Toshiba Satellite M305 Review

We've put several of Toshiba's latest mid-level, high-gloss Satellite notebooks through their paces around here in the past few months, and the 14.1-inch Toshiba Satellite M305 is the latest model in this familiar lineup of devices to come up for review. Dishing out sizeable helpings of memory and processing prowess in the configuration we received, the M305 is a consumer-focused laptop that potentially has the power to keep power users happy.

Wrapped in a love-it-or-hate-it glossy exterior, the M305 targets general users as well as those looking for a mobile multimedia device, with an upgraded audio system and a chic multimedia surface control arrangement. At once style-conscious and budget-conscious, the latest Satellite appears to do a lot of things right - if you can get past all that shiny plastic.

For this review, we tested an M305-S4826 with the following specs:
  • Screen: 14.1-inch TruBrite TFT LCD, WXGA (1280x800) native resolution
  • Processor: 2.1 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T8100 (800 MHz FSB, 3MB L2 cache)
  • Hard Drive: 250GB SATA, 5400 RPM
  • Memory: 3GB RAM (DDR2 SDRAM)
  • Optical Drive: DVD SuperMulti with Labelflash
  • Ports and Slots: Three USB 2.0, one IEEE 1394, one ExpressCard 34, VGA, multi-format (SD/SDHC/MS/xD) card reader, 10/100 Ethernet, modem, microphone in, headphone out
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g)
  • Graphics: Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100, 128-358MB shared memory
  • Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Dimensions: 13.2 x 9.53 x 1.29 inches (WxDxH)
  • Weight: 5.2 pounds
  • MSRP: $999.99
Styling and Design

Although the rest of the NotebookReview crew was pretty high on previous Toshiba laptops with the high-gloss Fusion Finish, I was admittedly skeptical about the M305's shiny keys and super-reflective lid. If the finish is allegedly durable, in some ways it really doesn't look it.

After a few weeks with the Satellite, however, I'm feeling the need to retract this hasty pronouncement. While it's almost impossible to keep flat surfaces on the notebook free from smudges, the general consensus seems to be correct: durability definitely isn't a problem with these computers. Even an accidental run-in with a bag zipper - the kind of scraping contact that would put a deep scratch on the surface of most notebooks - didn't faze the M305's finish.

If you like the high-tech, high-profile look that it imparts, the Fusion look is svelte, modern, and very appealing. The standard array of function indicators, the M305's multimedia touch panel, and even the Satellite wordmark and touchpad surround are all illuminated with a soft glow that looks great under normal ambient light (though it can be a little bright and harsh on the eyes when working in a dark room). A shallow-inset keyboard and touchpad buttons have an equally classy, well thought-out look. A well matched grey and black striped lid just like we've seen on other recent Toshiba Satellite models rounds out the package.

No comments:

Post a Comment