15.4 in 1,440×900 display, 2.9kg, 2.1GHz AMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-80, 4.00GB RAM, 250GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium
The Satellite A300D-15B has a smart pinstripe pattern on the lid and keyboard panel, and generally feels solidly made.
The keyboard is particularly impressive: the keys have a light action with precise feedback, and are comfortable to type with. The glossy finish might not appeal to everyone, but the overall impression is of precision engineering. Only Dell’s 1525 and Samsung’s Q310 have keyboards that touch-typists will find as pleasant to use.
Toshiba is the only manufacturer here to opt for an AMD processor, and even with a generous 4GB of RAM the A300D came near the bottom of our performance table. However, the ATI Mobility Radeon 3650 chip with 512MB of dedicated graphics memory helped it to second place overall in our Call of Duty 4 benchmark, with a score of 10.5fps.
Like Dell’s 1525, the A300D has a 15.4in screen with a resolution of 1,440×900, which is normally only found on larger screens. This means you’ll have slightly more space on your desktop, and the higher density of pixels makes image quality seem sharper.
Above the keyboard, you’ll find a pair of Harman/Kardon speakers, which look and sound great. They are spaced wide apart, so you’ll get good stereo separation and they’re loud enough to fill a decent-size room. Unfortunately, battery life is just over an hour and a half, so you won’t be able to use this laptop far from the mains outlet.
The Satellite A300D has a great screen and superb sound and a great keyboard, too. However, compared with others here, it looks overpriced. Asus’s X71SLis cheaper and has a Blu-ray drive, while Samsung’s smaller, cheaper Q310 is a better choice for those who need power and portability. If you must have a 15.4in screen, Dell’s 1525 is much better value at £469.
|Processor||AMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-80|
|Processor clock speed||2.1GHz|
|Memory slots free||0|
|Sound||Conexant HD SmartAudio 221|
|Power consumption standby||1W|
|Power consumption idle||35W|
|Power consumption active||75W|
|Viewable size||15.4 in|
|Graphics Processor||ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650|
|Graphics/video ports||VGA, S-video, HDMI|
|Total storage capacity||250GB|
|Optical drive model||Pioneer DVRTD08A|
|Optical drive type||DVD+/-RW +/-DL|
Ports and Expansion
|Total Firewire ports||1|
|Wired network ports||1x 10/100|
|Wireless networking support||802.11n|
|PC Card slots||1x ExpressCard/54|
|Supported memory cards||SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD|
|Other ports||eSATA (shared with USB socket), minijack shared optical S/PDIF and audio output, minijack microphone input|
|Operating system||Windows Vista Home Premium|
|Operating system restore option||restore partition|
|Software included||Microsoft Works|
|Warranty||one year collect and return|