The Toshiba Tecra M5 laptops that I had ordered for my team arrived today. Several of us have been very anxious to get these machines because it seems like we’re doing demos of Office SharePoint Server 2007 and the 2007 Office client programs to customers or partners every other day, and our Tecra M4 machines just weren’t fast enough. We also tried using the Alienware laptops, which had a fast enough CPU and enough RAM, but they were just too bulky and heavy (over 10 pounds!) to carry around, and they weren’t supported by MS IT. So, I was ecstatic to discover that MS IT had officially approved the Tecra M5 as a supported device just a week before I needed to put in my order. I went with a customized model that has an Intel Centrino dual-core CPU and 2GB RAM because the 2007 Office system Beta 1 demo VPCs that we're currently using eats up about 2.5GB of logical memory. The good news is that the RAM can be upgraded to 4GB by swapping out the two 1GB DIMMs for two 2GB DIMMs, but it’s an expensive proposition that I’m hoping will be unnecessary since the HDD on the M5 seems to be fast enough to handle the memory-to-disk swapping fairly well.
Anyway, with MS IT’s preinstalled Windows XP based system image, it only took about 15 minutes to get the laptop up and running as my primary machine. It’s incredible how fast this machine is! And it’s surprisingly light in weight. One of coolest things about switching machines was having my IE Favorites sync’d down from Windows Live Favorites, which I installed as part of Windows Live Toolbar. If you haven’t tried the Live Toolbar and Live Favorites, I highly recommend both.
Good luck with the Toshiba. Until recently, Toshiba was the only laptop I recommended to people. I bought a Tecra A5 in December and have had nothing but trouble. The AC adapter shorted out and the machine locks up frequently. I'm writing a 900 page book, so I don't have time to wipe out the hard drive and do a fresh install. I bought this machine because I needed to be productive right out of the box. Unfortunately, it's been a huge time waster. I think I'll be buying a ThinkPad next time.
I'm considering a Toshiba Tecra M5, how are your new machines holding up?
Anyone else care to comment on the Tecra M5?