Toshiba Satellite T110 and Satellite T130 review: first look

toshsatellite110and130trimmed-thumb.jpg Last night we got our first glimpse of the Toshiba Satellite T110 and Toshiba Satellite T130 for a hands-on, first-look review of the two laptops – both based on Intel’s CULV (Consumer Ultra Low Voltage) processors.

Toshiba claims the new chips are a step above the Atom found in most netbooks, “They offer more performance and features, while allowing better design and battery life,” said Tony Alderson, Toshiba’s consumer product manager, at the central London event where the laptops were launched.

“To misquote Nigel Tufnel from This is Spinal Tap, they go up to 11: you get a full 11 hours of battery life.”

This refers to the Toshiba Satellite T130, which – Toshiba claims – can keep going for 11 hours from a single charge. Exactly how much life you gain, however, depends on the processor, with the T130 to be supplied with a Celeron, Intel Pentium and Intel Single Core CPU.

This isn’t the only way it’s the bigger brother to the Satellite T110, which offers up to nine hours of life. As can be seen from the photograph above, it’s substantially larger too, with a 13.3in screen to the T110’s 11.6in display. They share the same LED backlighting technology and 1,366 x 768 resolution, however.

toshsatellite130small-thumb.jpg Both also include three USB ports (all of which support Toshiba’s Sleep-and-Charge technology, which allow you to charge your smartphone’s battery, say, even while the Satellite is in Sleep mode), Bluetooth 2.1 and 802.11bgn Wi-Fi.

Toshiba was a little coy in terms of dimensions, only announcing that both are 22.2mm thick at the front. We suspect that rises to around 35mm thick at the back, but neither of these are huge beasts. Note, though, that they don’t include optical drives.

toshsatellite110small-thumb.jpg From my brief time with the laptops, they impressed. The screens looked up to Toshiba’s usual high level of quality, with no obvious backlight leakage and vibrant colours – as ever, though, we’ll wait to get our hands on the models in our Labs before giving our definitive verdict here.

Build quality appears similarly high. Wrapped up in shiny plastic – and available in “Precious Black”, “Iron Red Metallic” and “Luxe White Pearl” (the latter is only available for the T130) – they could easily pass off for much more expensive laptops.

In fact, the T110 will start from around £429 inc VAT and the T130 from around £479 inc VAT. Considering the Satellite T110 weighs 1.58kg, and even the 13.3in Satellite T130 weighs just 1.76kg, that suggests both could tempt buyers away from the more luxurious netbooks (such as the Sony VAIO Mini W Series).

toshsatellite130keyboardsmall-thumb.jpg Interestingly, Toshiba will also be supplying a version of the Satellite T130 with Windows 7 Professional rather than Home Premium: the ingeniously named Toshiba Satellite Pro T130. Though it couldn’t confirm the price at yesterday’s launch, this could provide a strong alternative to the traditional, expensive ultraportable laptops on offer to businesses.

It adds up to a strong debut for Intel’s CULV technology, and if this is the sign of budget laptops to come then we’ve all got a lot to look forward to.

The only question marks hang over performance: just how much faster than the Intel Atom are these new processors? As soon as we’ve had a chance to test them in our Labs, we’ll let you know.

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