Toshiba Portege M700

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Toshiba's Portege M700 is a tablet with a premium price tag sporting premium features and performance. If you're a mobile professional willing to pay a whole pile of cash for a highly featured tablet, this little companion might be the friend for you.

Design and features
When you first meet the M700, there is no disguising that it's ugly. It's certainly no sleek and thin Macbook Air. However, after you sit down with the M700 for a while, you will discover just how talented it is. After we spent some time using it in the office, we liked it so much that we took it home to play with.

Considering its plethora of features the M700 is surprisingly light, at just 2kg you won't have trouble carrying it around. It isn't too big either, about the size of a large notepad, with dimensions of roughly 30x24x4cm.

Its black and grey exterior exudes functionality, with a mass of ports sticking out on every side. You'll find the 3.5mm audio in/out jacks on the front along with a Wi-Fi switch, volume control and a mini IEEE 1394 FireWire port.

On the right-hand side we were pleased to see a DVD-RW optical drive, along with an SD card reader and a port for the built-in fax modem — which is a handy feature on a tablet of this size. On the left, you will find two USB ports and a Type II PC Card slot, in case you want to add even more features to this already heavily featured laptop. On the rear of the M700 you will find another USB port, VGA, Ethernet and a power input.

Although small, the keyboard on the M800 is comfortable to type on. One thing that did annoy us was the placement of the page up and page down keys. Placed right next to the arrow keys, we found that we accidentally hit them instead of the arrows when working on documents. p>

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The track pad on the M700 is small and not particularly sensitive. It's also bizarrely placed slightly to the right, meaning you may accidentally use it while typing.

On the other hand, we liked the touch screen so much we often found ourselves reaching for the stylus rather than the track pad. The touch screen is truly one of the best features of this laptop. It's sensitive and easy to use. We had no trouble even with tricky features like small scroll bars, and learning the -pen flicks" — the M700 offers a free tutorial.

The M700 sports a crisp 12.1-inch 1280x800 (WXGA) display with a 1.3-megapixel webcam at the top. While we enjoyed rotating the screen on the M700 to use it as a true tablet, be aware that the Wi-Fi antenna is located on the back of the display, so you may loose or slow down your connection if you choose to use it like this. Wi-Fi options include 802.11a, b, and draft n. Bluetooth is also included.

When folding the M700 into -notepad" mode, you get the option of an OCR system for handwriting, which float via a small tab on the side of the screen. The system didn't have any trouble recognising our scrawl, but in case it has trouble recognising yours, the M700 has the option of a software touch keypad.

The M700 comes with a range of pre-installed software. However, we weren't impressed by the trial versions of Norton Internet Security and MS Office 2007, anything short of a full version we consider to be an advert.

On the plus side, there are several pre-installed programs that could be useful. Toshiba Assist provides various shortcuts to help options in Windows while Toshiba Security Assist allows you to set passwords on hardware such as the HDD and BIOS, along with other security options. You might also find some use in Toshiba's on-board backup program, Recovery Disk Creator.

Performance
The M700 sent to ZDNet.com.au came with Windows Vista Business and the option of an XP Pro downgrade. The inclusion of a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T8300 means this PC has the grunt to run Vista without trouble. The 2GB of RAM (with the option to upgrade to 4GB, although Vista 32 won't support it all) gave very healthy performance scores.

PCMark05 gave an overall score of 3,572 with notable distinction to the CPU with a score of 6,089. The M700 includes an integrated Intel 965GM integrated graphics accelerator — but given that a graphics accelerator takes advantage of the on-board RAM, an upgrade to 4GB might give you solid graphics performance. If you're after the best ROI we recommend you get the 3GB upgrade, as Vista 32-bit will only recognise just over 3GB.

Internally, the M700 comes with a 160GB HDD. For the asking price, we would have preferred a solid state drive as you will rapidly learn that moving the tablet will make a little warning come up that will tell you the HDD head has been moved.

