Tecra M7 Review (part 1)

Discussion in 'Toshiba' started by jritter, Jul 20, 2006.

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  1. lordricearoni

    lordricearoni Pen Pal - Newbie

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    You all are saying that you get ~3.5 hrs of battery life and that the slice doubles the life you're getting...So does the slice take it to 6? Or is it doubling from 1.75?
    I suppose I could see it either way since the main battery is 6 cell and you have a 7200rpm hd and dedicated graphics...BUT <2 hrs is not much.
     
  2. Madhog

    Madhog Pen Pal - Newbie

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    *With* the slice I am getting upwards of 6 hours.. 3.5 is possible with the primary battery if you turn stuff down a fair bit. Your mileage may vary a lot depending on how much you can tolerate a dim screen and whatnot. For the most part I only ever put my computer on super-miser mode when I'm on an airplane and I would like to max out my time as much as possible (and usually the dim screen is not an issue on a relatively poorly lit plane).

    The slice is better than I expected in terms of the form factor.. it raises the machine up nicely for typing and for drawing if you like to draw in landscape mode. Having said that - I would welcome the addition of a modular bay battery option - that would really be maxing out the battery life for this pup and I could use that for the times when I don't want to change the form factor of the laptop. Unfortunately, it appears that there is no mechanism for swapping anything into or out of the drive bay - an amazing oversight on the part of Toshiba considering that lots of people like modular bays for additional hard drives, not just for extra battery capacity. It's especially perplexing considering that Toshiba *already have a modular standard* they could have adopted.
     
  3. BenjaminRies

    BenjaminRies Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Yeah the whole drive bay thing is a mystery to me too. Also agreed on the slice: much lighter and thinner than I'd thought it would be. I don't mind the tilt in portrait mode when working on a desk either.

    Battery life
    To clarify: after the full charge/discharge cycles recommended by this site to "break in" the batteries, I get almost 3.5 hours on "Long Life" (lowest) power settings from the main battery alone. On the middle power setting (called "Normal") I'm getting more like 2.5 hours. Rule seems to be that you can double any of these values with the slice.

    Interestingly, wireless on/off doesn't seem to make a huge difference. But I do see the windows 'time left' estimate moving around a bit during hard disk-intensive tasks. I haven't yet tried turning off the optical drive. Also, I have both the fingerprint reader and the TPM chip enabled.

    So as you can see, the slice battery plus "Long Life" power settings would be able to make it through a full working day away from an AC outlet... especially if you hibernate over lunch and let the screen turn off rather quickly when you're not using the machine :)


    Interface details
    I'd also like to heap praise on Toshiba for some nice touches, both with software and hardware interfaces. I'm not sure how many other Toshibas have this, but I'm impressed that little green lights glow underneath certain function keys to show their state (i.e. caps lock, scroll lock). The keyboard feels great, and actually has deeper action than my wife's new ThinkPad T60.

    On the software end, I uninstalled less "crap" than I had planned to. I love Toshiba's use of the Windows ALT-TAB 'look and feel' when using hotkeys to change power states, wireless radios and screen brightness. Again comparing to the Lenovo/IBM solution, this seems much quicker than the IBM "ThinkVantage" software that displays much larger and more cumbersome overlays when hotkeys are pressed.


    Gripes
    I think somebody at Toshiba was playing a cruel joke when they required that you burn FOUR recovery DVDs. Discs 2 and 3 of this set appear to only use a small fraction of the disc capacity (you can tell by flipping them over and looking at the relatively thin ring that has been burned underneath). Granted, I chose not to order any other software (such as Office) with my purchase from Toshiba - but there's no reason to make everybody reserve space for something a few people are going to buy.

    I was also under the impression that the external volume dial was analog, able to directly control the speaker volume even during boot. It is instead a digital "jog dial" which (I guess) is easier to control with your thumb, but I'm not sure if it can control the volume before Windows sound drivers are fully loaded. Haven't tested this yet. Toshiba should make these details clear in their

    Finally, it would have been nice if they'd supplied an indicator light for wifi and another for bluetooth... instead there's just one common "wireless" light. But really, these are minor whims.
     
  4. urchimpy

    urchimpy Pen Pal - Newbie

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    BenjaminRies, thats good info you have provided here in your short review of using the M7. I have one question for you though, when you use your laptop in "Long Life" mode, what all applications are running in your taskbar area such that you can hit the 3.5 hour battery mark ?

    Also is the 3.5 hours battery mark with wireless internet turned on and off intermittently or completely off or completely on at all times?
     
  5. hiheyho

    hiheyho Pen Pal - Newbie

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    har, why did i get an 84.5 GB Hard drive when i ordered 100GB?
    and when it came, it only has 75.3GB availible to use.
    whats going on??
     
  6. jritter

    jritter Pen Pal - Newbie

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    The 2.5 hours of battery life were using he default power settings, using the digitizer full time and wireless full time. I was trying to get a practical battery life. When I max out power savings features, don't use the digitizer and turn screen brightness down to the lowest setting, i've squeezed a bit more than 3 hours out of it. The NVS110m video card does support power mizer features so i can't imagine that it would make a significantly noticeable difference.
     
  7. urchimpy

    urchimpy Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello, I have a question regarding firefox and the Tablet PC Input Panel which is located in the quicklaunch area of the taskbar. Somehow every time I have to enter any text in firefox I have to click on the Tablet PC Input Panel icon as compared to Internet Explorer, where it automatically shows right after clicking the area where text has to be entered. Is there a fix for this in firefox as well so that it should automatically appear wherever there is a possibility of entering text?
     
  8. jritter

    jritter Pen Pal - Newbie

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  9. urchimpy

    urchimpy Pen Pal - Newbie

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    thanks jritter, that does seems to solve the problem :)
     
  10. DaveToon

    DaveToon Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I am enjoying my M7 and have used it with a variety of 2d and 3d illustration software and it works great!

    One problem is I somehow managed to screw up the button that rotates the screen orientation.

    Can someone tell me if it is working on your M7 and how I can get it to flip the screen when I push the button?


    Thanks!


    Dave
     
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