Toshiba Libretto W100 review: First look

We take a look at Toshiba's dual screen Libretto W100 to see what all the fuss is about.

If you think of it as a Filofax, the slightly chunky case seems more reasonable and while you will need a large pocket to fit it in (we fitted it in both the jacket pocket of a man's suit and the back pocket on a pair of jeans), at only 819g it isn't as heavy as you'd expect.

The twin screens give you a lot of options, from a standard netbook to a UMPC style with a split keyboard, to a large divided screen to the side-by-side book mode.

Toshiba's LifeSpace software works very well as a way of launching apps and clipping information and the touch support in Windows 7 means you can scroll, swipe, pinch, zoom and rotate your way through windows. The book mode ought to be more interesting it's useful for putting documents and spreadsheets side by side, but until Toshiba persuades someone to write an ebook reader that spreads pages neatly across both screens the W100 won't come into its own.

And it's disappointing that there's no pen support at all, so you can't scribble a note into OneNote, make a sketch or highlight passages in a book unless your fingers are exceptionally nimble.

Verdict

The Libretto isn’t a completely new form factor for Toshiba. Indeed, the company has had sub-notebook Libretto models for many years, although they haven't always been on sale outside Japan. The bet is that the interest in tablets and the excellent touch support in Windows 7 will make this unusual and flexible design more mainstream. All your favourite Windows apps will run well on the W100. What it really needs are apps that show off its unique strengths.

• Intel Pentium U5400 • RAM: 2 GB DDR3 • 62 GB SSD • Two 17.8cm (7") multi-touch displays with LED backlight, 1,024 x 600 pixels • WLAN (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, Mobile Broadband (optional) • 1x USB 2.0 • MicroSD-Card Reader • Virtual software keyboard • Built-in accelerometer to automatically switch from book mode to laptop mode • 1 megapixel webcam • Toshiba LifeSpace for dual screen user interface • Toshiba Media Controller • Size: 202mm x 123mm x 30.7mm • weight: 819g • battery life: 3-4 hours • Windows 7 Home Premium • Toshiba Eco Utility • Energy Star 5.0 qualified

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