Toshiba AC100 review

Price when reviewed

If you look at any Toshiba advert you’ll see the phrase “Leading Innovation” sneaked in somewhere, and that’s exactly what the AC100 aims to show. This is no run-of-the-mill ultraportable running Windows 7; instead, it totes a highly tweaked version of Google Android.

And it had to be tweaked. The AC100 has a 1,024 x 600 screen and uses a keyboard as its sole input method, with no touchscreen to navigate system options. It could have been a disaster, but numerous thoughtful design touches make using it a pleasure rather than a chore. (You can see a selection of screenshots here.)

Those neat touches stem from the physical design, which we praised in our exclusive preview of the AC100 earlier this year. For example, the Esc key doubles as Back, which is vital when browsing through Android’s menus, and you can jump straight to Settings by pressing the cog-wheel button at the top-right. To flick between open applications, press the button to its immediate left; switching on wireless or changing brightness is also a simple button-press.

The keyboard itself is pretty good for such a small device. We had no trouble reaching good typing speeds thanks to the generously sized keys, and although the action is nothing special – clicky is a word that springs to mind – touch-typists should have little trouble adjusting. The one annoying omission is a Delete key; Backspace and separated cursor keys are your only friends if you make a mistake.

Toshiba AC100

Toshiba has even made the effort of partnering with DataViz to provide an adapted version of Documents To Go. Dubbed “Basic”, this loses the ability to perform word counts in Word To Go or inserting new worksheets in Sheet To Go, and most aggravatingly you can’t create new documents – but you can get around this by opening an existing blank document. If you do want to access such options, you’ll need to pay $15.

Which brings us to potentially the biggest problem for the AC100: the apps. Or, more precisely, the lack of them. While Toshiba does include an eBook reader, Fring for VoIP calls, an Amazon MP3 app and Evernote, you can’t perform the usual Android trick of heading to the Android Marketplace to download the app of your choice.

Instead, you must make do with the Camangi Market. This is no artificial restriction: there’s an inherent difficulty when trying to use an app designed for a 480 x 800 screen on the AC100’s large display. However, the Camangi Market is embarrassingly sparse with just 145 apps. There’s no battery meter, for instance, and while there are some useful apps (a money manager, for instance, and a currency converter), we’d say the majority wouldn’t pass the Apple quality-control test.

Perhaps surprisingly, the lack of touchscreen isn’t such a killer. While being unable to tap a dialog button can be frustrating, and you sometimes hit odd interface problems (such as wanting to drag the scrollbar down, when counter-intuitively that moves the screen up in the same way that dragging a screen with your finger would work), the responsive touchpad and numerous shortcut keys make life easier.


Warranty1 yr return to base Includes 1yr EU warranty

Physical specifications

Dimensions262 x 190 x 21mm (WDH)

Processor and memory

ProcessorNvidia Tegra 250
RAM capacity0.50GB
Memory typeDDR2
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total1

Screen and video

Screen size10.1in
Resolution screen horizontal1,024
Resolution screen vertical600
Resolution1024 x 600
Graphics chipsetNvidia Tegra 250
Graphics card RAMN/A
VGA (D-SUB) outputs0
HDMI outputs1
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0


Hard disk usable capacity8GB
Spindle speedN/A
Hard diskSSD
Optical disc technologyNone
Optical driveNone
Battery capacity2,300mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT£0


Wired adapter speedN/A
802.11a supportno
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapterno
Bluetooth supportyes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchno
Wireless key-combination switchyes
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots0
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)1
FireWire ports0
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks1
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readerno
MMC (multimedia card) readeryes
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTouchpad
Speaker locationBottom
Hardware volume control?no
Integrated microphone?no
Integrated webcam?yes
Camera megapixel rating1.3mp
Fingerprint readerno
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Overall application benchmark scoreN/A
Office application benchmark scoreN/A
2D graphics application benchmark scoreN/A
Encoding application benchmark scoreN/A
Multitasking application benchmark scoreN/A
3D performance (crysis) low settingsN/A
3D performance settingN/A

Operating system and software

Recovery methodnone
Software suppliedDocuments To Go Basic by DataViz, Evernote, Fring, Amazon MP3, FBReader

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos