Toshiba Portege G900 review: PC in your pocket

GSMArena team, 14 November 2007.
Pages: 12345

Stable construction, ungainly looks

The Toshiba Portege G900 measures 119 x 61 x 21.5 mm and weighs a good 198 g. Just to give you a size perspective, the highly popular back in its day Qtek 9100 (and its derivatives i-mate K-JAM, O2 XDA mini S, T-Mobile MDA Vario) measures 109 x 58 x 23 mm. That makes the G900 almost identical in size, save for the extra centimeter of height. Of course it also weighs 30 g more. Yet, compared to feature phones, the size and weight are monstrous.

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Toshiba Portege G900 views

Above the display you will find a status LED, a programmable key, which is initially set to open the web browser, and the secondary video-call camera. The earpiece is there, too. The D-pad at the bottom of the front panel includes the Start menu key, the OK key, the Send and End keys and the two softkeys. There are also two programmable keys that are originally set to open Contacts and Messaging. The round navigation key is centrally located on the D-pad. All the keys are nice and tactile, offering firm feedback when pressed.

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Above the display there is only one key the bottom offers a whole lot more: 8 buttons on the D-pad, not counting the navigation key

The left side of the device hosts the 2.5 mm audio jack and the miniSD memory card slot.

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The left side holds the memory card slot and the 2.5 mm audio jack

The On/Off key at the top of the G900 is also used for entering and exiting standby mode. Switching to and from standby mode is actually a full-time job for PocketPC owners. Unfortunately, user feedback claims one of the most serious bugs of G900 is the occasional lockups in standby mode. The only way to get the device back in operation is by restarting it. We didn't experience such a fault during our test, but if you do, you would have to open the battery cover to restart it, because there is no external restart switch (what were they thinking?).

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The bottom hosts the miniUSB port only, while the top makes room for the On/Off key and the back panel release key

The stylus is hidden in the bottom right corner of the device.

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The telescopic stylus is tucked in the bottom right corner

In terms of looks, the Toshiba Portege G900 is nowhere near an eye-catcher. It's also anything else but pocketable. But having that ample display really makes a difference.

The right-hand side of the Toshiba G900 hosts the camera shutter key and the volume rocker. A certain downside we found with the camera key is that it seems to take forever to start the camera - you have to hold it down for several seconds.

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The right side of the G900 is home of the camera shutter key and the volume rocker

In terms of looks, the Toshiba Portege G900 is nowhere near an eye-catcher. The back panel looks really cheap. Removing it however is easy as pie. Under the "hood" the Toshiba G900 hides a 1320 mAh Li-Ion battery that is supposed to power the handset for up to 320 hours in stand-by mode and up to 380 minutes of talking. These are rather wishful figures really. The large screen (Wi-Fi takes its toll, too) must be draining the battery darn fast. Our test unit had to be recharged every day or so.

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The back panel looks really cheap the two megapixel camera and the LED flash are positioned in a dedicated circle which also accommodates the loudspeaker

We did complain already with the Toshiba G900 lacking an external reset switch. Now, every PocketPC out there has one nestled into a pinhole that allows pressing it with the stylus only. For some unknown reason, with the G900 you have to remove the battery cover in order to reset the device (again, you need the stylus).

The Toshiba G900 is anything else but pocketable. It's a really large device, but having that ample display really makes a difference.

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G900 is rather large for single-handed operation

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