Toshiba Satellite A300-177 review

Price when reviewed

Toshiba’s Satellite laptops have been a familiar sight in PC Pro recently, but the A300-177 is the first to showcase the firm’s new, finely chiselled chassis.

Toshiba Satellite A300-177 review

It’s certainly a departure from the Satellites of yore. The lid is finished in a silvery grey with natty reflective stripes running across it. Opening the lid reveals acres of glossy black, keyboard included, and silver stripes to liven up proceedings.

The nifty design is matched by a supremely sturdy build. The base feels bombproof and utterly free of flex, and even the lid feels pretty resilient.

The keyboard is a vast improvement on past models, too. The spacious layout and responsive click at the end of each key’s travel soon won us over. The huge chrome-effect mouse buttons are, visually at least, overkill, but they work fine.

Inside, the Intel Core 2 Duo T5550 and 2GB of memory is the same as Dell’s Inspiron 1525, and though it trailed the Dell with a 2D benchmark score of 0.84, this is still a speedy laptop in use.

The slight concern is battery life. The 4,000mAh battery only just made it to three and a half hours in our light-use test, and heavy usage saw it give up after a modest 58 minutes.

It makes up for it elsewhere, though. The 15.4in panel isn’t the brightest here, but the image quality is ample reward. Colours are impressively neutral and test photos were reproduced with clean, bright whites and realistic skin tones.

Factor in the Toshiba’s speakers, and the A300-177 is an audiovisual delight. The Harman Kardon-branded drivers nestle at the top left and right corners, and given their small size we didn’t have great expectations. But the sound they produce has both depth and detail.

If the A300-177 is a sign of things to come, then we eagerly await the rest of Toshiba’s new-look laptop range. The battery life is a fly in the ointment, but the combination of robust build, a good display and fantastic speakers make the Toshiba worthy of recommendation.

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