My Toughbook Love Affair....

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by R.Smith, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. R.Smith

    R.Smith Notebook Enthusiast

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    Soooo.... The first time I met a Toughbook was at a tech expo sometime in 2001 or so in Maryland when I was in the Army and stationed at Raven Rock Mountain Complex (A.K.A. "Site R" A.K.A. "The Underground Pentagon". It was glorious and magnificent, and the Panasonic vendor who was running the booth referred to it as "The Hummer of laptops" to appeal to the military crowd. Problem was, the thing ran a pricetag of around $2700.00, and as much as I loved it, there was no way I could pull that off at the time (maybe if I was an officer...field-grade at least... and also was savvy enough to work it into a tax deduction, but for a computer of any type at that time in my career/income bracket - NOPE). Soooo, I just adored the beautiful thing from a distance, like it was a beautiful pole dancer I shouldn't touch (I DID touch the Toughbook though... so at least I had THAT going for me!). Fast-forward to my first job after retiring from the Army... (2005/2006) I was a Marketing Manager and PC technician for a small business in California (Folsom...$$$ - we built custom desktops and laptops for people who had lots of money and did not at all mind being severely overcharged, because it was custom built for them, and they "knew the guy who built it"... and we did provide unmatchable local customer service...I reckon...). My Wheelhouse at the shop was selling overpriced computers.... built to order...ordering the parts from about 5 vendors in Freemont, CA, and building the machines (desktops....I had a Laptop guy who specialized in those, with regards to building and repairing). **Sidenote: I walked out on that job because my morals overrode my financial need to provide for my family in a ridiculously high cost of living area...but whilst I was there...I was a ROCKSTAR at not only overselling ****, but also giving my own personal time for free at supporting the age-advanced people who bought it, and had significant challenges with screwing up configurations and not understanding the "innerwebs"...It was somewhat of a wash, because my boss, the owner of the company, overcharged the **** out of everything, and as the Marketing Manager, I was on the spot for selling all of it... but at least I gave free tech support to the elite who demanded royalty-level support for the overpriced stuff they bought.

    Onward to my #2 "brush with the Toughbook"... We repaired a LOT of laptops. A LOT... My laptop tech (who was actually my "peer", as I was the Marketing Manager and Desktop Tech.... but Laptops...those required special skills that I was not willing to screw with, so I really looked UP to him)... I noticed we NEVER EVER brought in a Panasonic Toughbook for repair....EVER. One day I asked him if he had EVER worked on a Toughbook. NOPE. Now.... from a technician/repair/custom PC Marketing Manager point of view, this intrigued me. WHY HAS MY LAPTOP TECH NEVER WORKED ON A TOUGHBOOK????
    We discussed it a few times that day and I decided I needed to know more....So I went onto ebay and found a "used Toughbook pulled from a CHP cruiser - Works" in California for $55. I ordered that badboy immediately. This is like getting the alien in Roswell!! It came in the following week. I don't know what model it was... super early police cruiser model....it was black. I powered it up... and it booted up to Windows 98, albeit a very dim screen.... it was very battered... I'd have guessed it was a military device handled by troops for about 15 years, based on it's physical condition....very rugged, but surviving...
    It worked.... now let's tear this thing apart!!!
    We dismantled it completely. And we were AMAZED!! The hard drive was encased in a gel surrounding WITH A HEATER THINGIE...and the rest of the rig was surrounded by a metallic alloy honeycomb-type enclosure which was obviously thoughtfully designed for the apocalypse. We looked at each other in a bit of amazement. We had never worked on a Toughbook because they don't break. This $55 scar machine pulled from the Highway Patrol, and had certainly endured some years of abuse was still running.

    I could not pull off a deal with Panasonic to become a certified dealer of Toughbooks due to the size of our business and the fact that we lacked some sort of whatever, and the dude who owned the company wasn't willing to do the things ($$) to meet that requirement...but I DID find a somewhat close runner-up. The Durabook by Twinhead!! A Semi-rugged laptop with smooth stuff and spill protection and alloy and stuff. I needed a "floor model" to use to sell these things to our elite customers!! I contacted Twinhead and their factory direct prices were much higher than what I could score one from Newegg.... so... being the "trooper" (and also having an excellent excuse for spending the$$), I bought myself one from Newegg for $1200 (I STILL HAVE IT). I used it as my "work laptop" during all of my marketing and pressure sales crap meetings, and I was successful at selling TWO of them for a few hundred $ more than I paid for mine because we ordered them from the factory (corporate America can suck, but...I get it...volume makes a difference...and my purchase from Newegg reflected THEIR price +markup versus OUR tiny computer store price +markup .. the real SUCK for me was... that equated to $700 freaking dollars!!) Needless to say... I ended my employment with this company and went back to my "day job/career" of 20+ years in law enforcement... morals and ethics and stuff...

