

Under the hood it's equipped with a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-520M CPU. It's not a Sandy Bridge–based chip, but it does have Hyper-Threading and two physical cores, for a total of four threads. The CF-C1 also has 2GB of RAM and a 250GB HDD (which is mounted in a special padded cage).

During our battery test the notebook lasted for close to 2.5 hours. This is a worst case scenario test that involves disabling power management. There is an optional second battery available from Panasonic.

The screen can be operated using your fingers or an included pen. Handwriting recognition was accurate, but we couldn't get multiple simultaneous inputs (multitouch) to work.

For design applications, the dual-digitiser screen can be problematic. In Google SketchUp, resting a palm on the screen while drawing almost always moved the cursor and we could only use the program effectively without resting a palm on the screen. We got around this by switching the input to pen-only mode.

The screen isn't great for graphics tasks: It's quite reflective despite being rather dull.

The notebook's keyboard is cramped, and we had trouble adjusting to some odd key placements. Unusually, the touchpad has circular design.

Other features include three USB 2.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, a modem, mic and headphone jacks, an SD card slot, a VGA port and a PC Card (Type II) expansion slot. You also get dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a webcam and TPM 1.2. A screen-mounted fingerprint reader is optional. It also has a facility for a docking station.

Score: 3.75/5.

Original review: Elias Plastiras, PC World Australia.

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