Thoughts & Questions on M400

Discussion in 'Toshiba' started by MagisterLudi, Sep 1, 2006.

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  1. Aaron

    Aaron Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I've had my M400 for a few days now so I thought I would just share some thoughts.

    Ordered 2/22 - Shipped 3/4 - Arrived 3/6
    Specs:
    Core Duo 1.86
    1 GB RAM 2x512 Dual Channel
    60GB HD
    Non SVGA Screen

    Planned use: Typing reports, taking notes in class pen/type, meeting notes, powerpoint presentations, penning client notes in between therapy sessions (I'm in a doctoral program in clinical psychology), running statistical packages such as SPSS

    First, this is the first tablet I have had, and really the only one I have used, except for the Demo's at Best Buy. Thus, some of my thoughts may be on tablets in general rather than just the M400.

    So far the M400 feels sturdy. The screen feels just as strong, or stronger than any normal laptop. The typing on the keyboard feels natural. It feels a bit more cramped, but I am used to my desktop computer, so this is probably no different than any other 12.1 inch laptop. Touch pad is nice, I like the silver color, but I am worried it will look dirty easily.

    I haven't had a chance to test performance, but after I got all the extra software off the boot time was pretty quick. I do not notice any mouse/ink lag. I look forward to utilizing the dual core more in the future.

    The screen resolution is perfect for me. I was worried after reading posts about how critical the SVGA screen was, but I really think it would be too small. I do not have as much room as my desktop screen, but so far it hasn't effected my use. If I had got the SVGA, I think I would have felt suckered out of $75. That said, I think it could certainly be useful... just not for my use.

    After changing some battery/performance settings, my battery capacity has been near 5 hours. Lower if I turn on the wireless, or if I am loading software. I used it for about 4 hours today typing reports and still have enough battery for this post. What made the biggest difference was enabling the speedstep (which was not enabled out of the box). The fan does seem to be running every time I check, but often it is running so quite I can't tell without putting my hand over the air vent. Some people seem to feel the constant fan running is a problem, it could be, but it hasn't seemed to effect battery life, or bothered me in any way.

    The 60 GB drive has about 10GB less than I planned because of the partition used for the recovery disk's. I burned the discs, but I am a bit afraid to delete the partition because I have no way to verify the disc's work without actually going through the recovery process. Maybe if I get crunched for space in the future I'll delete it.

    The fingerprint password is pretty cool, it works well. Its great for keeping my client notes safe. (or at least it feels safer)

    The Bstrong screen protector for the M200 does fit on the M400, but not very well. I am using it without any modifications, but its a bit bigger than it should be.

    When the processor is taxed I sometimes hear a very very high pitched sound. The sound is quite enough that I can only hear the sound in a silent room, but it does make me wonder if it is normal. I've gotten used to it, but I imagine it could be bothersome.

    Overall I am happy with the purchase. I can't compare it to other tablets but I would recommend it.

    So here are some questions I have:

    1) Has anyone else experienced the high pitched sound?
    2) What software would you recommend for scheduling? I have thought about outlook, but it seems to be a bit overkill.
    3) Why does the pen come with extra nubs? Are they used up as you use the pen?
    4) The website specs show the graphics chip as the intel 950. In the device manager mine comes up as a 945GM "family". Did I get the wrong card or is it just labeled differently?

    I'd be happy to answer any questions I can regarding the M400
     
  2. calvinnn

    calvinnn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I'd like to know more about the performance with apps like photoshop and VMware.

    How is the pen navigation?
     
  3. Bhavesh

    Bhavesh Pen Pal - Newbie

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    can you tell us more about -(1) the programs you uninstalled and how many? (2) what are the changes done for battery settings? Thanks!
     
  4. dower

    dower Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I believe the m400 uses Wacom's technology, and some people are a little rough on their pens (those that use the normal tablets), since they are pressure sensitive, you could wear them out if you are a heavy painter. A dull tip makes the pen much harder to use.
     
  5. drzeller

    drzeller Pen Pal - Newbie

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    1) Has anyone else experienced the high pitched sound?
    >> I have not. I've had the machine for about week.

    2) What software would you recommend for scheduling? I have thought about outlook, but it seems to be a bit overkill.
    If you are on Exchange, I think Outlook is good alternative. Outlook 12 seems to have a number of nice additions -- when it ships later this year. I have not used any others, so I am not good overall judge.

    3) Why does the pen come with extra nubs? Are they used up as you use the pen?
    >> The responses above are accurate -- they pen tip can dull over time, making the pen a little less easy to use. That said, over three tablets in 4-5 years, I think I changed nibs once when I accidently nicked mine somehow. I may not be normal (my wife will agree).

    4) The website specs show the graphics chip as the intel 950. In the device manager mine comes up as a 945GM "family". Did I get the wrong card or is it just labeled differently?
    >> The 945 refers to the overall chipset for the machine, while the 950 is specific graphics chip. It's confusing.

    Can you mention exactly what you did to implement SpeedStep? There are several areas where you can manage power settings, and it would beuseful to the crowd to know which one you are referring to. I am guessing you are referring to the CPU tab of the Toshiba Hardware applet in control panel and switching it to dynamic. My recollection is that it does not actually reference SpeedStep there, though -- so wondered if you found another setting for this. I still had my setting to always high, so it will be interesting to see if the battery life changes. I though the Power Management would override this setting -- but who knows! Too many place to do similar things...

    D.

    Thanks,
    D.
     
  6. BenHur41

    BenHur41 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    How would you rate the screen in terms of viewable angle and brightness? I don't know if you have anything to compare it with but any thoughts will be appreciated. thanks
     
  7. drzeller

    drzeller Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I have a first generation Acer, a Toshiba M200 with the original (non-wide angle) screen, and now a Toshiba M400 with wide-angle screen. The M400 is handsdown the best. The M200 was very difficult to do artwork on, and even reading emagazines was a pain. It was less of a problem with simple text entry, but annoying none-the-less.

    I am not having these problems at all on the M400 with WA screen. The colors stay consistent through a very wide range of rotation. I do notice the brightness/saturation may change a little, but it is immensely more usable. I would not even consider a non-wide angle screen now. I remember others reporting the same thing when they became available on the M200.

    D.
     
  8. alefsin

    alefsin Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi,

    I've got two questions:
    How load is the fan? I want to use the tablet, besides all other things, to read ebooks in bed. So is the fan audible in a very quite room? And does any part of the table (especially on back side) get hot?

    Regards,
    AlefSin
     
  9. drzeller

    drzeller Pen Pal - Newbie

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    There appear to be two camps on teh fan noise issue. Many folks report constant fan operation - but it is pretty quiet (I don't think it would be a problem in bed). There is another group that are reporting that their fan is on high and loud all the time. I am luckily not one of them. I have to guess that there is something funky about their machine or a software setting that is causing it, since others have "normal" behavior.

    If you get a "good" machine, you should have no problems. If this is a big concern, I would wait a little while and see of the Loud Fan Brigade finds a root cause.

    D.
     
  10. alefsin

    alefsin Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks a lot for the answer.
    How about the temprature? Does M400 get hot during not so demanding tasks (like reading ebooks)? I have DELL laptop now it gets too hot after a while even if I keep it practically idle....
     
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