IK Multimedia's T-RackS 5

Why Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 worth its money

Laptops

The Good Great battery life. New and outdated ports for all businesses. Good performance. WWAN module.

The Bad Quite bulky. Port shutters can be annoying.

The Bottom Line Panasonic continues its successful Toughbook line with the semifinished CF-53. High battery life and good performance mean that this laptop will not slow you down, and the mix of old and outdated ports means it needs to be ready for all sorts of harsh business environments.

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8.0 Overall

Nothing makes you feel like you’re about to bomb, like the Toughbook CF-53. Or maybe disarm if you play for the good guys.

Look, besides being a semi-durable laptop, this thing comes with a handle on the front that forces you to carry it as a briefcase and call it a “package”.

As usual with these things, we will have to take the word Panasonic for its enduring ability; Years of laptops make it impossible for us to drop it from a height of 76cm, which the company thinks it can handle. He also claims to be able to withstand 177 milliliters of fluid spills and 100 kilograms of vibration under pressure, thanks in part to a magnesium alloy chassis.

All ports are partially covered with solid plastic lids that will protect against dust, but the absence of rubber means that they are not of sufficient quality to make it waterproof. Despite the extra protection they provide to the ports, the covers are incredibly annoying, automatically reversing and interfering with cables.

Open it, and it looks like a CIA operative’s laptop, like the outside, with an old-school keyboard and clearly separated mouse buttons. There is a concession to modern touch pads – double-finger scrolling is useful and useful.

The 14-inch semi-gloss screen has a resolution of 1366×768 and is powered by Intel HD Graphics. Our particular review includes 4GB of RAM, a 2.5GHz Core i5 2520M processor and a Hitachi 320GB hard drive. Wireless communication uses the Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 adapter, which allows you to connect to both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Bluetooth is also included, as is the Ericsson F5521gw chip for mobile broadband.

In appearance, this is a DVD drive, headphone and microphone sockets, Express Card and PCMCIA slots, SD card reader, three USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI and VGA output, a 56 Kb modem connector / s and always expected serial port. Inside is even a WWAN card for mobile broadband.

While the default model lacks a webcam, you can add it as well as other options, including a backlit keyboard, fingerprint reader, and SmartCard readers, FireWire, and a second Ethernet port. It is not uncommon for Panasonic to offer a three-year default warranty, a plus.

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Performance of the program

Select Landmark: Handbrake | iTunes | Photoshop | Multimedia

Handbrake encoding (in seconds)

  • 234 Asus N55 (Core i7 2630QM @ 2.0GHz, 750GB HDD, 8GB RAM)
  • 444 Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 (Core i5 2520M @ 2.5 GHz, 320 GB HDD, 4 GB RAM)
  • 463 Samsung Series 7 (Core i5 @ 2.4GHz, 750GB HDD)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

iTunes encoding (in seconds)

  • 43 Asus N55 (Core i7 2630QM @ 2.0GHz, 750GB HDD, 8GB RAM)
  • 44 Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 (Core i5 2520M @ 2.5GHz, 320GB HDD, 4GB RAM)
  • 46 Samsung Series 7 (Core i5 @ 2.4GHz, 750GB HDD)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Photoshop CS5 test (in seconds)

  • 277 Asus N55 (Core i7 2630QM @ 2.0GHz, 750GB HDD, 8GB RAM)
  • 309 Samsung Series 7 (Core i5 @ 2.4GHz, 750GB HDD)
  • 317 Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 (Core i5 2520M @ 2.5GHz, 320GB HDD, 4GB RAM)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

Multimedia Task Test

  • 273 Asus N55 (Core i7 2630QM @ 2.0GHz, 750GB HDD, 8GB RAM)
  • 371 Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 (Core i5 2520M @ 2.5GHz, 320GB HDD, 4GB RAM)
  • 576 Samsung Series 7 (Core i5 @ 2.4GHz, 750GB HDD)

(Shorter bars indicate better performance)

The quad-core i7 laptop flashes through the Handbrake and Photoshop tests compared to the dual-core i5s, but mid-range processors still do a good job.

Battery life

Battery life (time)

  • Heavy battery test
  • Light battery test
  • 4h 27m 5h 45m
  • Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 (Core i5 2520M @ 2.5GHz, 320GB HDD, 4GB RAM)
  • 3h 34m 5h 4m
  • Fujitsu LifeBook SH771 (Core i5 @ 2.5GHz, 640GB HDD)
  • 4h 8m 4h 45m
  • Samsung Series 7 (Core i5 @ 2.4GHz, 750GB HDD)
  • 2h 14m 3h 33m
  • Asus N55 (Core i7 2630QM @ 2.0GHz, 750GB HDD, 8GB RAM)

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

It’s worth noting that the Asus and Samsung laptops have dedicated graphics here, while Fujitsu is a smaller 13-inch laptop, so comparing the batteries may not be the most fair. As we add more laptops to our new testing mode, we will be able to put more suitable products nearby. Even so, Panasonic is doing very well.

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Conclusion

Panasonic continues its successful Toughbook line with the semifinished CF-53. High battery life and good performance mean that this laptop will not slow you down, and the mix of old and outdated ports means it has to be ready for all sorts of harsh business environments.

See more on how we test PCs here .

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