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Toshiba’s Portégé 3505.

Most tablet PCs are lauded for their light weight and small size. But the Toshiba Portégé 3505 should be admired despite its heft (4.1 pounds) and bigger overall size. Because of this solidity, it tends to feel more like a tricked-out laptop, giving the impression of being the missing link between regular and pen computing.

With a $2,500 price, it leads the tablet pack in numerous ways, from its CompactFlash and Secure digital slots, to its USB 2.0 ports, to its memory expandability up to 1GB. The screen dwarfs competitors at 12.1 inches, and it converts from laptop to tablet in a single smooth swivel. Good handwriting recognition rounds out its star qualities.

In fact, the amount of features that Toshiba has stuffed into the Portégé, perhaps to justify that higher price, throw it far ahead in the pack of competitors. However, nothing’s perfect, and the tablet does suffer from one major flaw that I noticed pretty quickly after having it on my lap for a half hour: It heats up like a beach at Spring Break.

Although the discomfort of having the equivalent of a hotplate on the knees can be mitigated by putting the tablet on a desk, or slipping a barrier between yourself and blazing metal, it’s still disappointing when given the tablet’s overall near-perfection. But if you can forgive the chance of burns, and have the extra money just lying idle in your computer budget, the Portégé is certainly a tablet worth the title of heavyweight.

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