The Toshiba M700?!

Having eliminated the Toshiba Portege R400 from the running early on (fabulous looking but too underpowered and way too expensive), I wasn't expecting much more from the Toshiba camp in the tablet PC space. Boy was I wrong!

Toshiba has just launched the Portege M700 which, when you do a side-by-side comparison, slightly edges out the Fujitsu Lifebook T4220 that I had decided to buy in spite of its hard drive speed limitations. Yes, not only can you upgrade the Toshiba's hard drive to a 120GB 7,200RPM drive, it has a more powerful processor (2.6Ghz), a higher screen resolution (WXGA at 1280x800), Turbo Memory, and a built-in 1.3Megapixel camera. The best part? It costs only a few hundred dollars more than the Fujitsu does.

That said, the Fujitsu had a couple of things going for it as well, such as the modular bay that could house an extended battery, a combo optical drive, or a weight saver. Fujitsu also seems to have best customer service, production quality, and delivery times among the other tablet PC manufacturers. I don't know where Toshiba stands in either of these two areas (though the Portege is in its 9th generation so I'm sure quality, etc. will be great). I guess we'll have to wait for to do a hardware InkShow for us to find out.

Oh, one more thing. Much like the wireless dock that is unique to Toshiba, the company is introducing yet another new and unique feature with the M700: "Sleep and Charge" USB ports. These are ports that let you charge your attached mp3 players or mobile phones even when your laptop is off!

Exciting times, eh? Especially with the Dell being launched today as well. More on both of these as the reviews come in.