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Toshiba Satellite A300D-15B review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £635
inc VAT


15.4 in 1,440×900 display, 2.9kg, 2.1GHz AMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-80, 4.00GB RAM, 250GB disk, Windows Vista Home Premium

The Satellite A300D-15B has a smart pinstripe pattern on the lid and keyboard panel, and generally feels solidly made.

The keyboard is particularly impressive: the keys have a light action with precise feedback, and are comfortable to type with. The glossy finish might not appeal to everyone, but the overall impression is of precision engineering. Only Dell’s 1525 and Samsung’s Q310 have keyboards that touch-typists will find as pleasant to use.

Toshiba is the only manufacturer here to opt for an AMD processor, and even with a generous 4GB of RAM the A300D came near the bottom of our performance table. However, the ATI Mobility Radeon 3650 chip with 512MB of dedicated graphics memory helped it to second place overall in our Call of Duty 4 benchmark, with a score of 10.5fps.

Like Dell’s 1525, the A300D has a 15.4in screen with a resolution of 1,440×900, which is normally only found on larger screens. This means you’ll have slightly more space on your desktop, and the higher density of pixels makes image quality seem sharper.

Above the keyboard, you’ll find a pair of Harman/Kardon speakers, which look and sound great. They are spaced wide apart, so you’ll get good stereo separation and they’re loud enough to fill a decent-size room. Unfortunately, battery life is just over an hour and a half, so you won’t be able to use this laptop far from the mains outlet.

The Satellite A300D has a great screen and superb sound and a great keyboard, too. However, compared with others here, it looks overpriced. Asus’s X71SLis cheaper and has a Blu-ray drive, while Samsung’s smaller, cheaper Q310 is a better choice for those who need power and portability. If you must have a 15.4in screen, Dell’s 1525 is much better value at £469.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
Processor AMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-80
Processor clock speed 2.1GHz
Memory 4.00GB
Memory slots 2
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 4GB
Size 39x363x267mm
Weight 2.9kg
Sound Conexant HD SmartAudio 221
Pointing device touchpad
Power consumption standby 1W
Power consumption idle 35W
Power consumption active 75W


Viewable size 15.4 in
Native resolution 1,440×900
Graphics Processor ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650
Graphics/video ports VGA, S-video, HDMI
Graphics Memory 512MB


Total storage capacity 250GB
Optical drive model Pioneer DVRTD08A
Optical drive type DVD+/-RW +/-DL

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 4
Total Firewire ports 1
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports 1x 10/100
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots 1x ExpressCard/54
Modem Yes
Supported memory cards SD, MMC, Memory Stick Pro, xD
Other ports eSATA (shared with USB socket), minijack shared optical S/PDIF and audio output, minijack microphone input


Carrying case Yes
Operating system Windows Vista Home Premium
Operating system restore option restore partition
Software included Microsoft Works
Optional extras none

Buying Information

Warranty one year collect and return
Price £635

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