After its first round knockout experience with the JournE Touch, Toshiba is once again trying to return into the competitive ring and this time its banking on a heavy weight contender to turn around its fortunes in the highly competitive tablet PC segment. We did carry a report of the coming of a dual screen tablet from Toshiba, and now, here is the news in its more definitive form. The Libretto W100 is also just in time to celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary of the first modern laptop from Toshiba. The W100 also marks the coming back of the Libretto brand after a hiatus of almost 5 years and is a heavier version than its earlier contenders but has the familiar clam shell design which is what Toshiba expects would attract customers to it. The design also somewhat replicates the Microsoft Courier or the MSI eReader in its looks though everyone for sure would wish the W100 does not replicate the fate of any of these models.
The Libretto W100 comes with two 7 inch LED Backlit WSVGA Multi-Touch display having a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. Powering the Libretto W100 will be the 1.2 GHZ Intel Pentium U5400 processor. It also has 2 GB of DDR3 on board memory along with 62GB solid state hard drive and will run the Windows 7 Home Premium.The entire unit measure a quite compact 202 × 123 × 25.4 mm and sports a black brushed aluminum finish that exudes style from every angle. It has the looks of a cute little laptop though at 1.8 pounds, it won’t be a pain to lug it around.The weight though will go up a bit more for the enhanced battery pack.
The W100 also incorporates built in accelerometer for both the screens that will change screen orientations quickly and automatically. Also, both the screens can work independently of each other, thereby providing the users with the flexibility of using it the way they would like to. The libretto W100 also packs in a range of software that is designed to further enhance the touchscreen abilities of the Windows 7 OS. These includes an eReader app called Blio and Bulletin Board which is a Toshiba program that aims to act as a one-stop portal that will provide access to a calender, the documents and pictures that have been in use along with other frequently-used applications. Apart from these, the W100 will also come installed with the Reel time and PC Health Monitor programs.
Connectivity options with the W100 includes 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR though strangely, there is no mention of either mobile broadband or any 3G connectivity.Then there’s also a MicroSD card slot, USB 2.0 port, along with a small 1.0 megapixel HD Webcam with Toshiba Face Recognition. A 8 cell battery will be providing the juice which is in the rage of around 5 hours (less than 4 hours with a 6 cell battery pack).
The other notable feature of the Libretto W100 is the half a dozen different versions of virtual keyboards that it includes, with all of them being receptive to haptic response. So what you get is a:
standard full QWERTY keyboard with the function, numeric, and punctuation keys;
a simplified QWERTY keyboard that has less number of button though the buttons are bigger in size;
two split-thumb keyboards that can be used with both hands;
an alphanumeric keypad as is present in cell phones;
and a numbers-only option.
However, real time tests prove the W100 still has some issues that can nullify all the good things the W100 promises to be. Its software is still buggy while the entire tablet tend to get quite warm. Then the fan made its presence known by the noise that it made. But the W100 still is an impressive device and scores with its screen display and flexibility. The screen is also quite responsive.
Toshiba has said it will make the W100 available from August though in limited numbers. Also at $1099, it will be more than double the price of the cheapest iPad and significantly expensive than its top of the line version. But then, what you get with the Libretto W100 is a tablet PC that is nearer to the laptop and it has got two screens.