Portege 7010 CT 8/10
is a sub-notebook. It has a 12.1 inch screen and a Pentium II 300 MHz.
It is not the fastest machine you can buy, since much faster processors
are now available. However, occupying the footprint of an A4 paper pad,
the Portege is very light and is thin (approx. 2 cm). It so small, you
might even lose it if you leave it between a few books or magazines. I
have no trouble lifting the unit using one hand! Consequently, it can
be moved about without little effort and is ideal for the virtual DJ who
wants a cheaper machine that has enough power to run Virtual Turntables
or WinAmp. It may not be quite quick enough to run Traktor though. Additional
RAM to run programmes like Traktor is very expensive, so you must take
that into account when buying this machine. <
with a silver metallic finish, the Portege is more stylish than most notebooks.
The 4 GB hard drive is big enough to store several hundred MP3 tracks,
but its access time is nothing to write home about! To the left of the
unit, there is a single USB port so you can add a USB soundcard easily
for good quality sound output, no firewire output though. It would have
been nice to see at least an extra USB port on such a machine. To the
rear of the machine, there is a cylinder-like battery. This Lithium-Ion
unit is better than a Nickel Metal Hydride. However after two years of
use, the battery seems to be running down a bit quickly. I would recommend
buying another battery at the time of purchase. It will probably be a
lot cheaper than buying it two years down the line from a spare part department.
internal soundcard is average and is only good for DJ mix monitoring.
There is a small wheel at the front of the machine, positioned next to
the mic-in and line-out, to control the volume. The quality of the recording
from the inbuilt microphone is good only for dictating documents. Pluging
in a mic into the mic-in does improve the sound quality, but it is still
not "CD quality"!. The keyboard is solid and very springly.
A Thinkpad style rubber trackpoint is the pointing device on the Toshiba.
I prefer a fingerpad, but this is very much is question of personal preference.
It is very difficult to use programmes like Photoshop with the trackpoint.
Using music programmes such as Acid, which require extensive use of the
mouse, is also a problem. I don't know why notebook manufactures don't
bundle mice with their machines and solve the pointing device problem
the software front, Win95/Win98 is preinstalled but there are no other
big applications. So if you are a first time buyer without any software,
you'll have to consider the lack of an apps. If you want to run software
through a network, you will also need to buy an additional PCMICA network
card. There are two PCMICA slots, one ordinary 16 bit and one accelerated
Cardbus slot, so you run 100 MBit network cards with full bandwidth. This
also opens the possibility of adding Cardbus firewire cards etc.
screen is not as good as other notebooks around, it certainly not as bright
or rich in contrast as the Sony PCG-X9. Where the Toshiba really excels
is quality of the build. I've dropped the machine by accident 1.5 M. The
screen obviously cracked, which is not a surprise because all laptop screens
are very fragile. However, the hard disk was not affected or the rest
of the machine. The screen was promptly replaced and I was able to use
the machine again.