Notebookcheck

Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 Convertible Review

Benjamin Herzig, 👁 Sebastian Jentsch, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Katherine Bodner), 01/13/2018

A niche of its own. Panasonic is the manufacturer of the robust Toughbooks made for the military and use on building sites. The CF-XZ6 is supposed to attract regular business customers who would usually choose a Surface, Latitude, ThinkPad or EliteBook. Find out why the Toughbook has not quite managed to get out of its niche in our detailed review.

You can categorize notebooks in many different ways. One example would be to separate them into categories based on the usage of the mobile PC: office, multimedia, gaming etc. It is also usual to classify notebooks according to their size or build (clam shell, convertible, detachable etc.). The most relevant categorization for our test unit today revolves around this question: Is the device made for the mass market or for a niche?

Panasonic is one of the best examples of PC manufacturers that focus almost entirely on their niches. The Toughbooks, which are still produced in Panasonic's own factory in Japan, are known as rugged notebooks that are made for outdoor use in the military or in other difficult surroundings such as building sites. The robust, almost unbreakable notebooks of the "fully ruggedized" series are made specifically for these areas of use and are therefore hardly interesting for the mass market. But Panasonic has set its eyes on the business sector, which is currently dominated by manufacturers such as Dell, Lenovo and HP. This is where the "business rugged" products come into play. They are slightly less indestructible, but a lot slimmer and lighter.

Today's test unit, the Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 is such a "business rugged" device - but is it really a laptop for the mass market? Its build speaks against this, as the Toughbook is a detachable - a product category that has never really had a break-through. Or to be more precise: Not in this form. The Toughbook CF-XZ6's build is similar to PCs such as the Microsoft Surface Book 2 and the Dell Latitude 7285. It has a solid base unit, which basically makes it like a fully-fledged laptop. Other competitors, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet or the HP Elite x2 1012 G2, are more like a tablet than a laptop, which makes them significantly more successful. 

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 is available with or without 4G in the United Kingdom. Our test unit with 4G is available for £1850. For this price, we expect a premium-class notebook.

This device is not available in the US at the time of writing.

Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 (Toughbook CF Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
8192 MB 
, DDR3, soldered on, Dual-Channel
Display
12 inch 3:2, 2160 x 1440 pixel 216 PPI, 10 point, native pen support, Semi-Matte Beschichtung, IPS LED, glossy: yes, detachable screen
Mainboard
Intel Kaby Lake-U Premium PCH
Storage
Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ, 256 GB 
Soundcard
Intel Kaby Lake-U/Y PCH - High Definition Audio
Connections
4 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 VGA, 1 HDMI, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm combined audio, Card Reader: SDXC card reader, Sensors: Rotationssensor
Networking
Intel Ethernet Connection I219-LM (10/100/1000MBit), Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1, EM7305, LTE
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 22 x 288 x 223 ( = 0.87 x 11.34 x 8.78 in)
Battery
76 Wh Lithium-Ion, removeable, two 4-cell batteries
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit
Camera
Webcam: 2 megapixel + IR camera
Primary Camera: 8 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker, Keyboard: white 6-row keyboard, Keyboard Light: no, Microsoft Office Trial, 36 Months Warranty
Weight
1.18 kg ( = 41.62 oz / 2.6 pounds), Power Supply: 335 g ( = 11.82 oz / 0.74 pounds)
Price
2384 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6

The tablet, or rather its back, is made of black metal on the outside, which seems very strong. It is made of magnesium. Inside, the device is additionally reinforced by a magnesium frame, so that all components are surrounded by a kind of "magnesium sandwich". You would need to apply a lot of pressure to warp the tablet, but less force is needed to press into the glass protecting the display. The tablet feels solid and stable in our hands and seems to be of good quality. Still, the workmanship is not quite perfect: A gap between the case parts on the top edge is a little wider than the other gaps and can be pressed together a little.

The look and feel of the keyboard base are very different to the tablet. This, too, is made of magnesium, although in this case, the metal is painted silver. The varnish is smoother and less rough than on the tablet. The metal case can hardly be warped, but it does produce some cracking noises when you try. This must be due to the exchangeable battery that is positioned in the front area of the base unit. The wrist rest is completely pressure resistant, as is the center of the keyboard. The workmanship of the keyboard base is good, but, as with the tablet, it is not 100% perfect: The gap dimensions between the case parts on the left side are visibly larger than those on the right. 

Balancing the case can be difficult on detachables. They tend to be top-heavy, meaning that the tablet or display part is heavier than the keyboard unit. This is also the case with the Toughbook, which is why you can only open the display to 130 ° - otherwise the laptop would fall backwards. Even the limited opening angle cannot ensure that the device will not tip, particularly if you use it on your lap.

The tablet unit is connected to the base via a plug-in connection on the hinge. The hinge itself - a wide single hinge - is very stable, but the plug-in connection means that there is a certain flexibility to the display and it tends to wobble. This is probably intentional, so that there is not too much pressure on the plug-in connection.

Although the Toughbook is not really slim, it is a lot lighter at 1.2 kg (~ 2.6 lbs) than the other two detachable notebooks (Microsoft Surface Book 2 & Dell Latitude 7285). At a height of about 22 mm (~0.9 in), the Toughbook is a millimeter (~0.04 in) thinner than the Surface Book 2. The Latitude 7285, on the other hand, is another three millimeters (~0.12 in) thinner, while the 2-in-1 tables with the thin, magnetically-connecting keyboards are even slimmer.

