There’s no denying that the M700 is brimming with connectivity. First up is Draft-N Wi-Fi, which obviously also supports 802.11b and g. This machine can also connect over the airwaves using its integrated Bluetooth adapter. Equally useful is the Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller, which will allow you to connect to a suitably equipped home or office network at lightning fast speeds. And if you really can’t find any other option, there’s also a 56k modem in evidence. There is a version of the M700 with built-in HSDPA, which carries a price premium of around £100.
Most of the space around the chassis has been well utilised. On the right you’ll find the DVD writer, although this is removable and could be replaced with a second battery, if you needed to work on the move for an extended period. Also on the right is the Tablet stylus, nestling in a spring loaded cubby hole – press the pen and it ejects, push it back in and it locks into place. Making further use of the right edge is an integrated memory card reader. The card reader supports SD, MMC, MemoryStick, MemoryStick Pro and xD cards. Despite Toshiba’s own spec sheet stating that the reader is only compatible with SD cards up to 8GB, I had no problem using a Kingston 16GB SD card in the M700, with the full capacity reported and usable as soon as it was inserted. Finally the Modem socket nestles next to the DVD writer.
The front edge is home to a volume wheel, a headphone socket, a microphone socket, a four-pin FireWire port and a hardware switch for the wireless adapters. The left side is populated by a brace of USB ports and a PC Card slot. The latter is a surprise, since most modern notebooks ship with ExpressCard slots. Finally at the rear there’s an Ethernet port, a third USB port, the power socket and D-Sub output for connecting to an external monitor.
Confirmation that Toshiba agrees that Tablet PCs are attractive to business users rather than consumers is the Centrino vPro branding. Intel’s vPro technology is offers the kind of functionality that IT managers used to dream about – remote management and diagnosis makes maintaining a fleet of PCs simpler than ever, while the ability to remotely quarentine a compromised machine, clean it and get it back up and running is nothing short of magic. Of course you have Intel to thank for all this extra functionality, but it’s good to know that Toshiba understands how important it is for a business platform.