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Panasonic Toughbook CF-C1 review

Poor touchscreen and a lack of features spoil a good design

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1280 x 800
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Decent performance
  • Good build quality
  • Spill resistant

Against

  • Poor battery life
  • Low graphics performance
  • Unresponsive touchscreen

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-C1 (£1959) has been lauded as the Toughbook Tablet, but really it's an underpowered Toughbook with some dubious touchscreen technology that only niche business users will benefit from.

The form of the CF-C1 is a traditional laptop with a swivel touchscreen which folds back to become a tablet, which is over an inch thick on the screen and base.

It's been given a Sandy Bridge Core i5 2520 2.4GHz processor, which keeps it nimble, but it performed averagely in our lab tests. As this is a business laptop, the need for entertainment performance isn't applicable and the Core i5 provides more than enough power to run commercial applications.

Aside from the i5 processor, the rest of the specs are disappointing, especially given the price tag. There's only 2GB of RAM, which is the bare minimum needed to run Windows properly, and you do notice the lack of physical memory.

There's not much in the way of storage either, with a minimal 250GB hard drive included. This is being upgraded for a MK2 version, which will feature 4GB of RAM and a 320GB hard drive.

Average battery

The CF-C1 is extremely portable, and Panasonic should be applauded for making such a durable hybrid laptop so portable. It weighs just 1.7kg and it's easily carried around. There's some flex in the plastic, but this is the secret behind its ability to absorb shocks, and it can handle table-height falls and channel water away from the keyboard in the event of spillage.

There are two batteries in the CR-C1 to give you longer performance, but our Battery Eater test made light work of both, draining them in 128 minutes. This translates to around five hours of general business use, but it's far from all-day computing.

TechRadar Labs

Tech labs

Battery Eater '05: 128 minutes
Cinebench: 6264
3DMark 2006: 1408

We're not fans of Windows 7 with touchscreen technology, and the only good examples have been skinned for a more friendly interface. We found the screen to be extremely inaccurate and we were constantly struggling to hit the tiny buttons, even using the supplied stylus. We can't think of any reason that you would use the device in its tablet form, unless you were using a bespoke business application where on-screen writing was essential.

The 12.1-inch screen with its 1280 x 800-pixel resolution is highly durable and is designed to survive drops of up to 76cm, but the rugged laptop design makes it dim and lifeless, and with poor viewing angles as well.

If you do regular presentations, you may want to seriously consider your purchase, especially as only a VGA Display Port is supplied for connecting to external displays or projectors.

In short, this is a disappointing device which left us thoroughly underwhelmed. The Toughbook is always going to be a bespoke PC for specific applications and situations, but that doesn't disguise poor performance, a frustrating touchscreen experience and a lack of features.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeTablet PC
Green CompliantYes
Hard Drive Capacity250 GB
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ManufacturerIntel
Graphics Controller ModelHD Graphics
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyHSPA, UMTS
Product FamilyToughbook C1
Operating System PlatformWindows
Processor Modeli5-520M
Operating SystemWindows 7 Professional
Brand NamePanasonic
Form FactorConvertible
Processor Speed2.40 GHz
Processor TypeCore i5
Screen Size30.7 cm (12.1")
Screen Resolution1280 x 800
Standard Memory2 GB
Weight (Approximate)1.70 kg
Cache3 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityENERGY STAR, EPEAT Silver, RoHS
Memory Card ReaderYes
TouchscreenYes
Graphics Memory CapacityUp to 763 MB
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
DigitizerYes
WWAN SupportedYes
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
vPro TechnologyYes
Ethernet TechnologyGigabit Ethernet
ConstructionRugged
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Memory StandardDDR3-800/PC3-6400
Height44 mm
Width299 mm
Depth227 mm
Screen ModeWXGA
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Product SeriesC1
ManufacturerPanasonic
Product ModelCF-C1ADAAGDE
Product NameToughbook C1 CF-C1ADAAGDE Tablet PC
Product LineToughbook
Aspect Ratio16:10
Manufacturer Part NumberCF-C1ADAAGDE
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.panasonic.co.uk
Marketing Information

Combining ground-breaking ergonomics, rugged design and outstanding performance, the Toughbook CF-C1 redefines the way mobile professionals operate, allowing them to be more productive than ever before.

Maximum Memory4 GB
Package Contents
  • Toughbook C1 CF-C1ADAAGDE Tablet PC
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
  • Stylus
Limited Warranty3 Year