The Surface Book 2 is definitely the largest comparison device at 13.5 inches. The other detachable, the Latitude 7285, is the most compact competitor. Some of the tablet hybrids are the same size as the Toughbook, some are more compact.

Size Comparison

312 mm / 12.3 inch 232 mm / 9.13 inch 23 mm / 0.906 inch 1.6 kg3.6 lbs288 mm / 11.3 inch 223 mm / 8.78 inch 22 mm / 0.866 inch 1.2 kg2.6 lbs300 mm / 11.8 inch 219.7 mm / 8.65 inch 9.1 mm / 0.3583 inch 1.2 kg2.63 lbs293 mm / 11.5 inch 210 mm / 8.27 inch 9 mm / 0.3543 inch 1.1 kg2.38 lbs292.1 mm / 11.5 inch 201.4 mm / 7.93 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 1.1 kg2.38 lbs273.2 mm / 10.8 inch 208.5 mm / 8.21 inch 19 mm / 0.748 inch 1.4 kg3 lbs

Connectivity

An advantage of the solid keyboard base: Additional space for ports. Panasonic makes use of this space and gives the Toughbook a good port selection - significantly better than that of many competitors. It even has full-sized VGA, HDMI and Ethernet connectors, as well as three USB Type-A ports. The tablet itself has a power supply (the base unit has also one), a 3.5-mm audio combo and one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port. This supports DisplayPort, which means that you can connect an external monitor directly to the tablet.

While the port selection is very good, its positioning is not as great. The ports are placed too far to the front on the two sides of the base unit: The two USB ports on the left and USB and HDMI on the right. Users who like using a mouse will have difficulties, no matter if they are right or left handed.

right: USB Type-A 3.0, HDMI, battery switch, VGA, USB Type-C 3.1 Gen. 1 (on the tablet), Ethernet, Kensington Lock
right: USB Type-A 3.0, HDMI, battery switch, VGA, USB Type-C 3.1 Gen. 1 (on the tablet), Ethernet, Kensington Lock
left: combined audio (on the tablet), power supply, SD card slot, 2 x USB Type-A 3.0, NanoSIM-Slot (on the tablet)
left: combined audio (on the tablet), power supply, SD card slot, 2 x USB Type-A 3.0, NanoSIM-Slot (on the tablet)

SD Card Reader

More and more manufacturers are leaving out the fully-fledged SD card reader. But not Panasonic: The SD card reader on the left side of the base unit performed very well in our benchmarks - similar to the results of the Surface Book 2. The Dell Latitude 7285 shows that this is not always the case. Its microSD card reader is very slow. 

The benchmarks were always performed with the Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC UHS-II reference card.

SDCardreader Transfer Speed
average JPG Copy Test (av. of 3 runs)
Microsoft Surface Book 2
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
159.2 MB/s ∼100% +12%
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
142.6 MB/s ∼90%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
79.8 MB/s ∼50% -44%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
72.62 MB/s ∼46% -49%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 64 GB)
53.8 MB/s ∼34% -62%
Dell Latitude 7285
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
29.7 MB/s ∼19% -79%
maximum AS SSD Seq Read Test (1GB)
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
239 MB/s ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
234.4 MB/s ∼98% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro SDXC 64 GB UHS-II)
93.77 MB/s ∼39% -61%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
87.4 MB/s ∼37% -63%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 64 GB)
86.5 MB/s ∼36% -64%
Dell Latitude 7285
  (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
30.5 (min: 29.7) MB/s ∼13% -87%

Communication

sample image with main (back) camera
sample image with main (back) camera

The Intel Wireless 8265 is the standard Wi-Fi module in many expensive notebooks with Intel processors of the Kaby Lake generation. Apart from the Surface Book 2, all other competitors are equipped with the 2x2 AC Wi-Fi card that, as usual, performed very well in our test. Apart from the Wi-Fi module and the Ethernet connector on the base unit, the Toughbook is also equipped with the LTE module EM7305 from Sierra, which will enable you to always be connected to the internet.

The microphone and 720p webcam are of typically bad notebook quality: Good enough for video conferences, but no more. As it also functions as a tablet, the Toughbook is equipped with a camera on the back of the screen. This is a little better than the front camera and has a higher resolution, but it still is not suitable for good photos -the image is simply too grainy.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
611 MBit/s ∼100% +19%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
586 MBit/s ∼96% +14%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
569 MBit/s ∼93% +11%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller
515 MBit/s ∼84% 0%
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
514 MBit/s ∼84%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
670 MBit/s ∼100%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
515 MBit/s ∼77% -23%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Marvell AVASTAR Wireless-AC Network Controller
498 MBit/s ∼74% -26%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
440 MBit/s ∼66% -34%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265
246 MBit/s ∼37% -63%

Security

Apart from the TPM (mandatory for a business device), the Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 also has an infrared camera for logging in via Windows Hello. The infrared camera enables a secure and fast login, although you do have to wait a few seconds before your face is recognized. A fingerprint-reader might have been a little faster.

Accessories

Apart from the keyboard base, which can actually be considered an essential part of the Toughbook, there are no further accessories in the box. The most important optional accessory is probably the Panasonic Active Stylus.

Maintenance

Tablets and detachables are always more difficult to repair than normal notebooks. We did not try to open the device, but it should be possible to do so by removing some screws on the bottom edge of the tablet. Once the case is opened, you can clean the cooling fan, exchange the internal battery and upgrade the SSD. The RAM, however, is soldered on and cannot be removed - as is typical for tablets. Apart from this, there is also a battery in the keyboard base that can be easily removed with the help of two mechanical switches.

