Product Type: Toshiba laptops
Newest Review: ... I purchased the laptop, many cool applications were included and some others that I've never used. Toshiba ConfigFree is a useful applicat... more
Good performance, sound quality and attractive design
Toshiba Satellite A300-1GC
Member Name: Carrie23
Toshiba Satellite A300-1GC
Date: 23/10/11, updated on 26/10/11 (51 review reads)
Advantages: good performance, attractive design, sound quality, excellent customer service
Disadvantages: battery use, heavy to carry when travelling
I have this laptop for the last one and a half years. I am generally very satisfied with the performance, it is fast and I can run different applications at the same time without significantly reducing the performance. The attractive dark grey design is classy and stylish and the size is good although it's a bit heavy to carry. I like Toshiba as a brand because they give 2 years warrantee and they provide excellent customer service.
The display screen size is 15.4" (13.1"x8.2") TFT, WXGA 1280x800 max resolution. The image quality is good and the screen colours are clear and realistic.
The lid and the base have curved endings and the keyboard is glossy black with silver horizontal stripes all around it. It shows the fingerprints and it needs extra attention and regular cleaning but they can be wiped off easily with a cloth. I am spraying the keyboard with the same product that I use for the TFT screen so it's always shiny and glossy. The surface of the touchpad is very smooth and the silver buttons below are easy to click.
All connections are placed at the sides. It has one Ethernet port to connect with a cable if wireless internet is not available. Four USB ports allow the connection of multiple devices at the same time. I usually use three of them to connect the mouse, the cooling base and my external hard disc and I have one free for the mobile phone or camera.
It also has a built in webcam (1.3 Megapixels resolution) with good quality and a microphone. The Harman/kardon stereo speakers are placed at the top right and left corners, offering the best sound quality.
When I purchased the laptop, many cool applications were included and some others that I've never used. Toshiba ConfigFree is a useful application that searches for wireless devices in the neighborhood and shows which ones are free to connect and which ones are protected with password. A circular virtual radar appears on the screen with concentric cycles. It shows the available networks (represented with small dots) and their position, according to the strength of the signal.
Another application I am using to edit my photos is Google Picasa, also provided along with Google Toolbar and Google Desktop.
The Trial version of Microsoft Office 2007 Student and Home is included, it's only available for one month though. The same applies to the trial version of the anti-virus software from McAffee. I understand that the trials are there for promotional purposes but I had difficulties with the uninstall process when I wanted to use another anti-virus. Some traces of the software were not deleted and I had to contact Toshiba help center to fix the problem step by step, since McAffee just pointed me to their official site for help.
Lastly, a back-up disc should be created when you first buy the notebook, to be able to re-install everything if you format it.
Main Technical features:
The hard disc is 320 GB divided in two partition drives of about 150 GB each. This is actually convenient as I can save my important files in the second disc and work on the other.
Processor Type: Core 2 Duo P8400 2.26 GHz 2 x 1066 MHz FSB, 3 MB
Processor speed:. 2.26 GHz
Memory: 4096 MB - The installed RAM is 4GB but it can be upgraded to maximum 8 GB.
Graphics: ATI HD 3650
Video memory: 512 MB
Operating system: Windows Vista Home Premium
The DVD drive is built in and you can copy or write new CDs/DVDs, but you need to install different software for this. I am using Nero 7 Essentials to burn documents/files, music and movies to DVDs.
The card reader is suitable for SD Memory Cards, Memory Sticks, Memory Sticks PRO, MultiMediaCards and xD-Picture Cards.
The lithium Ion battery has predetermined run time for up to 1.8 hours but it never lasted that long to me. It lasted long enough when I bought the laptop but now I can only use it unplugged for less than 1 hour. Someone told me to take the battery off every time it is connected it to the power supply and my battery is a bit improved.
The cooling system works great and it has no problems with temperature. I use my laptop for 9-10 hours every day and the temperature never affected the performance. The only thing I would propose to avoid overheating is to take the notebook to a hardware store every 5-6 months to clean it from dust and dirt and you will see a big difference in the performance.
To sum up, this laptop meets my professional and entertainment needs and it's affordable. The battery life is a drawback but apart from this, the overall performance of the machine is very good.
Summary: Good-size laptop with attention to the design and overall good performance.
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