Toshiba Port

By John Taschek  |  Posted 2002-11-25 Print this article Print

égé"> Toshiba Portégé

Of the six systems evaluated here, eWeek Labs Analysts Choice award goes to the Toshiba Portégé 3500. Toshiba has experimented and prototyped Tablet-style devices for two years, and it has paid off in the new Portégé.

The $2,299 Portégé 3500 is a clamshell device (Toshiba officials said research showed little interest in the slate form factor), and the Portégés main differentiators include a strong hinge to support the screen and a PIII-M running at 1.33GHz. The next-fastest processor in the Tablet PC systems we tested was running at 866MHz. When in Tablet mode, the Portégés fast processor minimized any pen lag.

The Portégé 3500 is the perfect Tablet-enabled replacement to a subnotebook. The unit functions exactly like a subnotebook without compromise on screen quality. The 12.1-inch screen was bright and was of similar quality to the Motion M1200s.

Processor performance tests show the Toshiba Portégé 3500 blowing away the competition. We expect that other Tablets will eventually gain faster processors, but the Toshiba system has one now.

The Portégés disk performance score was somewhat disappointing, although still good. We suspect that the Trident Microsystems Inc. CyberAladdin-T chip set the system uses had some disk or driver issues or was simply slower than some of the competitors chip sets.

The one flaw in the Portégé is its weight. While Toshiba is targeting a broad range of users who want some Tablet functionality without compromising on notebook capabilities, at 4.1 pounds, the Portégé is almost a pound heavier than other systems we tested. This will affect how it can be used in tablet mode. The Toshiba device, for example, may not be a good fit in health care and other vertical markets because users will simply get too tired of lugging the unit around.

As the director of eWEEK Labs, John manages a staff that tests and analyzes a wide range of corporate technology products. He has been instrumental in expanding eWEEK Labs' analyses into actual user environments, and has continually engineered the Labs for accurate portrayal of true enterprise infrastructures. John also writes eWEEK's 'Wide Angle' column, which challenges readers interested in enterprise products and strategies to reconsider old assumptions and think about existing IT problems in new ways. Prior to his tenure at eWEEK, which started in 1994, Taschek headed up the performance testing lab at PC/Computing magazine (now called Smart Business). Taschek got his start in IT in Washington D.C., holding various technical positions at the National Alliance of Business and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. There, he and his colleagues assisted the government office with integrating the Windows desktop operating system with HUD's legacy mainframe and mid-range servers.

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