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Panasonic's new slim Toughbook CF-54 is ready for anything

Panasonic today unveiled the semi-rugged Toughbook CF-54, which (as the name suggests) packs a punch and can withstand some degree of impact. The device itself is protected by magnesium plating on all four sides, supports a full keyboard and display, boasts a battery life of 11 hours, and is slated to be 50% thinner and 25% lighter than the current market leader in its category.

Powering the Toughbook CF-54 is an Intel i5 processor with the i7 as an option, should you desire slightly more performance from the device. Matched with Windows 8.1 (and soon Windows 10), the 14.0" touch screen display comes in HD (1366x768), FullHD (1920x1080) and FullHD configurations. If you seek an SSD option, you'll possibly want to go with one of the FullHD variants.

Panasonic CF-54

As for ports and connectivity, the CF-54 supports LAN, VGA, HDMI, a True Serial port for connection to legacy systems, USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports and a SD card slot. Wireless LAN a/b/g/n/ac is included in the deal, alongside Bluetooth 4.0. The device comes with a docking connector for vehicle or desktop mounting, and there are even options for 4G LTE, dual pass through antenna, Contactless Smart Card Reader and a Fingerprint reader.

The Toughbook CF-54 will be made available from the end of February 2015 at three price points:

  • Toughbook CF-54 HD Model (with 500GB HDD) – £1142 + VAT ($1750)
  • Toughbook CF-54 FullHD Model (with 128GB SSD) – £1325 + VAT ($2040)
  • Toughbook CF-54 FullHD with Touchscreen Model (with 128GB SSD) – £1662 + VAT ($2558)

See the press release below for more details.

Panasonic redefines Semi-rugged notebooks with the Toughbook CF-54

WIESBADEN, GERMANY. 13th February 2015 Panasonic has redefined the design of semi-rugged notebooks with the launch of its Toughbook CF-54. Created for workers in the automotive diagnostic industry and field service workers specialising in mainly indoor repairs and maintenance, the new Toughbook CF-54 is the thinnest and lightest** semi-rugged Toughbook in its category and is equipped with the latest 5th Generation Intel® Core™ vPro™ Processor delivering increased performance and lower power consumption.

Breaking the mould for semi-rugged notebooks, the Toughbook CF-54 is approx. 50% thinner and 25% lighter than the current market leader in this category**. Equipped with the new 5th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-5300U vPro™ Processor (3MB cache, 2.3GHz up to 2.9 GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology) which delivers faster computing power, better graphic performance and lower power consumption over its 4th Generation counterpart, the Toughbook CF-54 has all the attributes required to set a new benchmark. For those requiring even higher performance, an Intel® Core™ i7 vPro™ Processor is available as an option.

Crystal clear display options

The 14.0" display comes in HD (1366x768), FullHD (1920x1080) or FullHD with capacitive multi-touch touchscreen to offer the clarity and visual detail required by different operatives. There is also an option for a discrete AMD FirePro™ M5100 graphics for even higher graphical display performance. CF-54 comes with the latest Windows 8.1 Pro Update operating system with an option for Windows 7 Professional (available through downgrade rights from Windows 8.1 Pro).

"This latest Toughbook redefines the semi-rugged notebook category," said Jan Kaempfer, General Manager of Marketing for Panasonic Computer Product Solutions. "Its slim design and customisation options combined with its durability make it the new semi-rugged PC benchmark for operatives in automotive, field services, utilities, Telecom and desk-based defence."

The best of Semi-rugged durability

Although a semi-rugged device, the Toughbook CF-54 is the best protected in its category with magnesium plating used on all four-sides, full keyboard and display area spill protection, and a honeycomb-style bonnet to provide maximum protection from impacts. The device can survive drops of up to 76cm. For ease of use, the device comes with its own integral carry handle and as an option can be easily branded with a company logo.

