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Toshiba Satellite Pro T130-15F review

Alan Lu
15 May 2010
Toshiba Satellite Pro T130-15F
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
681
inc VAT

Toshiba's Satellite Pro is a good ultra-portable laptop with excellent battery life, but is let down by a poorly-designed touchpad.

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Specifications

13.1 in 1,366x768 display, 1.7kg, 1.3GHz Intel Pentium SU4100, 4.00GB RAM, 320GB disk, Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

The Toshiba Satellite Pro T130-15F may be an ultra-portable laptop aimed at businesses, but its appearance thankfully differs from the staid grey and black we're used to seeing on business laptops. The chrome trim and black cross-hatched pattern on the lid and wrist rest look stylish. It generally feels sturdy and well-built too.

The Satellite isn't all style and no substance, though. It's lightweight at just 1.7kg and its battery lasted nearly nine and a half hours in our light usage test. This is long enough for a day's worth of work away from a power socket.

The battery is quite large and its added bulk helps prop up the laptop at an angle that can make typing more comfortable. The keyboard is large with only a handful of undersized punctuation keys. The keys don't give quite as much feedback when pressed as we like, but they still feel responsive and there's enough travel to make typing comfortable and accurate.

The touchpad is a big disappointment though. It feels very jittery, even after we adjusted its driver settings. The pivoting button isn't any more comfortable or pleasurable to use, and it feels stiff and unresponsive.

The Satellite's 1.3GHz Core 2 Duo U7300 processor is paired with 4GB of RAM (all of it can be used thanks to the 64-bit version of Windows 7 Professional) it managed a respectable overall score of 40 in our benchmarks. The integrated Intel GMA 4500M HD graphics chip is powerful enough to play HD video, but not for playing the latest games.

Churning through our demanding benchmarks can make the underside of some laptops uncomfortably warm, but this wasn't the case with the Satellite. Although it did become a little warmer than usual, it wasn't unbearably hot.

Surprisingly for a business laptop, the screen has a glossy instead of a matt finish. It is bright with good contrast. Text remains easily legible even with the brightness reduced to conserve battery power. However, white areas have a blueish tint and viewing angles aren't very wide so colour accuracy can shift subtly depending on where you're sitting. The image quality is still good enough for everyday use though.

We'd have preferred a hard disk larger than the included 320GB model, but the hard disk bay is easily accessible so it can always be replaced with a larger model. The Ethernet port is limited to 100Mbit/s, rather the faster Gigabit standard, which is a little disappointing at this price but it shouldn't be a problem for light network use.

There are three USB ports for adding external peripherals, which can also be used to charge a smartphone or MP3 player, even when the Satellite is asleep, once you've enabled this option in Toshiba's USB configuration program. Toshiba has also included its ReelTime program which allows you to view and open recently accessed files using a timeline which could be useful if you have trouble keeping track of your files.

There's plenty to like about the Satellite Pro T130-15F from the comfortable keyboard to the long battery life and its stylish appearance. The touchpad is very frustrating to use, though, which is especially disappointing since it's a problem we've seen intermittently on previous Toshiba laptops in the past. As it stands, we prefer the similarly priced and specified Sony Vaio Y11M1E/S. Its battery lasts even longer and it's a little more comfortable to use.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
ProcessorIntel Pentium SU4100
Processor clock speed1.3GHz
Memory4.00GB
Memory slots2
Memory slots free0
Maximum memory8GB
Size33x325x220
Weight1.7kg
SoundConexant Pebble HD SmartAudio
Pointing devicetouchpad

Display

Viewable size13.1 in
Native resolution1,366x768
Graphics ProcessorIntel GMA 4500M HD
Graphics/video portsHDMI, VGA
Graphics Memory128MB

Storage

Total storage capacity320GB
Optical drive modelnone
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, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Other portsnone

Miscellaneous

Carrying caseNo
Operating systemWindows 7 Professional 64-bit
Operating system restore optionrestore partition
Software includedToshiba ReelTime 1.0.3, Toshiba USB Sleep and Charge 1.2.3
Optional extrasUSB mini port replicator £110, USB port replicator £127, six cell battery £79, nine cell battery £114, spare power supply £66, one year insurance policy £82, one year extended onsite warranty £45, three year onsite extended warranty £152, two year interna

Buying Information

Warrantyone year customer carry-in
Price£681
Detailswww.sony.co.uk
Supplierhttp://www.kikatek.com