The following image from the presentation of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 shows the components that are inside the tablet.

Warranty

Notebooks for private consumers often offer two years of warranty while business notebooks are often sold with three years of warranty - or at least in Germany. The Toughbook also has three years of warranty, but only for bring-in service. This is not particularly exciting and other business notebooks of this price range include on-site service.

Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices

Keyboard

Panasonic has used a white keyboard with six rows in the base unit of the Toughbook CF-XZ6. This is not a chiclet-style keyboard, but it is not a classical keyboard as you get it in the ThinkPad 25, either. Panasonic has chosen something in-between the two builds. The keyboard does not have backlighting, which is rare in this price range.

The layout of the keys is peculiar in some areas: The space bar is very small to make room for additional keys to the right - paste and remove, for example, keys you would not expect in this position. The right shift key is also a third smaller than usual as the Pos1 key (which also functions as end key via FN) is positioned to its right. At least the arrow keys are nicely sized, but the overall layout of the Toughbook's keyboard needs a lot of getting used to and is not really comfortable - particularly due to the small space bar.

The keys have comparatively long travel (2 mm/~0.08 in), but their pressure point is not very defined. Typing is definitely not enjoyable on this keyboard, particularly if you take into account the strange layout. We would expect more from a business notebook.

Touchpad & Touchscreen

A particular characteristic of the Toughbook is the round touchpad. Touchpads are usually rectangular. We are not quite sure why Panasonic has chosen this round shape. The touchpad is very limiting and difficult to use as the surface is tiny for today's standards. The wide plastic ring (with no particular function) around the touch area also makes it more difficult to use the touchpad.

There are two dedicated keys below the touchpad. They have short travel and a clear pressure point, but are still very quiet. But the good touchpad keys cannot make up for the too-small touch area.

Unfortunately, the Toughbook does not have a pointing stick as an alternative to the touchpad. But at least you can use the 10-point touchscreen, which works very well.

keyboard of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
keyboard of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6

Display

pixel array of the Toughbook CF-XZ6
pixel array of the Toughbook CF-XZ6
brightness distribution: visible dark areas in the left bottom corner
brightness distribution: visible dark areas in the left bottom corner
backlight bleeding
backlight bleeding

The 3:2 format has almost become a standard for detachables and 2-in-1 tablets since Microsoft launched the Surface Pro 3. Like all competitors, the Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 also has a square format with a resolution of 2160x1440 pixels (2K). The IPS screen actually has a glossy surface, but Panasonic has added an anti-glare screen protector onto it, so the surface is effectively "semi-matte/semi-reflective". The 2K LCD is the only panel option for the Toughbook.

None of the competing devices can keep up with the brightness of the test unit's panel, whose manufacturer we could unfortunately not identify. The average brightness of 538 cd/m² is an excellent value. But unfortunately, the brightness is not evenly distributed: The left side of the panel, particularly the left bottom corner, is significantly darker. The difference to the rest of the display is so strong (almost 100 cd/m²) that the loss of brightness is visible to the naked eye. Particularly when looking at a white screen, this can be very bothersome - evidently a quality control issue.

We registered both backlight bleeding and PWM. The former is particularly noticeable when looking at dark content. The PWM frequency is just high enough for most users not to have any difficulties with it, but it might lead to headaches for very sensitive users.

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 694 Hz ≤ 90 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 694 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 90 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 694 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9705 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

519
cd/m²
556
cd/m²
552
cd/m²
479
cd/m²
565
cd/m²
565
cd/m²
474
cd/m²
577
cd/m²
556
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 577 cd/m² Average: 538.1 cd/m² Minimum: 6.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 82 %
Center on Battery: 565 cd/m²
Contrast: 1413:1 (Black: 0.4 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.06 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 6.4 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
70% sRGB (Argyll 3D) 44% AdobeRGB 1998 (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.25
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
Semi-Matte Beschichtung, , 2160x1440, 12
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Panasonic MEI96A2 , , 3000x2000, 13.5
Dell Latitude 7285
SHP1482 (LQ123Z1), , 2880x1920, 12.3
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
LG Display LP123WQ112604, , 2736x1824, 12.3
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
LSN120QL01L01, , 2160x1440, 12
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Samsung SDC4A49, , 2716x1824, 12.3
Response Times
-18%
6%
1037%
-6%
72%
Response Time Grey 50% / Grey 80% *
39 (21, 18)
52.8 (25.2, 27.6)
-35%
44 (19.6, 24.4)
-13%
37 (16, 21)
5%
28.4 (15.2, 13.2)
27%
45.6 (23.6, 22)
-17%
Response Time Black / White *
30 (18, 12)
30 (16.4, 13.6)
-0%
30.4 (15.6, 14.8)
-1%
25 (13, 12)
17%
22.8 (13.6, 9.2)
24%
21.6 (9.2, 12.4)
28%
PWM Frequency
694 (90)
922.1 (20)
33%
22130 (55)
3089%
221.2 (49)
-68%
2119 (50)
205%
Screen
29%
18%
9%
-3%
18%
Brightness middle
565
385
-32%
531
-6%
482
-15%
388.1
-31%
443
-22%
Brightness
538
372
-31%
490
-9%
466
-13%
344
-36%
446
-17%
Brightness Distribution
82
89
9%
86
5%
92
12%
78
-5%
88
7%
Black Level *
0.4
0.21
47%
0.37
7%
0.395
1%
0.39
2%
0.41
-3%
Contrast
1413
1833
30%
1435
2%
1220
-14%
995
-30%
1080
-24%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.06
1.6
68%
3.5
31%
4
21%
4.6
9%
2.6
49%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
8.1
4.5
44%
6.2
23%
7.2
11%
9.1
-12%
4
51%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.4
1.5
77%
4.7
27%
5.7
11%
6.1
5%
3
53%
Gamma
2.25 98%
2.22 99%
2.04 108%
2.28 96%
2.07 106%
2.38 92%
CCT
5794 112%
6502 100%
6581 99%
7950 82%
7104 91%
6780 96%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
44
64
45%
67.6
54%
62
41%
59
34%
62.6
42%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
70
95.9
37%
99.8
43%
96
37%
91
30%
98
40%
Total Average (Program / Settings)
6% / 22%
12% / 15%
523% / 246%
-5% / -4%
45% / 30%

