CF-19 MK6, time to upgrade, windows???

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by thewanderlustking, Oct 23, 2020.

  1. thewanderlustking

    thewanderlustking Notebook Evangelist

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    I have a MK6 cf-191fyc51m. I use it infrequently, mostly just when I need something that requires a PC. In fact, it has been about 8yrs since I used a PC daily. This is running W7. I have never bothered even putting virus protection on it. LOVE this laptop though and feel a little guilty I don't use it more.

    Well my work is switching to digital inspections. And we are expected to use our phone or supply our own devices to utilize. As I watched the presentation, I kept thinking this CF-19 would be the perfect platform to use. The inspections are web based, so not really platform specific. IOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and even Linux, would all be usable.

    I am a mechanic, so whatever I use needs to be durable. My iPhone would kinda work, but I try to handle it as little as possible while working with greasy dirty hands, especially these days... I want to get some real time in on this machine also. A CF-19 can be used in tablet mode and has a keyboard too. A feature lacking on tablets and phones.

    So while I think this would be perfect, I am not sure and I do have other devices I can use. Translation, spending lots of time or money on this isn't very appealing. So my list of problems and concerns:

    1) Running W7 64bit, but only have 4gb memory installed. It feels fine now, but I know that if I have to put virus protection into it, or downgrade to Windows 10, I will definitely need more memory. Spending the money for memory would be in the budget.

    2) I will probably want/need a microphone. Beyond something that simply just plugs in, are there any good hacks to adding one? I am not afraid of disassembly, drilling, or soldering. Are there any factory options for CF-19's?

    3) The backlit chicklet keyboard seems to be fair to type on. I do seem to be dropping some letters. Familiarity and use might help there. I CAN NOT do the rubber membrane keyboards... Is the emissive keyboard fairly water resistant? Greasy hands will require a wipe off before using, but I am sure it won't stay clean no matter how hard I try. A wipe off with simple green now and then will be required. Not sure I would want to add a protective cover, afraid that ould add more pressure to the typing requirement. Dropped a w there lol.

    Ideas? I could go back to a regular keyboard I guess... I have those on hand already too. But if the emissive will hold up fairly well, and even if I end up having to replace it say 8-12 months out, not too expensive anymore.

    4) I REALLY want to avoid changing to W10. I can likely avoid it by running a Linux boot. I am comfortable with W7, and okay with Linux. Linux would be usable, and safe. But is there any good reason to swap to W10? Especially on a machine that won't do much more than some basic web data entry and minimal web browsing? I will look at some youtube videos, and do some google searches to sort out problems. I won't be ordering anything on Amazon, ebay, or anything requiring inputting sensitive personal data like that and security.

    5) So if a change to W10 is recommended, can I reasonably do so on this MK6 without loosing my Panasonic features and functions? I know when W10 came out, while it worked, you lost all built in Panny extra features functionality. I have spent too many days/weeks out of my life getting the all the Panasonic drivers to work on Toughbooks to have one where they don't.

    6) Does a MK8 model bring enough additional to the table to justify the upgrade over this MK6? I could afford one in the $200-350 range they can now be found for on eBay. But those will be missing a HDD, or need memory upgrades. Neither is a big dea for me. But I kinda suspect one of the ATI machines would be more of a performance boost than the MK8.

    This MK6 has an Intel 256 ssd in it already. It is pretty fast on bootup.

    I think I would be more interested in an upgraded machine for home, and use this one at the shop. As far as that goes, I might even consider a CF-31 at home. At the shop though, the CF-19 footprint is as big as I would want to go. But if this goes to the shop, I will have to get another PC for home.

    Actually, for work, a lesser machine might do just as well... I could easily grab a couple MK5's for the shop for the price of more upgrades to this, or the cost of a MK8...

    Again, all I really need it for at work, is web based data entry, google, and youtube. It needs to boot fast from an off state though (ssd to the rescue there, no complaints with this machine).

    Are there other good options I am not considering?
     
  2. steve.steve

    steve.steve Company Representative

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    I would stick with Windows 7. Since you already have an ssd you will be fine with 4gb of memory.
    Run google chrome browser with adblock and you shouldn't need to worry about antivirus.
    The difference between mk6 to mk8 is minimal. Here is a chart showing the differences.
    https://customrugged.com/quick-sheet-of-differences-between-cf-19-mk-versions/
    There is a mic input on the backside of the cf-19 that you can plug a mic into.
    As for the keyboard the chicklit is the same as the standard. There is no drain hole underneath the keyboard so if you spill something sticky you will have to spend time cleaning it out, same as standard keyboard.
    Hope this helps.
    Steve
     
  3. kschewe

    kschewe Notebook Geek

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    you can still technically get updates for windows 7 for the next couple of years. I use linux but on some of my toughbooks windows is better since driver support and software for some components are not on linux. its a pain to calibrate the touchscreen on older non cap screens on the cf-19. I use linux exclusive on cf-c2. You can do a mod of a usb camera and install into the machine for cam and microphone. or just use a wireless one that mounts or clips on.
    I have the rubber keyboard. its neat but crap to type on. Maybe might help with windows 10 and dictation software they are releasing on the next build for w10
    I would look into the cf-20. That is what I will get in the future.
     
