Big and tough – two words that seem to go hand in hand. Whether you’re talking about that bloke in the tuxedo standing outside your local nightclub or an armoured personnel carrier, big and tough just seems right. But for every rule there’s the exception and the ToughBook CF-18 is that exception – although small and tough just doesn’t seem to roll off the tongue quite so well.
If you read my review of the ToughBook CF-29 you’ll already know that Panasonic’s ToughBook range addresses the needs of a certain type of notebook user, a user that needs to be able to use their notebook in the most extreme conditions. Like its big brother, the CF-18’s case is constructed from magnesium for ultimate durability and shock resistance, while the shock-proof hard disk enclosure should ensure that you don’t lose any data no matter how hard you treat it.
The CF-18 can withstand a drop impact from 90cm, which should cover most instances of it being knocked off a table, dropped out in the field or just generally abused. To make things harder for the little CF-18 we drop tested it with the screen facing outward, since many users will be carrying it this way. As you can see from the animated GIF below, the CF-18 takes quite a tumble, but I can assure you that it survived intact – in fact I’m writing this review on it.
Despite being able to withstand this kind of abuse, the CF-18 is, as already mentioned, small. Measuring just 271 x 216 x 49mm (WxDxH), the CF-18 should be able to slip into pretty much any bag or backpack. Also, weighing just 2.1kg, it’s not going to weigh you down too much either. Although the target user for a ToughBook is obviously going to rate durability and shock resistance as paramount, it’s good to see that Panasonic has still managed to produce a machine that’s small and light.