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Toshiba Portege G910 review: Toshiba Portege G910

The Toshiba Portege G910 won't look out of place at the local golf club. Beneath this Windows Mobile smart phone's faux leather and grey finish lies a wealth of features, including GPS, HSDPA and a handy fingerprint reader. Despite its large size, it's a good option for the discerning business user

Brett James

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3 min read

The first thing you'll notice about the Toshiba Portege G910 is its design: it bears a striking resemblance to a cigarette lighter case and its faux leather finish will not look out of place at the local golf club. Hidden beneath the exterior lies a wealth of features, but does its performance score a hole in one?

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7.5

Toshiba Portege G910

The Good

Design; screen; Qwerty keyboard; connectivity/features.

The Bad

Screen; design; camera; performance; volume; battery.

The Bottom Line

The Toshiba Portege G910 clamshell design is relatively large but still has some functionality in a closed state due to its front control system. For consumers, it's maybe too fiddly in operation and not the quickest performer. On the flip side, business users should appreciate the powerful features, widescreen display and large Qwerty keyboard, which can be used to a certain degree on a flat surface for two-handed typing

It's currently available SIM-free for around £435.

Strengths
Due to its clamshell design, the G910 is bulky. Still, considering the device weighs only 183g, sports a large Qwerty keyboard and widescreen display, it could be much worse.

The G910 is also adorned with strips of faux leather to complement its grey finish, which also helps protect and steady the device when placed on a desk. When in a closed state, the G910 has a small directional pad, phone buttons and an LCD screen at the front for displaying the time and controlling certain Windows applications.

Opening up the device displays a fairly large 76mm (3-inch) widescreen display -- which can be angled backwards -- and this is joined by several shortcut touch-sensitive buttons to the side for opening up applications. Beneath the screen lies a large Qwerty keyboard -- ideal for business users and offering good feedback. We could almost use the device two-handed when placed on a desk, though it was still a touch slippery.

From a features/connectivity point of view, all the right boxes have been ticked. The G910 packs in 128MB RAM (48MB free), 256MB ROM (127MB free), plus dual Wi-Fi with VoIP support, HSDPA, Bluetooth, a biometric fingerprint reader and an internal GPS receiver. For the latter, we downloaded Google Earth and found that the receiver could lock on to our position outdoors in approximately one and a half minutes from a cold start. There's a GPRS data utility included to help speed this up.

Apart from the standard Windows applications, you'll find a Picsel viewer for PDF documents, an additional Opera Web browser, image-text software for reading back text from photos, business cards or newspapers, and a fingerprint reader utility which can be used to assign fingerprints to launch applications.

Weaknesses
Its 800x480-pixel display looks flush to the casing but is set back slightly, which made stylus inputs less responsive. The resolution is not ideally suited to all third-party programs, either. We also needed to enlarge the text size for easier viewing and the shortcuts to the side of the screen were not the easiest to press.

Its clamshell design is less practical when used for in-car navigation, taking images or making calls via the fiddly front control system.

Camera quality was not brilliant -- even with the LED photo light -- and to take snaps you need to open the device, tap an on-screen icon or use a separate button to autofocus, which is slow.

In our synthetic benchmark tests, the G910 did not produce outstanding results. General Windows operation was quick enough, but we noticed it took over 10 seconds to create a new Word document and video playback was not smooth. Its internal speaker volume was low, even on maximum.

Additionally, the G910 1320mAh battery is still a touch on the weedy side for the features on offer.

Conclusion
The Toshiba Portege G910 won't appeal to all consumers as it's still relatively a large device. Taking images or making calls was awkward -- via its front control system -- and internal speaker volume was low. Although it's plagued by some performance issues that need addressing, the powerful features, including a widescreen display and large Qwerty keyboard will be appealing enough as a business platform.

Edited by Shannon Doubleday

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