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.


Warranty 3yr on-site

Physical specifications

Dimensions 345 x 286 x 54mm (WDH)
Weight 2.600kg
Travelling weight 3.0kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core i5-2520M
Motherboard chipset Intel HM65 Express
RAM capacity 4.00GB
Memory type DDR3
SODIMM sockets free 0
SODIMM sockets total 2

Screen and video

Screen size 14.0in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,366
Resolution screen vertical 768
Resolution 1366 x 768
Graphics chipset Intel HD Graphics 3000
Graphics card RAM N/A
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 1
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0


Capacity 320GB
Hard disk usable capacity 298GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Hard disk Hitachi Travelstar 5K320
Optical disc technology DVD writer
Battery capacity 6,750mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0


802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no
Bluetooth support no

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch yes
Wireless key-combination switch no
Modem no
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 0
USB ports (downstream) 3
FireWire ports 0
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 1
Parallel ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader no
MMC (multimedia card) reader no
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader no
Pointing device type Touchpad
Audio chipset realtek HD Audio
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? no
Camera megapixel rating N/A
TPM no
Fingerprint reader no
Smartcard reader no
Carry case no

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 10hr 46min
3D performance (crysis) low settings 22fps
3D performance setting Low
Overall Real World Benchmark score 0.67
Responsiveness score 0.88
Media score 0.66
Multitasking score 0.46

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
OS family Windows 7
Recovery method Burn 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