Toshiba is one of the leading manufacturers of Tablet PCs in this country and has always worked with the clamshell design.

This adds a keyboard to a digitised screen that can be rotated 180 degrees letting you fold away the keyboard and use the tablet in slate mode.

This dual-aspect means you can use the Toshiba Portégé M700 (£1174 inc. VAT) as a standard laptop when you need to write formal documents, or in slate mode when you need to make notes or collaborate with colleagues.

Versatile laptop

This latest version takes the chassis we saw with the M400 and updates it to include a number of new features, the most important of which is the 12.1-inch screen.

No longer a digitised panel, you can access the on-screen data either with the supplied pen or with the tip of your finger.

This is the first Toshiba Tablet PC to come with a LED backlight, which both adds to the brightness of the panel and helps to preserve battery life. The screen is far easier to read when in tablet mode than to use when trying to write on the move.

This is due to the haze that's a side effect of the touchscreen technology used. Turning the brightness up to full can rectify this, but it affects the battery life.

Responsive screen

Using the screen, we found it responsive, while the pen was accurate and easy to use. The screen feels smooth to write on and after a quick calibration was as easy to use as a standard mouse.

When you want to use the M700 as a standard laptop, you'll also find the keyboard responsive. The keys are of a good size and span the width of the main body, and have a fair amount of travel.

Weighing in at 2kg, this machine is bulky and heavier than rival tablets, but comes with a host of connections.

Impressive feature set

When it came to battery usage, the Portégé M700 lasted 266 minutes, which means you can get close to a whole morning's work carried out before having to look for a recharge.
Where this machine really excels is in its components.

You'll find a Core 2 Duo T7250 chip inside, which supports Intel's vPro technology, so IT managers can better support the Tablet PC when it's out in the field.

Then there's Toshiba's Easy Guard tools, which consist of hard drive protection, a spill-resistant keyboard and ConfigFree setup tools. There's also a biometric fingerprint scanner below the screen, for easy log-ins.

Great compromise

The Toshiba Portégé M700 is a great compromise between a laptop and tablet.

It's not the most portable of tablets, but the quality components and comfortable keyboard make the extra weight and bulk well worth living with.