* ... smaller is better

color values
color values
saturation
saturation
gray scales
gray scales
color values (calibrated)
color values (calibrated)
saturation (calibrated)
saturation (calibrated)
gray scales (calibrated)
gray scales (calibrated)

With a black value of 0.4 cd/m² and a contrast of 1400:1, our Toughbook has similar results as its competitors. Our subjective impression of image sharpness and black value was good. We were able to remove the slight yellow cast by calibrating the screen. As usual, you can download our ICC profile above.

A major disadvantage of the display is the color-space coverage. 70% of the sRGB color space is weak compared to any computer, let along devices of this price range. The panel is useless for any kind of image processing, which is a shame as the Toughbook would lend itself well to artists when combined with the optional Digitizer Pen. But this would require a better color-space coverage.

sRGB: 70 %
sRGB: 70 %
AdobeRGB: 44 %
AdobeRGB: 44 %
outdoor use: overcast
outdoor use: overcast

We usually consider 200 cd/m² as the bottom limit for outdoor use. The LCD of the Toughbook offers more than double this brightness, but its surface is not 100% matte. Nonetheless, it can be used very well outdoors, both in the shade and in the sun (at least in indirect sunlight). This means that the Toughbook is perfectly suited to working outside.

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
30 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 12 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 72 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.5 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
39 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21 ms rise
↘ 18 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 40 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (40.7 ms).

IPS screens usually have good viewing-angle stability. The colors are displayed correctly from almost all angles on the screen of our test unit, but the brightness drops quickly when looking at the display from the side. Other IPS LCD screens can do this a lot better.

viewing angles of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
viewing angles of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6

Performance

As mentioned in the introduction section, there is only one configuration available of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6, so we do not need to talk about different options.

HWiNFO
HWiNFO
CPU-Z
CPU-Z
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Caches
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Mainboard
CPU-Z Memory
CPU-Z Memory
GPU-Z
GPU-Z
LatencyMon
LatencyMon
 

Processor

The Intel Core i5-7300U is an ultra-low-voltage processor from last year's Kaby Lake generation. The ULV CPU has a TDP of 15 watts and its two cores work at a base clock rate of 2.6 GHz and a turbo rate of 3.5 GHz. We recommend taking a look at the CPU's results compared to other processors in our CPU benchmark list.

Cooling is usually rather limited in tablets. Therefore, it was interesting to take a look at the Cinebench loop results of the Toughbook. This test takes a look at the device's performance under constant load. The cooling system of the Toughbook appears to be strong enough to keep the CPU running at 15 watts throughout the test, even though the processor's temperatures reach almost 90 °C (~194 °F). In the first round of the test, the CPU consumed 17 watts for a short period, which is why performance is slightly better.

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Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64 Bit

The Core i5-7300U in the Toughbook is only slightly faster than the Core i5-7200U in the HP Elite x2 1012 G2, for example. Compared to the Y CPUs in the ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2 and the Latitude 7285, our CPU has significant advantages in its speed, while the Core i7-8650U in the larger Surface Book 2 surpasses all other CPUs in the multi-core test.

There is no drop in CPU performance when running on battery.

Cinebench R15
CPU Single 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
177 Points ∼100% +28%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
163 Points ∼92% +18%
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
Intel Core i5-7300U
138 Points ∼78%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel Core i5-7Y57
133 Points ∼75% -4%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Intel Core i5-7200U
127 Points ∼72% -8%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
Intel Core i5-7Y54
115 Points ∼65% -17%
CPU Multi 64Bit
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Intel Core i7-8650U
673 Points ∼100% +105%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Core i7-7660U
410 (min: 335.35, max: 409.45) Points ∼61% +25%
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
Intel Core i5-7300U
328 Points ∼49%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Intel Core i5-7200U
322 Points ∼48% -2%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel Core i5-7Y57
273 Points ∼41% -17%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
Intel Core i5-7Y54
234 Points ∼35% -29%
Cinebench R15 CPU Multi 64Bit
328 Points
Cinebench R15 OpenGL 64Bit
34.98 fps
Cinebench R15 Ref. Match 64Bit
97.7 %
Cinebench R15 CPU Single 64Bit
138 Points
Help

System Performance

There is nothing to complain about every-day performance or the results of the PCMark tests. The Toughbook does well in all areas.