With a single battery life of 11 hours, this workhorse can keep pace with the requirements of today's busy mobile workers and comes with a hot swappable battery option, which means the device can continue working and the battery changed without switching off the device. There is also a possibility to have a 2nd battery* with which a total battery life of up to 18 hours could be obtained.

Comprehensive connectivity and modularity

For mobile workers moving from one location to another, the versatility to connect when on the move is an important consideration. The Toughbook CF-54 comes with the complete range of interfaces including a standard LAN port, VGA* and HDMI for data projectors, printers and displays, a True Serial port* for connection to legacy systems, USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports* and a SD card slot. Wireless LAN a/b/g/n/ac (up to 866 Mbps) and Bluetooth® v4.0 are included for fast data transfer. The device comes with a docking connector for vehicle or desktop mounting and an option for 4G LTE*, dual pass through antenna*, Contactless Smart Card Reader*** and Fingerprint reader***.

This modular Toughbook is also the most configurable semi-rugged notebook to be designed by Panasonic. Thanks to the optional configuration area, a DVD drive or 2nd Battery or PC card slot or USB key or Smart Card Reader could be configured based on customer requirement. In addition, a separate configuration port* is also available which can be used for a 2nd LAN or Rugged USB or dedicated GPS or 4th USB 2.0 port.

The HD model comes with a 500GB HDD as standard and the FullHD models (with and without touchscreen) have 128GB SSD as standard. Camera options include a 2 megapixel webcam* ensuring communications can be carried out in any location or environment. The device also has a backlit* keyboard for easy operation in the dark.

Peace of mind

Every Toughbook comes with a 3-year warranty covering hardware failures for systems used as designed and a 5-year spare part guarantee with a 96-hour repair commitment. Additional upgraded services are available including: Extended Product Warranty (4th/5th year), Accidental Damage Warranty, Battery Warranty (3/4/5 years) and HDD Warranty.

Pricing and availability

The Toughbook CF-54 is available from the end of February 2015 (ex-factory).

  • Toughbook CF-54 HD Model (with 500GB HDD) – £ 1142 + VAT
  • Toughbook CF-54 FullHD Model (with 128GB SSD) – £ 1325 + VAT
  • Toughbook CF-54 FullHD with Touchscreen Model (with 128GB SSD) – £ 1662 + VAT

For further information visit: www.toughbook.eu

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

18 Comments
  • Really expensive, but I can see how this may come in handy...
    Not for me tho
  • Interesting...
  • Pricey..
  • Great machines for their intended purpose. Hope being thinner and lighter doesn't ruin their resiliency too much.
  • Getting a super spec'd surface pro 3 would be much better than this
    So expensive...
  • You're clearly not in the target market.
  • Drop a Surface. It breaks. Drop this thing. The floor breaks
  • The funny thing is that it probably would be more expensive to fix the floor than replace this laptop nowadays. (not including data recovery time and cost)
  • For that price is a surface 3 a better option
  • Not for the intended purpose...
  • This is for situations where the SP3 would overheat or shatter or melt. :/ Field work in harsh environments, military use, etc. Not for artists or casual users.
  • I think I might need one with the way my kids are with laptops
  • Wow! Surface vs Toughbook. Is that even a comparison? At that price a beastly gaming desktop can be assembled. /s
  • These are for specific targets. Utility, construction, emergency services, fire and police department you would see these as well. This is not a consumer device, do not compare it to a surface you would look and sound silly doing so.
  • This suits for engineers and military..
  • The client I contract under is a major telecom. Their service techs make use of field devices like these. Yeah, a Surface wouldn't be remotely feasible to deploy for that use.
  • At the construction sites I've gone to recently, they have iPads with a heavy otterbox like case.
  • These comments about the SP3 are hilarious! Can you see a cop, firefighter, EMS team carrying an SP3 on shift??? The SP3 'might' make it through one shift. Hahaha! On topic: it's great to see a new device targeted to the folks that help keep us safe day in and day out. Hopefully the higher ups will choose to spend some $$$ to upgrade their folks to better systems.