Tecra M4, perfect for the student gamer?

Discussion in 'Toshiba' started by Brian, Nov 3, 2005.

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  1. ICDragon

    ICDragon Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I've been trying to decide between going all out for a 17" gaming notebook, or get something a little more stylish, a little smaller and lighter, tablet features are also great. I really like the Tecra M4 design and functionality, and from looking around it seems the most graphically capable notebook of its kind.

    Anyways I'm here to ask a few questions about it. First off regarding upgrading, is the HD and RAM standard for laptops? Is it possilbe to upgrade? Main reason I'm asking is because Toshiba wants $500(!) for 1.5gb of RAM (which I take is max). Also the HD is only 5200 RPM, while thats ok, I would really like to be able to stick a 7200 RPM in there. Also how does the battery perform? Especially when your using the pen, what kind of difference does that make?

    A couple other things. Also regarding the graphics card, I was impressed to see a 6600, but whats the difference between the TE (Toshiba Edition) and the 6600 go? How much will that affect the gaming aspect? Also if thats the case, how does it stack against the X600 (looking at gateways CX200)? Also what is the clock of the 6600 TE vs the regular 6600 go?

    Also what is the main differences between Windows Xp Tablet Edition and regular Win Xp? Does it limit you in any way?
     
  2. Daniel325i

    Daniel325i Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I think I may end up placing an order for a tecra M4 tonite and have been bouncing back and forth between notebooks for a while now (search the forum and you'll see what I mean).

    Some people have upgraded to 100gb 7200rpm drives for their toshiba m200 and from what I understand you should be able to do the same with the tecra m4, the drive was a toshiba drive from newegg or buy.com (i cant remember) and under $200. Get the tecra w/ the lowest RAM possible and buy ram from someone else (crucial, newegg, kingston) you can probably get 2gb for under $250 this way. I can't say what it'd do when it comes to warranty, but, from what I understood people have sent theirs in without any complaints from the tech dept. at toshiba so..

    Between getting rid of bloatware and just doing simple tasks (wifi, browsing, note taking) people seem to be able to get 2.75-3.25 hours run time. If you undervolt it (which some people have) you can squeese a little more time out of it and if you get a slim select battery (i found a place that has them cheap, it replaces the optical drive, its modular) typical run time increases to about 5-5.5 hours but one person (with undervolting) was able to get roughly 8 hours out of his, I think this is an extreme case but you may be able to get 6+ hours out of it with undervolting, enough ram, and getting rid of bloatware.

    I don't know the difference between the 6600 and 6600 TE but the difference between the 6200 and 6200 TE is that the 6200 has dedicated/max shared ram of (32/128) while the TE has (64/128). From what I can tell (comparing #'s from the reviews on this site between the Acer c314xmi and the M4) the 6200 TE is quite a bit better performer than the 6200.

    Windows XP tablet edition is windows XP pro + some tablet stuff, plus you can add on more tablet programs (free) from microsoft, most (if not all) of which are designed for students, so you may want to check that out.

    The big difference I think you will see between the CX200 and the Tecra are as fallows...

    Gateway:
    Much heavier
    Wide screen, WXGA (1280 x 768 max)
    not sure about battery life
    Digitizer not as good (half as responsive and has no eraser feature, plus it relys on batteries in the pen that can't be replaced, meaning, when the battery dies in 3 years, you need a whole new pen)
    I would guess the X600 compares to the 6200 TE, but I have NO idea.
    doesn't use a wacom digitizer...

    Tecra
    Not a lightweight, but lighter
    mentioned battery life already
    non wide screen, but SXGA+ (1400 x 1050)
    Wacom digitizer

    I wouldn't really call either one a gaming notebook, but if you want a tablet there arent many other choices if you want to play the newer games. There are 2 acer's out now that have pretty good GUI's and specs but they seem to be having quality issues and there customer service isn't going to win any awards anytime soon (otherwise i'd already have one!).

    If you want a gaming laptop first, and the "cool factor" of a tablet second, I'd get a real gaming notebook. If you really want a tablet first, I'd go for the tecra (as it does have better tablet features imo, with the wacom and being able to erase using the pen + more sensitive).

    Barry should have a review of the Gateway up soon, I was expecting it a few weeks ago, I can't imagine it would take much longer, and if you aren't in a hurry, it may be worth the wait.

    Since the gateway is pretty much unknown (not many good detailed reviews, like the ones Barry writes, are available for it right now), I'd veer towards the M4, unless you are really interested in a good gaming platform.

    Anyways, very long writing, but, just a summary of things I've read, I don't personally have one myself. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but, toshiba was my last choice in the beginning, so if i've had a change of heart, maybe there is something to say about that.
     
  3. Barry J. Doyle

    Barry J. Doyle Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Daniel, thanks for explaining all that info. I can also share that the M4's NVIDIA chip does kick some serious butt for gaming. This chip renders the Doom 3 engine beautifully - much better than the ATI PCI Express chips (IMO).

    Regarding the OS. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition is basically Win XP Pro with added Tablet features. It has the same extra security and admin. funtionality as XP Pro as well.
     
  4. Daniel325i

    Daniel325i Pen Pal - Newbie

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    "much better than the ATI PCI Express chips (IMO). "

    Thanks for the heads up!
     
  5. ICDragon

    ICDragon Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I was told by a friend that upgrading the ram and HD will void my warrenty. That sounds really stupid, but I just wanted to check.

    Also I'm pretty sure overclocking the GPU will void the warrenty, but is it worth just getting a 1 year warrenty and then after that overclock it a bit and just use a local toshiba repair shop?
     
  6. Brian

    Brian Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    RAM won't void it, the HDD does for some and doesn't for others. Most say that it's okay. Worst case, you swap the old drive back if you have to send in for service. On the warranty issue, I think anything over the base is usually a waste of money.
     
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