Toshiba – Satellite Pro M10 review

Nicely balanced Centrino laptop
Photo of Toshiba – Satellite Pro M10
£1399 + VAT

There are seven notebooks in Toshiba’s Satellite Pro M10 series, and they all use an Intel Centrino chip. If we’re being strictly accurate, Centrino is actually four chips as there is the processor, the chipset units and the wireless networking chip, but let’s gloss over that technicality.

We’re looking at one of the more well appointed notebooks in the range, with a 1.6GHz processor, 512MB DDR memory, a 60GB hard drive and a combo optical drive. All the Satellite Pros are intended for business use so they come loaded with Windows XP Professional. There are no applications installed, apart from WinDVD 2000, although Toshiba does include a series of utilities to manage the hardware, including the various connections, and to get the maximum life from the battery.

This is a fairly heavy notebook at 3.3kg, and its 15-inch screen means that the chassis has to be fairly large too. At 334mm wide, 293mm deep and 41.4mm high it’s quite substantial, but the shiny finish to the lid and the styling reduce the impact and make it rather attractive despite its bulk.

There’s a lot of hardware in the chassis, in addition to the Centrino parts, with the emphasis on connectivity. That’s a horrid word, but essentially it means you should be able to connect this Toshiba to the outside world with the minimum of hassle. In addition to the Intel 802.11b wireless LAN, there is Intel Pro100VE wired LAN, Bluetooth, a 56K modem and infra-red. Toshiba has fitted a neat slider switch to the front of the chassis to enable or disable the wireless features. This is good for security and also for situations like working in an aircraft or a hospital where the use of wireless is often forbidden.

In addition, the chassis has enough ports to keep most users happy. There’s a pair of USB 2.0, a coaxial TV-out, VGA Out, a parallel printer port, a mini FireWire, two type II PC card slots, an SD card slot, a headphone mini jack and a microphone mini jack. Our only complaint is that there isn’t a USB port on the side to make it easier to connect up a mouse. If you choose, you can eject the 24x/10x/24x/8x combo drive and then fill the SelectBay with a supplied weight saver. The external floppy drive is a USB unit.

The letter ‘M’ in the M10 model name stands for Multimedia, so the graphics and audio are quite acceptable, with a GeForce4 420 Go chip and 32MB of dedicated memory powering the 1,600 x 1,200 screen. It’s a sharp, clear unit that looks good, and the Harmon-Kardon speakers at the back of the notebook are well positioned to give of their best.

The keyboard has a good solid feel, however the Windows key is positioned to the top right corner and there are keys outboard of the Return key, so there is room for improvement here.

Company: Toshiba

Contact: 0870 444 8944


Verdict
Centrino is getting more impressive as the processor gets faster, and it definitely helps the life of the Li-Ion battery in this Toshiba. This is a well-balanced notebook that has all the features we could ask for at a very reasonable price. To cap it all it looks stylish and is well made.