Below the Spacebar is touchpad with a widescreen aspect ratio to match the display. The touchpad is very responsive and makes for accurate pointe manipulation. The right edge of the pad can be used to scroll vertically through web pages and documents, while the bottom edge will scroll horizontally. Below the touchpad are two large buttons, which sit flush with the wrist rest.
There’s a fingerprint scanner, but unlike regular notebooks that have said device on the wrist rest or between the touchpad buttons, the M700 has it mounted at a right angle below the screen. The reason for this of course, is that it’s designed to be accessed when the notebook is in Tablet mode and held in a portrait orientation. Also below the screen you’ll find the power button and an array of Tablet controls.
To enter Tablet mode you simply rotate the screen and then fold it flat against the keyboard. This allows you to hold the M700 like a clipboard and pretent that you’re diagnosing a patient, or scanning the surface of an alien planet. Seriously though, I know that there are Tablet users out there, and many Tablet devices ship into (and I hate myself for using this term) vertical markets. Ultimately you either need Tablet functionality or you don’t, but if you do, Toshiba has tried very hard to make the M700 an attractive proposition.
For ultimate Tablet flexibility, the touch screen allows you to tap and drag using your finger tip, but there’s also a digitiser pen nestling in the chassis. The screen isn’t as responsive as some that I’ve encountered, but armed with the pen, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting to grips with the M700 in Tablet mode.
Driving the M700 is an Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 CPU, running at 2GHz. Now, although a 2GHz Core 2 Duo is more than up to most tasks you’re likely to throw at it, this particular version only has 2MB of cache as opposed to the 4MB seen on higher-end chips. Toshiba has been sensible enough to include 2GB of RAM as standard, with Windows Vista struggling to perform on anything less. Storage comes in the form of a 120GB hard disk, while an integrated DVD writer will allow you to backup or simply offload data if space gets tight. Graphics duties are taken care of by Intel’s X3100 integrated chipset, which should be more than enough for the business users that this notebook is aimed at.
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