We have bought and sold thousands of Toughbooks over the years. If I was not a Toughbook seller and was giving a close friend advice on how to buy a Toughbook this is what my advice would be:
1. Make sure the Panasonic Toughbook unit does not have a BIOS password. Otherwise it is almost impossible to remove and you may need to enter the BIOS to enable or disable some options like GPS, screen brightness, order of boot devices, etc...
2. Ask the seller how long the Toughbook battery will last for on average. These are consumable items that eventually need to replaced once they have have reached a number of cycles, but at least a 3 hour charge is what I would consider acceptable.
3. Is the Toughbook touchscreen calibrated and accurate? If you are buying a Toughbook CF-29 or CF-30, many of the touchscreens on these models are faulty and will not calibrate properly. We end up replacing almost EVERY touchscreen when we buy these models.
4. Does it include the recovery disc? Unless you are buying from a professional Toughbook reseller that gives you a clean Windows setup, I recommend wiping the HD and reinstalling Windows with the Toughbook restore recovery disk. You don't know what kind of viruses or corrupted files might be lurking from the original Toughbook owner.
Also installing Windows fresh with the Panasonic Toughbook from a recovery disc will make it run like it was new from the factory! Without it, you will need a Windows disc and need to download all the drivers is an absolute pain in the... and will cost you a lot of time.
5. Upgrade the hard drive on your Toughbook CF-19, CF-30, CF-31 to an SSD hard drive! This is the best "bang for the buck" upgrade you can do for any computer! It is a huge difference in boot up and access times.
here from PCWorldGood in-depth article
Benefits of SSD vs. SATA hard drives:
■ Data is safe even if dropped!
■ Faster BOOT time and data access
■ Uses less power = longer batter life
■ No moving parts = greater reliability
■ Magnetism will not wipe your data like Sata
■ Super quiet, no spinning noises, no vibration
6. Common sense tips: If buying online ask - How long is the warranty (if any), are their clear pics of the unit if it is a used one, If its a BLACK unit, is it spray painted? (this will emit toxic VOC gases long after the paint is dry. VOC from spray paint has been linked to Cancer and other health issues, EPA article here)
I hope these tips have helped... be safe out their.