We are still actively working on the spam issue, the wiki may be restored to an earlier date and account creation may be disabled.
Toughbooks are Panasonic's line of tank-like laptops. They were first manufactured in 1996 with the CF-25, and as of today Panasonic still makes them. Current models are generally used in US military active duty, clumsy cops, and buisnesses who do "heavy work" (like painters/carpenters.) Where Macs are hipster Facebook machines and ThinkPads are virgin 4/8chan machines, Toughbooks are for the clumsy, autistic, "off-roaders", or people who work on the road often.
That means: long battery life, extremely bright screens that are sunlight readable, drop, dust and water resistance, hotswappable batteries and hard drives, passive cooling and lid catches.
Yes, they are expensive as FUCK. Yes, they last longer than any other laptop out there, they are built like a 80's Volvo, aka a tank. No, they are not blazing fast, especially the ULV models. You can do games like Deus Ex natively on a 19 or 30 Mk2 and up though.
Ensure you don't buy a Toughbook with a password-locked BIOS! You CANNOT reset them in any way as you can with ThinkPads! Additionally, don't purchase Toughbooks that don't have a internal WLAN and/or WWAN card in it. They are Federal models 90% of the time which have the WLAN/WWAN slot BIOS restricted and you can't run a WLAN/WWAN card in one, they will not work.
If you do get lucky and have a non-custom BIOS one like some 19 Mk4's, you can enable WLAN/WWAN with the right card(s), see here: http://archive.is/y8Y4I
By the way, the password for the Optional Kit Configuration is "toughkit" minus dashes.
Very interesting info about a easily swappable CF-52 BIOS chip, possibly removing the BIOS PW in the process: https://archive.is/QwpTH
Hard drive caddies for older models like the CF-18 and 29 are somewhat cheaper than newer ones for the CF-19 and 30/31. Caddies from all generations of CF-19's are interchangeable, as they are all SATA. In the 19 Mk5, they used a composite plastic/steel caddy which absolutely sucks to take apart. The older ones are fully made from stainless steel and are held in place by two screws. From the 19 Mk6 on, Panasonic reverted to the old style caddy.
The CF-30 and 31 caddies are also interchangable: https://archive.is/wPhWh
Yes, you can also use a CF-18 dock with a CF-19, the only difference with the VEB191 and VEB181 dock is that the PS/2 port has been removed and blanked off on the VEB191, electrically/aesthetically it's the same.
Older models, like the CF-18 and 29 tend to have broken/non working touchscreens because of delamination, the Mk1 CF-19 and CF-30 had this too sadly. With the Mk2 models it seems to be fixed however.
Port covers from China are shit, get original Panasonic ones if you want waterproofness, the Chinese ones don't keep out the water and you will ruin your Toughbook when you get caught in a rainstorm that way.
Same story with batteries, Chinese/clone batteries and chargers for Toughbooks are shit and should be avoided. Need a cheap charger? Use a IBM 72 watt adapter from a older ThinkPad, like a T40. They also have newer ones with a built in car/12v cigarette lighter socket cable. BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO BUY A 19V ADAPTER! If you do plug a 19V adapter in, you WILL blow a fuse and make your TB a very expensive Magnesium door stopper!
Do not stare blindly on the maximum memory Panasonic describes for most models, a CF-19 Mk6 or 31 Mk3+ can use 32GB RAM theoretically, two 16GB DDR3 SO-DIMMs. And the 19 Mk2/3 for example can use 8GB RAM, but like 16GB DDR3 modules, 4GB DDR2 modules are extremely expensive.
Most Toughbooks are limited to SATA2 so don't bother buying a extremely fast SSD.
Always, ALWAYS permanently disable CompuTrace! It's a botnet and your TB can get bricked by remote with it enabled. Plus it has numerous exploits and vulnerabilities, just like Intel's vPro. Newer Toughbooks also have Intel AT/Anti-Theft which is another botnet, disable it permanently.
Recovery DVDs are 95% bullshit and 5% truth, the truth being if you're A. lazy, or B. have a unusual model like the CF-U1.
