Windows 8 Tablet Convertible Review: Toshiba Portege M700

There is no doubt that tablet usage is on the rise, but is a traditional tablet the best option for everyone? I personally don’t think so, for those with more business-oriented needs a tablet just doesn’t cut it, sure we wouldn’t mind have some tablet-like abilities, but a more laptop-like experience is just as essential. This is exactly where convertible tablet/laptops come in to play. While tablets might be more popular, there is a longer track record for convertibles, starting back in the days of Windows XP. Today we take a look at the Toshiba Portege M700 Tablet PC, starting with the system specs:

  • 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
  • 2 x sleep and charge USB ports
  • 802.11a/g/n, Gigabit Ethernet
  • Shock absorbing design
  • DVD Super Multi Drive
  • 1x USB port
  • PC Card Slot
  • SD Card slot
  • RGB (monitor) output port
  • Headphone and Microphone ports
  • IEEE 1394
  • Integrated webcam
  • Fingerprint reader
  • RJ-11 and RJ-45
  • Dimensions: 12″ x 9.41″ x 1.47″
  • Weight: 4.76 lbs
  • 6-cell Lithium-Ion battery (claimed 5 hour life)
So how does this unit hold up? We’ll find out!

Look And Feel

While most convertible tablets are known for their more laptop-like design and their overall weighty experience, the Portege certainly feels a lot lighter than many of the other convertibles we’ve had a chance to take a look at. It is comfortable to hold and designed in such a way you won’t believe it weighs nearly 5 pounds. It has a minimalistic design that probably adds to the illusion of a lighter weight. There is nothing ‘fancy’ or eye-catching about the Portege, but it certainly doesn’t look bad either. The 12.1” screen also has a nice resolution (1280×800), is backlight and looks brillant with no noticeable graininess and vivid colors. The viewing angles are far from perfect, but all in all, its a great screen for a nice looking convertible.

Battery Life

While the battery life isn’t anything to write home about, it isn’t half-bad actually. If you get the optional battery attachment you can actually get nearly all-day computing power, but at the sacrifice of comfort and addition of more weight. In its current form, it still manages about 4 hours of battery life for more intense use, and if in power saver mode you can actually get about 5 hours.

Hardware Performance

This model feautres a Core 2 Duo at 2GHZ and has 4GB of RAM. This provides a brilliant experience for light to moderate use, but don’t expect to play any modern games at their highest settings. That being said, it plays MMOs like World of Warcraft like a pro and can probably handle almost all games that were made in 2010 or earlier at least at lowest settings. For new games? Maybe you MIGHT find some of them work with low settings, but don’t get your hopes up. The M700 is far from the fastest model out there, but I certainly wouldn’t call it slow. Beyond hardware speed, The M700 didn’t run hot. Honestly it didn’t even get anywhere close, which is great! On the left side where the vent is, you could feel the hot air being pumped out when running the benchmarks or over working it, and so I have to applaud Toshiba for venting this thing right so it doesn’t negatively affect the user experience. Unfortunately, low heat usually means high noise. Luckily, this isn’t the case with the M700 and in fact it was so quite you would barely know that a fan was on in there. Even putting in a DVD doesn’t create much spin noise.

Tablet and Touch Features

The M700 has both a touchscreen and active digitizer, so you are getting the best of both worlds, for fun METRO-friendly touch (if you upgrade to Windows 8) and great stylus use for handwriting. You can take notes on the screen in seconds with the Wacom pen. The pen also has nice feedback and is easy to navigate with. The touch-experience is top-notch, no doubt about it. Windows 8 – Potential? Heck ya, tons of potential. A Core 2 with 4GB of RAM will work VERY well with Windows 8. I’m also thankful that Toshiba didn’t cheap out and gave us a screen resolution that will play beautifully with METRO’s UI. The fact that touch works so great certainly doesn’t hurt things either. Summing It All Up… This is a nice laptop, no doubt about it. Is it the best slate out there though? I suppose that depends on what you are looking for. For someone like me (that works professionally as an at-home writer), it certainly has some solid appeal. It is attractive and yet slim enough that it isn’t going to be a burden to use as a tablet in your lap. This isn’t going to be an e-reader or light device you carry around everywhere, even in tablet form it is a LAP device. If you need something more mobile than this, look elsewhere. If you want a laptop that also functions as a touch-device, than you are looking in the right place. The best part of the M700 is the price though. You can get an off-lease refurbished unit from Tigerdirect for just $369.99! Not bad for a device with 4GB of RAM and Core 2 processor. Keep in mind this isn’t a new laptop, and actually has been out for a couple of years. Still, it was a powerhouse in its day and is still fairly relevant even to today’s market.]]>

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