Toshiba Portégé M700-110 review
Attractive to look at, but too expensive for occasional tablet use and not good enough to compete with the best dedicated devices.
Review Date: 7 Feb 2008
Reviewed By: Matthew Sparkes
Price when reviewed: inc VAT
This is the first article in PC Pro to be written by hand for quite some time. In fact, it's quite possibly the first ever. We found Toshiba's new tablet so tactile and usable that we dispensed with our keyboard altogether for the day to give it the most thorough test we could think of - helping us to write its own review.
In notebook mode, the Portégé looks like any standard small-format laptop, with a conventional chassis for a machine with a 12.1in screen, aside from the rotating hinge of course. The silver plastic that makes up the lid and keyboard surround looks good, and the mirror-finish Toshiba logo adds an aura of quality.
Sadly this look of solidity does not extend to the construction of the M700-110. The build quality is unimpressive, let down particularly by a huge amount of flex around the removable optical drive. The whole side of the laptop at this point can be compressed to a worrying extent.
The keyboard is delicate, with hardly any travel in the keys. It doesn't feel precise as a result and some keys are too small (the function keys, for example) to use comfortably. Small keys can be forgiven on a notebook this size, but as our current A List Tablet PC, HP Compaq's 2710p, manages to cram a superb keyboard into an even smaller chassis, the Toshiba has little excuse.
Switching to tablet mode is simply a case of swivelling the screen 180 degrees and closing the lid. The hinge works well, but only if you line up the screen at 90 degrees to the body of the notebook; if it's off by a few degrees then the mechanism clicks loudly and the screen bends. The over-flexible chassis is even more noticeable when you're gripping the Toshiba in tablet mode, and the optical drive also irritates - the eject button is all too easily pressed by accident.
The screen can be used in digitiser or touchscreen mode. This means it can respond not only to a stylus, but also the jab of a finger depending on your preference.
And all this, impressively, doesn't impinge on image quality; the M700's screen isn't grainy as touchscreens so often are. The glossy coating can cause reflections in brightly lit offices and in strong sunlight, but the quality is very good, and the surface seems resilient to even the firmest of jabs from the stylus.
The screen isn't the only input device available in tablet mode. There's also a row of buttons along the bezel, which include a combined arrow key and Enter emulator, plus a quick-launch button for Windows Mobility Centre, which allows you to change various settings with just a couple of clicks. Thoughtfully, there's a fingerprint reader and this is mounted on the screen surround for access in either tablet or notebook modes.
In our battery tests the Toshiba lasted nearly five hours under light use, and just one hour and one minute in our more intensive tests. While this is respectable, it's far from class leading. The HP Compaq 2710p managed a far longer three and a half hours under intense use, partly helped by its lower power processor. However, this means a trade off in power, and the 2710p only managed a rather sluggish 0.54 in our 2D benchmarks.
Toshiba hasn't gone down the same route here, and the Portégé posts far more impressive performance scores. With an Intel Core 2 duo running at 2GHz and a generous 2GB of RAM, Vista runs without any problems and programs load quickly.
It scored 0.96 in our 2D benchmarks. That's on a par with most other business laptops in its price range, our current favourite - the Dell Latitude D630 - included.
- Google gets one million DMCA piracy takedowns a day
- What's on this week's PC Pro podcast?
- Twitter bans beheading video, lets family members remove death photos
- HTC launches One M8 for Windows... but only in the US
- Nokia Lumia 530 UK release date and price revealed
- Steve Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board
- Google's self-driving cars can speed... "for safety reasons"
- Firefox gets Chromecast, but no Mozilla TV hardware yet
- Goodbye Chromebooks? Specs leak for $199 HP Stream
- Would you let your child sign up for a Google account?
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Windows Easy Transfer – not so "easy" in Windows 8.1
- Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes
- Office of the future: comfy chairs and tablets everywhere
- I went to Glastonbury and the only thing that got high was my smartphone
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to edit PDFs: make change to a PDF
- Building a patently better future
- How to update Android apps individually: stop Google Play apps from auto-updating
- Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8: what’s the best iPhone 5s alternative?
- Best music streaming apps: Spotify vs Rdio vs Google Music vs Deezer vs iTunes
- 12 best Android smartphones of 2014: what's the best Android phone?
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office
- How to write your company's IT security policy