Advantages Tablet style flip screen, built in functionality
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Well after 3 years of working with the Panasonic CF-34 as an IT consultant with manual workers from another company I finally got to produce a build and play with some Cf-18's. There are many obvious advantages this machine has over it's predecessor, namely the available built in functionality (all at a price of course) plus the ease of use for those with the larger finger.Options include integrated GPRS / GSM slot, WiFi & Bluetooth. Previously you would have to purchase individual cards for these functions which often ends up with a small part of card sticking out of the side of the machine, or an arial in the case of the GPRS / GSM cards. Now all these functions can be integrated within the device by Panasonic. All work well too, with the exception of the GPRS signal. I don't think the arial is very strong for the GPRS signal and these devices are often dropping out of range for GPRS where a phone can get reception. The WiFi has been very good reception, no loss of signal quality or dropping of connections. Battery life is also good now as Panasonic have incorporated Centrino technology which utilises the Pentium M 900Mhz CPU which consumes the least power of the range of processors, giving a significant increase in battery life, we can now almost get a full days use out of these things (7 hours).
Durtability has also been much better than it's predecessor, they don't feel as strong on the outside as the 34 but Panasonic have realised the amount of hard disks that were failing and decided to mount the CF-18 disk in a jelly like substance to further absorb the shocks created by chucking these things around (which people just can't resist when they read Toughbook on the lid!).The touchscreen is good and problems of losing calibration occasionally which we experienced with the 34 seem to have gone. There is also on screen keyboard, handwriting, display rotation utilities that come from panasonic so that you can use the device in it's tablet mode (with the lid flipped) also.
They still cost a small fortune but I think these are only likely to be considered for corporate use and they do the job well. Thanks panasonic for ending the mysery you previously caused me, keep up the good work.
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