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Old 26-03-2011, 12:04   #1
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Panasonic Toughbook - Chartplotter etc - Any Good ?

Fella from around here has been flogging these over the last few months - I am guessing ex MOD or summit. Am not a computer techie but the specs I vaguely recognise look to me rather dated.......but nonetheless, 200 sounds ok to me as a package (for what it does / with the mapping and charts) unless there be something I am missing.......

Portability between boats has an attraction to me....................of course I won't be giving up paper

CF-28 DVD TOUCH-SCREEN REALTIME CHARTPLOTTER w LIVE GPS on eBay (end time 26-Mar-11 18:57:37 GMT)

I have included the link above not as an advert, but simply as it has lots of specs / techie stuff - as no idea what is actually important



And when it's closed it is yellow



Seems to be fairly DOJ proof............

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Old 26-03-2011, 12:21   #2
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Re: PANASONIC TOUGHBOOK - chartplotter etc, any good?

For $350 (less than that price) you can get a new netbook with double the horsepower and half the size. It's not as "hardended" as a toughbook, but toughbooks aren't really that "hardened" when you get right down to it. A real "hardended" laptop that the military would use costs a lot of money and weighs a ton on top of it.

Gadget opinions are up there with boat opinions; there's a lot of right answers (and a lot of wrong ones), so take mine with a grain of salt.

But for $350 I can buy a netbook with 10 hours of batter life that will probably last for years.
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Old 26-03-2011, 14:20   #3
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Re: PANASONIC TOUGHBOOK - chartplotter etc, any good?

Had one briefly as a backup for nav on board but was not that impressed, battery life was not that good and it was quite slow. Sold it on e-bay!!

Now use a 15" Toshiba, much bigger screen, better resolution, not a toughbook but I will take my chance

Just my opinion
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Old 26-03-2011, 15:53   #4
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Re: PANASONIC TOUGHBOOK - chartplotter etc, any good?

FWIU, Intel is coming out/has just come out with new chips aimed at the Netbook market. These chips are supposedly more efficient, faster, better graphics, etc. Would wait a bit and see how this affects the Netbook market.

I've currently got a Toshiba 10" and a Fujitsu 11" netbooks. The Toshiba has good battery life but the silly extra inch of monitor makes the Fujitsu much more pleasurable to use. The Toshiba comes with something called Windows 7 basic which is very very basic. The Fujitsu has the next step up Windows which seems to has more control over screen appearance and other features I use. Got the Fujitsu for a little over $400, the Toshiba for $300. Both worked well on a recent Transpac downloading Grib files and sending Email. I've got a Garmin Plotter so haven't bothered with NAV programs on the Netbooks.
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Old 26-03-2011, 16:02   #5
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Re: PANASONIC TOUGHBOOK - chartplotter etc, any good?

I used a Panasonic Toughbook coming across the Pacific. It got saltwater corrosion after a while and it was still under warranty when I arrived in NZ. I took it to Panasonic for warranty repair and they refused to touch it as it had been used on a boat. Apparently the air intake for the fan had sucked in salt-laden se air. Used in a marina office for example would have been ok....used on a boat is not. Even though it was a Toughbook and supposedly waterproof the "conditions it was used under" constituted abuse....I will NEVER buy a Panasonic again. If the warranty is useless may as well buy a Toshiba or whatever at a 10th of the price and much better specs coz it will last just as long!!
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Old 26-03-2011, 16:50   #6
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Re: PANASONIC TOUGHBOOK - chartplotter etc, any good?

David, that is going to be very slow with only 518mb of Ram for Win XP. Minimum recommended is 1Gb and preferably 2Gb.

I can't say I like my Dell much, but I bought Viv a new entry level Acer for surfing the net and stuff. Battery life is superb just goes on and on and its a tough little unit even with the cat constantly walking across it.

I would look again at the netbooks to see if you can live with the smaller screen or if not chose a new laptop.

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Old 26-03-2011, 19:56   #7
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Re: PANASONIC TOUGHBOOK - chartplotter etc, any good?

..seems expensive for an old PIII.I've had toughbooks.They are ok but you should check out the USA ebay as a $ comparison.You should be able to get at least a Pentium M for that.Say,a CF73?or better.These will most likely still be XP,of course. Panasonic screens are not awful bright but they are almost seeable in daylight due to the...is it TFT? screen. I note that the navigation software that seems to be a selling point is freeware.OpenCPN.A good one,but don't let it swing the deal.You can download it yourself. Also,the charts are CM93.A common torrent or fileshare. Nope.I like toughbooks but that's too much$.I bought a 1ghzP3 CF48 for 190$ about 5 years ago.Still aboard. I'm not big on netbooks.Screen too small and many have shiny screens.12" is minimum for me....
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Old 26-03-2011, 23:13   #8
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Re: PANASONIC TOUGHBOOK - chartplotter etc, any good?

