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IFA 2009: Toshiba Journ.E Touch Hands-on

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If you read my piece on Toshiba's press conference yesterday you should have taken away two things: 1) that Toshiba had made a Blu-ray player, which is a very good thing; and 2) its Journ.E Touch media tablet was well...a bit strange.

At the time, however, I was willing to give it the benefit of the doubt - all I'd seen were a few demos and a mildly attractive object from a distance. However, having trekked to the Toshiba stand this morning, some hands-on time with the awkwardly named tablet led to one quick conclusion: it's a turkey, quite a big one in fact.

Admirable though the idea may be ‘an idea' appears to be about as far as Toshiba has got with the Journ.E. Immediate appearances are deceiving, its sleek, slim shell and tidy home screen give the Journ.E a veneer of competence, one that's quickly wiped away within seconds.

My first prod of the touchscreen set alarm bells ringing; it's the resistive kind and not "one of the good ones" either. However, it's difficult to tell how much of this ‘boggishness' (to make up a word) is down to the display and how much is down to the sluggishness of the Journ.E. Everything just takes a little too long, especially loading the Facebook application, which took an age.

As this is Windows CE it's no surprise, though highly exasperating, to see Internet Explorer 6 as the browser of choice. It performs as well as it ever has, failing to scale pages despite the less than web friendly display and generally making a pigs ear of rendering pages.

Lest this turn into a mauling, I'll leave the recriminations at that and end on a high note, too. While it was mentioned in yesterday's report, I failed to highlight that Toshiba is in fact first to market with putting Dolby Volume into its TVs. As someone who has experienced more than his fair share of Dolby Volume demos, I can unequivocally state this is a very good thing. Dolby Volume is awesome, so Toshiba's new range of TVs - especially its new LED backlit local dimming effort - are just that little bit more awesome by association.

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