Toshiba WT310 tablet: First Take

Toshiba WT310 tablet: First Take

Summary: This 11.6-inch Windows 8 tablet offers a reasonable specification including stylus, mobile broadband and docking options. However, it's on the bulky/heavy side and the build quality lacks robustness.

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Toshiba's WT310 is an 11.6-inch Windows 8 Professional tablet aimed at business users, who may be attracted by the system's 128GB SSD. Be aware, though, that our review sample reported just 78GB free out of the box.

The chassis is on the thick side and the weight a little high for our liking: 299mm wide by 189mm deep by 12.4mm thick and 825g isn't far off slimmer, lighter ultrabooks such as Sony's VAIO Pro 13.

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The WT310 has an 11.6-inch, 1,920-by-1,080 pixel screen. Most models are powered by a third-generation Intel Core i5 processor with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD. (Image: Toshiba)

The 11.6in. screen has a wide 16:9 format, with a resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels. It's clear enough, and the matte, anti-reflective coating means you can work easily in normal indoor lighting (and even near a window). When you take the WT310 outside, though, it's rather difficult to read in bright sunshine.

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The top-end WT310 model has a digitizer and supports pen input. A slot on the top edge can accommodate a small, slim stylus. (Image: Toshiba)

The touchscreen has a fingerprint-resistant coating, and in some models is responsive to stylus as well as finger input. The standard stylus is housed in a slot on the chassis; Toshiba also offers a second, fatter and more pen-like, stylus that won't fit in the housing but which we found more comfortable to work with. The top-end WT310-106 model on Toshiba's UK website costs £1,079 (ex. VAT).

The all-plastic build is a bit of a let-down: there's definite give in the casing and movement in the textured backplate too. The slight rim between the screen bezel and outer edges is a little jarring on the eye too, although it doesn't affect usability.

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The WT310 has air-flow grilles on the top and at the back. We found fan noise a distraction on this tablet. (Image: Toshiba)

If you're interested in using the Toshiba WT310 for delivering presentations you'll want to know how well the twin speakers on the bottom edge of the chassis perform. Sadly, maximum volume isn't very loud, and sound quality is poor. If you're still keen on the idea of tablet-based presentations, the WT310's support for Intel Wireless Display is some compensation.

A large grille on the top edge and a pair of grilles on the back help cool the processor, whose fan kicks in with alarming frequency and is pretty loud. Working in a quiet office we found it rather distracting. Our review unit, the top-end WT310-106 runs a third-generation Intel Core i5-3439Y processor with 4GB of RAM. This CPU powers three of the four preconfigured options available at Toshiba's UK website, the entry-level model sporting a Celeron processor. The latter costs £619 (ex. VAT) compared to £1,079 (ex. VAT) for the top-end model we were sent.

The bottom edge has a proprietary connector for Toshiba's optional tablet cradle, which costs £50 (ex. VAT) and provides two USB 2.0 ports, HDMI (full-size) and Ethernet ports, an audio jack and a power connector. You could use the USB ports to connect a mouse and/or keyboard.

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The WT310's optional dock costs £50 (ex. VAT). (Image: Toshiba)

On the device itself the connectivity options run to Mini-HDMI and (full size) USB 3.0 ports, a full sized SD card slot and headset jack. A button to lock out automatic screen rotation sits between the power switch and a volume rocker. There's a 3-megapixel main camera on the back and a one-megapixel camera on the front.

Toshiba's press release for the W310 mentions optional support for HSPA+/LTE mobile broadband, but this isn't evident in any of the current configurations on Toshiba's UK website. You do get dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n wi-fi and Bluetooth 4.0 as standard though.

Toshiba could have done more to wow us with the WT310, whose build does not feel robust enough to take the rough and tumble of everyday life in a mobile professional's travel bag. As such, it probably isn't the tablet to go for if you're looking to ditch the laptop while on your business travels.

Topics: Tablets, Reviews, Toshiba, Windows 8

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9 comments
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  • Expensive

    If you're looking for a Pro tablet, the Surface Pro is a better option than this. Low end definitely one of the Samsung offerings.
    Dreyer Smit
  • So you seem to be saying nicely

    ...that this device is garbage. Well, I guess you need the bad with the good.
    alsw
  • Perfect Windows 8 Slate

    Just bought a WT310-106, did some research before I bought, it is Magnesium Alloy, very robust, not plastic as review, will take 100kg load on Screen, robust, and can be dropped 4 times form 74cm ?? Robust, best windows device I have every had, love the stylus.
    allwayshappy
  • I don't understand the size. It's a device no one asked for.

    It's a tablet. You aren't going to be doing presentations on a 12" screen, just like you wouldn't be using a 12" netbook to do presentations.

    You aren't going to be doing professional work on a 12" tablet - besides the real estate limitations, there's the UI limitations. And Swype isn't available on Windows - so there's nothing to match the WPM of even your average professional.

    You aren't going to prefer it for casual use - it's heavier as mentioned - I would drop it on my head, trying to use it in bed as I fell asleep, and that's more limiting in nearly every respect. So is the physical size - that's bigger than a letter size paper notepad.

    I traded in a 10" iPad for a 7" Android Nexus 7 and haven't looked back - it is better in every way, including size. But when you strap Microsoft's barren wasteland of an ecosystem to a tablet, it makes either the iPad or Nexus 7 a better choice on virtue of ecosystem alone - size doesn't even factor in.
    But all else being equal, the additional size, weight, and expense of a larger tablet - it just shows again that Microsoft (and people trying to make Microsoft products) just doesn't understand what people want in a mobile device.
    This Toshiba device has that smell to it... that smell of "how about this one? Guys? Guys?"
    It's a device no one asked for.
    geolemon
    • Disagree

      My Lenovo Ideapad has an 11.6" screen and I find it very acceptable for use.
      fldbryan@...
      • That's far short of a qualified response

        As you haven't challenged any of the points I've made.

        You'd find a smaller tablet MORE acceptable for use. Or you'd refute the points.

        Lighter.
        More portable.
        More convenient.
        More relevant for actual real-world use cases.

        Can you "get away with" an 11.6" tablet for use? Of course - that's not the point.
        I could also "get away with" commuting in a 1965 musclecar - but that wouldn't make it the best tool for the job.
        geolemon
    • No one asked for your comment either;

      This Toshiba has a good hardware, the display 11.6" is ok, and its 1080p screen output is a plus. Once you update it to win 8.1, it works smoother and the sound is better.
      Your gratuitous comments only show your hate towards Microsoft and is totally out of place; morover, if you don't own that tablet, what can you offer more than childish whinning?
      I got mine (the celeron version) through a Spanish site, and only costed me 345€.
      In addition, you can't say a 7" tablet is better because it's not. The display is smaller and the resolution is worse, morover Nexus is Korean and Ipad is made by Chinese people. I'd rather spent my money on Japanese gadgets.
      sepsigirl
  • This thing says it all about why windows pro is not

    appropriate for tablets. Thick, heavy, fans, 50GB (!) overhead for the system. You know, guys - a tablet is more than just making a rectangle with a screen. Thin, light and good battery life (lack of fans!) are the minimum characteristics that make a tablet desirable. (I know, I know - just wait for haswell! Hint - it won't matter)
    drwong
  • Toshiba Win 8

    It is commonly used for us pc users with Windows 8 os. Pity that, many of us may meet problem like forgotten password for login. How to recover forgotten Win 8 password? Watch video from http://youtu.be/MnHaKOTJvmQ
    Jonier