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Toshiba NB305 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 309
inc VAT

Stunning battery life and some clever hardware and software touches make this the best 10.1in netbook that you can currently buy.

It may be hard to get excited by yet another 10.1in netbook, particularly one with largely identical specifications to every other Atom N450-based model. However, for its NB305 Toshiba has put a fair amount of work into making this one stand out from its competition.

For starters it looks fantastic in all three colours (white, black and a sort of burnished gold). In fact we’d go as far to say that it looks more like an expensive ultra-portable rather than a cheap netbook. Its looks aren’t just skin deep, and the NB305 feels incredibly well made. The screen is held on by tough hinges that don’t bend or creak when used, while the netbook case feels incredibly tough. It definitely feels like it has been built to be lugged around in a bag all day.

This feeling is further reinforced by the light 1.3kg weight and incredible battery life. Lasting 10-and-a-half hours in our light-use test, this netbook lasted around two hours longer than any other netbook that we’ve tested. Simply put, you can take this computer with you and use it all day without having to worry about finding a power socket.

For something so light and with incredible battery life, it’s important that it’s comfortable to use. Fortunately, Toshiba hasn’t let the side down here. The 10.1in screen doesn’t have great viewing angles, but its hinges let it open just far enough so that it’s clear to read when the laptop’s sitting on your lap. The display has a glossy coating, although we didn’t find it hard to use under bright office lighting.

Colour reproduction was excellent and the warm-tone helps improve flesh tones in images. We were very happy with the contrast and our test photos lost none of their detail. As with other netbooks the resolution of 1,024×600 is just about enough for single-document use and web browsing.

Toshiba USB Charging

The keyboard has separate ‘chiclet’ keys. They look great when you open the laptop and are surprisingly comfortable to type on. They’re just about the right size and we found touch-typing no problem. We have only two minor complaints: the Tab key is very small and the backslash key is in the wrong place.

The large touchpad is a pleasure to use. It’s very responsive, while its two individual buttons are large, conveniently placed and are very responsive. Multi-touch gestures can be used on it, using Windows 7’s native support to zoom into documents and scroll through documents. If you’re doing a lot of typing you can disable the touchpad, so that you don’t accidentally lean on it and move the cursor.

Otther shortcut keys let you adjust screen brightness and volume and cycle through the wireless options. The latter lets you turn on and off Bluetooth (brilliant for tethering to a phone for 3G internet access) and 802.11n wireless.

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Basic Specifications

Rating*****
ProcessorIntel Atom N450
Processor clock speed1.66GHz
Memory1.00GB
Memory slots1
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory2GB
Size36x266x192mm
Weight1.3kg
SoundRealtec High Definition Audio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size10.1 in
Native resolution1024×600
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA 3150
Graphics/video portsVGA
Graphics Memory64MB

Storage

Total storage capacity250GB
Optical drive modelN/A
Optical drive typeN/A

Ports and Expansion

USB ports3
Bluetoothyes
Wired network ports1x 10/100
Wireless networking support802.11n
PC Card slotsnone
ModemNo
Supported memory cardsSDHC
Other portsnone

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Starter 32-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includednone
Optional extrasnone

Buying Information

Warrantyone year carry-in
Price£309
Detailswww.toshiba-europe.com
Supplierhttp://www.laptopshop.co.uk

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