Hello and welcome to another AIC video.
So I’ve done a video previously on this laptop. It is a Toshiba Protege 610CT. I’ve enjoyed it, it brings back a lot of memories for me, because it was the first laptop I personally owned. I worked for a software company in the data entry department, and my boss was a big time Tech geek and so he had a ton of lightly used systems that he bought for the fun of it, but only ever used a short time before he got the next new thing. At the time I was struggling with my learning disability, and I learned that typing my notes and reports vs hand writing them was a huge benefit for me in overcoming some of the issues I had. I saw my boss’s pile of lightly used electronics, and in it was a 610ct, I instantly fell in love and I made him an offer. He countered my offer by just gifting it to me, being that it was already many years old at that point (this was mid year 2000) and he didn’t need my money. It was perfect for me to take to school and type up notes and work on reports for school. It also had a PCMCIA 56k modem, which I used for things teenagers in the late 90’s and early 2000’s used the internet for…. Yahoo messenger and napster! I spent HOURS on my laptop talking to my Girlfriend at the time, Rolanda, and downloading Metallica tracks.
This isn’t the 610ct I bought way back then, I sold it years ago when I went to live in Europe for a couple of years, and I bought this a couple of years ago when I came across it on ebay looking for something else.
But I had an issue with this 610, namely the original hard drive was failing. I tried to clone it, but it is so bad, the clone fails. So I tried to do a few things to fix it, and get a working system. I bought another Toshiba model with a floppy drive, but the included floppy drive didn’t work. So I bought another floppy drive and that was flaky, so I was looking for another 610ct, hoping to get a hard drive that was good I could just clone and I came across this:
A 620CT. AND Just look at it LOOK AT IT.
No really, lets take a look. on the outside, the only real difference I see is this – The place on the back where the exhaust fan was on the 610 is now blocked off. But the power button, the ports on the back, color are the same. One thing that remains is the folding feet which props the keyboard up a bit. This is something I’m sad has gone away on newer systems. It is a feature I appreciate for sure. It gives the keyboard a more natural feel for me, and lifts the screen up just a touch, which is so important with such a small screen.
When we open it up we see the next big difference, the screen is obviously bigger, despite the same footprint. This is a 10” screen, vs the 9” screen on the 610. The other big change is that the screen supports a resolution of 800×600 vs the 640×480 of the 610. it does run at just 16 bit colors vs 24, it can run at 24bit if I drop to the lower resolution, but for so many productivity, and media applications, the 800×600 actually works where the lower resolution becomes a problem. One of the things I love about the 610 as well as the 620 is the quality of the screen. On a lot of older laptops the lcd screens are not good, Poor color, poor viewing angles, and often very dim, and have a lot of smearing, but these Protégés were not budget systems, and as such, came with higher quality screens, making them very usable even in 2022.
The keyboard is identical on both. It’s not a great keyboard, but It’s not terrible, it’s small and non standard. It also is rubber dome, so feed back/feel is very…. Mushy. I will say though, it didn’t take me too long to get used to it and be able to use it proficiently. I’ve used way worse keyboards on compact systems. I am typing this whole review on the 620ct, with very little need for corrections due to typing errors.
Same goes for the trackpoint it’s just OK. It’s too slow but it’s also too inaccurate. It doesn’t have much acceleration it seems like either, so when you’re going across even the small screen its too slow, and when you’re trying to do fine detail, its too fast. You can use a serial mouse, and I have one, but yuck, going back to a ball mouse? No thank you. So you’re not going to be headshotting any n00bs on this any time soon… not that you could reasonably play those games to begin with.
What about internals? Well it has a Pentium 100, and 40mb of ram vs the Pentium 90 and 16mb of ram of the 610. Because I was able to clone the drive, I was able to make a copy and put an SSD into this laptop. That doesn’t magically make it a performance machine, but it does make using it far less frustrating and noisy. It really does bump up the performance of the system mainly the loading of the OS and applications. It takes a second or two vs up to a minute sometimes to load an application, and you don’t have the sound of the hard drive whirring and crashing away. I do miss the nostalgia of it, but because this system is pushing 30 years old, the drive simply does not have long for this world, and like the 610, is likely to fail on me. By also creating a backup I can deploy that OS to any SSD drive and plug it in here. So if something were to happen it’s a quick restore. I don’t do a whole lot with these, so they don’t change much from that base OS that came on it.
This laptop is running windows 98, I have since cloned it’s drive to an SSD for the 610ct as well, and the performance between the two is barely noticeable, though being that they are only 10mhz difference in speed, I didn’t expect much of a difference in the applications I am most likely to use, like word.
Overall, the bigger screen with the higher resolution is probably the most critical upgrade of the system and makes the biggest difference while keeping the most important aspects of this system for me; The form factor and the memories of my teenage years.
I know this is a quick video. I just really am excited to use my 620ct, not just to copy the drive for the 610ct, but for times when I need to use a computer without the distraction of the internet. Word actually fits on this screen, without having to scroll back and forth, and I can comfortably type on it for long periods. I’ve been meaning to restart my journaling, but every time I do, I find myself lost elsewhere on the net. A big issue for my productivity.
Anyways if you have any thoughts comments or questions please leave those down below, Thank you for watching and I hope you have an amazing day.