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Which tablet PC is best for business?

We put three iPad killers to the test

While Apple's iPad has captured the public imagination, these three PC tablets will help with the heavy lifting.

Toshiba Portege M780

Toshiba's Portege M780 sits comfortably in the middle of the other two tablets when it comes to performance, battery life, size and what it offers to business users.

At 1.6x9.4x12in, the Portege M780 is the thickest of the three convertibles. It's bigger than the EliteBook 2740p (which doesn't have a DVD drive) and smaller than the LifeBook T900 (which has a larger screen).

It weighs 2kg and with its AC adapter travels at 2.5kg, which is lighter than the LifeBook T900.

As a traditional keyboard-centric laptop, the Portege M780 has 19mm keys that are smaller than the keys on the other two models.

It doesn't have a pop-out night light, but it does have a handy volume thumbwheel. Above the screen is a 1.3Mp webcam.

Like the LifeBook, the Portege's screen lid wobbles when it's set up as a laptop, and the bezel around the display flexes too much for my taste.

The 12.1in display matches the EliteBook 2740p's screen in terms of size and resolution; both laptops use the same Intel GMA HD graphics engine.

The screen rotates freely and folds flat in a matter of seconds to transform the unit from a laptop to a tablet.

The Portege M780 doesn't have a latch, so it's easier to open and close than the others, but its screen lid can't be locked in place as securely.

I prefer the positive action of the latch on the EliteBook 2740p, which locks the lid firmly in place.

With the screen 0.07in below the surface of the bezel, I found it a bit more awkward to draw and write on the Portege M780's screen than on the EliteBook 2740p's flush display.

Regardless of whether you're using your finger or the included stylus, the Portege M780's Wacom digitiser reacts quickly and smoothly to input, but the system doesn't support multitouch gestures.

Like the LifeBook T900, the Portege M780 has a row of buttons next to the screen to help when it's in tablet mode. It has switches for getting to the Task Manager screen, bringing up Toshiba's Assist menu, setting it up for an external monitor or projector and rotating the screen.

Like the others, it doesn't automatically re-orient its screen if it's moved from portrait to landscape mode or vice versa.

Toshiba offers another button as well - the oddly named Cross-Function button is a gem that can help make interacting with the Portege M780's touchscreen more intuitive and natural.

It's a pressure-sensitive nub that can control the pointer and activate a selection with a press. It's more useful than Fujitsu's Scroll Sensor or the EliteBook 2740p's jog dial lever because it isn't restricted to just up and down.

And you can lock the buttons so you don't accidentally hit the wrong one while you're working.

NEXT PAGE: More on the Toshiba Portege M780

  1. We put three to the test
  2. Fujitsu LifeBook T900
  3. More on the Fujitsu LifeBook T900
  4. The HP EliteBook 2740p
  5. More on the HP EliteBook 2740p
  6. Toshiba Portege M780
  7. More on the Toshiba Portege M780
  8. Conclusions

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