Rugged ToughBook CF-W4

If Panasonic ToughBook laptops were one big happy family, the ToughBook CF-W4 ultraportable notebook would be the little sister who grows up surrounded by nothing but big brothers and has to act the tough tomboy to hang.

Not to put the new ToughBook’s toughness down, but it surely isn’t as badass as say its rugged older sibling the CF-29. For instance, where its big brothers the CF-29 and CF-18 are guaranteed to survive a drop of about a yard, the CF-W4 is only guaranteed by Panasonic to survive at 30 centimeters, or about a foot.

Still, the new CF-W4 is tougher than your average superslender notebook. Try dropping any other from that distance, and see how fast your hard drive powers up the next time you boot up. And like any tough little sister, the CF-W4 is stronger than its size. The CF-W4 can bear the brunt of about 100kg of weight put on top of it-all the while it weighs only 1.29 kg.

But with brawn comes beauty. This ToughBook is sleek-looking PC. One attractive feature is its optical drive. Like past ToughBooks, the CF-W4 has the special Panasonic drive that pops out from the right palm rest, with just a flip of a switch. It’s only a DVD player, CD read-write drive, so looks will have to be more important to you than substance. Another cool feature: the notebook strap that allows you to palm the computer in one hand, type with the other.

As for the insides of the cute little ToughBook CF-W4 laptop, you get Centrino power with a Pro/Wireless 2915ABG wireless adapter and a 1.2 GHz Pentium M with 512MB of DDR2 memory, along with 40GB of hard drive. Other hardware include a Ethernet adapter (no Bluetooth), built-in modem, two USB 2.0 ports, PC Card slot, and a SD card slot, among other things.

The Toughbook Elite was a winner of a coveted Laptopical laptop award in 2005. The good folks over at Trusted Reviews also found much to praise with the latest edition of this rugged offering from Panasonic.

You can read their thoughts below:

Panasonic ToughBook CF-W4 review

By Matthew Brodsky – Laptopical Tuesday, March 21, 2006