CF-19: portable powerhouse

(also, inexpensive on ebay now)

The CF-19 is an excellent light and feature packed convertible tablet (switches between tablet and laptop mode) Toughbook. It has a 10.4" LCD display which comes in non-touch, digitizer (high-precision touch screen requiring special stylus), and touch-screen (works with fingernail, less precision than digitizer) versions. CF-19s have bootable SD card slots, which, despite not having the term "SDHC" anywhere in the literature, reads and writes SDHC cards without trouble. (SDXC compatible, software dependent)
They also have one PCMCIA slot and one PCMCIA-EX slot in the same compartment, alongside the wireless killswitch. There are two accesible USB ports, one mini-1394 port and a software modem. There's a hardware serial port and VGA output as well as MIC in and audio out jacks. Inside, there are provisions to connect a mini-pcie wireless WAN card, an internal GPS (though you're better off getting a mini-pcie WWAN card with GPS built in), (theoretically) 4GB of RAM, a fingerprint reader, and a SATA hard disk. Three keyboards are available for the CF-19, the normal, boring, cheap keyboard, and two backlit keyboards, one of which rubberized. CF-19s do an excellent job of running Linux.

Some useful stuff:

It turns out to be really easy to pull the bottom cover off, just remove 13 screws. You have to do this to get at one of the RAM slots despite the existence of a door for getting at the RAM. See the CPU, BIOS, and RAM page for pictures of how silly that is. By the way, check out all that crazy coax routing!

By the way, note the position of the WLAN card in the middle of the picture below. Adding a WLAN card? Upgrading to 802.11N? Seriously, it's really easy to get the back off, here's where it goes.


Panny's sales pitch:

Features and benefits of the CF-19 Panasonic Toughbook

  • Genuine Windows® XP Professional SP2
  • Embedded 3G wireless broadband:The optional embedded 3G broadband allows you to stay connected at super-fast speeds wherever you are in the country, keeping you more productive for longer. The internally embedded modem and inbuilt wireless antennas ensure crystal clear reception while not compromising the rugged features of the unit.
  • Enhanced security features:The Toughbook CF-19 features enhanced security to protect your valuable data. An embedded Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2 chipset prevents your HDD from being read, while the optional fingerprint reader gets rid of clumsy and insecure passwords. The CF-19 also features a cable lock slot to physically secure the unit.
  • Smart power that lasts longer:The Toughbook CF-19 provides up to 8 hours of battery life with the standard battery. It also includes a unique sensor to measure the temperature. This lets the unit charge to the best level for those conditions, so you get the most out of your battery.
  • Stay in touch and connected:As well as 3G connectivity, WLAN, Bluetooth and GPS allows you to stay connected and locatable wherever you are.
  • Rugged, daylight readable LCD:The screen itself is as tough as it is clear. It has an extra bright active matrix (TFT) colour LCD panel surrounded with dampers and mounted in a shock absorbing magnesium display casing. An exchangeable anti-reflective foil ensures you have a clear and glare-free view, even under outdoor conditions.
  • Exceptional portability:Just 2.2kgs, so you can take it wherever you go.
  • Serial Port:For connecting to legacy devices.
  • Toughbooks are tested to the following standards
    • Drip test:
Test Standard: IEC529 IPX4 C0920 (MIL-STD-810F 506.4-III (Drip) level
    • Gravity-drop test:
Test Standard: MIL-STD-810F 516.5
    • Vibration resistance test:
Test Standard: MIL-STD-810F 514-5 Category 24
    • Dust test:
Test Standard: IEC529 IP5X C0920 JIS (MIL-STD-810F 510.4-I level)
    • Temperature test:
Test Standard: MIL-STD-810F 501.4 / 502.4, Test Standard: MIL-STD-810F 503.4
    • Humidity test:
Test Standard: MIL-STD-810F 507.4
  • A tough computer built from the ground up:The new Toughbook's ultra-strong magnesium alloy casing is now lighter and stronger than ever. This is especially true for the lid that is reinforced thanks to the cross rib structure of the magnesium LCD cabinet which further protects the screen from damage. It's so tough, it can withstand drops of up to 90cm onto a hard surface - and easily passes tests to MIL-STD-810F standards, issued by the U.S. Department of Defence. With their lightweight carry handles, Toughbooks are perfect for working on the move.
  • Extreme features, for real protection:To protect your valuable data from damage the removable hard disk is mounted in an aluminium case surrounded by specially designed shock-absorbing material. Flexible connectors allow the hard disk drive to be isolated from the system board, protecting against the transfer of shock from one component to the next. And if you're worried about the cold, the hard disk drive even has an internal heater, allowing it to boot up and work in sub-zero conditions.
  • Water and dust proof seals:Water and dust proofing is essential to a healthy notebook. So we've created a fan-less design to avoid dust and other particles being sucked into the body of the computer. In addition, the individually sealed keyboard, touchpad and display are water and dust resistant to prevent any damage to the interior circuits. All key areas of the casing are sealed with a flexible elastomer sealant, ensuring all the seals are tight and durable to meet IP54 water and dust resistance standards.
  • Letting off heat:Because Toughbooks are water and dust-tight, an internal fan just wouldn't work. So our engineers created an innovative heat dissipation system based on heat pipe technology. This evenly distributes heat from the inside of the computer to the outside of the casing, avoiding the appearance of hot spots.
  • Tough keys for tough jobs:As with any notebook, your Toughbook's keyboard is likely to take a lot of punishment. So we've made the keys even more durable, testing each key with a 200gforce over 5 million times, to make sure they're built to last. And because we fully intend our Toughbooks to be used outdoors, we've made the keys black so they won't fade or turn yellow in the sun.
  • Dust-proof reinforced hinges:The hinges can handle the most punishing use thanks to their 2mm thick fixings and ultra-strong screws. They are also completely sealed from dust, and have been opened and closed 50,000 times to thoroughly test their durability.
  • Strong and secure port connectors:The fully ruggedized Toughbooks have port connections that sit deeper in the casing than before. Not only does this give you a stronger connection, it also avoids the risk of them being knocked out and damaged if you move your Toughbook around whilst it's connected. The connections themselves are tested 20,000 times. Integral connector covers keep out dust and moisture to make sure you are able to work outside in all conditions.