If you're lazy then by all means call Panasuckit or Heartland in the USA, order a restore DVD for 35$ (ayy lmao >buying Windows) and reinstall, or if you're a /g/ or /tech/ user: get drivers here, acquire Windows+activator from The Pirate Bay, save 35$, congrats you just installed Windows on your Toughbook for free. Now go buy a secondary caddy for your TB and Install
Gentoo Linux, you faggot!
As for buying: eBay is your best bet.
Got a CF-U1? Overclock the FUCK out of it. Get SetFSB, select the ICS9UMS9610BL clock generator and glhf. I'm running a CF-U1 Mk2 at 1.94 GHz stable and it makes a fuckhuge difference!
Need a cheap GPS for your 31? http://i.imgur.com/fZ1QG4g.png
Apparently very few CF-19's have a de-botnetted mainboard: https://archive.is/e2oMg
And someone on Toughbooktalk managed to kill the AMT/ME botnet himself: http://archive.is/DO1bQ
Want to run games on a modern Toughbook? http://i.imgur.com/46Rt3x3.jpg The 31 Mk3 does not need a DSDT override, just boot up your eGPU, plug it in and glhf. Do get eGPU Setup from ThePirateBay though, you'll need it to set the ExpressCard slot to x1 2.0
A thing about Toughbooktalk, Notebookreview and getting parts
Notebookreview's mods are rulecucks, especially in the Panasonic section, mention BIOS and password in one sentence and the mods/99% of the users there will sperg the fuck out and will probably ban you. Here's a example of the faggotry they are capable of: http://archive.is/CJmhy
Even worse is Toughbooktalk, they also don't allow BIOS password discussion (what the fuck, I come to TBT not to be barred by inane rules only to see the same shit happening there), the owner doxed a user once (for selling overpriced POS TBs with weird rubber shit grafted on it, look up Black Hawk Toughbooks and prepare for apex kek, apparently if you mention him on TBT or NBR he spergs the fuck out), tread with extreme caution. Oh, and don't talk about pirating anything there either, otherwise prepare to get assraped by the banhammer.
Another thing about TBT: take most things they say with a -fuckhueg- grain of salt. They say dumb shit like "if you buy a TB from us you can guarantee it's okay!" which is pretty much bullshit, if you have some knowledge (which I assume all /g/ or /tech/ users have) of laptops you easily can get a Toughbook up and running. And you'll be damned if you buy a TB from TBT, as said above they tend to ask a LOT for what you get.
Also >muh sekrit klub and information https://archive.is/MKsdP
For parts, either Heartland in the USA (be prepared to get kiked for shipping costs though, 35$ for everything and that's not a joke, even if you only buy a port cover or whatever!) or eBay. Even better, just buy a beaten up second one for parts if you have a older machine.
Try not to buy from business sellers, they tend to ask a lot more than private sellers. Businesses usually get them in bulk for cheap, and think they can pull a kike move on you by selling a old as fuck one (i've seen CF-18's and 29's for 500$+, holy shit!) for WAY too much money.
tl;dr: Don't go on TBT if you expect any quality discussion aside from circlejerking/e-peen measuring contests and daylight robbery. Another intresting fact is that they have a sekrit klub-like forum area (members with a bold black name have access to it) where they share all kinds of super intresting TB related stuff that us "normies" aren't allowed to see (http://archive.is/a97HD), I never managed to get in there though and I don't really want to suck Robert Baldyga's dick to get in there. But if I could, I would fucking blow that spot right open!
If you know a FTP exploit, have fun breaking in: http://toughbooktalk.com/private_downloads/, please do share everything that's in there if you manage to get in!
Not only that, TBT's owner is incredibily Jewish and wants donations for every time he fucks up: https://archive.is/oapjz
That, and he can't secure his site for shit: https://archive.is/KLlXY
Steam In-Home Streaming is a GREAT way to do vidya gaems on your TB! The author of this article often plays GTA V using a "exploit" in Steam: here's how.
