Home » Computing » Laptop » Panasonic ToughBook Executive CF-F8

Panasonic ToughBook Executive CF-F8 review



Our Score


Review Price free/subscription

Back in September 2008 I flew out to Japan for the launch of the Panasonic ToughBook CF-F8 and came away pretty impressed. Although I initially thought that full production review samples would be available a few weeks later, that didn't turn out to be the case. In fact, only now have I got a full production sample in front of me, a sample that I can actually benchmark and evaluate fully. So the question that has to be asked is whether the CF-F8 was worth the wait. The short answer is yes, but there are a couple of qualifications to that recommendation.

First up, the CF-F8 hasn't lost any of its visual impact. Like all ToughBooks this machine has an unashamed industrial look to it, while the integrated carrying handle reminds me of its fully rugged cousin, the ToughBook CF-30. Some may argue that putting a carrying handle on a 14.1in semi-rugged notebook is pointless, but I would disagree. Being able to just grab your notebook from your desk and carry it easily is a real bonus, especially if you're going to a meeting somewhere else in the building and don't want to pack your notebook up in a carry case first. Anyone who's had to balance files, reports, pens and the obligatory cup of coffee on their notebook on their way to a meeting will know exactly what I mean.

Still, many would argue that a carrying handle just adds weight, and that you'll probably need to still carry a power supply with you anyway - unfortunately they'd be wrong on both counts. Despite the carrying handle and semi rugged nature of the CF-F8, this is one of the lightest 14.1in notebooks on the market, weighing in at only 1.66kg. Meanwhile, battery life has always been a strong point on ToughBooks, and the CF-F8 is no exception. I'll talk battery test results a bit later, but suffice to say that you could use the CF-F8 for most of the day without the need for a plug socket.

And let's not forget that carrying a ToughBook around with you unprotected is far less of an issue than it might be with other notebooks. Since the CF-F8 is designed to survive drops of up to 76cm, even when operational, even if it does slip out of your hand while you're carrying it, it shouldn't be a disaster. Likewise, if you do happen to spill that obligatory cup of coffee all over the CF-F8 it won't be a problem either - with all the important bits sealed inside, any liquid will simply run through the chassis and out of the bottom.

Next page


April 21, 2009, 12:09 am

That is one tiny space bar.

I'll never understand why every notebook manufacturer seems to think the function key must be in the lower left area of the keyboard. Why not place it above the keyboard area where it wouldn't be in the way but would still be accessible.


April 21, 2009, 12:46 am

Seems to be nothing here that would make me want to give up my Y5M - and it is 2 years old!!

That is on the one hand a testament to the quality of Panasonic's dedication to quality and detail. On the other hand a lot has happened in those two years and this also means Panasonic has run out of ideas and imagination.

In particular the lower resolutuon screen is just unforgivable. One of things that is special about the Y5 abd Y7 is that you get a phenomenal screen resolution for a 3lb laptop. Using my Y5 still puts to shame the Dell XpS M1330 that my company issued me for work. The Y5 is far better to view things on, scroll, carry etc.

I hope Panasonic will remember its achievements and try to get back to that level again. Products like this are not good enough for what this series is supposed to be about.

comments powered by Disqus