Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 review

Price when reviewed

The keyboard has a classic feel, with deep key travel and none of today’s Scrabble-tile gaps to collect dust and dirt. The touchpad is decent, although the buttons feel squishy and hinge awkwardly on the edge as you press them.

Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 - front

The CF-53 has the power to match its cyborg looks too. A 2.5GHz Core i5-2520M and 4GB of DDR3 RAM led to a benchmark score of 0.67, which is enough for most applications. Panasonic has sensibly stuck with integrated graphics, so despite that speed the CF-53 lasted a monstrous 10hrs 46mins in our light-use battery test.

That’s not all: if the standard 73Wh “road warrior” battery isn’t enough, Panasonic offers a high-capacity 92Wh option, which should boost that time to at least 13 hours. Buy both and you’re looking at close to 24 hours.

Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 - battery bay

Other options include a webcam, a 3G modem and both a fingerprint and smart card reader, all of which could quickly push the price much higher than its current £1,421 inc VAT. However, as a laptop for specialist roles, the Panasonic Toughbook CF-53 truly shines, and there’s no doubting its vast potential. For those wanting more than the average laptop can offer, it’s not just tough, it’s a rock-solid investment.


Warranty3yr on-site

Physical specifications

Dimensions345 x 286 x 54mm (WDH)
Travelling weight3.0kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core i5-2520M
Motherboard chipsetIntel HM65 Express
RAM capacity4.00GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size14.0in
Resolution screen horizontal1,366
Resolution screen vertical768
Resolution1366 x 768
Graphics chipsetIntel HD Graphics 3000
Graphics card RAMN/A
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Hard disk usable capacity298GB
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Internal disk interfaceSATA/300
Hard diskHitachi Travelstar 5K320
Optical disc technologyDVD writer
Battery capacity6,750mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


802.11a supportyes
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportno

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchyes
Wireless key-combination switchno
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)3
FireWire ports0
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports1
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks2
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readerno
MMC (multimedia card) readerno
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Audio chipsetrealtek HD Audio
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?no
Camera megapixel ratingN/A
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use10hr 46min
3D performance (crysis) low settings22fps
3D performance settingLow
Overall Real World Benchmark score0.67
Responsiveness score0.88
Media score0.66
Multitasking score0.46

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows 7 Professional 64-bit
OS familyWindows 7
Recovery methodBurn own recovery discs

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos