Toshiba T4600C

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Toshiba (Satellite) T4600C Overview


  • Intel Mobile 486SL DX 33MHz CPU
  • 4 MB EDO RAM (standard) up to 20 MB Max (16MB on Toshiba PCMCIA RAM module)
  • 9.5-inch TFT color LCD (640x480 resolution, 60:1 contrast ratio, 256 colours palette)
  • Western Digital WD90C26A GPU (512kB VRAM, 256 colour capable)
  • No sound card
  • 120, 200, 320 MB HDD
  • 3.5 inch FDD (unreliable)


  • Mono speaker (PC beeper only)
  • 2xPCMCIA Slots
  • VGA Output
  • NimH rechargeable battery
  • Single PS/2, Serial, Parallel ports
  • Built-in 110-240V power supply
  • Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS 6 support

Toshiba T4600C 9.5"

Best retro purpose

Early DOS gaming and Windows 3.1. Due to the very slow CPU and graphics support anything that is mildly taxing, such as Windows 95, is way too much for such a machine. The built-in screen does not offer great room with just 640x480 resolution, although the contrast is quite good for a machine of its time (1994).

Can run Wolfenstein 3D well, DOOM is borderline playable. Best suited for slow-paced games (turn-based) such as Heroes 1&2 if you can find or have a good mouse.


No benchmarks were done as the system is not part of the collection and was personally experienced as a non-functioning machine.

Durability and Repair-ability

The durability of this laptop is below average. While the chassis plastic is quite fine, the internal circuitry is quite lacking. The use of poor quality capacitors and electronics design make the infamous P30 error to be quite common. Unfortunately, when you try to replace the capacitor there is very little space to install a new one and installing it may not fix the issue as the system board may be damaged.

Disassembly is very difficult as there are many screws, layered boards and a complex way to link components. This is typical of many compact Toshiba laptops. Unfortunately, the poor board design and many shortcomings such as the harddrive make this model quite avoidable. Keep in mind that compatible 486-era harddrives are very difficult to find in good condition and they are quite small. Modern IDE harddrives and flash storage solutions such as compact flash are entirely incompatible.

On the other side, replacing an old or damaged LCD fluorescent lamp is quite simple as it requires only disassembly of the display's case and removal of some screws and a top plate.

Greatest features & flaws

Features Flaws
Good early MS-DOS gaming platform Poor Windows 3.1 video performance, poor RAM expansion
VGA output port No LCD brightness control, no soundcard support
Quite good keyboard and case durability Very poor, difficult disassembly and service
Pleasant design Heavy laptop, poor reliability power supply and floppy drive


A mostly midrange, quite slim laptop, released in 1994, with a quite good LCD screen but an outdated chassis and no integrated pointing device. The display has only two brightness levels, standard and energy saving. Response time is acceptable.

It has a low performance CPU, with an average video controller for a 486. The CPU does not release too much heat so active cooling is not necessary. The keyboard has reasonable tactile feedback but it is far from being the best, with quite a long key travel and a mushy feel. The Ballpoint cursor system (if you have the rare side mouse attachment available) should be alright. The laptop's plastic case is quite durable but the internal design is horrendously complex, requiring lots of disassembly to access even the harddrive.

The floppy drive was a very poor choice, since the belt driven disk rotation fails after many years, compatible belts being harder to find unreliable. The removable disk bay is very good for a laptop of its generation and the rechargeable battery can be easily removed or replaced. There were many Toshiba laptops that used the same battery and working with a removed battery does not affect stability or aesthetics. There are two more internal rechargeable NimH batteries inside the laptop that may leak and are somewhat harder to replace (not the typical, compact CR2032 3V button cell). They are used for Bios settings and memory suspension features.

The integrated speaker is quite good, although capable of only the standard PC beeper output. No effort was made for integrating a sound card, not entirely unsurprising for a laptop released in 1994, but quite so for a Japanese laptop.

The standard harddrives supplied by Toshiba have a known tendency to have their heads stick to the parking position limiter when old, making the drive fail to start. Careful internal disassembly is required to unstick the heads from the parking position. Use care and touch only the drive arm near the center pin to slowly unstick it. Overall, the hard-drive offers medium performance while having quite a pleasant sound in operation.

Software support is great in DOS and Windows 3.1. The video controller has insufficient acceleration and low screen scrolling performance and the CPU is quite slow meaning that even running in 640x480 is quite taxing for the machine. The CPU is by far the slowest component.