Where the M400 lacks

Just a little over a week’s use of my new and very expensive Toshiba Portege M400 tablet PC now, I’ve gathered a list of issues that have caused annoyances or dissatisfaction to the product.

The screen hinge does not provide the desired support for pen-use in laptop mode. Although this is more of a general tablet PC issue than this specific model, due to the nature of the convertible mode, a single rotatable screen hinge cannot offer the same support as you would find on non-tablet notebooks. It makes it very hard to ink comfortable in laptop mode where the screen can be easily pushed back with every force of the pen strokes. To counter this, I hold the back of the screen firmly using my palm.

The screen does not always resume from standby. This problem has also been reported on some forums. This problem occurs when you are resuming from standby, and sometimes the screen does not become active. Although fixable by rotating the screen to tablet mode and then back to laptop mode, it is still an inconvienience the handful of times it occurs. I believe this is a graphics driver problem however, and not Toshiba’s.

In portrait tablet mode, the viewing angle is poor. Because in portrait mode, you are viewing the LCD panel from the side, the horizontal viewing angle is no longer important, but the vertical viewing angle is crucial. The vertical angle affects by reducing visibility of content on the left and right side in portrait mode. Sometimes it is highly distractive, and to read the left and right content, you will have to physically pan the device left and right to achieve better visibility.

Last but not least, the lack of an standard optical drive. This device did not come cheap, and it certainly did not come with any accessories. For it very high pricing, it was hard to accept it did not come with any carrying case or additional accessories, however what is even harder to accept is the fact it didn’t bundle with an optical drive. A standard DVD slimbay drive would have costed me just under 10% of the unit price.

These are just some of the major issues I have found that has impacted on my satisfaction of this product. If you are considering purchasing a Toshiba Portege M400, please consider the above issues before your purchase.

9 insightful thoughts

  1. I’ve got a M400 (T2300 version).
    The video card – Intel 945GM – can’t manage to output a 1680×1050 resolution even with the monitor drivers. So, be careful before buy this laptop if you have wide monitor.
    With the Vbios from Toshiba you can’t choose 1680×1050 mode and when you call customer service they don’t really help you for this problem.

  2. I’m a little confused, i thought one of the major differences between the m200 & the m400 was the integrated optical drive, correct me if i’m wrong. Or maybe i’m not understanding your statement in your post?

  3. There’s a lot of differences between the M200 and the M400. The M400 has the newer chipset, dual-core CPU, integrated graphics and lack of optical drive,

    My statement in the post is discussing the faults and problems with the M400, which is not a comparison against the M200 or any other tablet.

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