  4. thewanderlustking

    thewanderlustking Notebook Evangelist

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    Yeah according to that chart, the jump from MK5 to MK6 is significant enough to justify, but I get basically nothing going from MK6 to MK8.

    Even on my MK1, I had no noticeable issues with Linux. But I wasn't trying to utilize the touchscreen before either. Good chance I will be with this use application. I had the MK1 setup with a cool hidden auto dual boot. Had a flash drive installed into the WWAN slot with Linux on it. So if the WWAN slot was off in bios, it was invisible. If on, it would boot into linux. I pulled that setup when the MK1 was passed along, would take but a few minutes to install into this MK6.

    The MK1 though could not handle any amount of web browsing on windows, it was just "ok" in Linux. This MK6 would FLY on linux. I am okay with (some) stuff not being perfect in Linux, long as it works in 'dowz. But Chrome with adblock sounds even simpler!

    My thoughts were also along the lines of utilizing an internal USB port... I actually have a camera/mic assembly set aside that might be usable. Some experimentation will be required LOL!

    I would LOVE a CF-20! But the prices need to drop to about $400-500 before it becomes a serious consideration. It isn't worth the current $1200 or so for this solution. In theory the CF-20 would be awesome for this application, but looking at the specs, I am not so sure. 1.1ghz is a significant processor speed drop from 2.6ghz. That processor would make me hesitant even at the $400 entry point.
     
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  5. BaRRmaley

    BaRRmaley Notebook Deity

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    Nope. It's not water-resistant at all.
    All features will work even better under W10 :))
     
  6. kschewe

    kschewe Notebook Geek

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    True the cpu is a bit weak it can turbo to 3.3 or something similar. You should check out the cf-c2 with the haswell i5-4300u. i bought a couple of these. They are cheap now. not super tough like the cf19 but probably the best machine i used so far from panasonic. the battery lasts like 5 hours playing games. you can use it as a tablet or laptop.
     
  7. thewanderlustking

    thewanderlustking Notebook Evangelist

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    Any laptop in the shop HAS to be FULLY RUGGED. Semi just won't cut it... Time on battery is les important than rugged. I have had a couple of the "business" rugged Toughbooks and liked them well enough, but they never got used as much as my fully rugged ones do.

    So yeah, if I am spending money on a Toughbook, it will most likely be a CF-31. It sounds like this one will be good enough for this application.
     
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  8. ADOR

    ADOR Evil Mad Scientist

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    My Mk6 right now is running 10 no problems. The haven’t tried to use every feature yet to make sure they are all working yet.

    I think it would be a good cheap idea on the second machine. Or just get another caddy and SSD set up one for work and keep the one you have now set up how you like it with out risking messing it up. Using a windows 7 COA to activate windows 10 is still working last time I did it about a month ago.
     
  9. safn1949

    safn1949 I'm sure I'm on the wrong planet

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    I am running Windows 8.1 on this machine and a CF-74, both c2d and 3gb ram here and 4gb on the CF-74,runs great. I rarely use Windows but when I do on this c2d 2.8 it is very smooth. I wont use Windows 10 as every other update fails and causes no end of grief,no thanks.
     
  10. CF30Medic

    CF30Medic Notebook Enthusiast

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    I have a CF-19 Mk4 running Windows 10. It installed pretty flawlessly. It figured out the drivers, etc on its own as I recall...except for the SD card slot. I’ve never been able to get that working since the changeover.

    There are a number of things you need to tweak once W10 is installed...turning off all the annoyances, spyware, keeps reinstalling crap you don’t need, etc, but I think I worked through all of that in a day.

    I still like W7 better on those machines though.
    W10 tries to make your laptop into an iPad, which makes some things a pain in the ass on the 19 but it works.

    My favorite machine is still the CF-19 MK6 w W7.

    Some clear tape over the door under the keyboard, which is pretty well sealed, might improve its imperviousness. I think you’d have to put a lot of water on it to cause an issue. Just cleaning it wouldn’t likely cause a problem.
    A few extra keyboards wouldn’t hurt either.
     
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