Sadly, performance comes at the cost of battery life, (we're still waiting for those silicon nanowires to increase the density of Lithium-ions in batteries). Battery life on the M700 is average, with Toshiba claiming up to four hours of battery life. When playing a DVD, The Usual Suspects, the tablet gave us two hours and 25 minutes of playtime.

A big selling point for the M700 is its 3G HSDPA wireless broadband. To test the speed, we used ZDNet.com.au's broadband speed test, which gave an average speed of 8.63Mbps (1079KBps) in the Sydney CBD — a super fast result. However beware, while you may be seduced by speed, Telstra's 3G wireless broadband isn't cheap. Prices range between AU$35 for 10 hours a month to AU$115 for 3GB a month.

Verdict
For the AU$4180.00 price tag you would want to get a lot from the Toshiba M700 — and you do — but you'd have to really want it to justify this price. However there are reasons to, this handy little tablet comes with a raft of features and the added bonus of fast HSDPA 3G wireless broadband. If you're a mobile professional looking for a tablet and are willing to part with a big pile of cash, this little companion might be the friend for you.

Specifications

General
Packaged Quantity 1
Platform Technology Intel Centrino with vPro Technology
Embedded Security Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2) Security Chip
Processor / Chipset
CPU Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 / 2.1 GHz
Number of Cores Dual-Core
Cache L2 - 3 MB
64-bit Computing Yes
Data Bus Speed 800 MHz
Chipset Type Mobile Intel GM965 Express
Cache Memory
Type L2 cache
Installed Size 3 MB
Memory
Max Supported Size 4 GB
Technology DDR2 SDRAM
Speed 667 MHz / PC2-5300
Slots Qty 2
RAM
Memory Speed 667 MHz
Memory Specification Compliance PC2-5300
Configuration Features 2 x 1 GB
Technology DDR2 SDRAM
Installed Size 2 GB
Storage
Interface Serial ATA-150
Optical Drive DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM - removable
Type none
Read Speed 24x (CD) / 8x (DVD)
Write Speed 24x (CD) / 8x (DVD±R) / 4x (DVD±R DL)
Rewrite Speed 16x (CD) / 6x (DVD-RW) / 8x (DVD+RW) / 5x (DVD-RAM)
Type portable
Display
LCD Backlight Technology LED backlight
Widescreen Display Yes
Color Support 16.7 million colors
Type LED
Diagonal Size (metric) 30.7 cm
Color Support 16.7 million colors
Display Resolution Abbreviation WXGA
Environmental Parameters
Environmental standards EPA Energy Star, EPEAT Gold
Humidity Range Operating 20 - 80%
Audio & Video
Graphics Processor Intel GMA X3100
Memory Allocation Technology Dynamic Video Memory Technology 4.0
Max Allocated RAM Size 358 MB
Integrated Webcam Yes
Resolution (MP) 1.3 Megapixel
Sound Stereo speakers , microphone
Hard Drive
Spindle Speed 5400 rpm
Type HDD
Capacity 160 GB
Input
Type Tablet Pen, digitizer, keyboard, touchpad
Communications
Wireless Protocol 802.11a/b/g/n (draft), Bluetooth 2.0 EDR
Wireless Controller Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN
Wired Protocol Gigabit Ethernet
Processor
Type Core 2 Duo
Processor Number T8100
Manufacturer Intel
Clock Speed 2.1 GHz
Optical Storage
Drive Type DVD SuperMulti DL
Type DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM
Form Factor removable
Floppy Drive
Type none
Modem
Type fax / modem
Card Reader
Type card reader
Supported Flash Memory Memory Stick, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMediaCard, SD Memory Card, SDIO, miniSD, xD-Picture Card
Battery
Cells 6-cell
Capacity 4700 mAh
Run Time (Up To) 4.6 sec
AC Adapter
Input AC 120/230 V ( 50/60 Hz )
Connections & Expansion
Expansion Bays 1 x Ultra Slim SelectBay
Slots 1 x PC Card ( 1 free )
