Toshiba Tecra M10-11V review

£736
Price when reviewed

Where its distant cousin, the Portégé M800-11J, values looks above practicality, the Tecra M10-11V is an altogether more sensible beast.

Toshiba Tecra M10-11V review

Indeed, the Tecra’s staid, 2.59kg bulk is decidedly free from any stylish fripperies. Its chunky grey shell feels sturdy and exudes a business-like air. Tilt back the 14.1in display and its angular lines are almost enough to make you fire up Office and get to work right away.

That’s no bad thing, as the Toshiba is a delight to use. The keyboard is great – bested here only by HP’s 6730b – and boasts a light but positive key action and a sensible layout. The provision of a dual trackpad and trackpoint is welcome too.

The display isn’t bad either. Despite its mere 14.1in diagonal, it packs in a 1,400 x 900 resolution, which makes for a spacious desktop – perfect for getting to grips with multiple apps.

Quality can’t match up against the best models here, though. The matte anti-glare finish introduces a slight graininess and doesn’t give the punch and contrast of glossy panels. Colour reproduction is just a touch dull too.

As you’d expect for a business laptop, security is to the fore. A fingerprint reader sits between the trackpad’s buttons and is joined by a smart card slot.

There isn’t much to complain about elsewhere. The 2.26GHz P8400 processor is nippy and is accompanied by 2GB of memory. The decision to use a single 2GB stick leaves one slot for future expansion and, despite the memory running in single-channel mode, the Tecra still managed 1.07 in our benchmarks.

Connectivity is generous. Four USB ports, FireWire, eSATA and a PC Card slot cover most eventualities, while Gigabit Ethernet, draft-n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth headline the Tecra’s networking capabilities.

The package is rounded off with solid, if unremarkable, battery life. Light usage saw the Tecra survive just short of 4hrs 30mins, and heavy use left it expiring after 1hr 26mins.

If you’re after a sturdy, business-like machine then the Toshiba is a solid, unfussy candidate. But set it against the best in the group and, moreover, the best in its class, and it fails to excite.

Warranty

Warranty 3yr collect and return

Physical specifications

Dimensions 337 x 245 x 44mm (WDH)
Weight 2.590kg
Travelling weight 3.1kg

Processor and memory

Processor Intel Core 2 Duo P8400
Motherboard chipset Intel GM45
RAM capacity 2.00GB
Memory type DDR2
SODIMM sockets free 1
SODIMM sockets total 2

Screen and video

Screen size 14.1in
Resolution screen horizontal 1,440
Resolution screen vertical 900
Resolution 1440 x 900
Graphics chipset Intel GMA 4500
Graphics card RAM 128MB
VGA (D-SUB) outputs 1
HDMI outputs 0
S-Video outputs 0
DVI-I outputs 0
DVI-D outputs 0
DisplayPort outputs 0

Drives

Capacity 160GB
Spindle speed 5,400RPM
Internal disk interface SATA/300
Hard disk Fujitsu MHZ2160BH G1
Optical disc technology DVD writer
Optical drive TEAC DV-W28S-RT
Battery capacity 5,100mAh
Replacement battery price inc VAT £0

Networking

Wired adapter speed 1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a support yes
802.11b support yes
802.11g support yes
802.11 draft-n support yes
Integrated 3G adapter no

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switch yes
Wireless key-combination switch yes
Modem yes
ExpressCard34 slots 0
ExpressCard54 slots 0
PC Card slots 1
USB ports (downstream) 4
FireWire ports 1
eSATA ports 1
PS/2 mouse port no
9-pin serial ports 0
Parallel ports 0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports 0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports 0
3.5mm audio jacks 2
SD card reader yes
Memory Stick reader yes
MMC (multimedia card) reader no
Smart Media reader no
Compact Flash reader no
xD-card reader yes
Pointing device type Touchpad, trackpoint
Audio chipset Realtek HD Audio
Speaker location Above keyboard
Hardware volume control? yes
Integrated microphone? yes
Integrated webcam? no
Camera megapixel rating N/A
Fingerprint reader yes
Smartcard reader yes

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use 263
Battery life, heavy use 86
Overall application benchmark score 1.07
3D performance (crysis) low settings 5fps
3D performance setting Low

Operating system and software

Operating system Windows Vista Business
OS family Windows Vista
Recovery method Recovery partition, burn own recovery discs
Software supplied Windows XP downgrade discs

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