Toshiba Portege R400 Convertible Tablet PC InkShow, the Executive delight

Just when it seems to me that I have seen it all in the Tablet PC hardware world, I get to do another review on a new piece of hardware. There really is no such thing as the “best” piece of hardware folks, so give up that search.  There is however a piece of hardware that fits your needs very well, and if you like beauty and quality fit and finish, the the Toshiba Portege R400 is for you!

CES-B_PortegeR400.jpgI tell you that just to prepare you for the fact that the subject at hand today, the R400 Tablet PC, is most certainly not for everyone.  It is targeted at the higher end buyer who is a mobile professional and demands high quality, great looks, and solid basic functionality, AND demands Windows Vista right out of the Box.  In my opinion, this machine fits that bill very nicely, albeit at a price point that will keep the more budget minded and timid spender from hitting that “Add to Cart” button.

It was designed from the ground up as a Windows Vista machine.  I have had this machine for several weeks now, and have thoroughly enjoyed using it.  This is a well thought out package, but it does have a few rough edges (don’t they all?).  From an appearance standpoint, I honestly think this is the best looking Tablet PC I have ever seen.  Yes, I will go so far as to label it “Downright Sexy”.  You have to be a techno addict to understand that one, trust me.  It looks great, has most all the things a mobile professional will want (with a few exceptions), and feels like a most solid piece of equipment.  During the video I point out a number of issues like slow hard drive, no SD slot, etc., but those are minor issues if portability and lower battery consumption are what you want, all combined in a beautiful package.  Here are the specs as reviewed:

  • Intel Dual Core ULV U2500 1.2ghz CPU


  • 12.1″ Wide WXGA LED backlit screen

  • Windows Vista Business Edition standard

  • Graphics Chipset: Intel 945GM


  • 2GB Memory, 4GB Max


  • 80gb HDD, 4200 RPM (boo!)

  • app 3.8 lbs)

  • Dimensions – Aprox. 12.0 x 9.1 x 1.18 inches

  • BlueTooth, 802.11 A/B/G


  • Verizon EVDO WWAN integrated

  • Base price  $2,599 – $3,499

If you are one of these high end guys who must have gorgeous, this one is for you.  Much more detail in the video, but trust me — this is a very nice machine, just not for the power hungry with a ULV processor and slower hard drive.  If you are a basic daily user, this thing is great, but the heavy duty user will be dragging a bit.  I also ran Windows Media Center on it, and it ran really well.  The 1280×800 WXGA screen is simply awesome. We were not able to get hold of one of the greatest things about this machine, the new “Wireless Docking Solution”.  We did see one at CES though, and it was pretty nice.  That should be out in May.

Speaking of CES, I was able to do a really nice interview with Kevin Roberts, the program manager for this machine at Toshiba, so make sure you go give that one a quick look also, to see Kevin’s great explanation of how this machine is positioned, plus a great look at the wireless dock.

Enjoy the show!


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