Toshiba – Satellite A110-275 review

good budget laptop for home users
Photo of Toshiba – Satellite A110-275
£649

While it seems that everyone and their dog has a notebook range these days, companies that have been in the game for a long time tend to get overlooked. One of the biggest of these, Toshiba, has a new range of laptops in its Satellite range. The A110 range is aimed primarily at the home user, as its 2.7kg weight might be a bit too much for the average road warrior to lug around all day.

The Satellite A110-275 has at its heart an Intel Core Duo T2400 processor which is clocked at 1.83GHz and backed by 1GB of 533MHz DDR2, giving the system plenty of poke to power your everyday applications, as proved by its SYSmark04SE score of 197. If you need more memory you can fit up to 4GB in two SODIMM slots.

It looks stylish, too, in its black and silver-grey finish. The chassis itself is silver-grey and is broken up by the black keyboard and surround, with a black panel just under the trackpad, which also holds the two mouse buttons. The keyboard does have a little flex about it, but the keys are responsive and feel good when typing.

The 15.5-inch WXGA widescreen display uses Toshiba’s TruBrite technology to produce brighter colours, but thankfully the screen reflections aren’t as bad as on some notebooks with coated screens we’ve seen lately. The screen’s native resolution is just 1,280 x 800 pixels, which some may feel a little meagre in view of the display size.

It’s a shame that, considering that the notebook is aimed at the home user, Toshiba has chosen the safe route when it comes to the graphics sub-system, using Intel’s integrated GMA950 instead of installing an ATI or Nvidia solution which would have given the A110-275 some degree of games-playing ability. As it stands, gaming is really just wishful thinking, borne out by a 3DMark05 score of 530 and a meagre 7fps when it comes to playing FarCry.

For storage Toshiba equips the Satellite A110-275 with a 60GB hard drive, while to back up your files there is an 8x DVD Dual Layer burner (although it only burns dual layer disks at 2.4 speed for DVD+R DL discs and 2x for DVD-R DL ones.). There’s also a 6-in-1 card reader that supports all the usual suspects; SD, MS, MS Pro, MMC, xD and SD IO.

As well as the 802.11a/b/g wireless connectivity you also get 10/100Mbps LAN and a 56Kbps, V.92 modem, but no Bluetooth.

Battery life from the 4400mAh battery is this laptop’s real Achilles’ heel, though. Just 158 minutes when tested with MobileMark05′s Productivity test is not great, and nor is the DVD Playback time of 112 minutes. But as this notebook is aimed primarily at the home user, maybe battery life is of no real importance. You decide.

Company: Toshiba

Contact: 08705 425 425


Verdict
Toshiba's Satellite A110-275 is a well-rounded laptop with good workstation performance, and is ideal for home use... unless, that is, you want to play a game now and then.