Home Reviews Computers Panasonic CF-AX2 tough book tablet – Review

When reviewing a Panasonic tablet/hybrid tough book one is tempted to overlook any hardware specifications and beat the living daylights out of it.

Ironically, and fortunately for me, a brief read of the manual reveals ‘This computer is designed to minimise shock to parts such as the LCD and flash memory drive and equipped with a drip proof keyboard, but no warranty is provided against any trouble caused by shock.” Panasonic call this a ‘business-rugged convertible Ultrabook.’ Spoil sport …

It is a clamshell design e.g. notebook with 360 degree hinges that allow the screen to flip over to form a thickish tablet.

So let’s get the specifications covered before I am tempted to accidentally drop it – it is supposed to withstand drops of 76cm – desk height!

  • Intel Core vPro 15-3427U – ultra low power, 1.8GHz to up to 2.3GHz in turbo mode. Trusted Platform Module 1.2. This is a 3rd generation, single core, hyper-threading (so it looks like dual core) processor drawing a measly 17 watts.
  • 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD (about 90GB free), SD slot
  • 64bit Windows 8.1 Pro (to log into corporate domains)
  • 11.6”, 1366x768, 135ppi, multi-touch (not a digitiser)
  • Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi N dual band, Ethernet RJ-45 socket, 2 x USB 3.0, HDMI, VGA out, microphone and audio jacks
  • Forward 720p 1280 x 720 pixel camera
  • Built in 2200 mAh battery and a second hot swap 4400 mAh battery
  • 1.155kg, 288 (w) x194 (d) x18mm (h)
  • Optional 3G SIMM card slot
  • 3 year warranty

People buy this Ultrabook to withstand the rough, and tumble - on that count, it is fine. It does everything Windows does with good speed and reasonable battery life – the hot swap is a great feature.

The screen is not great – even under normal office lighting it appears washed out at full brightness and it was hard to see in the sun. Its viewing angle is narrow suggesting it is a standard TN panel. One review measured approx. 180 cd/m2 (low) and 458:1 contrast (OK).

It is also not a multimedia device – one small speaker produces tinny sounds – use an external speaker if sound is an issue.

Battery life was good – 10 hours maximum and about 5 hours under working load with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

The keyboard – an unavoidable evil for journalists – was poor in that regard. It is strictly a hunt and peck chicklet style for occasional use.

Pros: Business-rugged – good for the road warrior; good battery life and hot swap battery; and plenty of processing power

Cons: Mediocre screen and a cramped, awkward, albeit drip proof, keyboard

Would I buy one?

That is a tough call and relates to whether robustness overcomes any admittedly minor irritations. At around AU$2200 I would also look at Toshiba’s Portege Z10 or HP’s EliteBook Revolve but Panasonic has the Toughbook reputation that you cannot ignore.

FREE WHITEPAPER - REMOTE SUPPORT TRENDS FOR 2015

Does your remote support strategy keep you and your CEO awake at night?

Today’s remote support solutions offer much more than just remote control for PCs. Their functional footprint is expanding to include support for more devices and richer analytics for trend analysis and supervisor dashboards.

It is imperative that service executives acquaint themselves with the new features and capabilities being introduced by leading remote support platforms and find ways to leverage the capabilities beyond technical support.

Field services, education services, professional services, and managed services are all increasing adoption of these tools to boost productivity and avoid on-site visits.

Which product is easiest to deploy, has the best maintenance mode capabilities, the best mobile access and custom reporting, dynamic thresholds setting, and enhanced discovery capabilities?

To find out all you need to know about using remote support to improve your bottom line, download this FREE Whitepaper.

DOWNLOAD!

Ray Shaw

joomla stats

Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

Connect