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Toshiba Portege R400: Are Tablet PC’s still attractive?

Toshiba R400

I never really understood the desire behind buying a tablet PC. The niche for these types of laptops is very small – thanks to the whopping price tag. The words “tablet PC” and “cheap” definitely don’t go together. It is usually marketed to doctors and CEO’s for more “effective note taking” but between P160,000 and a P20.00 spiral notebook from National Bookstore, it seems pretty obvious how many vacation trips I can save up for with buying a regular notebook. I was lent an R400 unit for an article (see next month’s issue of MANUAL Magazine for the review) and I can see why it’s attractive to a certain demographic.

Tablet PC R400 Toshiba

I just don’t feel that it’s there yet. This whole tablet PC technology. The concept of writing with a digital pen onto a surface should at the very least be just as easy as writing on regular paper – and more. The unit comes with a P7,000.00 pen – the only way to write onto the screen. You can even rotate the pen and use the back as an eraser.

R400 Toshiba

But are we really there yet? So many technologies like motion detection (the Wii) and gesture control (iPhone, iPod touch, MacBook Air) have been developed since the tablet. Again, don’t get me wrong – by itself the R400 is pretty impressive. Check out the next issue of MANUAL, available in all major news stands.

By Jayvee Fernandez

Jayvee Fernandez is a tech enthusiast and sitting Techbology Editor for The Philippine STAR.

He is also an EAN certified SCUBA Diver and underwater photographer based in Metro Manila, Philippines. His photos and videos have appeared in various international and local publications including Random House Germany, Discovery Channel Canada, and CNN.

5 replies on “Toshiba Portege R400: Are Tablet PC’s still attractive?”

Q: how long should a man’s legs be?
A: Long enough to reach the ground


I guess if it suits the intended market then well and good 🙂

huh? the R400 was released a year ago and the latest tablet pc by toshiba is the M700. i wonder why the delay in the retail market.

you’re right, it’s for a niche market. tablet pcs are not for everybody’s needs. who likes scribbling notes on a tablet pc? who needs the touchscreen feature? and who would spend more than Php 100,000.00 for such a gadget?

with the proper use of tablet pcs, then you can forget the idea of writing on a notebook after which you’ll have to transfer all those notes in a desktop or a laptop pc. then again, end of day price is still the issue. alternatives are UMPCs that have the ability to ink, smaller in size, lighter in weight, and cheaper than their expensive counterparts.

>>You can even rotate the pen and use the back as an eraser.

This to me is the most ridiculous design conceit ever. No one uses this. I’ve used a tablet for years and neither me nor my friend ever turn the pen around to erase something. Why? Because it’s not efficient! it’s easier to press E on the keyboard and erase with the pen, or if in a word document, just select the offending words and delete.

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