Toshiba's Tecra range is aimed at the corporate users, and the Tecra M10-10H is a 14.1-inch machine, offering a useful mix of portability and practicality.
Unlike the consumer laptops here, it features standard TFT technology for the display. Where these matt-finish panels are often lacking in lustre when compared with glossy Super-TFT screens, the Toshiba's offers vivid colours. It could be a little brighter, but the fact reflections and fingerprints are contained is a key advantage, allowing you to use this when out and about in direct sunlight.
Unlike the Hi-Grade Notino W5800S or HP Pavilion DV5-1110em, the Tecra M10 features an integrated graphics card. It's not so capable when running intensive 3D tasks – we found it couldn't render images very quickly in Adobe Photoshop, for instance – and you won't be able to play games in your spare time. It offers an advantage when it comes to battery life, however, as it provides less power consumption. We managed to use this machine for an excellent 315 minutes away from a power point.
Styling is typical for a corporate machine, with a conservative design that puts emphasis on usability. Build quality is suited to life on the road, although the plastic palm rests could be a little sturdier. The chassis itself is the most robust in the group and more than capable of withstanding knocks and drops. The screen surround is also the toughest here.
The keyboard easily provides fantastic usability, with large and well-spaced keys that are a pleasure to use. Although it's not very stylish, some users will prefer the traditional layout. This is also the only laptop here to offer a pointing stick as well as a touchpad. It allows you to navigate the screen at speed, reverting to the touchpad when you need more accuracy.
Within the chassis you'll find a midrange Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It runs at 2.26GHz and is backed by 2048MB of memory. We found performance was excellent, with no sign of lag even when running intensive applications.
The 160GB hard drive should be adequate for business use, but look elsewhere if you need to store lots of media files.
You'll find a fingerprint scanner nestled between the mouse buttons, adding security, as well as four USB ports, a PC card slot, VGA-out for adding an external display and a serial port for connecting peripherals when you get to the office. You'll also find the latest wireless and fixed networking features in place.
The Tecra M10-10H is an excellent corporate machine. Offering impressive performance, outstanding usability and a host of professional features, it's the ideal solution for small business use.