Tuesday, 23 October 2012 11:29

Review: Toshiba WT200 10" tablet


Toshiba's new 10" tablet supports Windows 7, handwriting recognition and is targeted at the executive on the go.

Let's start with the stats and features first. According to Toshiba, the WT200 has the following feature list:

  • 10.1" Wide View angle High Definition screen with a 1366x768 display
  • 64GB Solid State Drive
  • 2GB RAM
  • Weight less than 800 grams
  • 14mm thick
  • Intel Atom N2600 1.6GHz 800 CPU
  • Intel NM10 Express Chipset
  • Genuine Windows 7 32bit Professional SP1
  • Digitizer pen
  • 10 finger multi-touch support

  • Ports:
    • SD Card slot
    • Micro HDMI
    • 1 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x Mini USB 2.0
    • Microphone & headphone Combo port (iPhone type)
  • Integrated Web camera Back 3.0M with LED Flash and no Mic (out) and Front 1.3M (in) with LED & Mic
  • 3 cell 2700mAh Lithium-Ion battery
  • 3G capability
  • Included software: Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Office 2010 Starter (60 day trial), Norton Internet Security (Trial Version), Toshiba Value Added Package (inc Toshiba Zooming Utility, Toshiba Console, Toshiba Recovery).

My family chose to take this unit as our primary computer on a two week trip around Europe. It was used for web, email and social media access along with management of photos from a number of digital cameras. Hopefully (we thought) this would be a good test of the unit.

We tried to like this tablet, we really did. It promised so much but missed the mark in so many small ways.

The first thing we noticed was the overall sluggishness of the unit - with a seemingly decent processor, we expected more.

In addition a battery-powered stylus was provided to permit more accurate touching on the screen; the problem was there was nowhere to store it! We would have expected a slot in the tablet's case to slide it in. Or a small pocket in the neoprene sleeve we'd been provided. No such luck. Expect it to be lost within a week.

The on-screen handwriting recognition was generally competent, even with this writer's scrawl. The problem arose however that it was very quick to include spaces between letters, which really weren't appreciated when creating URLs! Perhaps we could have negotiated a truce, but there simply wasn't time.

As an alternate, there was an on-screen keyboard to tap on with the stylus. This could be selected from either a side-mounted button or from the special toolbar near the system tray. The keys of course required the stylus as they were simply too small for even the least pudgy of fingers to use accurately.

There were unfortunately two significant problems with the keyboard. When selected, the keyboard retained focus, meaning that one had to re-select the location where typing was intended before tapping on the keyboard. This caused more than one swear-word to escape our lips upon finding that whatever we were typing was vanishing into the ether instead of appearing in the entry field of choice.

The second issue was more difficult to surmount. The keyboard occupied a little more than half the height of the device's screen and significantly more than half the width. This meant that there was a small zone in the middle of the screen which would always be covered by the keyboard, no matter how it was positioned. Good luck if that was where your input field was located.

The tablet included a SD card slot (as listed in the specifications earlier), however neither of our main cameras uses such a memory card; instead, they record to either CF or XD cards, requiring an external card reader to be used. And an external card reader uses up the only full-sized USB socket available, so no external keyboard or mouse, and more importantly, nowhere to plug in the external drive which was the eventual destination of the photos; meaning they all had to be copied from the cameras card to the tablet's SSD hard disk and then copied again to the external drive. Although the unit had a 64GB SSD, this was rapidly consumed by the default Windows installation and the uploading of a couple of big cards.

Toshiba advises that the tablet will be upgradable to Windows 8 when it is formally released later this month, but we're not entirely sure this will address all the issues.

The WT200 has a recommended retail price of $999, but iTWire has seen it advertised for as low as $799 online.

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David Heath

David Heath has had a long and varied career in the IT industry having worked as a Pre-sales Network Engineer (remember Novell NetWare?), General Manager of IT&T for the TV Shopping Network, as a Technical manager in the Biometrics industry, and as a Technical Trainer and Instructional Designer in the industrial control sector. In all aspects, security has been a driving focus. Throughout his career, David has sought to inform and educate people and has done that through his writings and in more formal educational environments.

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