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Panasonic ToughBook Executive CF-F8 - Panasonic ToughBook CF-F8

By Riyad Emeran



Our Score:


On the right edge you'll find the modem socket, the Ethernet port, three USB ports and a D-SUB connector for hooking up to an external monitor. At the front is a power/eject switch for the DVD writer, a hardware switch for the wireless modules and the main power switch. The left side is dominated by the docking port, but there's also a PC Card slot, an SD card slot, headphone and microphone ports and the power socket.

Performance wise, the CF-F8 will have no problem turning its hand to most tasks. Whereas ToughBooks used to employ previous generation hardware, the basic spec of 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo CPU and 3GB of RAM in the CF-F8 is current, and makes for a very capable platform. But the CF-F8 really excels when it comes to battery life. Considering that this machine isn't using an ultra-low voltage CPU, its MobileMark Productivity score of five and a half hours is very impressive indeed. In fact that's exactly the same MobileMark score that the Sony VAIO TT turned in, and that machine was equipped with a 1.2GHz ultra-low voltage CPU.

As usual, all that ToughBook rugged build quality and impressive battery life comes at a price, and the CF-F8 will set you back £1,838.85. That's quite a chunk of change for a notebook these days, even for one with some unique features. I was initially told that the CF-F8 would be cheaper than this, but issues with the Euro / Yen exchange rate have resulted in price hikes for many Japanese products, including this one. This makes the CF-F8 significantly more expensive than the outgoing ToughBook CF-Y7, despite the fact that the older machine had a higher resolution screen.

All that said, the ToughBook CF-F8 is still a very good notebook and represents a positive evolution of the ToughBook Executive line. The inclusion of the carrying handle is a nice touch, while the superb battery life and light weight will win this machine many friends. Add to that the rugged build and water resistance, and the CF-F8 still makes a strong case for itself, as long as you're not scared off by the price.


The ToughBook CF-F8 sits nicely between Panasonic's fully rugged notebooks, and the thin and light W Series machines. Despite the chunky design and carrying handle, it still weighs in at only 1.66kg, making it lighter than many 12.1in models. It's a shame that Europe doesn't get the higher resolution screen that the Japanese units have, and the pricing seems high, even by ToughBook standards. However, if you want a notebook that's light, rugged, easy to carry and has great battery life, you'd be hard pushed to find something better.


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.

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