Toshiba Libretto 100CT Mini-Notebook Review

by Reads (15,351)
Editor's Rating

Ratings Breakdown (1-10)

    • Design
    • 8
    • Features
    • 6
    • Performance
    • 6
    • Utility
    • 4
    • Total Score:
    • 6.00
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Overview

  • Pros

    • Small and compact
    • Good build quality
    • Reasonable battery life
    • Good performance
  • Cons

    • Expensive
    • Looks boring

Quick Take

The Libretto 100CT delivers a powerhouse of mobile technology including a 7.1-inch LCD, Intel Pentium microprocessor with MMX technology, and more!

The new Toshiba Libretto 100CT features the latest in mobile technology including a 7.1-inch LCD, Intel Pentium microprocessor with MMX technology, a 2GB hard drive and 32MB of RAM. In short, $2,499 buys one of the hottest devices available for mobile productivity.

Front_1920Build and Design

The Libretto 100CT’s exterior symbolizes a return to the classic, all-gray color scheme prevalent on computers from two decades ago. The squared-off design gives the 100CT its all-business look and feel. The chassis is both thin at 1.4 inches tall and light at just 2.35 pounds which is remarkable given the amount of technology and features packed inside. Consider that the 100CT is but a fraction of the size and weight of the mobile phones from the 1980s.

Top_DS_1920The plastic used in this notebook is of high quality and dyed all the way through, unlike the surface-coated plastics used on imaginatively-colored ‘modern’ notebooks. The build quality is strong; the chassis exhibits no flex and the lid resists twisting as well. The display hinge is sturdy and should withstand at least sixteen years of usage.

Input and Output Ports

In order to maintain its compactness, Toshiba divorced some ports to an included port expander as seen in the photos. The port expander can be connected or disconnected from the 100CT in less than 30 seconds. It adds essential ports such as parallel and serial. The RGB connector supports up to a 1024×768 resolution. All picture descriptions are left to right.

Left_DS_1920
Left: no ports for the cleanest possible look

Right_DS_1920
Right: infrared port; reset button, 2x PC Card slot w/ release levers

Back_DS_1920
Back (with port expander installed): PS/2 mouse/keyboard port, 15-pin RGB connector, power jack, 9-pin serial connector, 25-pin parallel connector

Screen and Speakers

Display_1920The 7.1-inch display is full color and made up of just fewer than one million transistors. It has an anti-glare surface and 800×480 pixels resolution. This display is sidelit, not backlit, to keep the thickness down to a minimum. The picture quality is satisfactory – it’s full 24-bit color and has ample contrast. One neat security feature of this display is its limited viewing angles; the picture washes out when viewed from extreme angles; this keeps bystanders and others within viewing range of the screen from seeing its contents. This came in handy when I pulled the 100CT out of my bag at a coffee shop and had people looking over every inch of it, staring in wonderment as if it had come out of a time machine.

The 100CT’s single speaker is located on the bottom right of the display; it makes all kinds of beeps sound great and even more complex ones such as the Windows 95 logon chime.

Keyboard_1920Keyboard and Touchpad

The enhanced 80-key keyboard includes all of the keys available on a standard 101-key IBM keyboard. Despite its fingernail-sized keys (which are absolutely impossible to touch-type on), the 100CT still provides a more tactile experience than the virtual keyboards available on touchscreen devices. The keys are quiet and there isn’t any flex. I made so many mistakes trying to type this review on the 100CT’s keyboard that I gave up and plugged in my IBM Model M to the PS/2 port (thank heavens for the port expander).

Keyboard_Hands_1920The 100CT incorporates Toshiba’s AccuPoint system; to use, place your right thumb on the round circle to the right of the display (the AccuPoint) and use your index and middle fingers to control the right- and left-click buttons, respectively, located directly behind. Roll your thumb in any direction to move the pointer; apply more pressure to make the pointer move faster. It’s challenging to move the pointer exactly where you want it to go without overshooting the mark. Complicating matters, the AccuPoint buttons have a vague feel; trying to drag and drop is impossible (that’s a fact). This ultra-modern replacement for the mouse is surprisingly difficult to use and would probably take someone sixteen years to master.


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