Inside, this is the first ToughBook Light, I mean ToughBook Executive model that I’ve seen with a dual core CPU. There’s an Intel Core Duo L2400 chip, which is a low voltage part that runs at 1.66GHz. Panasonic has chosen the low voltage CPU to increase battery life – definitely a decision that has paid off. And even though 1.66GHz is hardly top end by today’s mobile CPU speeds, it is more than adequate for the majority of applications that you’re going to use on a notebook – I certainly haven’t felt the CF-Y5 struggling while I’ve been using it.
If there is a weak point it’s the memory complement – with only 512MB of RAM and 8MB of that allocated to the integrated graphics, you may find things slowing down a bit running applications like Photoshop, and I wouldn’t even think about installing Vista. Of course there is an empty SODIM slot, so you can easily upgrade the memory – my advice would be to specify a RAM upgrade at point of purchase.
The 60GB hard disc is somewhat modest by today’s standards too, but I don’t think that a business notebook really needs that much storage these days. Often users are working on files stored on a central server, rather than keeping them on their local hard disk. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that I’d happily replace the 60GB hard disk with a 32GB solid state disk if I had the choice. Although that would add a considerable amount to the purchase price.
Wireless connectivity is also well catered for with an integrated Intel 802.11a, b and g Wi-Fi adapter. Bluetooth is also part of the package, so you’ll be able to synchronise with your phone or even use a wireless headset for making VoiP calls. And if you need to be connected from anywhere, you can specify the CF-W5 with an integrated HSDPA module, although this will add £311 to the overall cost.