I got to spend some time with the panasonic toughbook cf 33 and i loves me some tough books. Last year i got to review the panasonic rugged android tablet, so i was stoked to put this tank through its paces. Now, since the days of samsung, rugbys and galaxy actives i’ve had a fondness for ruggedizing consumer electronics, i think there’s a smaller community of folks out there, who would prefer a device be built to a more durable spec, but options for those consumers seem to be drying Up now the toughbook line isn’t really targeted or marketed as a consumer solution. Panasonic pr has been pretty candid about who their target customers are, but in sending me a unit to play with and review, i am going to take a bit more of a consumer focus. What can we learn from the toughbook? What ideas might work for more mainstream gadgets? I don’t really have impressed enough words to describe the cf 33. We consumer gadget reviewers tend to overuse beast and tank when this laptop just hits so much harder. It’S, a hulk of a laptop it’s, a steamroller of a laptop, i don’t, know, drop a comment down below with a phrase which is better fitting of how much more durable. This thing is because it’s built to a brutal durability. This is a slate pc with an optional keyboard dock, and the slate by itself is about twice as thick as my little travel laptop and the keyboard makes it even thicker.

Nothing about this hardware is built to half measures, it’s big it’s chunky. It makes perfect sense for the industries that need ruggedized, electronics, military law enforcement, construction, a shipping and warehouse work first responders. There are numerous fields where folks need mobile compute power in a durable shell and with a higher degree of repairability that’s. Why costs are so much higher on truly ruggedized hardware? A manufacturer likely knows this won’t be a top seller in mainstream consumer circles. The sales contracts will also focus on much longer term hardware support, so those costs need to be front loaded in the purchase price. Now panasonic has built a fantastic reputation for long term parts availability and support, but that’s why the starting price on something like this is going to be higher than on a computer with comparably performing internals. Trying to quantify performance is a completely different conversation here. A similarly priced gaming laptop is going to be significantly more powerful, but you’re not going to use that gaming pc out in the rain with work gloves on this cf 33 is a refresh of the line bringing 10th gen intel to the mix. Now the starting core i5 moves up to a quad core mobile chipset, wi, fi 6 bluetooth, 5.1 lte support, including firstnet, more options for ram and storage. Even the rear camera has been improved for photo quality and autofocus speed. Every bit of the detachable slate has been tweaked or refined, but the stuff that gets me excited about toughbook is the raw adaptability, thanks to the chunkier frame, it’s a lot easier to include a bunch of different.

I o and properly cover those ports with locking covers. Even with work gloves on, you can still easily pop open and access usb ethernet hdmi and a headset it’s just funny how conditioned we are by consumer laptops and tablets. Because i saw the back panel and i thought oh hey cool, they added a kickstand. No, no, that was wrong. That’S a locking, armor cover for the dual batteries fast charging a laptop is cool, but hot swapping batteries out in the field when you really need to keep working, is cooler. Add to that options for cameras, security options, barcode scanners, ssds. On top of a built in silo for the stylus – and this becomes one of the most modular experiences i’ve yet reviewed from a consumer perspective, everything is a bit overbuilt, but this frame allows panasonic to deliver options to a variety of different industries without having to reinvent The product every time the keyboard dock is another perfect example of this ideology. In action. It’S chunky it’s got a great tactile keyboard, a nice chunk to the typing, a hardware lock to keep the unit closed and even more ports and io. But the main guts of the pc are in the screen, and that makes this combo more top heavy than a similar setup like a surface book. Instead of weighing down the keyboard base, adding additional travel weight, the pop out carry handle doubles as a way to keep the screen from toppling over backwards.

The handle’s, usually in the front of the laptop on other toughbooks. They move it to the rear on the detachable keyboard base. So at first it looks like more handle than you’d really need. It sticks out kinda far, but it makes laptop orientation more balanced and you have enough clearance for a dude with big hands wearing work gloves to carry or use this setup on the go. I love this stuff, so many little discoveries when compared to normal laptops at first glance, you’d ask: why would they do it like that, but then digging a little deeper? It makes a lot of sense for the folks that rely on products like this. So what can we learn from this hardware? There’S an idea of this being used out in the field for years and finding parts for it years after panasonic stopped selling this exact model it’s not hard. Finding refurbed tough books on amazon still selling eight to nine year old models like the cf 53. Looking up other rugged laptops, though not as many options, some solid, lower cost chromebooks likely aimed at students with spill resistant keyboards and a few of those rated for drop in shock resistance, so that’s, pretty good acer, also makes kind of a mid price solution. The enduro at around a thousand dollars and some of those ideas carry over it’s a thicker frame port covers to improve splash resistance and some clever design tricks to keep water out of the fans.

I really think it would be cool to see more of those features migrate out to other consumer lines, i’m, so familiar with the limitations of working on thin books and less portable gaming, notebooks it’s fun, letting other uses spring to mind. You know beyond a trek to the coffee shop or leaving a laptop in my hotel room, while i’m working a trade show how about taking a proper computer out to a remote shoot like really remote and not being afraid of having to baby it while you’re out There i did a desert film shoot years ago and we weren’t really messing with macbooks out in the field. Actually, even then, in those rocky and sandy conditions, the tough book might have still been overkill for what we were doing out there sweet delicious overkill. There are so many parts here that i wish were more common. First, just that it’s okay, to make a machine a little thicker with purpose could be, for ports could be battery, could be durability. Then, in light is one kind of benefit, but thin and light is also a kind of compromise and dang it if i don’t miss easily swappable batteries these days. I appreciate laptop design that only hides the battery under a dozen of chassis screws, but this action of a hard latch and dual pop out cells is so darn. Handy. Industrial practicality has a place in the consumer space now in a normal review. I’D probably include a section here about concerns, but the main issues are highly situation dependent.

Many of the situations i might point to it’s not really going to be a problem of the toughbook but more using the wrong tool for the job. Now like complaining, a turbo diesel work truck is just really hard to park on narrow residential roads. So it is a bit of a challenge. Judging a tough book against a normal consumer, laptop expectation, i know panasonic is not focusing the toughbook line on consumers and the upfront costs are high, considering all the back end support that has to be built into that price, but there are undoubtedly civilians out there. Who will appreciate what this machine represents and, to that same token, handling a solution like this it’s always an opportunity to chat about those features we wish we could have on consumer grade gear? Are you looking for more? I o better docking and mounting options. Enhanced water resistance, those hot swapping batteries, yeah that’s, pretty hot – i mean for me, it’s the hot swapping batteries – i’d, dig that so drop some comments down below. How would you make your laptop better, especially if you’re looking to get a bit more use out of your laptop in more than just a coffee shop or around your home i’ll, of course drop some links below? If you want more info on the panasonic cf 33? Maybe you could convince your company’s i.t department to try and grab you one. Who knows it could happen as always, thanks so much for watching for sharing these videos subscribing to the channel supporting your favorite content, creators has never been more critical than it is today.

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