I use a very old general dynamics gobookii. They are built to military specs and brutally tough. I disabled alot of the backround services in xp and it performs great as a chart plotter. Not bad for web stuff either. Im playing with a dell v13 which is priced at $375 given that price you almost have to think just buy it. Im not stunned with it like I am the mac air but the price makes it attractive. Which reminds me Im suddenly attracted to you did you do something with your hair?
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Old 27-03-2011, 04:06   #9
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Re: PANASONIC TOUGHBOOK - chartplotter etc, any good?

Cheers for the input.

I have a Netbook (Acer Aspire One) - bought as a stop gap a couple of years ago, and I love it Have never got around to "upgrading" (at home I use it with a 23 inch screen)......I even bought one for my Father at Xmas (his first computer ) - can't remember how much, 200? which is starting to get into disposable territory, or at least means that an upgrade (by replacement) every 2 or 3 years is cheap enough.

FWIW although 200 is around $350, in buying power really only 1:1 in these parts...........but as said, that spec is really low. Shame, as I really like the look of it
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Old 27-03-2011, 04:08   #10
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Re: PANASONIC TOUGHBOOK - chartplotter etc, any good?

There were a couple of Laptops poised to the hit the market this year that were "submersion" capable. If I remember correctly Toshiba and NEC had models demonstrated at CES 2009 that were in fact waterproof.

NEC introduced a new "tough book" model I assume as an attempt to enter the Mil-Spec market. Toshiba's looked like a normal Laptop that could withstand being sprayed by water.

NEC's Shield Pro NA22A claims IP65 rating (International Protection Spec waterproof rating), but those ratings tend to be vague at best.

I have read of methods of waterproofing laptops using a non-conductive resin dip, but as Rangiroo mentioned its the cooling that makes that premise difficult.

Considering how commonplace watercooling is among PCs you would imagine that laptops would not be far behind. Cray computers had their supercomputers submerged in liquid 20 years ago, why it has taken so long to apply that to a laptop is mystifying to me.
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Old 06-05-2011, 22:54   #11
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Re: PANASONIC TOUGHBOOK - Chartplotter etc, Any Good?

I have a C29 Toughbook running Maxsea. It is secured in the cockpit with ram holders.
It has been through some heavy weather and waves crashing in, salt water all over it, and it has never missed a beat. (touch wood)
I recomend them.
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Old 18-07-2013, 15:40   #12
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Re: Panasonic Toughbook - Chartplotter etc - Any Good ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
Fella from around here has been flogging these over the last few months - I am guessing ex MOD or summit. Am not a computer techie but the specs I vaguely recognise look to me rather dated.......but nonetheless, 200 sounds ok to me as a package (for what it does / with the mapping and charts) unless there be something I am missing.......

Portability between boats has an attraction to me....................of course I won't be giving up paper

CF-28 DVD TOUCH-SCREEN REALTIME CHARTPLOTTER w LIVE GPS on eBay (end time 26-Mar-11 18:57:37 GMT)

I have included the link above not as an advert, but simply as it has lots of specs / techie stuff - as no idea what is actually important



And when it's closed it is yellow



Seems to be fairly DOJ proof............


it really is more down to what charts are loaded.a good pc plotter with the old cm93s is a danger,,try overlaying google earth over them and you will have a heart attack.
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Old 18-07-2013, 15:42   #13
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Re: Panasonic Toughbook - Chartplotter etc - Any Good ?

always buy these toughbooks with proper charts..not the cm93s knocking about..if you overlay google earth over them you will understand why that us destroyer went aground recently.try londonchartplotters for your charts or advice.
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Old 23-07-2013, 21:14   #14
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Re: Panasonic Toughbook - Chartplotter etc - Any Good ?

Pretty good laptop, have been using one for 4 years on the job. I would suggest a few spare drives as mine seem to go bad about once a year. That may be due to IT monkeys installing crap on it that I don't need more than the drives themselves.....

Log on,, installing new software... what why??????
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Old 23-07-2013, 21:32   #15
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it really is more down to what charts are loaded.a good pc plotter with the old cm93s is a danger,,try overlaying google earth over them and you will have a heart attack.
Which cm93?

Around both sides of Atlantic I've found v2 to be plenty accurate over Google earth and in the real world. Still wise to check ntm's .
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