Product Type: Toshiba laptops
Newest Review: ... Thankfully, the University provided me with a laptop because of the course I was doing; another Toshiba which broke within one year. Thi... more
Another Good Idea, Badly Executed
Toshiba Portege M400-100
Member Name: DanB7290
Toshiba Portege M400-100
Advantages: Combined tablet and laptop before the iPad came out
Disadvantages: Inferior hardware, feels cheap when it isn't, breaks every 10 minutes
This was a tablet before the iPad made it cool. I had one as my first laptop when I went to college, and at first it was, of course, the best thing since sliced bread. But not long into owning it, I encountered problems.
It's definitely not built to last, everything has a cheap feel to it. Being a tablet/laptop hybrid, it uses only the one hinge in the middle of the screen which rotates. I was forever worrying it would come apart, as it's very flimsy, but credit where it's due, it is still in one piece today (only just).
The screen has a plastic protector over the top, for when you're using the tablet function. It serves it's purpose but again adds to the 'cheap' feel of it.
The hardware is good, but you get the impression it could be much better, and at the RRP this used to command, you'd expect better. 80GB HDD, 512mb of RAM, and with integrated graphics, it was a bit poor even in it's day (we're talking late 2007 here). The processor was very slow compared to my mate's Dell laptop, which cost about £100 less at the time.
You may be thinking that this is a small price to pay for the tablet function, but it isn't. It was a great idea, but the tablet could only be used with a special pen, which slotted into the base of the laptop next to the optical drive. A cool feature though, you could use the top of the pen as an eraser in Microsoft OneNote, just like a real pen.
It came bundled with the OneNote software, which was pretty good, I could have all my subjects in different folders, and a new note in the folder for each lecture. You could have it in normal tablet mode for typing notes, which came in handy for English, but in Maths and Chemistry, the tablet mode was more widely used for writing equations and drawing diagrams. It is a highlight of the laptop, but these days you can do so much better, for much less; e.g. an iPad 16GB is £399, £5 for a stylus, and 69p for the Penultimate note taking app. Back then, this laptop had an RRP of around £1000.
A few months in, the pen decided to stop working, thankfully having bought it through the college, they were able to sort it.
This also happens to be the least reliable laptop I ever owned. Within my 2 years of college, it went back numerous times. Off the top of my head, the following all ended up needing replacement:
This was not through carelessness, just everyday use. Two years later, once pretty much the entire laptop bar the plastic casing had been replaced, I went to university. No more college tech backup if it went wrong. Which of course it did. First, the battery would not hold a charge; I'd stick it on charge all night, and it would die on me about 10 minutes into the first lecture. A few months later the screen gave up the go, and that was the end of it. Thankfully, the University provided me with a laptop because of the course I was doing; another Toshiba which broke within one year. This helped me decide to go to a MacBook; it cost about the same as the Portege when it was new, but is infinitely better, and what's more, if you really need the tablet function, then a drawing tablet is available for very little money from places like PC World. Or just get an iPad in this day and age
Summary: It was a good idea in theory, but not very well thought out or executed
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