PCMark 8
Work Score Accelerated v2
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4522 (min: 4500, max: 4528) Points ∼100% 0%
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
HD Graphics 620, 7300U, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
4503 Points ∼100%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
4431 Points ∼98% -2%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
HD Graphics 615, 7Y54, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4288 Points ∼95% -5%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4036 Points ∼89% -10%
Dell Latitude 7285
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57, Toshiba KBG20ZMS256G
3911 Points ∼86% -13%
Home Score Accelerated v2
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
4095 Points ∼100% +21%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3694 (min: 3691, max: 3696) Points ∼90% +9%
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
HD Graphics 620, 7300U, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
3386 Points ∼83%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3289 Points ∼80% -3%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
HD Graphics 615, 7Y54, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3092 Points ∼76% -9%
Dell Latitude 7285
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57, Toshiba KBG20ZMS256G
3073 Points ∼75% -9%
PCMark 10
Digital Content Creation
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4342 (min: 4211, max: 4356) Points ∼100% +100%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
3014 Points ∼69% +39%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
2246 Points ∼52% +3%
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
HD Graphics 620, 7300U, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
2174 Points ∼50%
Dell Latitude 7285
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57, Toshiba KBG20ZMS256G
1981 Points ∼46% -9%
Productivity
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
6665 Points ∼100% +8%
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
HD Graphics 620, 7300U, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
6147 Points ∼92%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5819 (min: 5653, max: 5995) Points ∼87% -5%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
5104 Points ∼77% -17%
Dell Latitude 7285
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57, Toshiba KBG20ZMS256G
4917 Points ∼74% -20%
Essentials
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
8076 Points ∼100% +18%
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
7659 (min: 7643, max: 7746) Points ∼95% +12%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
7276 Points ∼90% +7%
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
HD Graphics 620, 7300U, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
6820 Points ∼84%
Dell Latitude 7285
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57, Toshiba KBG20ZMS256G
6632 Points ∼82% -3%
Score
Microsoft Surface Book 2
GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 8650U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
4119 (min: 4106, max: 4190) Points ∼100% +28%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Iris Plus Graphics 640, 7660U, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
3909 Points ∼95% +21%
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
HD Graphics 620, 7300U, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
3226 Points ∼78%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
HD Graphics 620, 7200U, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
3146 Points ∼76% -2%
Dell Latitude 7285
HD Graphics 615, 7Y57, Toshiba KBG20ZMS256G
2876 Points ∼70% -11%
PCMark 8 Home Score Accelerated v2
3386 points
PCMark 8 Work Score Accelerated v2
4503 points
Help

Storage Device

Our test unit is equipped with a flash drive from Samsung. Its model number is PM871a and it is a SATA III SSD that has 256 GB of capacity. You can compare its performance with that of other SSDs and HDDs in our SSD/HDD list.

The PM871a is clearly the slowest of all comparison devices, since they are all equipped with PCIe NVMe SSDs. Of course, this is not essential, but we would expect to see a modern PCIe NVMe SSD in devices of this price range. The capacity of 256 GB is not particularly generous either, as changing the SSD is a bit of an effort. It would have been nice to have at least 512 GB available from the start.

Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
Microsoft Surface Book 2
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
Dell Latitude 7285
Toshiba KBG20ZMS256G
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Samsung PM971 KUS040202M
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP
CrystalDiskMark 3.0
46%
38%
73%
90%
129%
Write 4k QD32
273.9
337.08
23%
253
-8%
421.48
54%
259
-5%
472.5
73%
Read 4k QD32
307
465.5
52%
357.7
17%
485.58
58%
247.9
-19%
398.3
30%
Write 4k
93
148.47
60%
99.07
7%
136.27
47%
120
29%
145.4
56%
Read 4k
35.75
43.64
22%
45.26
27%
53.64
50%
52.34
46%
56.9
59%
Write 512
355.6
337.86
-5%
487.9
37%
791.87
123%
869
144%
844.4
137%
Read 512
423.5
654.05
54%
755.8
78%
227.5
-46%
697.5
65%
1235
192%
Write Seq
404.2
341.2
-16%
587.4
45%
960.7
138%
1259
211%
1261
212%
Read Seq
499.9
1370.2
174%
1017
103%
1307.9
162%
1739
248%
1875
275%
Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ
Sequential Read: 499.9 MB/s
Sequential Write: 404.2 MB/s
512K Read: 423.5 MB/s
512K Write: 355.6 MB/s
4K Read: 35.75 MB/s
4K Write: 93 MB/s
4K QD32 Read: 307 MB/s
4K QD32 Write: 273.9 MB/s

Graphics Performance

The Intel HD Graphics 620 is a GPU integrated into processors of the Kaby Lake generation. It has 24 Execution Units and has to make do with the main memory as an iGPU. Comparisons between dedicated GPUs and other integrated graphics chips are available in the GPU benchmark list.

With the exception of the Microsoft Surface Book 2, which is equipped with a dedicated gaming-class GPU (Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050), all comparison devices work with integrated GPUs. Of these devices, only the Surface Pro with Iris Plus performs significantly better than the rest, while the X1 Tablet Gen 2 with the Intel HD Graphics 615 clearly offers the worst performance.

GPU performance is not limited while the computer runs on battery.

