At our recent visit to Panasonic’s Toughbook manufacturing plant in Kobe, Japan, we were also able to take a look – and drool over – the company’s latest hybrid laptop in the business-oriented Let’s Note series, as the semi-rugged laptops are known in Japan. Weighing just 745g but packing an Intel Core M processor and running on Windows 8.1 Pro, this is surely one of the pinnacles of Panasonic’s engineering prowess…and surprisingly, it’s targeted for its female consumers.
That should not come as a surprise, though. The CF-RZ4 is a super slim 10.1-inch hybrid laptop, the perfect size to slip into a handbag or briefcase while on the go. There’s even a special bronze-baby blue colour combination alongside the standard silver colourway to entice those who like to stand out.
Nevertheless, what really stands out the most about this laptop is its weight – it will really catch you by surprise the first time you pick it up. At just 745g, it is even lighter than the now-discontinued Sony VAIO Pro Ultrabook, which weighed 871g but does not in any way have the same level of toughness.
What makes this fact more impressive is that this laptop is no mere Ultrabook or netbook. It’s a Windows 8 Pro machine powered by the latest Intel Core M processor. And, the CF-RZ4 has a Lenovo Yoga-style hinge that allows the display to rotate all the way into Tablet mode – and because of its weight, it is actually quite comfortable to use, too. The full hardware specifications is worthy of a premium Ultrabook as well: 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 IPS touch display, integrated Intel HD Graphics 5300, up to 8GB RAM, up to 512GB SSD, SIM card slot and up to 14 hours battery life (with a user-swappable battery). You can even opt for a more powerful Core M vPro processor. Connectivity options on the CF-RZ4 are three USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and VGA ports, RJ-45 LAN, and a SD card reader.
Oh, and let’s not forget that this is a semi-rugged laptop, which passes Panasonic’s 76cm free-fall drop test as well as the 100kgf pressurised vibration test.
The Let’s Note CF-RZ4 may be a consumer product unlike the Panasonic Toughbook series, but alas, this is a Japan-only device and is unlikely to be made available internationally. If you are willing to get one from Japan, know that this hybrid laptop does not come cheap: the base model (Core M-5Y10, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD) costs 175,824 Yen – that’s RM5,000. The highest-end configuration (Core M-5Y70, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD) will set you back a cool 303,418 Yen – about RM8630. The “Harmonic Blue” colourway you see here costs an additional 5,400 Yen (about RM150).
So, it’s easy to say this won’t be your next laptop. In the meantime, enjoy the photos here while imagining what it’s like to be filthy rich.