A good site for info about all sorts of rugged computers is http://www.ruggedpcreview.com, it's been here for a while and is still being updated.
To decode a modern Toughbook serial number, use this: http://www.panasonic.com/business/toughbook/order-toughbook-computers.asp
For older models, try the Toughwiki, a very useful source: http://toughwiki.com
Toughbooktalk's owner Rob has made a topic about intresting TB quirks, which I highly recommend reading: https://archive.is/kuSmD
In other words: Shop around on eBay, there's plenty of TBs out there for good prices.
The nicer thing about Toughbooks, is that normies don't have one and that you can laugh one square in the face if one drops his MacBook and it breaks. And you can fap or listen to music in the shower if you got a CF-19!
Oh, and: , also known as: You never can have enough Toughbooks!
So, you came to the conclusion you want a Toughbook? That's cool, solid choice, what model do you want?
Just want one to mess around with? CF-31 Mk1 or a 19 Mk4 as a bare minimum, 19 Mk5 if you want to really use it, and if you got $$$$ a 31 or a 19 Mk6-7, these all have PAE, dual-core CPUs, SATA HDDs and 64 bit capability, and they can run Linux pretty good. The 19 Mk3+ & 31 have LED backlights instead of CCFL's that won't dim over time. They also have a better in sunlight readable screen (CircuLumin coated LCD) and better battery life (due to LED backlight and Core i-series CPUs)
Portability and battery life is a must? CF-19. It even can be swiveled into a tablet. 19 Mk6's have gone down in price considerably the last few years, try watching eBay, Craigslist or police/company auctions and you might get lucky.
The 19 has been discontinued as of July 2017, it has been superseded by the CF-20.
Don't bother with anything like the 18's or 29's, they don't support PAE until the Mk4+ models and neither do they have SATA HDDs. And don't bother with early CF-30's too, they have problems with touchscreen delamination.
And if you're really a masochist or are extremely afraid of government spying/killswitches: a 18/29 Mk4 or older. These have no TPM or vPro, but they support PAE out of the box. (this might be a good idea after all considering the Intel botnet faggotry as of lately)
Have a need for speed? CF-31 Mk3-5 with the i5 or higher. Combine it with a desktop dock and a eGPU, and you got a semi-portable workstation.
Extreme portability and speed/Linux compatbility is a non-issue? CF-U1 Mk2, a rugged UMPC. When overclocked with a lightened Windows 7 install, it actually is quite usable.
Wanna go maximum autism and have too much money? CF-31 Mk4 Performance Model (the one with the dedicated AMD GPU) with all factory integrated options. Or a 31 Mk5 with a JewVidia 9xx card as a eGPU.
A Brief History
1996: CF-25, first semi-rugged offering from the people in Osaka, Japan. Desgined to withstand 76cm drops, humidity and dust.
1999: CF-27, first fully-rugged Toughbook, first to offer a touchscreen and WWAN (Wide Wireless Area Network), IP53 water/dust rating.
2002: CF-28, first Toughbook to offer IP54 waterproof rating, and a sunlight readable transflective screen.
2003: CF-18, first Toughbook convertible tablet.
2006: CF-30, first Toughbook to have a 1000 nit screen, even more sunlight readable than anything else before.
2006: CF-19, first dual-core tablet Toughbook.
2010: CF-31, first Toughbook to offer dedicated graphics and active cooling.
Caddy: the case the HDD is kept in.
IP rating: Waterproofness and dust resistance, IP54 is for example dust resistant and splashing water resistant. IP65 is dust proof and low pressure water jet resistant.
Convertible tablet: A Toughbook (like the CF-19 or C2) which can be flipped into a tablet.
WWAN: Wireless Wide Area Network, mobile internet over 2G, 3G or 4G. Considered botnet/possible attack vector because >mobile, best thing is to ditch your WWAN card and use the USB mPCIe port for something else, like Bluetooth or extra storage.
CCFL: Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lighting, fluorescent tubes as backlight. Not durable and tends to dim after a few years. LED screens are lightyears (pun unintended) ahead.