First look: Toshiba Satellite NB100

v class="content">nb100_b_prod_full_oct08_081-295x300Toshiba calls the Satellite NB100 the “Netbook from a brand you can trust,” which I think we can safely take as a dig against less established notebook brands such as Asus and MSI, and it certainly feels quite ruggedly built. 
 
Despite weighing a shade over 1kg, there’s little flex in this tiny machine, and it also looks great. The shiny black lid gives it a real touch of class, and it’s backed up by a good set of specs that make this netbook more than capable when it comes to the everyday tasks it’s designed for. There’s Bluetooth 2.1, 802.11bg networking, a 1.6GHz Atom processor and 1GB of RAM.
 
The Linux version feels particularly fast, but even when I switched to the Windows XP version there was no sign of lag.
 
Surprisingly, perhaps, Toshiba also invests in what it describes as a “rich audio experience”. This was difficult to gauge in the demo room where I was using the NB100, but it’s safe to say you shouldn’t expecting resonding bass or detail. There’s also a built-in webcam, which provided decent results – albeit at a relatively low 640 x 480 resolution.
 
The 8.9in screen puts in direct competition with the likes of Acer’s Aspire One, but thnb100_s_prod_full_oct08_031-300x224e one obvious area where it falls down against this alternative is the keyboard. The keys are tiny and very difficult to hit, and I struggled to finish even one sentence without making some sort of mistake.
 
Toshiba claims a respectable 3hrs 30mins battery life for the NB100, but note that right now it doesn’t have plans to offer an extended battery. This, combined with the disappointing keyboard, makes the NB100 feel like a less-than-wholehearted entrant in the tough netbook market – in stark contrast to Toshiba’s impressive range of new business notebooks.

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