Tough Tech: Panasonic’s extreme Toughbook tested

Laptops generally aren’t designed to be dropped, and so whenever the unthinkable happens, chances are you’ll find a notebook with a broken screen, damaged case, or fried internals. And then there’s Panasonic’s Toughbook, a notebook which can survive almost anything.

Designed to be truly rugged, the Panasonic CF-C1 packs in some pretty impressive materials and design, such as a magnesium allow case, hand strap under the computer, shock-mounted hard drive, and an anti-glare screen that doesn’t break easily.

Under the hood, the Toughbook can also go the hard yards, packing in a 12.1 inch touchscreen, Intel Core i5 processor, 250GB hard drive, 4GB RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, WiFi, and a weight of just under 1.5 kilograms. It even features a 56K modem, just in case you find yourself in a place where only dial-up is provided.

Testing the Toughbook CF-C1, we found it to be a surprisingly light and well built, with a responsive touchscreen. The handstrap is very handy, so to speak, the Core i5 is speedy enough, and we managed over 5 hours on the battery without any problems.

But we weren’t really sent the Toughbook to see if it was going to be a decent machine. At $3299, you kind of expect that. No, we had the Toughbook for a different reason.

So we dropped it. Again. And again. And we winced every time we did it.

The Toughbook is more than just a computer with the word “tough” attached to it: it’s really strong. From our testing, we found that you could stand on it, drop it down stairs, and even pour water onto the keyboard while it was still switched on.

Panasonic’s Toughbook series was originally designed to survive extreme work environments, such the ones members of the military or adventurers might have to endure.

From a consumer standpoint, the technology is mostly wasted on us, as we won’t ever need a laptop that can be thrown down the stairs. Still, to see that sort of technology in action is very impressive, and if you need that sort of build quality in a notebook, this is one machine that won’t just live up to your standards, it will downright exceed them.