Hands on: Toshiba Libretto W100 review

But within its bulky frame is a computer with a lot of possibility. The option of two screens means that you can work on a document on one while checking your emails in another, or check your social networks in one screen and play games in the other.

The idea of using dual screens is not a new one but on the W100 it seems to work, even if it does look like an over-sized Nintendo DS.

The use of touchscreen means that there is no real keyboard here to type away on. Anyone who has used the iPad knows this is a bugbear, even with things like haptic feedback helping you. The Libretto suffers from the same problem, although it offers a number of different types of virtual keyboards which is a great idea.

Toshiba libretto review

And unlike the iPad, this is a device which doesn't have to be tethered to a store to function properly. There is both a USB and microSD card slot on board, so you can add your own media to it.

If you are using the device on your lap, then the full QWERTY keyboard is the best to use, but if you are holding the device, then toggle the button next to the screen and you can use a keyboard built for thumbs. It is a simple but great idea.

The built in accelerometer means that you can also use the W100 vertically. This means that the Libretto can be used as an e-reader – although the LED backlight may hurt the eyes after prolonged use.

Combining both Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity is a boon for those who want that always connected web experience, however.

Toshiba libretto review

In our short time with the Libretto W100 it was hard not to like the device, even if the reasoning for having it is still a bit of a mystery.

It is certainly unlike anything we have seen or used before and it is great to see Windows 7 used in such a way. But it will be difficult to tempt people away from either their netbooks or their tablets and on to this W100.

Toshiba will be hoping, though, that this safe touchscreen middle-ground is exactly what consumers want at the moment.

With an Intel U5400 processor and 2GB of RAM, there is no denying that there is a fair amount of power inside the W100 but you may be waiting a long time for the right touchscreen app to come along and unleash it.

Toshiba libretto review

The Toshiba Libretto W100 has UK release date of late summer, with pricing to be announced.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.