Panasonic Toughbook CF-01|
Hardened Pocket PC by the makers of the Toughbook line
(by Conrad H. Blickenstorfer)
Now discontinued, Panasonic's "Toughbook" line of reliable, ruggedized notebook computers once included a hardened PDA, the Toughbook 01. The 01 was around for a while, and had been kept up-to-date technologically.
The last version we reviewed used a state-of-the-art Intel PXA263 processor and merged full Pocket PC 2003 functionality with a heavily reinforced case and a 38-key RIM-style thumb-type keyboard. We noted that the P1 had been available for over three years, so it was a reliable and field-tested device.
At the time of our last review, we lauded Panasonic for keeping this remarkable machine technologically up-to-date by switching to a 520MHz PXA263 processor, twice the RAM and Flash, and a more powerful battery. An internal CF Card slot allowed for protected expansion, and the P1 could also accommodate various radio options (including SIM-based) as well as a 2D bar code scanners. The P1 used Panasonic's experienced magnesium construction. We found it larger and heavier than a consumer class PDA, but still small enough to carry the workload in tough jobs in the field.