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    Panasonic's 3G-equipped Toughbook CF-W5 reviewed

    Darren Murph

    True road warriors tend to be willing to sacrifice that FPS-boosting power for "just a few more minutes" of battery life, and having an always-on 3G connection sure makes things easier, too. Panasonic's wee Toughbook CF-W5 replaces the slightly heavier W4, and performed quite admirably in the longevity / portability departments during Laptop Mag's prodding. Reviewers marveled at the 12-inch LCD, "rigid" nature of the 1.8-inch thick machine, and its ability to withstand the typical bumps and bruises you'd expect, say, while trekking through through the woods or camping out for a Playstation 3. Another nice touch was the combo drive's automatic shut down feature after three minutes of inactivity, but they were none too pleased to find that a DVD burner wasn't even an available option. Further criticizing the specs, the (admittedly paltry) 60GB hard drive and 512MB of RAM were scoffed at, and the "cramped" keyboard wasn't exactly made for cranking out dissertations. Overall, however, the machine accomplished its main goals -- staying tough and toughing it out -- by offering up 8 hours and 28 minutes of realizable battery life with wireless options inactive, and still mustered just about 5 hours while surfing the 'net. So if you're rarely near a power outlet, and come across cellphone towers entirely more often that WiFi hotspots, the Toughbook CF-W5 just might be your "ideal candidate."

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