Lets talk about Techtuff / Techtough CF-31 Black Cobra, any user feedback?

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by thewanderlustking, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. User32

    User32 Notebook Deity

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    Get yourself a 31 Mk3 or Mk4 barebone plus a caddy off eBay and have fun with that instead. You could get the lid powder-coated later on if you insist.

    That and using a webcam in 2019/after the NSA spying scandal? Then again the Intel chips in most (if not all?!) Toughbooks are backdoored/flawed to hell and back.
     
  2. thewanderlustking

    thewanderlustking Notebook Evangelist

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    Yes, I could EASILY build a computer ALMOST as nice. But their unit is "essentially" a brand new unit. Short of actually buying a brand new Toughbook... To get an A quality low hour machine will cost me almost as much, or more than TechTough's. And it won't be black with the cool extras that theirs has. If this were just a toy, I would for sure only spend the $299 I can get a barebones MK4 for.

    Unfortunately with TechTough's I am paying for some extras I am unlikely to ever need, or use. 3yr warranty is awesome, but in my almost 20 years of Toughbook ownership I have had almost ZERO failure rate. I had one explode after I threw it 30' while open and it missed, hitting the concrete instead of its intended soft target. -=cough=- It was a CF-71 I believe, so not fully rugged anyways. I have actually killed a few platter drives, easily solved with SSD ones now. And I wouldn't ship a computer back for a HDD failure anyways.

    I used to kill power jacks. I have repaired enough to not care, and finally learned that it was cheap non-Panasonic power supplies doing it. So not sending the computer back for that, and unlikely now to see it happen.

    I am more than willing to pay for the effort they have put into their Black Cobra Edition. It is seriously bad @$$!

    As for the NSA, well whatever. It doesn't matter how secure my laptop is from them, they will be smarter and better. And if they want to get into mine all they will find out is I spend too much time on the internet stirring up silly trouble. If they want to waste taxpayers money trying to prove I am a bad egg, well they can show up on my doorstep and simply ask. I will hand them my computer and write down my passcodes for them.

    Yeah on one hand I hate that we are a short step away from a full surveillance state, but I am not a revolutionist or homegrown terrorist and I have NOTHING to hide. You know what? I can break into most computers too. Yay. I am a normal almost broke American happy to be living here most days and glad for a government that at least mostly cares about protecting its assets. And we are its biggest asset.

    I own a C.A.C. CF-19 and I am proud to do so. Because I know what that stands for. I know it has protected American borders and ideals.

    I think there are lines that need to be drawn in the sand. We HAVE to retain the things that makes America, America. I know when somebody breaks into my home that the NSA isn't going to be monitoring my webcam and show up in 2 minutes to protect me. I am responsible there. And honestly if they WERE and DID show up, why would I complain?

    Security isn't my concern. Heck, I will be putting the fingerprint scanner on my daily CF-19 and likely on the CF-31 too. Conveinance, not security.

    If somebody wants to steal your car badly enough and has the skills to do so, they will. If somebody wants to get into your computer or see what you are doing on your webcam, and they have the skills to do so, they will.

    Simply put, don't give them a reason. Don't leave the keys in your car. And if the FBI or NSA wants to have a close look at your files... You PROBABLY gave them a good reason to want to do so.

    I am more concerned about identity theft, than our government. So lets just walk away from this conversation before it gets any more "political."


    I want a very nice Toughbook. I want one to replace my MacBook in quality and use. My 2012 Mac is almost perfect cosmetically, and with almost zero effort I could fix its one small blemish. I want a ToughBook that nice.

    I don't think I can find one that nice on eBay for what TechTough's awesome unit will cost me. ESPECIALLY if they will do the upgrade to the machine I want performance wise for the price on their website. Not a bad deal there!
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019
    Shawn likes this.
  3. kode-niner

    kode-niner Notebook Consultant

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    Screw the VR6
    [​IMG]
     
  4. theoak2

    theoak2 Notebook Evangelist

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    Yep, I also believe techtough's product is a bargain at their price ($1664.00 for 480 GB SSD, WWAN, GPS, and their lovely looking paint job). I wish I could afford it. I have to settle for one from eBay with me putting in optional goodies. But techtough's price is within reason, especially when you consider their like-new condition, and not having to scrounge missing (quality) parts. You cannot touch that price if new. (I'm not employed by techtough, just a fan).

    I also agree that although our government is imperfect, and even unfair at times, it is far, far, far better than anarchy. I also agree that if you don't want the government "spying" on you, don't do things that attract their attention! They are really trying to control crimes of all sorts. Not easy these days!!
     
