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Mrblur what are you looking for in a toughbook?

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Mrblur what are you looking for in a toughbook?

Post  ADOR on Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:57 am

As of right now I have had or owned

CF-18,19 Tablet fully rugged
CF-25,27,28,29,30 Basic fully rugged model
CF-17, M34 Small, portable, fully rugged
CF-P1 Tough pda
CF-T1,T2,T5, W2,W5 business class, light weight
CF-50,51 Business class, standad size ( will remind you of M355/M360)
CF-52 Widescreen, semi rugged
CF-U1 ultraportable, fully rugged
CF-72,73,74 semi rugged


Soon I hope to add another CF-52 and CF-31 to that list. My oldest boy has CF-51 with core duo 2.0 (one of the few socketed toughbooks and can take a core 2 duo) 4gb ram and X1300 ATI graphics. My Daughter is currently swapping from CF-50 (Pentium M 1.7, 1.5 gb ram, ATI 9600) to CF-74, My youngest two just got there 74 model this time home 2GB ram, X3100 intel with modded drivers, windows 7 and core 2 duo 2.0.

There are several ports that come inside the toughbook for options that can be used to mod other stuff in it. So what are you thinking of getting? I will tell you want model would fit your needs and tell you my opinion of the best deals on ebay if you are wanting to build your own. Docks are also options for pretty much any toughbook.

All toughbooks take a special caddy for the hard drive, with out it you are dead in the water. The goverment agencys are doing upgrades right now and more surplus is popping in on ebay. More than there usually is. I got the 74 models for my kids for around 75 dollars each, they only needed a battery. Another 75 dollars later on, but everything else was there. I got my Mk2 CF-30 1.6 core 2 duo, 3gb ram (4gb max), 80gb hard drive, version WWAN, dedicated GPS, backlit keyboard for around 350 off of ebay, only missing the dvd drive. They range between 60 to 120 for a factory one but I know a trick to make a 20 dollar one work.

So what do you need? lol

Personally I want a Mk2 or Mk3 CF-31. Fully rugged, I5 or I7 and optional ATI graphics, The 31 is the first time they put dedicated graphics in the fully rugged model.
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Re: Mrblur what are you looking for in a toughbook?

Post  mrblur on Wed Nov 07, 2012 5:14 am

cf-31 sounds really nice with dedicated videos, but they seem to be very pricey at the moment. And 75 dollars sounds great. I have really done much research on the specs, but do you know any of those have a caddy for two HDD(I'm sure I can google this).

I just need something rugged so I can toss around the house with out worrying it breaking. I've had a laptop fall from the counter top(did not survive), also had another laptop with spilled coffee r, and another laptop with coke spilled all over it. ..... Have to go to work....
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Re: Mrblur what are you looking for in a toughbook?

Post  ADOR on Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:55 am

No, sorry there is no dual hard drive toughbook. Unless you take the dvd drive out and use one of the conversions. They have some factory equipment to do it. But it will be way CHEAPER to just get an adapter and do it yourself. Drives and accessories hot swap. Right now this is what I would recomend. When I get home I can take some pictures of mine if you want some good shots for them.

CF-19 ALL, 10.1" screen, non-widescreen fully rugged, SATA hard drive connection, wifi, wwan ready, bluetooth, dock ready, touch screen or digitizer (mk3 or mk4 up have dual touch), screen turns and locks for tablet mode. Standard, rubber and emissive(light up) keyboard options, GPS optional, sd card slot, express card slot, pcmcia slot, lan, modem, serial port, vga out, 2 usb 2.0 ports, carry strap, passively cooled, no fan, no internal dvd. Make good travel laptops.

Mk1 Touchscreens are known to be bad sometimes and go out for no reason, digitizer models are ok. 1.06 core duo, 32 bit only, max 4gb ram, two slots, 945 chipset, intel graphics.

Mk2 touchscreens and dig models are all good, no known problems, 1.06 core 2 duo, max 4gb ram, two slots, 965 chipset, intel graphics x3100. Starting to pop up for a good price. Best to hold out for a complete one.

