3 Reasons why you should only buy a Panasonic Toughbook CF-31 MK4 or MK5.
Updated: Feb 22
REASON #1: For those considering which MK model in the CF-31 series and are new to the Toughbook universe, the models usually get updated over time to include faster processors, updated specifications, etc... So the 1st Generation or release is called a "Mark 1" or "MK1". The 2nd second generation is MK2, and so on.
If you already own a Toughbook but are not sure which CF-31 "Mark / MK" model you have, see our other blog post. The Panasonic Toughbook CF-31 series range from MK1 (1st generation) , MK2, MK3, MK4, MK5 and MK6 (most recent generation).
Now, the main reason for this headline is that only the Panasonic Toughbook CF-31 MK4, MK5 and MK6 models will support the newest Windows 11 operating system. But if you are happy with Windows 7 (that is no longer supported with MS security updates) or Windows 10 (which will not be supported by Microsoft after Oct. 2025) then the CF-31 MK1 to MK3 are still fine machines indeed! (Which we still sell)
But in making your purchasing decision, you might want to consider the future upgradeability factor. Keep mind if you order an MK4 or MK5 with Windows 10 you can easily upgrade to Windows 11 for free in the future if you have applications that are only compatible with Windows 10.
REASON #2: As you can see from the above chart with the higher MK models you can upgrade to 16GB ram, have faster CPU's and later generation of USB, Bluetooth connections, etc.. By buying a Black Cobra CF-31 MK4, MK5 you are also getting insurance against future obsolescence.
CF-31 MK4 vs MK5: The CPU on the MK5 is actually 2 generations newer than the MK4. As such, it is more power efficient, meaning your battery will hold a longer charge. And with a speed boost of up to 2.9Ghz gives you the best performance in its class. The more efficient CPU design also generates less heat, which is an important factor for overall longevity and use in hot environments.
All our Black Cobra CF-31 Toughbook's include 16GB ram, along with brand new fast SSD hard drives that are much faster than the original SATA that these units came with. SSD consume less power (giving you longer battery life) and are more reliable and silent. Of course we are the only Toughbook seller to offer a 3 Year Warranty.
REASON #3: You may have noticed we left out mention of the MK6. The reason for that is the market price for this model is still crazy expensive as of February 2023. And the very high cost, for the slight hardware improvement, is frankly not worth it in our humble opinion. Over time this can change, but I feel the best "Bang for the buck" right now in 2023, is the Black Cobra Panasonic Toughbook CF-31 MK4 or MK5 models for the best fully rugged experience. https://www.techtough.com/product-page/panasonic-toughbook-black-cobra-cf-31-mk4-mk5