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In use the trackpoint works very well, while the left and right selector buttons are actually placed either side rather than below it. To the right of the trackpoint is a fingerprint scanner for the implementation of biometric security. Now I’ve had masses of email before about the failings of fingerprint recognition as a security measure, and I accept most of the points. However, I maintain that any extra level of security is a good thing, and making it easy for an end user to implement biometric security is better than that user implementing no security at all.
The screen is a 7.2in TFT affair, complete with Toshiba’s Trubrite coating – basically this is the same as Sony’s X-Black or Rock’s X-Glass coating which gives increased contrast and bright, vivid colours. With a native resolution of 1,280 x 768 some may find this screen difficult to work on, but to be honest I’ve never really had a problem with small, high resolution screens – but then maybe that’s why I have to wear glasses now! Of course where a high-contrast, widescreen display usually excels is gaming and movie watching environments, but you’re not going to be able to do either on the Libretto – the integrated graphics aren’t up to game playing and there’s no integrated optical drive, so DVD watching is off the menu too.
Despite its small size, the Libretto has a liberal sprinkling of features around its chassis. On the right you’ll find a modem socket and a network port for the 10/100 Ethernet adapter. Also here are two USB 2.0 ports, a headphone socket, a mic socket and an analogue volume wheel. On the left is the power socket, a hard switch for the 802.11b/g WiFi adapter, a Type II PC Card slot and a proprietary output for connection to an external monitor. The front houses an SD Card reader, an eject switch for the PC Card slot and a four-pin FireWire port. While on the subject of connection options, the Libretto also has integrated Bluetooth – version 2.0 no less.