I thought it was a good time to put a blog post about this subject since I just got this email from a potential customer: "What physical condition are these in? I purchased one that was "professionally refurbished" (from somewhere else) and it came dented up and missing dust covers, so I am a little hesitant to buy another."
I am guessing he probably bought his Toughbook on eBay or Amazon. The reality is most sellers on those platforms are not professional Toughbook resellers who specialize in Toughbooks. It takes time and training to really do a professional job.
We have sold thousands of Toughbooks over the years and our techs can take these apart blindfolded. Yes our units are more expensive and that is because we are a real business with real overhead expenses to deal with, but our Toughbook buyers get true value for that extra investment. As with most things in life, you usually get what you pay for.
■ If you are buying a used Toughbook on eBay or Amazon the most important thing is took at the sellers feedback and reputation. Secondly use Paypal and your credit card to pay so at least you have recourse if your Toughbook is not in the same condition that was represented in the listing.
■ Also see our other blog post "6 mistakes to avoid when buying a used Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 CF-30 CF-31" here
DOWNSIDE OF BUYING A TOUGHBOOK FROM AMATEUR EBAY OR AMAZON SELLERS:
■ Some will use spray paint to touch up the unit which emits toxic VOC compounds that has been linked to cancer, "while off-gassing peaks within the first few hours and weeks, some products release only half of their VOCs within the first year and continue emitting VOCs throughout their life." Is the health of your family or people around you worth the risk? Full article on the health dangers of VOCs from spray paint here.
■ Most Toughbook part time sellers are just trying to make a few bucks on the side which of course is fine, but if you say your used and abused Toughbook is "refurbished" then the condition has to reflect that statement. Otherwise it is purely false advertising. We once received a used Toughbook that had cockroach body parts under the keys.. the smell was something I never experienced either. And I have many more horror stories...
■ Most sellers will not install a clean version of the Windows operating system with all drivers installed properly. Over time most Windows operating systems will slow down due to corrupted files, maybe virus or malware, missing updates, etc... All our units have clean fresh Windows install just like when it came from the factory. Because of our upgrades our Toughbook units work BETTER then when these were brand new from Panasonic.
■ The quality control and support will not be the same as a company that only sells Toughbooks full time. I would make sure you have a phone # you can call and be able to talk to a live human being. What is their Warranty? Do they have a Money Back Guarantee?
These are the first questions you might want to consider before spending your hard earned money. Sometimes the "cheaper" Toughbook can end up "costing" you more in the long run in terms of frustration, lost time, shipping expenses, etc...
HOW WE REFURBISH OUR PANASONIC TOUGHBOOKS:
■ We test all the different hardware components on the Toughbook such as the mainboard, screen, keyboard, ports, battery, etc... This is a critical step to making sure the unit is 100% operational. Touchscreens are the parts that we see not work properly most often nn most Toughbook CF-29 and CF-30 models. They are much better on the newer CF-31's.
■ We install faster SSD hard drives with a new clean operating system with all the Toughbook drivers. The Toughbook will run FASTER then when it was new from the Panasonic factory with an SSD hard drive upgrade!
■ We have our special powder coating process that makes the lid paint as strong as the original factory finish. We are in the process of creating our new custom BLACK palmrests for Toughbook CF-19, CF-30 and CF-31. These look Amazing. All our Black Cobra units will have them around mid August. This will be the ONLY professional fully BLACK Toughbook.
Aluminum lid label for our Black Cobra CF-19 CF-30 CF-31 units
The Original plastic Toughbook lid label.
■ We also install an aluminum Panasonic lid label on our Toughbook CF-19, CF-30 and CF-31 because the original one that is included is quite frankly... pathetic. Its a plastic label that probably cost about 20 cents. These Toughbooks were thousands of dollars when new. I just don't get why they would skimp on that, when the rest of the unit is built so rugged.
■ The final cosmetic condition of our professionally refurbished Toughbook units will be at least 9.5/10 and the operating condition will be BETTER then new to do our upgrades. We include 60 day Money Back Guarantee + 3 Year Warranty. (No other sellers offer this)
Please contact us if you are considering buying a professionally refurbished Panasonic Toughbook CF-19 CF-30 CF-31 CF-52 CF-53 or CF-54 laptop.