Toshiba – Portégé G910 review

high-end clamshell PDA with fingerprint scanner
Photo of Toshiba – Portégé G910
£399.99 (SIM-free)

Windows Mobile devices with a clamshell format are few and far between, and Toshiba has recently added to their number with the Portégé G910.

On the outside this looks nothing like a Windows Mobile device. There is no number pad and just a tiny front screen, Call and End buttons and a D-pad to indicate it is a technology minded device at all.

The front screen is only big enough to provide a little information. The name of a caller, a contacts listing that it takes ages to scroll through, missed calls, incoming SMS messages, profile setting, but nothing like the expansive stuff you get when you open the device up and reveal its 3-inch main screen.

This display gives you the standard Windows Mobile interface and, on its left and right edges, a series of eight touch icons that variously give you quick access to Contacts, Messaging, Internet Explorer, Calendar, Tasks, the Windows Mobile Today screen, File Explorer and Windows Media Player.

The 480 x 800 pixel resolution of the main screen means it is clear and sharp, and the 800 pixels of width really come in handy when you are viewing Web sites, as many render at full width.

The QWERTY keyboard is the real reason for making a clamshell device, and it is very well implemented here. Toshiba has made room for an inverted T of cursor control keys and the QWERTY keys themselves are large. Inevitable compromises have had to be made to deal with the minimal space available, and in this case these include an embedded rather than separate number row and a ‘£’ sign that is only accessible if you call up an on-screen symbols bank.

This is a well specified device with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS among its features. A 2-megapixel camera sits on the back, there is HSDPA support and a secondary camera for video calling. This is next to the screen inside the clamshell, so you can’t make video calls with the device closed.

You can photograph text with the main camera and have it turned into editable text by some built-in software: this did not work quite as well as we’d have liked, but it could be helpful in some situations.

Toshiba includes the Opera Web browser. For us this is far superior to Microsoft’s own offering and helps you take advantage of the wide screen. The Picsel viewer is also here, so you can read documents such as e-mail attachments in a range of formats.

And there is a fingerprint sensor. This sits along one of the long edges of the casing and you can use it for device security as well as assigning finger scans to applications for quick launch – one fingerprint per application.

Company: Toshiba

Contact: 0161 868 0868


Verdict
Toshiba is definitely targeting the business community with the Portégé G910, and it might appeal to anyone looking for a different styling and a capable device. At 183g in weight, though, you'll need big pockets to carry it around.