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Toshiba Satellite A300D-15B review

Barry de la Rosa
23 Feb 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
635
inc VAT

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Specifications

15.4 in 1,440x900 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 1,440x900, 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.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
ProcessorAMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-80
Processor clock speed2.1GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory4GB
Size39x363x267mm
Weight2.9kg
SoundConexant HD SmartAudio 221
Pointing devicetouchpad
Power consumption standby1W
Power consumption idle35W
Power consumption active75W

Display

Viewable size15.4 in
Native resolution1,440x900
Graphics ProcessorATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650
Graphics/video portsVGA, S-video, HDMI
Graphics Memory512MB

Storage

Total storage capacity250GB
Optical drive modelPioneer DVRTD08A
Optical drive typeDVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports4
Total Firewire ports1
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slots1x ExpressCard/54
ModemYes
Supported memory cardsSD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Other portseSATA (shared with USB socket), minijack shared optical S/PDIF and audio output, minijack microphone input

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseYes
Operating systemWindows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedMicrosoft Works
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year collect and return
Price£635
Detailswww.toshiba.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.toshiba.co.uk

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