    Oh... Back to TOUGHBOOKS!! I bailed on the computer job and went back to my career field... Law Enforcement... (the computer gig was certainly fun, and I enjoyed the hell out of building custom rigs, but the owner of the company wanted some things that I was NOT ethically OK with, knowing what things cost and what we were charging).... I grabbed a job a Federal Police Officer with the gub'ment.... I started out as a uniformed officer, and worked my way up to become the Chief of Police.... but let's reel back.... When I was in my role as a uniformed officer, I had a unique opportunity to order a CF52 (2007) as a part of an Emergency Management thing. I grabbed that quickly... And when it came in, my CHief and everybody in between had no interest in this expensive computermachine.... so I "adopted" it as "mine", and used it very, very thoroughly for the next 10 years.... It was my work laptop for 10 years, and I used THE HELL out of it! When I was a Detective, I used it for all sorts of surveillance and forensic crap - VERY SUCCESSFULLY.. and eventually, I was forced to upgrade the XP Pro to Windows 7 Pro.... Bought that and did the upgrade....still used it extensively (I must say, I used this machine much more than I used my own personal computer for 10 years, because I was always engaged in work... and this thing never ever let me down) I kept the same Toughbook CF52 as my own work machine all the way through to my last years from 2012 to the end of 2016 as Chief of Police..

    Then.... I hit my 30 years with Law Enforcement and realized I should do something else for work, or I'd have a stroke or something... Sooo I retired from Federal Law Enforcement and became a Government Information Specialist (Privacy/HIPAA/FOIA Officer). I wanted my own Toughbook, but STILL... I could not justify the $$ to myself for spending between $2500-$3500 on a computer... I was browsing on TigerDIrect one day around this time and stumbled across a CF-30 Mk2 - Factory Refurbished, for $400. With a Panasonic Warranty.... I bought that beast right away. When it came in, it had WIndows 7 Pro (32 bit), 2GB RAM and a 320GB HDD. I immediately replaced the RAM with 4GB and the HDD with a 500GB SSD....and this was my new love.... It was literally LIKE NEW! I STILL haven't used the touchscreen for much...aside from just playing with it...but this thing is PHENOMENAL!! I've had it for over 3 years and I still adore it like it was my first girlfriend....

    But wait... there's MORE! One day last month, I was using my gorgeous CF30 (Mk2.... CF-30FCSJXAM) during an interview, and the union rep remarked on the absolute beauty of my computer..... I told him what it was, and that he could grab a refurb for a reasonable price... Sooooo I was going to send him a link from TigerDirect or Newegg.... but... then I ran across this here CF-191HYCV1M on my life support system (Amazon Prime) for $299!!!! I could hardly believe it.... The condition listed was "Used-Very Good" (this is a Toughbook... so as far as hardware goes... I'm super good with that). Then, there was a discrepancy in the remarks as to whether this unit shipped with Win7Pro or Win10 Pro... I use both.... I'm happy with both.... this machine advertises with 8GB RAM and 120GB SSD (not an issue for me... I ALWAYS replace any laptop HDD with a 500GB SSD... and... I have one right here onhand..). I ordered it. It shipped and arrived 6 days quicker than advertised.... nice. But then, I was in for the delightful surprises..... It does have Win10 Pro 64 bit, and, it also has GPS already, and the hardware for whichever cellular service preferred... It has the GSM card, and it has the cellular antennas already, it has the "wings" on both sides of the screen, and this thing is literally LIKE NEW. This machine somehow even surpassed my pleasure and excitement with the quality of my CF-30 when I received it 3 years ago! HOLY SMOKES! This machine works PERFECTLY!! Fast, smooth and everything I could ever ask for in a laptop, tablet or desktop PC! I do a LOT of photography work (my hobby, but a serious hobby), and I was hoping this machine could handle all of my professional-grade Adobe programs (Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere, Spark, Enhance, etc...), and... it handles all of it without a hiccup. I don't know and I don't care if this machine (CF-19) supports "gaming" applications, but I DO know, it supports applications worthy of society and our advancement in society (hopefully this comment is not lost on wandering readers... This equipment will support advanced operations no matter if you are intelligent or completely braindead.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
    442scotty and toughasnails like this.
  2. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    Please leave the politics out.
    There is zero room to insult people in this forum.
    This forum survives and is great because we are all mature and accept everyone. We leave the judgement, prejudice, and bias AT THE DOOR. Please take that elsewhere. It is not acceptable here.

    Like everywhere else in my life, I use an ignore list.

    @toughasnails Blair please edit his post and remove the political offensive and unnecessary comments.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
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  3. R.Smith

    R.Smith Notebook Enthusiast

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    Shawn, I apologize and have edited my original post (hopefully caught the full element of political content). We are here to support a fantastic product, and my post ended with a sentiment very contrary to that focus. I definitely apologize and respect your position on the notice of my poor ending.
     
  4. toughasnails

    toughasnails Toughbook Moderator Moderator

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    Configuration Results

    SKU Number : CF-191HYCV1M
    Status : DISCONTINUED
    MSRP : $4,459

    Description :
    WIN7, INTEL CORE I5-3320M 2.60GHZ, VPRO, 10.1" XGA TOUCH, 500GB(7200RPM), 4GB, INTEL WIFI A/B/G/N, TPM, BLUETOOTH, DUAL PASS (UPPER:WWAN/LOWER:WLAN), 56K MODEM (RJ11), VERIZON 4G LTE, GPS, NO DRIVE, TOUGHBOOK PREFERRED

    Very nice 19 MK5 you have there, just like mine. You should be very happy with it.
     
  5. User32

    User32 Notebook Evangelist

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    That's a Mk6, 3320M is Ivy Bridge.
     
  6. toughasnails

    toughasnails Toughbook Moderator Moderator

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    My bad....you are right :vbthumbsup:
     
    Dannemand and custom90gt like this.
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