MWC 2008: Various brands overview
Hands-on the Toshiba Portege series
The Toshiba stand at the Mobile World Congress was the next stop in our window-shopping tour. A few new devices were on display and they looked promising, at least on paper. So, we lingered at the Toshiba booth to give you a basic idea of what the devices look like.
Toshiba Portege G910/G920
The Toshiba G910/G920 Portege is the most feature-loaded device showcased at the booth. It sports a full QWERTY keyboard and a whole bunch of other high-end features. You've got Wi-Fi, GPS, a powerful processor and a whole lot of RAM. Only the camera (2 megapixel unit) can be a little disappointing.
In fact, the camera is close to useless, since you need to open the device to use the internal screen as a viewfinder. In that scenario however, the camera lens ends up right under your fingers.
Toshiba G910 Portege is quite a heavy bloke and, therefore, not the easiest to work with. However, it does make up for that with a large display of WVGA resolution that we found splendid for web browsing for example. The QWERTY keyboard is also a joy to use, with large enough keys to make typing quite pleasant.
The device is also quick enough and that makes navigation through the menus a much better experience.
Toshiba Portege G810
Toshiba G810 Portege is a touchscreen device with touch-sensitive keys below the display. It has enough processing power and features, but navigation could've been a lot better.
We found working with the touch-sensitive keys quite a challenge, as they weren't as responsive as we would've liked. Still, this is by far not the final version of the phone, so it is likely to improve before hitting the shelves.
Toshiba Portege G710
Next comes the Toshiba G710 Portege, which is again a Windows Mobile-powered device. This time however the standard edition is used.
Less powerful than the G910, the Toshiba G710 Portege wasn't as pleasing to work with. It felt rather bulky in the hand too, so it doesn't win many points on size either.
Toshiba Portege G450
The Toshiba Portege G450 is a 4-in-1 portable device. It's a portable HSDPA USB modem, a diminutive mobile phone, a USB data storage device and an MP3 player - all that weighing 57 g.
The Toshiba G450 connects through a USB cable to your computer providing you with a broadband connection. You can even make calls on the device while you are surfing the Web through your carrier's GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA wireless network.
It's got an OLED display with a resolution of 96 x 39 pixels, which couldn't get us rolling. As a mobile phone, the Toshiba Portege G450 doesn't have any fancy features too - the only additional feature beside the music player is the Alarm clock.
Getting around the interface is easy once you get used to the controls. You use the two side rocker keys for that purpose. The right rocker allows you to select items and then go one level up in the menu. The left rocker is used for scrolling through the menu lists. Entering text or numbers proved harder due to the unusual keypad layout.
With 160MB of built-in storage chances are you won't probably be throwing away your music player just yet.
The good news is that Toshiba are committed to producing another device in this form factor in Q2 2008 but this time with a built-in microSD slot for expanding the onboard memory.