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Water And Keyboards Don' t Mix - Or Do They?

Keyboards are also designed to withstand the elements. The CF-Y5 for instance is designed to allow water to pass directly through it and out of the bottom of the notebook. This was demonstrated at the R&D facility in Osaka, but I’ll be testing this myself later in the week when I review the CF-Y5. Basically the main board in the CF-Y5 is completely sealed and there are gullies underneath the keyboard that pipe water out of the case. Of course this won’t stop your keyboard getting sticky if you spill a cup of coffee over it, but it does mean that your notebook won’t just die.

Being that the ToughBooks are built bespoke to customer requirements, there are a number of keyboard options on offer. Some are built to be completely waterproof, made of rubber with no gaps between the keys. Some are semi-waterproof with a slightly more traditional feel, while others are like standard notebook keyboards with ergonomics being the prime focus. Some of the keyboards are backlit to ensure that machines can be used at night as well as in the pouring rain.

Panasonic also showed off the CF-R6 which is an ultra-portable notebook, weighing in at under 1kg. There’s no definite plan to launch the R6 in the UK, but I’d definitely be keen to see it over here. Not only is this machine thin and light, but one of the engineers demonstrated it being dropped from 76cm while open and operational! So you wouldn’t have to worry about knocking an R6 off a desk, even if it was switched on at the time.

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