Toshiba M700 Tablet PC First Thoughts Review

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Toshiba Portege M700 First Thoughts Review

Most users know that Toshiba recently released the Portege M700 Tablet PC. The M700 is the updated model of its predecessor the M400, although it has many similarities to the R400. The M700 has a 12.1" LED backlight display and is powered by a 2.2GHz Core 2 Duo processor. This business tablet is sure to have heads turning, so we wanted to share our first thoughts and benchmarks on this sleek notebook.


Toshiba M700 converting to tablet mode. (view large image)

Toshiba Portege M700 Tablet PC specs as reviewed (price as as tested $1,799):

  • Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz T7500 processor
  • 160GB hard drive
  • 2GB RAM
  • 12.1” WXGA (1280×800) LED backlit LCD display with both touchscreen and pen/ink capabilities
  • 802.11a/g/n, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Full Suite of Toshiba 3rd Generation EasyGuard Technology
  • Shock absorbing design
  • DVD Super Multi Drive
  • 2x Sleep and Charge USB ports
  • 1x USB port
  • PC Card Slot
  • SD Card slot
  • RGB (monitor) output port
  • Headphone and Microphone ports
  • RJ-11 and RJ-45
  • IEEE 1394
  • Integrated webcam
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Windows Vista Business OS
  • Dimensions: 12" x 9.41" x 1.47"
  • Weight: 4.76 lbs
  • 6-cell Lithium-Ion battery (claimed 5 hour life)

Design and Build

I first must comment on how lightweight the M700 feels. It’s not the lightest tablet out there, but it is very comfortable to hold. However, if you get the optional slice battery, which I recommend because it adds much more battery life, it looses the comfort factor in tablet mode. Substituting the weightsaver for the DVD drive is a great option if you don’t need the optical drive as well.


M700 in notebook mode. (view large image)

The M700 has a sleek design and a solid chassis. I didn’t notice any flex in the design except a little around the keyboard. The dark silver color hides fingerprints and dirt well. It looks kind of dull compared to the high gloss HP tx2000, but it still looks sleek and professional.

The hinge design is one of my favorite things on the tablet. The M700 has the same style hinge as the R400 Tablet PC. Toshiba designed it, so it feels more like a notebook. The hinge locks into place on both sides, making the screen solid. There is no flex. You can turn the M700 into tablet mode with ease, but when turning the screen back it "clicks" and is locked into place. It is great for presentations.


Up-close view of the durable hinge. (view large image)

The touchscreen is responsive and accurate, but so is the pen. Taking notes on the M700 was a breeze. The display automatically changes orientation when in tablet mode as well. Navigating through different applications was simple and the overall feel of the M700 is function over style.

Display and Keyboard

The 12.1" LED backlight display is very nice. The M700 has one of the best screens I have ever seen on a tablet. There isn’t much graininess and the colors are vivid. It reminds me of Fujitsu’s T4220 display, very bright and colorful. The LED backlight display has another advantage though, it saves on battery life. The viewing angles could be better, but overall nice.


The M700 in tablet mode with pen. (view large image)

The M700 has both a touchscreen and pen/ink capabilities. This way you can use your finger or the pen for navigating the Web. I recommend the pen for more precise navigating though.

The keyboard has a rugged look. It feels that way too. It feels durable and looks like it can withstand all that fingerprint grease and normal wear. There are signs of flex if you type hard, but nothing major. Toshiba claims the keyboard is spill resistant, but I didn’t try it first hand. I will take Toshiba’s word on this one.


The M700 keyboard and touchpad. (view large image)

Performance and Benchmarks

The M700 sports an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz processor, had 2GB RAM and a 160GB hard drive. I didn’t notice any signs of lag when surfing the Web or emailing and it booted up fine. I haven’t tested any games on it, but it did get good benchmarking scores.

Battery life on the M700 seems good. I got a little over 4 hours in Balanced Power mode. I didn’t get the optional slice battery to review, but it gives you all day computing power. I know this because I got some hands-on with it at CES. I will test all power modes in my complete review, so users have an idea of what really to expect.

PCMark05 measures the systems performance as a whole.

Notebook PCMark05 Score
Toshiba Portege M700 (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz, GMA 965 chipset) 3,399 PCMarks
HP tx2000 (AMD Turion 64 X2 2.3GHz, Nvidia Go 6150 graphics) 3,738 PCMarks
Asus R1E (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz, GMA 965 chipset) 4,679 PCMarks
Fujitsu LifeBook T2010 (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics) 2,334 PCMarks
Gateway C-140x (Intel Core 2 Duo 2GHz, ATI X2300 HD graphics) 4,342 PCMarks
HP Compaq 2710p (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics) 2,453 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad X61 (Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6GHz, GMA X3100 graphics) 3,473 PCMarks
Fujitsu LifeBook T4220 (Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz, GMA X3100 graphics) 4,171 PCMarks
Gateway E-155C (Intel Core 2 Duo ULV 1.06GHz, Intel GMA 950 graphics) 2,205 PCMarks
LG C1 (Intel Core Duo 1.2GHz, Nvidia Go 7300) 2,568 PCMarks
Toshiba R400 (Intel Core Duo ULV 1.2GHz, Intel GMA 950 graphics) 2,187 PCMarks
HP tx1000 (AMD Turion X2 2.0GHz, Nvidia Go 6150) 3,052 PCMarks
Asus R1F (1.66GHz Core Duo, Intel GMA 950 graphics) 2,724 PCMarks
Lenovo ThinkPad X60t (1.66GHz LV Core Duo) 2,860 PCMarks
Toshiba Tecra M6 (1.66GHz Intel T2300E, Intel GMA 950) 2,732 PCMarks

 

HDTune results:

Stay tuned for more benchmarks and testing in my complete review, which will be published in a few days. I think business professionals and college students alike will be happy with how solid the design is on the M700 and the starting price isn’t bad either.

Ports

The M700 is targeted toward the business market. It isn’t packed with many entertainment features, but it has the necessities. There are three USB ports, IEEE 1394, PC Card slot, SD Card slot, monitor output port and more. The webcam is a nice touch for chatting with friends and family while away for business or even clients for meetings.


Left side view of the ports. (view large image)


Right side view of the ports. (view large image)


Front view of the M700. (view large image)


Back view of the M700. (view large image)


Underneath view of the M700. (view large image)

Pricing and Availability

The Portege M700 is available now on Toshiba’s website with prices starting at $1,449. You can customize your M700 or buy one of the already preconfigured models.

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