Toshiba’s Satellite Pro P100-216 certainly stands out from the grey, silver and black crowd of laptops, as the lid is a striking bronze colour, covering a good, all-round, desktop-replacement multimedia notebook for the home user.
While the Satellite Pro P100-216 has a good feature set, the performance is disappointing, scoring a lowly 4.3 overall in Vista’s integrated benchmarking tool with none of the tested components scoring above 5. It’s not going to set the world on fire in performance terms, then, but it will still do all the basics without complaining too much.
The slow performance is mainly due to the choice of processor Toshiba has fitted into the P100-216; an Intel Core 2 Duo T5500 clocked at a relatively lowly 1.66GHz. Backing this up is 2GB of DDR2 memory – which is good – but Toshiba has chosen 266MHz (PC2-533) rather than the faster PC2-667 (333MHz) memory. The motherboard will support up to 4GB of memory through two DIMM slots.
The 17-inch WXGA+ widescreen (1,440 x 900 pixels native resolution) display is excellent and comes with Toshiba’s TruBrite coating which makes the screen very bright with vivid colours, although the downside of the coating is that you get more reflections from it, so you may have to adjust the angle of the screen to suit.
Powering the display is an Nvidia GeForce Go 7600 which has 512MB of GDDR2 memory, giving the Satellite Pro P100-216 a degree of game-playing capability; it recorded a 3DMark05 score of 2,840 and an average frame rate in F.E.A.R. of just 25fps. Both of these scores resulted from test conditions at a resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels with all the game details in F.E.A.R. set to maximum, so dropping the resolution and detail level will give you an improved frame rate.
Toshiba has equipped the Satellite Pro P100-216 with a whopping 200GB SATA hard drive and to keep all this lovely space as free as possible there is an 8x Dual Format, Dual Layer DVD burner to back up files. Along with the PC Card slot there is a 5-in-1 card reader and four USB 2.0 ports through which you can hook up other storage devices.
As befitting a multimedia notebook the audio sub-system is better than average, with the Harman Kardon speakers backed by Toshiba’s Bass Enhanced System. The speakers are housed at the front of the chassis and are back-lit with blue LEDs.
Connecting the Satellite Pro P100-216 up to the outside world should present few problems. As well as the 802.11a/b/g Wireless LAN, there’s a 10/100Mbps wired LAN port and a V.90, 56Kbps modem.
Weighing in at around 3.2kg, you won’t be carrying this laptop around much, but if you do manage to lug it any distance from a mains socket, the battery should last for around two and a half hours.
The pre-installed OS is Windows Vista Home Premium while the useful software bundle includes InterVideo WinDVD, Microsoft Works 8.5, Norton Internet Security 2007 and Ulead DVD MovieWriter.
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