3DMark 11 - 1280x720 Performance GPU
Microsoft Surface Book 2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8650U
7483 (min: 7472, max: 7485) Points ∼100% +430%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Core i7-7660U
2493 Points ∼33% +76%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
1510 Points ∼20% +7%
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7300U
1413 Points ∼19%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel HD Graphics 615, Intel Core i5-7Y57
1327 Points ∼18% -6%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
Intel HD Graphics 615, Intel Core i5-7Y54
1161 Points ∼16% -18%
3DMark
1920x1080 Fire Strike Graphics
Microsoft Surface Book 2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8650U
5787 Points ∼100% +622%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Core i7-7660U
1418 Points ∼25% +77%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
933 Points ∼16% +16%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel HD Graphics 615, Intel Core i5-7Y57
866 Points ∼15% +8%
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7300U
802 Points ∼14%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
Intel HD Graphics 615, Intel Core i5-7Y54
728 Points ∼13% -9%
1280x720 Cloud Gate Standard Graphics
Microsoft Surface Book 2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), Intel Core i7-8650U
29376 Points ∼100% +343%
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640, Intel Core i7-7660U
11264 Points ∼38% +70%
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7200U
7334 Points ∼25% +11%
Dell Latitude 7285
Intel HD Graphics 615, Intel Core i5-7Y57
6862 Points ∼23% +4%
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
Intel HD Graphics 620, Intel Core i5-7300U
6625 Points ∼23%
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
Intel HD Graphics 615, Intel Core i5-7Y54
6164 Points ∼21% -7%
3DMark 11 Performance
1552 points
3DMark Cloud Gate Standard Score
5469 points
3DMark Fire Strike Score
734 points
Help

Gaming Performance

The Toughbook has not been developed for gaming, and it performed accordingly in the games that we tested. Only older games can possibly be played in low details. If you would like to have a detachable that you can game on, you should take a look at the Microsoft Surface Book 2.

low med. high ultra
BioShock Infinite (2013) 43.3124.5fps
Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016) 16.08fps
Civilization VI (2016) 17.28fps

Emissions

System Noise

The cooling system is turned off completely while idling, but the Toughbook is still not silent - particularly when the SSD is writing larger amounts of data, and you can hear some coil whine.

The cooling system is clearly audible under load. While it is not so loud that it is bothersome, the frequency is uncomfortably high.

Noise Level

Idle
30.5 / 30.5 / 30.5 dB(A)
Load
31.9 / 32.6 dB(A)
  red to green bar
 
 
30 dB
silent
40 dB(A)
audible
50 dB(A)
loud
 
min: dark, med: mid, max: light   Audix TM1, Arta (15 cm distance)   environment noise: 30.5 dB(A)
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.633.533.834.434.433.62535.133.33538.33935.13139.539.442.241.142.239.54031.933.233.836.635.431.95033.635.63537.737.833.66335.128.928.630.229.635.18028.126.226.727.328.828.110027.625.826.327.228.327.61252626.125.82725.62616025.32424.224.423.325.320023.923.623.223.422.723.925021.721.822.423.121.521.731521.420.821.42120.821.440021.221.521.120.620.421.250019.521.220.819.819.319.563019.520.119.71918.519.580020.122.220.418.418.220.1100021.524.622.118.217.921.5125020.428.9211817.920.4160020.524.321.81817.720.5200019.92320.81817.819.9250019.223.12017.917.719.2315019.323.720.41818.119.3400019.122.820.518.218.219.1500018.922.319.518.518.318.9630018.720.618.918.518.518.7800018.819.518.918.618.618.81000018.618.818.718.618.618.61250018.618.618.618.518.418.61600018.618.618.618.618.518.6SPL31.935.532.630.830.631.9N1.72.21.81.51.41.7median 19.9median 22.3median 20.8median 18.6median 18.5median 19.9Delta1.81.71.41.81.81.830.829.629.9322830.828.932.63434.334.631.432.632.43028.928.529.228.527.127.626.427.727.927.927.926.926.828.428.128.427.827.327.730.925.727.126.824.926.527.52725.627.825.92525.526.126.328.324.32627.528.926.828.226.32424.224.22323.424.823.922.823.521.92324.524.222.322.422.322.921.92324.123.621.721.221.720.822.425.523.321.62120.219.920.729.121.319.619.418.818.618.426.122.220.419.518.118.117.927.822.420.918.917.417.417.730.621.818.81816.917.217.131.122.919.718.616.51716.832.724.821.218.417.316.816.634.926.922.420.218.316.916.337.127.523.820.818.417.416.537.629.424.220.417.818.116.239.327.722.318.617.817.916.338.328.321.418.617.617.216.840.22518.51817.81817.137.122.318.618.418.118.617.339.620.31819.819.320.417.937.118.617.918.418.218.417.929.818.21818.318.518.717.826.718.318.220.520.520.618.223.337.833.431.430.230.229.4492.61.81.51.41.41.36.3median 23.3median 21.2median 19.5median 18.3median 18.4median 17.8median 30.62.31.81.41.31.62.25.3hearing rangehide median Fan NoisePanasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6Microsoft Surface Book 2

Temperature

stress test (Prime95 + FurMark)
stress test (Prime95 + FurMark)

It is easy to see where the processor is positioned from the measured temperatures under load: In the spot where the tablet heats up most during the stress test. However, the temperature is not worrying at 44 °C (~111.2 °F) and still far off the 50 °C mark (~122 °F). Apart from this one area, the device remains pretty cool.