2 x memory
Interfaces 1 x network - Ethernet 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T - RJ-45
1 x display / video - VGA - 15 pin HD D-Sub (HD-15)
1 x microphone - input - mini-phone 3.5 mm
1 x headphones - output - mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
3 x USB 2.0 - 4 pin USB Type A
1 x modem - phone line - RJ-11
1 x docking / port replicator
Memory Card Reader Yes ( SD Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick Duo, xD-Picture Card, miniSD, SDIO )
Header
Brand Toshiba
Product Line Toshiba Portégé
Model M700-S7044V
Country Kits United States
Packaged Quantity 1
Compatibility PC
Miscellaneous
Security Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2) Security Chip , fingerprint reader
Compliant Standards AS/NZS 3548, CB, TELEC, UL, cUL, CCC, CSA, FCC, FCC Part 15 B, GOST, MOC, R&TTE, RoHS
Networking
Data Link Protocol Bluetooth 2.0 EDR, Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11n (draft)
Wireless LAN Supported Yes
Wireless NIC Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN
System
Platform Technology Intel Centrino with vPro Technology
Notebook Type notebook
Mechanical Design convertible design
Platform Windows
Hard Drive Capacity 160 GB
Embedded Security Trusted Platform Module (TPM 1.2) Security Chip
Security Devices fingerprint reader
Monitor
Diagonal Size 12.1 in
Software
Microsoft Office Preloaded Includes a preinstalled image of select 2007 Microsoft Office suites. Purchase a Medialess License Kit (MLK) to activate the software.
Dimensions & Weight
Width 12 in
Depth 9.4 in
Height 1.5 in
Audio Output
Compliant Standards High Definition Audio
Type stereo speakers
Manufacturer Warranty
Type 4 years warranty
Mainboard
Data Bus Speed 800 MHz
Chipset Type Mobile Intel GM965 Express
Environmental Standards
EPEAT Level EPEAT Gold
ENERGY STAR Qualified Yes
Audio Input
Type microphone
Physical Characteristics
Weight 4.63 lbs
Power
Min Operating Temperature 41 °F
Max Operating Temperature 95 °F
Operating System / Software
OS Provided: Type Microsoft Windows Vista Business / XP Professional downgrade
Type Adobe Acrobat Reader, Google Desktop, Toshiba Assist, Toshiba Bluetooth Stack, Toshiba ConfigFree, Toshiba Disc Creator, Toshiba Extended Tiles for Windows Mobility Center, Toshiba Management Console, Toshiba Recovery DiskCreator, Toshiba Security Assist, Toshiba Tablet Access Code Logon Utility, Toshiba Tablet PC Extension, Google Picasa, Toshiba Value Added Package, Google Toolbar, Infineon TPM Professional Package, InterVideo WinDVD, McAfee Internet Security Suite (30 days trial), Microsoft Office OneNote 2007, Microsoft Office Professional 2007 (60 days trial), Sun Java Runtime Environment
Video Output
Graphics Processor Intel GMA X3100
Video Memory
Memory Allocation Technology Dynamic Video Memory Technology 4.0
Max Allocated RAM Size 358 MB
Notebook Camera
Integrated Webcam Yes
Resolution (MP) 1.3 Megapixel
Input Device
Type Tablet Pen, digitizer, keyboard, touchpad
Expansion Bays
Specific Bay Type Ultra Slim SelectBay
Total Qty 1
Expansion Slots
Type PC Card, memory
Form Factor type II
Total Qty 1, 2
Free Qty 1
OS Provided
Family Windows Vista, Windows XP
Edition Windows Vista Business, Windows XP Professional
Type Microsoft Windows Vista Business / XP Professional downgrade
Power Device
Nominal Voltage AC 120/230 V
Frequency Required 50/60 Hz
Service & Support
Type 4 years warranty
Service & Support Details
Type limited warranty, limited warranty
Service Included parts and labor
Component battery
Full Contract Period 1 year, 4 years

Topics: Hardware, Mobility, Tablets

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