Tecra M4 questions

Discussion in 'Toshiba' started by Barry J. Doyle, Jul 13, 2005.

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  1. kayen

    kayen Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi,

    Is the pen driver written by Toshiba? I wonder if a driver direct from Wacom might give improved performance or features?

    Is the Toshiba reserve pen exactly the same as the one included with the unit? I'm thinking of just getting one from Wacom. Anyone compared them - feel, features, durability? Why does the spare Toshiba pen come with extra tips?

    What is the pen like? Can the button be configured as say a right mouse-click?

    What is it like to write on the screen? They claim they're aiming for a paper-like feel. Is it likely to get scratched like a PDA screen? Would it be better to get a WriteShield Tablet PC screen protector? Better or worse writing feel than the stock screen cover? I have one on my PDA and they're really tough plus they improve the writing surface, but then PDAs have smooth screens that aren't all that great to write on while tablet PCs supposedly have a coating on the screen to give it a good feel for writing.

    Regarding the screen hinge, how bad is the screen bounce while typing? I've read other people complaining about it. I'm also worried it is going to become loose from use.

    How readable is text at 1400x1050? I'm concerned about such a high resolution squeezed into a 14" display.

    When running full power does it stay cool enough to use on your lap? Maybe someone has a thermocouple and can give a worst case temperature reading. What is the fan noise like compared to other equally powerful laptops? I'm used to desktop systems and there is almost always an LCD projector running in our meetings so notebook fan noise will probably go unnoticed. At least half the time I am going to want to use it on my lap so heat is an issue.

    Can anyone recommend a good, small protective cover? I want to carry it in a backpack so those bulky briefcase things are no good. On the other hand I do not want to just put the naked laptop into my backpack. Perhaps a padded cover that can accommodate the power supply, a spare battery and a few other small bits, where the machine never needs to be removed, I can just use it in the cover.

    Quite a lot of questions, but it is more than a month's pay so I want to be fairly sure I'm choosing the right hardware.

    thanks
    Ian
     
  2. SuperRob

    SuperRob Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I don't have an M4 (yet), but I think I can answer some of these questions for you.

    I beleive the pen driver is written by Wacom. You can get updates directly from their website.

    The reserve pen is about 3/4 of the length of the standard pen, and lacks an eraser button. For that reason alone, I'd probably skip it, opting for something like a Cross pen that I can use as a Primary, using the included stylus as the "backup".

    Text readability should be decent. I'm used to high-DPI screens (my 15" laptop has a 1600x1200 screen), and the M4 is roughly 120DPI. It's more readable than the same resolution on the M200's 12" screen, which was roughly 140DPI.

    At full power, it's unlikely that you'll want to use it on your lap, due to battery life issues more than heat, though it'll get pretty warm. People have had excellent luck using Centrino Hardware Control (http://www.pbus-167.com/chc.htm) to undervolt (not underclock) the CPU to deliver the same performance with less heat and slightly greater battery life. Also, updating the Nvidia video drivers can improve performance and reduce heat output as well (http://tabletpcbuzz.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=24503 ... scroll down to "Woohoo").
     
  3. kayen

    kayen Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'm not concerned about battery life - most of the use on my lap will be on my couch and there is a power point right there. I'm only concerned about it getting too hot to use on my lap. I don't mind it getting warm as long as it doesn't get to the point where it causes discomfort or injury. Otherwise I must consider some sort of pad I can keep attached.
     
  4. Barry J. Doyle

    Barry J. Doyle Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    kayen,

    The M4 can get "hot" if you are cranking out Doom 3 or running heavy multimedia tasks. If you are taking notes, cruising the web and whatnot, the heat should be managable. If you are going to drive it hard, I would invest in a lap pad or similar product.
     
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