When it comes to performance I personally rate battery life higher than processing power, and the CF-Y5 definitely didn’t disappoint me. Running MobileMark 2005 the CF-Y5 managed a truly impressive battery life of eight hours 19 minutes, making this one of the few notebooks that really can put in a full day’s work away from a power socket. Even the performance rating under MobileMark was pretty good at 201, only 20 points behind the HP nc6400, and adding some extra memory would probably close that gap. You’ll be able to watch pretty much any movie on battery power too, since the CF-Y5 turned in a DVD playback time of four hours 42 minutes – even Peter Jackson can’t match that.
As with all ToughBooks, the CF-Y5 doesn’t come cheap at £1,937, but that doesn’t mean it’s poor value for money. People often make the mistake of thinking that a low sticker price equals good value for money – it doesn’t. Value for money is a combination of what you are getting for the money that you’re paying, and in the case of the CF-Y5, you’re getting a lot. Not only are you getting a lot, but you’re getting features that simply aren’t available elsewhere.
I can’t think of many other notebooks that can survive an average person (unless you live somewhere where the average is over 100kg) standing on it, without worrying about the screen breaking. Likewise, not too many machines will survive a full mug of water being thrown all over the keyboard while it’s switched on. Not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t have had the guts to bury any other notebook in the snow. And there’s no doubt that Panasonic’s R&D has paid off in the weight saving department too, because 1.5kg is pretty damn light for a 14.1in notebook – compare that to the HP nc6400 which weighs 2.3kg.
So, the ToughBook CF-Y5 is expensive, but it’s also one of the best all round notebooks I’ve ever used. To create something this robust, with a great screen, class leading battery life and a weight more akin to 12.1in ultra-portable machines is an achievement that Panasonic should be very proud of.