2008-02-22

Panasonic Toughbook CF-74 Review

Here is a video of a Panasonic Toughbook, and another. Pansonic's line of well designed, and durable laptops is far superior to any other I have seen. Their retail price is absurdly high for this, but somehow maintain a more reasonable secondary market (ie ebay) where they can be found at a more reasonable price. My new CF-74 Semi-rugged laptop with 4 GB RAM cost $1750 on ebay.

It has a touchscreen! It is not a tablet that swivels, but of course other Panasonic models do have that. Using a stylus rather than a mouse or touchpad on a portable device is very nice. The electronic outlets like USB, card slot, and monitor output are well protected by covers. The built in handle is fantastic, and this thing is durable enough that I could beat and assailant while it was running and it probably would not impact performance, though I have not tried. I have not examined thoroughly what technology they have regarding disk drive breaking during device acceleration as the Macbooks have. Nonetheless the hard drives are also said to be well protected. It is highly water resistant and the battery lasts for 5 or 6 hours.

If you are willing to pay a bit extra for a truly well made and useful machine, I recommend buying a CF-74 if you can find it for under $2000.

I do want to mention that there seems to be no support for Linux on this device. Virtualising obviously should be no problem, but it is annoying to be condemned to Windows to be able to utilise all the hardware devices such as touch screen. I will report my results when I really start messing around with it.

A word on Macs: the Macbook pro I used last year with 2 GB runs about $2500. After a year of use, I acknowledge that the OS is nice to have. The capability of Apple, a Unix based very flashy graphical OS to also Parallelise Windows and Linux is impressive, but overall, Macs are just attractive designer products and trendy status symbols. They are not at all worth their price tag when it comes to productivity or usefulness. Anyone hardcore about Unix like my astrophysicist friends runs Linux on a cheaper machine like a Lenovo Thinkpad. Those machines can virtualise Windows or emulate using WINE as needed. My cousin who is a professional film maker does well to have a MacBook pro, but I would not recommend a Mac to anyone outside that field at this point.

1 comment:

Timothy said...

sounds like a good machine. I'm looking to get anew desktop right now. I saw one on newegg.com for about $550. It has a dual core AMD(2.6GHZ), 3 GB RAM(expandable to 8GB)and a 500GB SATA harddrive. I think that's a good deal for those specs.