Panasonic ToughBook CF-H1 Mobile Clinical Assistant Review - Panasonic ToughBook CF-H1 Review

Panasonic has made the CF-H1 very easy to use by designing a hand strap at the rear. This allows the user to hold the device like a clipboard in one hand while operating it in the other – in fact I’d say that it’s easier to hold than a clipboard. There’s also a moulded carrying handle at the top, making it easy to transport the device from one room/ward/area to another throughout the day. A nice touch is that there are activation buttons for both the RFID sensor and barcode scanner mounted on the carry handle. The latter is particularly useful as it allows you to activate the barcode scanner and easily aim it at the thing you want to scan.

Panasonic has managed to ensure the CF-H1’s fanless design by going for a low power platform, in the shape of Intel’s ever pervasive Atom. However, unlike pretty much every other Atom based machine we’ve seen here at TR, the CF-H1 boasts a 1.86GHz version, which should make it that bit more snappy than most of the netbooks we’ve reviewed. The Atom CPU is backed up by 1GB of RAM, which seems somewhat meagre by today’s standards, but as long as you choose Windows XP instead of Vista, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Considering that the CF-H1 is designed to be extremely rugged, you may be surprised to hear that Panasonic has equipped it with an 80GB hard disk as opposed to an SSD. But since the company has spent years developing protective caddies for hard drives, you shouldn’t have to worry about this one giving up the ghost after a few knocks.

Wireless networking comes courtesy of an Intel WiFi Link 5100 adapter, which provides 802.11a, b, g and draft-n compatibility. The full complement of Wi-Fi standards should mean that the CF-H1 can get connected no matter how old the infrastructure might be at a hospital. There’s also Bluetooth 2.0+EDR thrown in for good measure. You can also specify an integrated 7.2mbps HSDPA adapter, or even a GPS receiver.

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