I managed to pick up my Toshiba Satellite Pro U400 for free as part of a monthly broadband subscription. This was almost 2 years ago and still I sit here, writing this review, using my ever reliable laptop. This Toshiba is smaller than average, although it is just as robust and performs exactly as it should.
Admittedly I don't push the laptop to it's limit. However, I often have plenty of applications open at the same time and "my little Tosh" continues to work away regardless.
It has a sleek design, helped in part by it's compact nature. An integrated webcam is one of the many additional features (I have yet to use this properly but imagine it would be ideal for applications such as Skype).
Although not breath-taking, the graphics and sounds are functional and suit my needs (my needs being surfing the web, videos on youtube, reading & writing reviews!). One slight flaw is that the volume dial on the front of the base seems to be erratic at best, however this can easily be remedied by using the volume control in the toolbar (still annoying though).
Another downside is the heat that is generated. I can only imagine that due to it's compact design it is required to work relatively harder. Subsequently, the laptops mobility is hampered by it's lower than average battery life. A helpful metaphor may be a man (normal sized laptop) walking next to a chiuaua (U400). The chiuaua needs to work a lot harder to move at the same speed as the man. Having said that, I have never experienced the laptop fail due to burn out.
Overall, this is a very reliable, robust laptop that suits my needs. If you are looking for something that is small and functional that will enable you to browse the web and host applications such as MS Office with minimal fuss then I highly recommend the Toshiba Satellite Pro U400.
Have found this to be a very good laptop purchase.
The performance is excellent, with very good specs on the processor and memory, especially considering it's size.
The keyboard and screen size is just right for a portable laptop. Typing is very easy, even though it's not quite a full size keyboard, and the screen is good enough for watching videos and reading large documents.
The build quality is very good, and the hardware lasts very well.
The install process for rolling back to Windows XP is a little long, and it installs lots of pointless apps that clutter, but once these are removed it work very well.
The battery life is pretty good - it gives you a good length from new and lasts quite well too.
For this money, you'd struggle to get a better portable laptop. If you don't mind spending a bit of time setting it up then it is a very good purchase.
This laptop, while being a powerhouse in terms of memory, speed and design for the price paid, has often in my experience been riddled with technical problems. Due to the high level of energy used when powering the laptop, this often resulted in the product overheating and crashing, causing the loss of unsaved data that was incredibly inconvenient. This continued to the extent where I was forced to return the product to Toshiba support who recovered it, but the problem could not be effectively resolved without the laptop being placed upon a laptop fan base that resulted in more expense, and reduced the flexibility of movement that you would expect to be able to experience with a laptop.
The screen size and resolution have been good, but the frequent technical issues that have resulted in the product needing professional support have made this laptop not worth the value it was bought at. It was subsequently replaced with a different model laptop, that did not suffer any of these problems.
Credit due to Toshiba support, their service when this laptop was damaged was always prompt and helpful, although not necessarily successful at producing long lasting results.