Toshiba AC100-10U review

  • £329

A very portable Android-based laptop, but a bit of a missed opportunity

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Product features

  • Screen Resolution : 1024 x 600
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification

For

  • Nvidia Tegra 2
  • Android 2.1
  • Portability

Against

  • OS not great without touchscreen
  • Poor Android implementation

Toshiba's AC100-10U is a netbook-like device powered by Nvidia's Tegra technology and running Google's smartphone OS – Android 2.1.

Aimed at those after a very portable internet experience, we have mixed feelings about the device.

At only 870g, the laptop isn't a device you're going to have any problems carrying around, while the fanless system has allowed Toshiba to cram the device's components into a tiny chassis measuring only 21mm at its thickest point.

Battery life is also a selling point for this machine and the 377 minutes of video playback we obtained is impressive, without being exceptional.

The tough, matt-black plastic employed in building the chassis – with an inoffensive crosshatch pattern – makes the device almost impervious to scratches.

Bright screen

The 10.1-inch screen features a detailed 1024 x 600-pixel resolution and is very bright and a pleasure to view photos and videos on. The inclusion of a shiny screen finish means there are irritating reflections to contend with in bright light, however.

The keyboard, although a little cramped, is more than usable – but there's no delete key to accompany the backspace key, which regular typists may miss. 802.11n Wi-Fi is on board for speedy wireless networking, as is a 3G module. This means that, having purchased a tariff and SIM card from a network provider, you'll be able to surf the web or browse your email away from Wi-Fi hotspots.

We've long been fans of Google's ultra-intuitive Android OS, but it doesn't make a smooth transition on to the AC100. There's no touchscreen and the numerous hotkeys substituting for the swipes and scrolls normally executed on a smartphone are confusing.

Similarly, the Toshiba-tweaked interface is unattractive and clumsy, and selecting applications or links, for example, is a frustrating affair. Finally, instead of Google's own apps market, Camangi Market software is included.

There are some decent apps available, but their quality is questionable. Nevertheless, Nvidia's 1GHz Tegra 250 chipset provides decent processing power, and runs the operating system smoothly. Its low power means there's no need for a fan system.

The graphics card is part of the main chipset, and produces decent video. There's no room for an optical drive, and you'll find the 8GB of SSD storage fairly limiting if you have a lot of data to carry around.

It's hard not to see the AC100 as a bit of a missed opportunity. Both design and portability are great, but usability and the implementation of Android disappoint.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeNetbook
Processor ManufacturerNVIDIA
Graphics Controller ManufacturerNVIDIA
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
Optical Drive TypeNo
Graphics Memory AccessibilityShared
Maximum Battery Run Time8 Hour
Solid State Drive Capacity8 GB
HDMIYes
WebcamYes
Backlight TechnologyLED
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, GPRS, HSDPA, HSPA, HSUPA, UMTS
Product FamilyAC100
Cellular Network SupportedGSM
Processor Model250
ColourEclipse Black
Operating SystemAndroid 2.1 Eclair
Brand NameToshiba
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeTegra
Screen Size25.7 cm (10.1")
Screen Resolution1024 x 600
Standard Memory512 MB
Weight (Approximate)870 g
Cache1 MB
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Display Screen TypeActive Matrix TFT Colour LCD
Display Screen TechnologyTruBrite
WWAN SupportedYes
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Total Number of USB Ports2
Memory StandardDDR2-800/PC2-6400
Height21 mm
Width262 mm
Depth189.8 mm
Screen ModeWSVGA
Memory TechnologyDDR2 SDRAM
Product SeriesAC100
ManufacturerToshiba
Product ModelAC100-10U
Product NameAC100-10U Netbook
Pointing Device TypeTouchPad
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberPDN01E-00500EEN
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.toshiba.co.uk
Marketing Information

Instant on portable computing. The AC100 is an ultra-thin mobile internet device with intuitive Google Android 2.1 system, nVIDIA's Tegra 250 engine, a 25.7cm (10.1") TruBrite display and built-in keyboard for ease of use. It also offers up to 8 hours constant battery and up to 180 hours standby as well as instant-on functionality making it the perfect device for social networking and web browsing.

Maximum Memory512 MB
Battery ChemistryLithium Ion (Li-Ion)
Package Contents
  • AC100-10U Netbook
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AC Adapter
Limited Warranty1 Year
Bus Speed333 MHz