Monday, October 10, 2011

Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 Review

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 is a part of the fully-rugged line of Toughbooks.  What does that mean for you?  That means that this computer will be able to withstand harsh conditions and physical abuse day after day.  Like all other fully-rugged Toughbooks, the CF-19 is built to military specifications, can survive a six foot drop, has a water-resistant keyboard, and comes standard with weatherized port covers and a shock-resistant hard drive.  The CF-19 will easily withstand daily harsh field conditions whether they be in a field or a vehicle.

As if that weren't enough, although it is nearly half the size of other fully-rugged Toughbooks, the CF-19 is twice the computer!  The CF-19 has all of the functionality of a regular laptop combined with all of the additional features of a tablet.  That is why the CF-19 has become the computer of choice for East Coast Ambulance in Maryland.  They use the CF-19's in ambulances and on-site for emergency response calls.  According to Bob Hartsock, their director of fleet operations, "We use them for patient assessment and then download them by wi-fi to our billing office."  Unlike a traditional laptop, the CF-19 tablet also gives them the ability to use the touchscreen feature to capture signatures digitally.  This alleviates their need for paper forms almost completely. Performance was also a major contributing factor in East Coast Ambulance's choice to purchase CF-19's.  Bob also felt that, "Other computers were very slow."  With the CF-19's dual core processor and ability to support up to 3 gig of RAM, slow running programs are a thing of the past.

There are so many laptops and a few different fully-rugged Toughbook options to choose from.  So, what makes the CF-19 the better choice?
  • Although all of the fully-rugged Toughbooks have the option of touchscreen, the swivel screen makes collecting signatures easy as it occurs on a flat writing surface.  Unlike other Toughbooks, the CF-19 has the option of digital (stylus-only) or dual-touch (stylus or finger) touchscreen.
  • It's lightweight!  Unlike other Toughbooks that weigh in at a heft 8-10 pounds, the CF-19 weighs just over 2 pounds, making it easy to carry to various locations.
  • It's easily portable!  As if its light weight weren't enough, CF-19's come with a built-in carry strap.  They can be used to simply carry the item or as a support while writing on it in table mode.
  • On the go wireless!  The CF-19 comes ready for broadband access.  You simply need to add the appropriate cell phone provider's card and activate service!
  • It comes equipped with a serial (9-pin) port.  Although usage of this port is limited to specific fields (such as automobile diagnostics and radio programming), it is a port that is no longer being installed on most retail or business-line machines.
  • Although it's small, it is mighty!  The CF-19 is built with the same magnesium-alloy casings and to the same impeccable standards of the larger fully-rugged Toughbooks.
  • It's a Toughbook!  Unlike most laptops that have a 22% failure rate, Toughbooks have a failure rate of 2%.  It is ten times more reliable than a standard laptop!
  • The cost of ownership is lower!  Although Toughbooks may be more expensive then other brands of laptops, with their low failure rate they have fewer repairs and less downtime.  They also tend to outlast other commercial-grade laptops by several years, saving hundreds of dollars per unit.
 The CF-19 isn't just for ambulance organizations or other first responders, such as police and fire departments.  The CF-19 definitely has a place in construction, aviation, engineering, health care and automotive industries.