  5. thewanderlustking

    thewanderlustking Notebook Evangelist

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    kode-niner I am pretty sure that the VR6 swap IS the path to the dark side. I mean really, who can resist putting a turbo on it next?! Once you have a taste of the darkness.... And I could paint it black. Cause that would be super cool... or um dark? LOL!

    Well I finally went and did my taxes this evening. My old job and Prez Trumpster screwed me out of my tax return. It is 1/3rd what it has been the past three years. Wit a conservative estimate based on the past three years, I could have easily grabbed the Black Cobra and put down much of what I needed for the swap. Now, it will be a stretch to do either.

    So priorities first. I need transportation. Preferably with AC, so not the two wheels and pedal type. So I will hobble my car to work and get out a compression and leak down tester to see how badly damaged the motor actually is. Wait for my next paycheck coming up, it is supposed to have a good commission payout on it. I also have 12hrs overtime. And a computer that is "almost" sold.

    I need to know exactly what I have to work with, then hopefully I can decide from there.

    I think a possible compromise might be to get the Black Cobra with zero add ons and only a 240gb drive. I can add in the GPS and Webcam from them later.

    I agree, while I can make it myself, the quality of the job TechTough has done will be hard to reach. And by the time I get the right computer, and disassemble it enough to fully murder it out with a good powder coat, I may not be able to beat their price. And once I factor in the custom made dogbone and palmrest, yeah I can't beat that.
     
  6. thewanderlustking

    thewanderlustking Notebook Evangelist

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    Well sadly, I missed TechTough's deadline. And right now any deadline would be missed. My car won this round. I came across a good engine swap deal I just couldn't pass up. Unfortunately getting it to me broke any fudget room I might have had. But that is okay, next month prices are likely to drop a touch LOL! In the meantime, I will get my CF-19's up to full speed. My MK6 will at least give me a minimum speed idea.

    So I did decide on the CF-31 I want anyways after much digging, thinking, and justifying. I want the MK4 2.8 with the ATI video. Between 2.5 to 2.7 or 2.8 I think the performance increase will be fairly minimal. But add the ATI to the 2.8, and that should be a decent upgrade especially how video intensive I tend to use my machines. No gaming, but I spend a lot of time streaming and a fair amount of time in Photoshop and the like.

    The ATI would also free up some memory the video usually steals, if I understand it correctly.

    I will max the memory of course.

    I don't care about a DVD drive, and instead want a second battery.

    Don't care about the touchscreen.

    Defiantly will have the backlit keyboard, chiclet type.

    Want the high definition webcam.

    Want GPS.
     
  7. unclemack

    unclemack Notebook Evangelist

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    I bought a few little bits from TechTough a few years ago, great quality and very professional.
    I was tricking out my new/old CF-31 Mk 2-ski a few weeks ago and seriously thinking about one of those TecroTech HD webcams.
    Then I came to my senses - looks like a brilliantly-designed bit of kit but even if I did make video calls, which I don't, why would anyone want to see every pore and wrinkle on my geriatric old mush?
    I know you don't care about the touchscreen and neither do I really - but the touchscreen itself was already there from new on mine and all it needed was a £28.99 circuit board, a bios setting and the drivers so I decided it was worth doing.
    'Course then I had to buy stylus & tether & some replacement black plastic trims but who's counting?
    Oh, and I'm down to my last 17 GPS devices on the boat so I bought the factory GPS for the 31 - dunno why you guys say it's no good, I'm under 5mm of steel overhead and got a fix from cold in 25 seconds.
    Still trying to get used to ten acres of new US chiclet keyboard though, after using the 19 for so long.

    I did have to specify that the TS controller board be included with the lid shell & TS but ebay seller tough-stone in HK was very helpful.
    eBay item number: 273626734126 if they've any left.

    Precision powder coating thickness control relies on hundreds of hours of practice and coating thickness is critical to appearance and durability.
    It's nothing like wet spraying where the wet film reflection guides you. I've had thousands of hours of professional experience in both disciplines and my work was quite highly regarded - and I wouldn't choose to powder coat at home, I'd take it to one of the custom motorcycle guys.
    Or at least practice on the spare lid that came with the TS :)
     
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  8. Jester321

    Jester321 Notebook Guru

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    I think I have the bug too, as I picked up a cf-31 also. It's an i3 mk3. Think I might try to find at least a mk4 so I can have windows 10 support from Panasonic if I need it.

    I was intrigued by the ATI models, but they seem tough to find. Also something to consider, you can't use a second battery if you get the ATI model. It doesn't have the battery connector.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
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  9. User32

    User32 Notebook Deity

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    Mk3 and Mk4 both support Win10, they've got the same hardware and Ivy Bridge was the first CPU to officially support Win10.
     
  10. Jester321

    Jester321 Notebook Guru

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