And now for the stress test and inner temperatures: These do not rise over 70 °C (~158 °F) when under constant load, which is due to the fact that the CPU is not allowed to consume over 8 watts right from the start of the stress test with Prime95 and FurMark. This means that the CPU is throttling to 1.7 GHz while the GPU clocks around 550 MHz. But there probably is no other way, as the CPU would otherwise reach temperatures close to the emergency-off limit.

We re-ran the 3DMark 11 right after the stress test and received normal results. The throttling during the stress test should therefore not really affect day-to-day use.

Max. Load
 24.4 °C
76 F
30.9 °C
88 F
35 °C
95 F
 
 25.3 °C
78 F
24.1 °C
75 F
37.6 °C
100 F
 
 33.8 °C
93 F
33.1 °C
92 F
34.7 °C
94 F
 
Maximum: 37.6 °C = 100 F
Average: 31 °C = 88 F
38 °C
100 F
30.7 °C
87 F
25.2 °C
77 F
38.2 °C
101 F
34.7 °C
94 F
25.8 °C
78 F
31.2 °C
88 F
31.7 °C
89 F
26.6 °C
80 F
Maximum: 38.2 °C = 101 F
Average: 31.3 °C = 88 F
Power Supply (max.)  39.3 °C = 103 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | FIRT 550-Pocket
(+) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 31 °C / 88 F, compared to the average of 30.3 °C / 87 F for the devices in the class Convertible.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 37.6 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 35.4 °C / 96 F, ranging from 21.8 to 55.7 °C for the class Convertible.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 38.2 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 36.5 °C / 98 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 30.3 °C / 87 F, compared to the device average of 30.3 °C / 87 F.
(+) The palmrests and touchpad are reaching skin temperature as a maximum (34.7 °C / 94.5 F) and are therefore not hot.
(-) The average temperature of the palmrest area of similar devices was 29 °C / 84.2 F (-5.7 °C / -10.3 F).
idle (keyboard base)
idle (keyboard base)
idle (keyboard base)
idle (keyboard base)
load (tablet)
load (tablet)
load (tablet)
load (tablet)

Speakers

The specifications of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 claim that it has stereo speakers, but we could not locate a second speaker anywhere. We assume that the Toughbook has only a mono speaker - in the display frame. And that is what it sounds like: A bad mobile phone speaker. Even Windows sounds are distorted if the volume is set to 100%.

Any application that has to do with sound (even Windows signal sounds) should be used with external speakers or headphones. Luckily, the 3.5-mm audio jack on the tablet works very well.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2034.334.434.32533.83933.83138.942.238.94032.235.432.25031.437.831.4633229.6328026.728.826.710027.528.327.512526.225.626.216025.223.325.220023.722.723.725022.521.522.531522.820.822.840022.420.422.450026.819.326.863032.118.532.180043.418.243.4100049.217.949.2125056.317.956.3160051.817.751.8200050.717.850.7250051.417.751.431505318.153400054.218.254.2500058.818.358.8630063.118.563.1800059.718.659.71000055.918.655.91250050.418.450.41600046.818.546.8SPL67.930.667.9N18.81.418.8median 49.2median 18.5median 49.2Delta14.31.814.330.833.932.632.627.129.226.928.627.728.427.527.226.127.526.832.523.440.824.543.22348.822.454.920.757.818.456.417.958.717.759.117.160.716.860.116.659.716.361.116.564.716.262.916.366.516.86217.165.217.359.717.95517.951.617.846.718.24929.474.21.333.1median 17.8median 58.72.25.1hearing rangehide median Pink NoisePanasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6Microsoft Surface Book 2
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 audio analysis

(-) | not very loud speakers (63.07 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.6% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (3.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 10.4% lower than median
(-) | mids are not linear (16.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (40.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 96% of all tested devices in this class were better, 1% similar, 2% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 98% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 1% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Microsoft Surface Book 2 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (74.2 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 12.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 1.9% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.8% away from median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (15.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 14% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 81% worse
» The best had a delta of 11%, average was 22%, worst was 53%
Compared to all devices tested
» 17% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 79% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (check boxes can be turned on/off!)

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Panasonic seems to have configured the Toughbook well, as the measured power consumption is significantly lower than that of its competitors. Even the two comparison devices with Y-series CPUS (X1 Tablet Gen 2 & Latitude 7285) consume a lot more power while idling.

The 45-watt power supply is large enough to supply the Toughbook with sufficient power even under load.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight / 0.7 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 3.15 / 6 / 6.3 Watt
Load midlight 21 / 23 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
7300U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung SSD PM871a MZNLN256HMHQ, IPS LED, 2160x1440, 12
Microsoft Surface Book 2
8650U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 3000x2000, 13.5
Dell Latitude 7285
7Y57, HD Graphics 615, Toshiba KBG20ZMS256G, IPS LED, 2880x1920, 12.3
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
7660U, Iris Plus Graphics 640, Samsung PM971 KUS040202M, IPS, 2736x1824, 12.3
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
7Y54, HD Graphics 615, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 2160x1440, 12
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
7200U, HD Graphics 620, Samsung PM961 MZVLW256HEHP, IPS, 2716x1824, 12.3
Power Consumption
-169%
-61%
-70%
-13%
-67%
Idle Minimum *
3.15
4.7
-49%
6.6
-110%
4.2
-33%
5
-59%
4.1
-30%
Idle Average *
6
10.6
-77%
9.3
-55%
10.1
-68%
6.3
-5%
9.2
-53%
Idle Maximum *
6.3
12.3
-95%
10.2
-62%
14
-122%
7.8
-24%
11.1
-76%
Load Average *
21
81
-286%
25.1
-20%
37.4
-78%
19.5
7%
33.8
-61%
Load Maximum *
23
100.3
-336%
36.1
-57%
34
-48%
19.6
15%
49.2
-114%
Witcher 3 ultra *
97
38.1

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

charging time: 214 minutes
charging time: 214 minutes

The test unit is equipped with two batteries with four cells that have a total capacity of 76 watt hours. This means that the Toughbook has a similar battery capacity to the significantly larger Surface Book 2. In addition to this, the battery in the keyboard base can be exchanged while the computer is running, which potentially increases the battery runtime even more.

