Rubber Keyboards (CF-19/20/31/33)

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by Elliot Geo, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. Elliot Geo

    Elliot Geo Newbie

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    Hi,

    I work for a rather large mining company in Australia, and we have a fleet of CF-19 Toughbooks mostly Mk5's and some Mk8's i think we have about 130.

    Since the CF-19 has been discontinued we are looking into replacement options, however we have run into an issue with the CF-20/31/33 models, none of them have the rubber keyboards that the CF-19 had.

    Why is this such and issue you ask? Our Toughbooks are used constantly for 10 hours a day on a RC-Drill rigs by Geologists, they get covered in crap constantly and tiny rock fragments get stuck in the new keyboards making them unusable,

    Using the touchscreen is also out of the question as the screen and stylus frequently gets covered in water. mud, and clay making it difficult to use and import data at high speed (context: we have about 20 seconds to fill a page of data so you don't have time to keep cleaning a screen)

    We have stuck with Panasonic Toughbooks in the past because they are proven to work in our extreme weather conditions, e.g a normal day in summer is around 48C (118F) and in the sun of the back on a ute/pickup we have recorded temps of 58C (136F) they get horrifically dirty and banged about,

    We have field tested the Dell Latitudes (12&14 Rugged Extreme) but they didn't work very well because of their fan cooling vents they started to overheat and lag. we also have looked into Getac however they are very expensive. and have also considered getting Toughpads with a stand and just purchasing a external keyboard.

    My Questions for you fine people are,

    1) Is there a 3rd party manufacturer that makes rubber keyboards for the new models of the Panasonic Toughbook models that we could install ourselves?

    2) Is there another brand or make of fully rugged note books we could trail?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

    Cheers,
     
  2. toughasnails

    toughasnails Toughbook Moderator Moderator

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    Welcome to the Panasonic Toughbook forum

    Have you contacted Panasonic about a rubber keyboard for any of the models you have listed. I find it hard to believe they don't have any available for them.
     
  3. Elliot Geo

    Elliot Geo Newbie

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    Hi thanks for the reply!

    Yep we have contacted Panasonic and they have informed us that they do not manufacture rubber keyboards for the newer models, Sorry i should have put that in the original post,

    Cheers,
     
  4. ADOR

    ADOR Evil Mad Scientist

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    A lot of us don't like the newer styles as well. One thing you can try for the keyboard is they make somethings called "keyboard skins" it's a thin rubber cover for the keyboard. I haven't seen it personally for the toughbooks but you may beable to find something close and try it out. I have used one on a desktop computer before and didn't have a problem typing with it.

    Some just lay over the keyboard, others have a sticky lip and stay in place.
    Some are formed to the shape of the keys, and there are universal ones that you shape to fit.
    I think most of these are silicone based material.

    Here are a few random sites that google pulled up.

    https://www.dhgate.com/product/wholesale-30pcs-lot-universal-laptop-keyboard/138098559.html
    https://www.amazon.com/Silicone-Laptop-Keyboard-Protector-Inspiron/dp/B00CBUGRGI

    Not quite what you are looking for but a idea you could try. They are around 10 to 15 bucks USA each.
     
  5. mruggedmobile

    mruggedmobile Company Representative

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    If you have a continuing requirement for the Toughbook 19, we've been servicing for 15 years. We have about 30 or so Rubber Backlit keyboards available. We also have a supply of New CF-19 mk8's. There are no plans by Panasonic to add the rubber keyboards to the new models. They have standardized with emissive backlit keyboards and with 2 in 1 laptops to tablets. You could use external USB sealed keyboards, however, not a great option.
     
  6. Springfield

    Springfield Notebook Deity

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    If CF-19 is working for you now, just get new CF-19s. I have tried a keyboard skin that seemed to work fine, but I'm thinking it may not be tough enough to last long with mud and rocks. However I have seen Toughbooks that were filthy except for a standard keyboard, which had adhesive residue around it where a skin was used, so it may be worth trying one to see.
     
    toughasnails likes this.
  7. toughasnails

    toughasnails Toughbook Moderator Moderator

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    I understand the 19 is discontinued now but that does not mean you still can't get them. They are many resellers in USA and Canada that are still selling them. The company I work for just bought around 100+ of MK5 to MK8 so you can still get them. We use them on our forklifts and they work great. We even have many MK2's that are still going strong. We have been using 19's for at least 7 years and have no plans on changing. The company I work for is the largest particle board manufacturer in the USA and we are building a new plant which will be the largest in the world when completed. We have stayed with Toughbooks this long because they are the only ones that can take the abuse. Our plant runs 24/7 and only shuts down at Christmas for a week so our 19's are going no stop. The one I use is 4 years old and never had a problem with it except that it's missing a couple of keys. So my advice to you is stay with the 19.
    FYI...we also tried the Dell but could not stand the abuce being mounted on our forklifts. They never lasted one day.
    https://m.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw..._trksid=m4084.l1313&_nkw=cF-19+rubber+keboard
    https://m.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw..._trksid=m4084.l1313&_nkw=cF-19+rubber+keboard
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  8. mruggedmobile

    mruggedmobile Company Representative

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    We have 33 NEW open box Rubber Backlit Keyboard for CF-19mk7 available
     
  9. Frank Baldrighi

    Frank Baldrighi Company Representative

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    Hi Elliot, I was wondering if you have found a solution?
    If not, I'm responsible for the Australian market at Getac and I could provide a V110 for a test.

    I can also help to provide a device with a rubber keyboard

    Thanks for the attention.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2018
  10. BaRRmaley

    BaRRmaley Notebook Deity

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    Do not mess with Getac V110. They look advanced vs CF-19, but their (unexpectedly) low quality kills all benefits. I'm sure it's a pain to maintain their fleet.
    Toughpad +kb is my choice if you can't proceed with cf-19's.
     
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