“How to buy a realiable refurbished fully rugged toughbook”

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by ohlip, Dec 30, 2015.

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  1. ohlip

    ohlip Toughbook Modder

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    1) Ask the seller an actual picture of the item for sale. if it is not listed as actual item. Ask more pictures if you are still not satisfied. Also ask the seller what Mark or model the item listed for sale. There are significant differences between model of a toughbook(MK1, MK2, MK3, MK4 & etc.). The higher the Mark the higher the speed, graphics and chipset. Other seller don't want to list this mark cause this is also one way to fool novice buyer.

    2) Make sure the unit has no or free of bios password. If there is, ask the seller If he knows what it is. If not, walk away unless you know what you are doing.

    3) Ask the seller how many hours accumulated time on the bios page of the actual unit for sale. It is the most critical point on purchasing the unit mentioned. It will identified how the screen brightness is affected. Unless the unit is seating on the table or dock 24hrs., seven days a week and hibernating but for sure we didn't know where it came from.

    a) A unit using a CCFL tube as their backlight like CF-30(all model), CF-52GUN....model and CF-19MK1-Mk2. When the unit hit around 8,000hrs. accumulated time on the bios. The brightness of the screen will be less than a half of what is on the detailed specs sheet. Like a 1,000nit value become only around 500 or less. It will be dim and sooner or later it will start to fail or burned the CCFL tube.

    Note: The only solution is to replaced the screen with a good or brand new one or convert it to an LED backlight.

    b) A unit using an LED backlight like CF-31(all model). When the unit reaches 10,000hrs. accumulated time on the bios. It has also have their own issues . It has a noticeable rolling effect on the screen like flickering when the unit came from sleep setting even though LED backlight last five time longer than CCFL tube. The problem is not the backlight but within the PWM on the driver component that need to be replaced. It is usually integrated on the LCD screen pcb board or sometimes separate. It depends on the model

    Note: The only solution is to replaced the screen with a good or brand new one or the component mentioned above but that is only for the people who has a technical knowledge to accomplished this type of job.

    4) CF-31 Toughbook LCD screen(all model): Ask the seller if the screen has no dreaded white spot. This is pretty common issues on this unit even if the unit has only a few hundred hrs. accumulated time or usage. This will identify by looking side way when the LCD is lighted on. It appear either one or multiple spot. If the seller refused to answer this question, walk away because it will be your problem later on.

    5) GPS option: This is an option that buyer must be aware off. Some seller has an ability to confused or fooled buyers from their ads. There are two types of integrating a GPS option on the Fully Rugged Toughbook or maybe both of them.

    a) Dedicated GPS: This option is the real deal. It has a dedicated GPS receiver that connected directly in to the motherboard and it is coupled with dedicated GPS antenna that can detect satellite directly from the space. There are numerous state of the art GPS receiver module on the market today but I preferred the U-Blox GPS receiver. This is the option that you will find into all of my unit. Even panasonic turned to U-blox module into their latest CF-31(MK5) and CF-19(MK8) toughbook. It can fixed satellite signal instantly so that you can use your Nav. Software or other software that need gps technology.

    b) Standalone GPS: This option came from WWAN modem like Gobi2000, Gobi3000 and so on. It is embedded into a modem using a WWAN antenna. Seriously, it is a crap! If you have no idea what you are buying and this is most likely fooled you from other seller. We suspect that this is for advertisement purposes only. My friend has always saying; Maybe you are already on your destination but this thing haven’t yet fixed any single satellite, Lol...

    Final Note:
    Be very careful. Some seller can easily be fooled you, like on the GPS option. They don’t want to discuss it on detailed because they hide something. Sometimes they offer very cheap on refurbished unit that you almost can't resist. Cheaper unit doesn’t mean you’ve got a good deal or maybe because its "Black, Red, Blue, Yellow or whatever". The big answer is “NO!” Specifically for those unit with third party powder coated machine. Panasonic Toughbook LID cover has rubber sealing component into its siding to prevent entry of any elements. By powder coating this rubber sealing must be taken it off before to place the LID into oven. By not doing so the rubber seal will be burned out and if it will be taken off. There is a 100% chance to screwed it up cause it was held by a high strength adhesive. So, what happened is, it will compromised the entire LCD assembly. Think twice my friend before you pull the trigger. You must first considered the reliability of the unit itself by following my guide above.

    Regarding the speed of the unit, sometimes they are exaggerated or go beyond to its normal specs so that to cheat/fool novice buyers. Instead of listing its normal speed, they listed its turbo boost speed on top of the tittle page. I called them a cheap shot by those seller. You must also not just look into its physical condition but also look into its technical detail of the listing. Others offer lifetime warranty and support but that is a BIG "joke!" Look on their feedback. They still charged you even if its only a week old transaction.

    For those who already bought a second hand or refurbished unit. Specifically the CF-31 Toughbook, any mark. I challenged you to do this testing. Adjust the brightness into a half position and then set the unit into sleep. When the unit is at sleep, turn it "On" then observe the display screen if it has a rolling effect like flickering. When it does, your in trouble. Return it to your seller because sooner or later it will be obviously noticeable. Also consider guide no. 4
    Other components like Harddrive, RAM, CD rom drive can easily be replaced and upgraded. Guide usually available on YUTUBE on how to do it.

    If you followed my guide, you will have a unit that will be last for years and years to come but If you do want an adventure and want to learned a hard lesson, never mind my guide. Its your money anyway, Lol..... Good Luck and Happy Hunting.


    ohlip/teo
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2016
  2. fai1984canton

    fai1984canton Notebook Guru

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    Very useful guide! thanks a lot! hope you update anytime with more ideas!
     
  3. CWB32

    CWB32 Need parts for my flying saucer.

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    "Note: The only solution is to replaced the screen with a good or brand new one or the component mentioned above but that is only for the people who has a technical knowledge to accomplished this type of job."

    you forgot to include "mechanical prowess" .
    i have known many tech savvy (bench repair) individuals that had horrible abilities when it came to the physical/mechanical side of repair work .
     
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  4. ohlip

    ohlip Toughbook Modder

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    I will!

    ohlip
     
  5. Toyo

    Toyo Notebook Deity

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    Good info to know!
     
  6. ohlip

    ohlip Toughbook Modder

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    On the other side between the toughbook CF-31 i3 and i5 series. At least this is the one I do have an i3 MK2 has like a transflective touchscreen display. Also it uses a matte finished LCD while on the i5 series, it uses a glossy finished LCD.

    ohlip
     
  7. toughasnails

    toughasnails Toughbook Moderator Moderator

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    So which one do you think is the best ?
     
  8. ohlip

    ohlip Toughbook Modder

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    For my taste! The i3MK2 that I do have had much better quality picture on direct sunlight.

    ohlip
     
  9. ohlip

    ohlip Toughbook Modder

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    Another info. Not all CF-31 toughbook has an option for media bay battery. It is an ad on option, So If you are preparing to have a unit with main and media bay battery ask the seller if it is capable. It depends on the unit model no.

    ohlip
     
  10. ohlip

    ohlip Toughbook Modder

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    Updated.

    ohlip
     
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