Considering the good consumption rates, we are hardly surprised by the brilliant results of the battery runtime tests: 14 hours in our practical Wi-Fi test is something even the Surface Book 2 cannot keep up with. Even under load, the Toughbook lasts over three hours.

A disadvantage of the battery system with two separate batteries: Long charging times. It takes a total of 3.5 hours for both batteries to recharge fully.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
22h 05min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Edge)
14h 01min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
11h 50min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 08min
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6
7300U, HD Graphics 620, 76 Wh
Microsoft Surface Book 2
8650U, GeForce GTX 1050 (Laptop), 75 Wh
Dell Latitude 7285
7Y57, HD Graphics 615, 54 Wh
Microsoft Surface Pro (2017) i7
7660U, Iris Plus Graphics 640, 45 Wh
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Tablet Gen 2
7Y54, HD Graphics 615, 37 Wh
HP Elite x2 1012 G2-1LV76EA
7200U, HD Graphics 620, 47 Wh
Battery Runtime
6%
-35%
-32%
-42%
-42%
Reader / Idle
1325
1469
11%
1030
-22%
662
-50%
833
-37%
H.264
710
933
31%
369
-48%
614
-14%
377
-47%
WiFi v1.3
841
663
-21%
391
-54%
489
-42%
441
-48%
378
-55%
Load
188
190
1%
162
-14%
112
-40%
134
-29%
138
-27%
Witcher 3 ultra
230
115

Verdict

Pros

+ high display brightness
+ screen with semi-matte surface
+ Ethernet & VGA available
+ very good battery runtimes
+ second battery enables high flexibility
+ WWAN module
+ robust magnesium case

Cons

- visible clouding on the LCD
- display: PWM & low color-space coverage
- uncomfortable keyboard with strange layout
- tiny Touchpad difficult to use
- awful mono speaker
- SATA III SSD in a £1850 laptop
- weaknesses in workmanship
- coil whine
- bad port positioning
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6, test unit provided by Panasonic.
Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6, test unit provided by Panasonic.

The Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 is an interesting detachable that has some great features - but also some strong weaknesses and faults.

If you take a look at the battery runtime or display brightness of the semi-matte screen, for example, you will get the impression of looking at a first-class notebook. No competitor can keep up with the Toughbook in these respects. Another advantage is its flexibility: The Toughbook is clearly the best in the segment of detachables or 2-in-1 tablets. A VGA and Ethernet port is still essential for a business laptop and the exchangeable battery gives you the option of even better battery runtimes. And nonetheless, the Toughbook has a comparatively small and light-weight metal case that feels very robust. The included WWAN module keeps you connected on the go.

As good as all this sounds: The weaknesses are not easily ignored. It starts with the display, whose brightness decreases so strongly towards the left edge that you can see it with the naked eye. The display also has PWM flickering and the color-space coverage is simply bad for a laptop of this price range. But it is not only the primary output device that has some problems. The two primary input devices are rather disappointing as well: The keyboard has a very peculiar layout, which caused several typos and the touchpad seems to have landed in the wrong decade with its tiny touch area. These two points alone make it almost  impossible to imagine this device as a work tool. Considering all these, we can almost forgive the bad quality of the mono speaker, although we would normally expect more from a device that costs £1850. This is not the only area in which Panasonic has tried to save some money. The rather small 256-GB SSD, for example, is only a SATA-III flash drive. Last but not least we have to mention some quality issues. The workmanship of the case, for example, is not good in some areas and we occasionally heard coil whine.

Not for the masses: The quality of the Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 is too inconsistent to really compete with the detachables of other large manufacturers. It will probably remain in its niche.

We asked a question in the introduction: Niche or mass market? The answer is clear for the Toughbook - definitely niche. The average user will not be happy with the Toughbook, so we cannot give it a general recommendation.

But if you are a user who needs the special features of the Toughbook such as an exchangeable battery, high display brightness or the legacy ports in a detachable, you will probably not find anything better than the Toughbook CF-XZ6, despite its weaknesses. We can only recommend the device for this very specific group - and still only with a word of caution. In any case you should definitely make sure that the display's brightness distribution is more even than in our test unit - this fault in a purchased device is definitely a reason for complaint.

Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 - 01/11/2018 v6
Benjamin Herzig

Chassis
83 / 98 → 85%
Keyboard
68%
Pointing Device
69%
Connectivity
66 / 80 → 82%
Weight
73 / 35-78 → 88%
Battery
97%
Display
85%
Games Performance
56 / 68 → 82%
Application Performance
86 / 87 → 99%
Temperature
91%
Noise
94%
Audio
36 / 91 → 40%
Camera
32 / 85 → 37%
Average
72%
83%
Convertible - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Panasonic Toughbook CF-XZ6 Convertible Review
Benjamin Herzig, 2018-01-13 (Update: 2019-03-25)