First ToughBook purchase: CF-30 or CF-31?

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by Old Gator, Apr 10, 2018.

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  1. Old Gator

    Old Gator Newbie

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    I am considering buying a ToughBook as a secondary Windows laptop (meaning it won't be my primary computer). My primary desktop is a Mac, but I use some older software that is Windows only so I keep a Windows laptop available. The software is not particularly demanding and runs fine on Win7-32 bit, so I was thinking about a CF-30. I generally only use Windows software when an equivalent is not available for the Mac and I don't want to go past Win7 anyway, so I'm not too concerned about future compatibility. Are there other reasons why going with a CF-31 would be a better choice? The lower price of a CF-30 over a CF-31 looks appealing but I don't want to be shortsighted. Since it will be my first ToughBook I will buy from a recognized vendor, rather than taking my chances on ebay.

    One of my main reasons for getting a ToughBook is the ability to see the screen in daylight. I have attempted to use mapping software outdoors on Dell laptops with very poor results.

    Thanks.
     
  2. toughasnails

    toughasnails Toughbook Moderator Moderator

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    Well if you are looking at a CF-30 then make sure you get a MK3. It will run W7 just fine. The MK1 takes some working to run W7. I don't have a 31 but @Shawn has sold a few of them to members on here and they have been very happy with them. If you are going to a reseller then beware the price will be a lot higher or even double the price for less options. Also most resellers sell on eBay but have a higher price due to eBay's high selling fees.
     
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  3. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    Outdoors = a 31 has LED backlight. LED has a much longer life while the CF 30 CCFL backlight will dim over time.
    Personal opinion is the 31 has a somewhat better factory gps unit available.
    I can go on, but you get the idea. A 31 is a better value for your investment in my opinion.
    Plus I have one I can setup to your needs. :) PM me for details

    Just for fun, there are a couple skins that makes Win7 look a lot like OsX
     
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  4. toughasnails

    toughasnails Toughbook Moderator Moderator

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    Shawn he can't send a PM yet. He needs 5 total posts
     
  5. safn1949

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

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    Go with the 31, even the core i3 is a major improvement.
     
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  6. Old Gator

    Old Gator Newbie

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    Thanks for the comments, they help. I read through all 38 pages of the CF30/CF31 thread and got confused with what are the differences among all the Marks and Options. Shawn, I replied to your message.

    Thanks
     
  7. User32

    User32 Notebook Consultant

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    31 any day, Core 2 Duo is nearly obsolete in 2018.
     
  8. ADOR

    ADOR Evil Mad Scientist

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    One other thing to consider is have you every held a 30/31? They aren't light at all. Just something to consider. I wound up swapping to a 19 for travel purposes so I could keep fully rugged and keep for the weight limits we have on the helicopter going to work.

    A 30 has a second battery option, dvd drive, the 19 series you won't have a internal DVD drive or second battery option. (they both fit in the same slot on the 30 so you can't have both at the same time) I still have a use a 30 but it's purpose now is more secondary. It stays in the shed does automotive OBD2 testing and plays music mainly. Every now and then look up something car wise I need in the shed. 1.6 dual core is you only option far as cpu goes with intergrated options only. This model is fan less. And remember what Shawn mentioned earlier about the screen lighting. Full sized keyboard.

    The 31 is a very good option, can even get one with ATI graphics in it. i3/i5/i7 are cpu options. It has a fan on top of a sealed plate. I did have some videos at one time of them pouring water into the fan and it just blew it out. It is the about the same size and weight as the 31. Has a internal DVD option, I think it has a internal battery option as well. LED back lit screens on all models. Full size keyboard.

    If you need something lighter the 19 is a option. Mk1 and Mk2 have the older back lit bulbs, Mk1 is known for bad touch screens, Mk1-3 are core duo/core 2 duo, Mk3 up are Led back lit screens. The keyboards are smaller and take a little time to get use to. No internal second battery or dvd option. Smaller screen.

    All of these have the older style squared screen, not wide screens.

    On keyboards. You have standard, emissive (chicklet style but backlight) and rubber backlight. The rubber back lit can be a big pain to type on, but it protects the most.
     
  9. towelie

    towelie Notebook Enthusiast

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    What do you plan using it for in the sunlight? Web browsing on the XGA screen gets frustrating fast. How long of battery life do you need? If you can i would give the FZ-G1 a try, the 4gb ram models are getting very cheap on ebay and the screen is fantastic/good battery life/rugged and light.
     
  10. Old Gator

    Old Gator Newbie

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    Thanks for the additional info. Weight isn't a huge concern because my use would be either indoors or within/near a vehicle. The ability to read the screen in bright sun is centered around mapping applications and running a couple of old Windows software packages for field programming of some old equipment. Access is by vehicle, so any hand carry is only for a short distance.

    This is all for hobby/secondary use, not for business purposes, and it won't be my primary computer.

    Thanks for all the help; I'm not familiar with the FZ-G1, I'll have to take a look.
     
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