Mk3 touchscreens and dig models are all good, no known problems, 1.2 core 2 duo, max 8gb ram, two slots, 4500 graphics intel. starting to pop up on ebay but still go un-complete for 300 plus

Mk4 touchscreens and dig models are all good, no known problems, 1.2 core 2 duo, max 8gb ram

Mk5 i5 model, still pretty new, usb 3.0,

Mk6 i5 model, just released a few months back


CF-30 fully rugged, 13.3 screen, non-widescreen, 3 usb 2.0 ports, sd card, pcmcia slots, express card slot, carry handle, passively cooled, no fan, serial port, vga out, dock ready, rubber, normal, emissive keyboards. WWAN, GPS, Media bay battery, optional internal dvd, dock option. SATA speed is locked at 1 but a hack can unlock it to sata 2

Mk1 known for bad touchscreens, 945 chipset and graphics, 1.66 core duo, 4 gb ram max,

Mk2 touchscreens are normally fine, 965 chipset and x3100 graphics, 1.6 core 2 duo, 4 gb ram max, I have played portal on mine without modded drivers.

Mk3 touchscreens are normally fine, 4500 chipset and graphics, 1.6 core 2 duo, 4 gb ram max, some people claim the Mk2 is faster, they swapped from phonix bios to AMI bios on the Mk3 so that may have something to do with it.


CF-74 semi rugged, no light up keyboard unless you mod in usb power for the lights, 13.3" non-wide screen, 2 usb ports, dock options, WWAN option, SATA, touchscreen,

CF-74 Mk1 core duo 1.8 (32 bit only) 4gb ram max, 945 chipset

CF-74 Mk2 core duo 2.0 (32 bit only) 4gb ram max, 945 chipset

CF-74 Mk3 core 2 duo 2.0, 4gb ram, 965 chipset, intel x3100 graphics

CF-74 Mk4 core 2 duo 2.4, 4gb or 8gb max ram, 4500 intel


CF-51 Mk3 core duo 2.0, 4gb ram max, IDE hard drive, you can upgrade the cpu on this model, ati x1300 graphics, two models 128 and 256 dedicated graphics. 256 model has two more pipelines open, sd card slot.15" non wide screen 1600 x 1200, business class machine. Little tougher than a standard laptop, like a business thinkpad.

CF-52 They did away with the old style CF-50 series and the CF-74 series and kind of mashed them together. The CF-52 is semi and looks like the 74 model series, but is a wide screen laptop. This series is still being made as the 53 model out is a 14" laptop widescreen and doesn't come with dedicated graphics. NOT ALL 52's have dedicated graphics. Can not upgrade the cpu with out rework station, no one has tested it out to see if it will work yet.

Mk1 1.8 core 2 duo, 4gb max ram, intel graphics

Mk1 2.0 core 2 duo, 4gb max ram, ATI hd2300 graphics 512 mb dedicated

Mk2 core 2 duo intel graphics

Mk2 core 2 duo 2.4, ATI graphics 3650 512 mb dedicated

Mk3 i5, ati 5650

Mk4 i5, ati 6750

There are several other business class machines but I think you are looking for something tougher.

http://toughbooktalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1245

http://toughbooktalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1146

http://toughbooktalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1174

http://toughbooktalk.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=1323

I will look and pick some deals that look good to me on ebay to give you an idea.
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Re: Mrblur what are you looking for in a toughbook?

Post  mrblur on Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:27 am

Something that will survive a kitchen environment, spilled drinks from drunken people and a couple of drops from a fit of rage.
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Re: Mrblur what are you looking for in a toughbook?

Post  ADOR on Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:06 am

Well a semi-rugged would be fine for some drops, but not as water friendly. Panasonic doesn't warranty them against water damage, but they do what they can to keep it out. It sounds like you will be needing fully rugged. I have a dual core 19 that has a few dings on it already and the touch doesn't work. I will have to look it over when I get home. I have some nice looking 18's but they are 1.1 and 1.2 pentium m models.
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Re: Mrblur what are you looking for in a toughbook?

Post  East on Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:03 pm

mrblur wrote:Something that will survive a kitchen environment, spilled drinks from drunken people and a couple of drops from a fit of rage.

Sounds like a good excuse to buy an ssd.
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Re: Mrblur what are you looking for in a toughbook?

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