Panasonic’s New CF33 12″ Convertible Review
Recently I had the chance to give Panasonic’s latest offering a try. My time with it was limited so I will not be able to provide a lot of detail. I hope to have a more detailed review in the near future.
The CF33 is a convertible laptop/tablet that is very similar to the CF20 -released about one and a half years previously. The CF33 sports a 12″ screen that makes it the big brother to the 10″ CF20. Both can be used as a ruggedized laptop or with tablet detached from the keyboard. It is quick and easy to detach the tablet for improved mobility. This adds considerable versatility for field users.
What really sets the CF33 apart from other tablets is the improved display. The resolution is very good however the display is excellent where it really counts for field users – viewing in full sunlight. This display is simply the best that I have ever held in my hands. It is the combination of a very bright (1200 NITS) display with antireflective and anti-glare treatments that give this tablet a superior display for field use. It is really quite spectacular!
As with Panasonic’s other ruggedized tablets the display has a “rain” mode which makes it possible to work with water on the screen. Effectively this reduces the sensitivity of the screen so water droplets are less likely to activate the digitizer. I have found with both the CF20 and FZ-G1, that once the water droplets start running down the screen, you will get unwanted activation of the digitizer. I expect the CF33 will have much the same functionality. What I would really like to see Panasonic do with all of their ruggedized tablets is create an option that allows the digitizer to be turned off and on again with one touch of the programmable buttons. This would allow users to continue to view the display without worrying about rain activating the digitizer. (I hope an engineer at Panasonic is listening!)
Another feature that will appeal to mobile field works is the run time of this tablet. With the high capacity batteries installed this computer can run up to about 16 hours. The batteries do add a noticeable amount of weight and bulk to the tablet. I expect I would find a CF33 equipped with these high capacity batteries installed to be uncomfortable to hold in my hand for more than a few minutes of data entry. My preference for extended run time would be an extra set of batteries. These can be “hot” swapped to minimize downtime.
For a detailed specs on this tablet I am going to refer you to a good review which you can find here: http://www.ruggedpcreview.com/3_notebooks_panasonic_toughbook_cf33.html
For mobile field staff this tablet looks like it will be a winner!
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