Toshiba journe touch tablet

To keep the cost down, the JournE has a resistive screen, so you can use a finger, fingernail or stylus.

It doesn't come with a stylus, though, and there's no handwriting input of any kind. It's fairly sensitive and well tuned for finger touch, so you can select tick boxes by pressing with your fingertip, for example.

It's a little harder to grab scrollbars – for your Webmail inbox for example, although you can swipe up and down to scroll through a web page. There's no multi-touch and no other gestures.

The on-screen keyboard is also very basic; you can swap between upper and lower case or between letters and numbers plus symbols (or accented letters for European languages), but you can't press and hold to get capitals the way you can on BlackBerry or Windows Mobile 6.5, there are no browsing abbreviations (like www or .com) and no autocorrection of typing errors.

Zune HD is also based on this version of Windows CE and it has a superbly responsive touch keyboard that lets you slide your finger left or right if you don't get the letter you were expecting: this isn't nearly as smooth or intuitive.

It's also rather confusing that when you tap a field where you can type – including the address bar in the browser – you're switched to a screen showing just the input box and keyboard (it's going to make typing capchas something of a memory test).

Conclusions

It's hard to decide how good the JournE is because there are so many decisions Toshiba still needs to take.

We may be looking at too early a version of the JournE Touch; by the time you can buy it, many of our complaints may well have already been answered.

If they are, there's still the question of who the JournE is for. The battery life is too short and the keyboard too irritating to make it a device you'd routinely carry with you, although it would be great for a long train journey or to keep the kids amused.

At home, the fast startup does make it easier to grab than a PC and the optional TV connectivity should be a great way to bring internet content to your TV.

Toshiba suggests the JournE will be a good shared multimedia device for the home; it might be a little expensive for that, but it's certainly simple to use.

Remember that the JournE comes from Toshiba's digital photo frame family and it makes much more sense; this is a photo frame that can show photos from Flickr, updates from Facebook, videos from YouTube, messages from friends and other updates alongside your photos in the simplest way we've ever seen.