Give me a product, and I can probably find something dissatisfying about it.
Although there are a couple of drawbacks to the Libretto 50CT from Toshiba, I can't avoid praising this wonder of a mini- notebook computer. Positioned for executives who need a communications device that's also capable of running off-the-shelf applications, this technological marvel weighs little more than 3kg yet packs the power of a full-blown notebook computer.
The Libretto sports a 75MHz Pentium processor, an 810Mb hard drive, and 16Mb of RAM. Also part of the standard configuration is a 6.1in active matrix, thin-film-transistor colour screen with 640 x 480 resolution; 1Mb of video RAM; an AccuPoint pointing device; a PC Card slot; an IRDA infrared port; and an extended port for connecting a full-size keyboard, monitor, and mouse. The Libretto also includes an external floppy drive that connects using a PC Card adapter.
Though well-designed, the keyboard proved too small to comfortably accommodate touch typing, being better suited to my famous turbo hunt-and-peck approach. The screen is very attractive but small, reinforcing the fact that Toshiba designed Libretto to complement rather than replace a desktop or notebook PC.
Several facets of the unit annoyed me. I disliked the AccuPoint pointer, because the positions in which I had to twist my fingers to work the pointer and click the mouse buttons were very uncomfortable.
It would make sense for the buttons to be lined up to match the way the index and middle finger naturally lie on the back of the cover when holding the unit.
My second complaint is of a more personal nature, and it is with regard to the unit's cluttered look. To the left side of the screen are enough vendor stickers to compete with a race car. I found this to be a very distracting feature.
These points aside, executives desiring a handy, lightweight, but still powerful way to keep in touch with the office and run mainstream applications should give Libretto 50CT a try.
Libretto sets the standard for mini-notebooks by providing the power of a mid-range desktop PC in a physical format that's the size of a paper-based organiser. It helps executives communicate via e-mail and faxing and it can run standard Windows 95 applications.
Pros: Beautiful screen; full set of standardfeatures; compact, light designCons: Keyboard too small for touch typing;mouse buttons awkwardly positioned;expensivePrice: $3300 (ex-tax) RRPPlatforms: Windows 95ToshibaTel (02) 9887 6000Fax (02) 9887 3201www.toshiba.com/tais/csd/products/portable/libretto/index.htm