Product Type: Toshiba Netbook
Newest Review: ... which is even better! And of course if your sat down for ages with it on your knee it doesn't hurt or feel heavy at all! When open the... more
Okay cheap netbook
Toshiba NB250 108
Member Name: helenc72
Toshiba NB250 108
Advantages: Small, light, decent battery life, cheap, does everything you would expect
Disadvantages: Noisy, can be slow, Microsoft starter version only, no DVD drive
I didn't put a massive amount of thought or research into the purchase as I assumed any computer from a well known brand would be okay and I am not the most technical person. I just went down to my local MediaMarkt store (an Austrian electrical store similar to Curries, Dixons etc) and had a look at what I could get for about Euro 300. This looked like the best in that price range.
The netbook is very small and light with the following dimensions:
Width 26.3 cm
Depth 21.2 cm
Height 3.1 cm
Weight 1.18 kg
This makes it very easy to carry around and I have often brought it to classes, to cafes, as part of my hand luggage on holiday and so on. It easily fits in a tote or shopper style bag and doesn't weigh me down. It's not too uncomfortable if I have to walk around with it for a while or stand for ages on the tube with this in my shoulder bag. It is also very comfortable to sit with it on my knee.
It looks okay - a little bit on the cheap side and not too flashy, but pretty normal really. It is a glossy black colour and the lid has a kind of hatched patterned texture, with TOSHIBA written in large letters.
=== Connections ===
The netbook has 3 USB ports. This is enough for me most of the time although I would quite like another one as I usually have an external hard drive plugged in, sometimes a mouse, sometimes my ipod is charging on another port and then that means I have to unplug something if I want to use my camera or connect a printer or anything else.
If you don't want to connect a mouse, the mousepad of the notebook itself is perfectly fine and I do use that most of the time. It reacts well and accurately, without being oversensitive to being touched.
It has ports for headphones and microphone which are easily accessible on the left side of the computer. It comes with an adapter to plug it into the mains socket.
It also has one ethernet port, which I don't use at the moment as I just use wireless internet. The netbook supports Wireless LAN and I have been able to use this with no technical problems.
It is worth noting that the netbook does not have a DVD drive. I think netbooks generally don't have them, as it enables them to be smaller and more slimline, but if you want to use CD roms or DVDs on this computer you will have to get a separate external DVD drive. I have not bothered to do this and occasionally I do miss the option to use CDs and DVDs.
=== Speed, Memory, Battery, Technical Data ===
Processor Intel Atom N455 / 1.66 GHz
Data Bus Speed 667 MHz
Features Enhanced SpeedStep technology
Chipset Type Intel NM10 Express
Type L2 Cache
Installed Size 512 KB
Installed Size 1 GB / 2 GB (max)
Hard drive 250 GB
Some of this data does not mean a huge amount to me but I thought I would include it for the benefit of those who are more knowledgeable about computers.
I know the hard drive of 250 GB is not huge compared to some computers, but I find it perfectly ample for my needs as most of my music, photos etc are saved onto my external hard drive so I don't need much memory on the netbook itself.
The speed of this netbook is okay but it can become a bit slow through heavy usage. It is probably not up to being used for gaming or a lot of photoshop or anything like that. For word processing and general internet browsing it does the job okay. On a few occasions it has frozen but is normally reliable.
When it is being used a lot, the netbook becomes really noisy and gives off a constant humming noise. It can sometimes start to feel a little bit overheated, but nothing drastic, and it has never shut down due to overheating, which one of my old laptops always used to do. It is possibly a fan which is making all the noise, but I am not sure about that!
The battery life is apparently up to 8.8 hours. I have found the battery life to be pretty good and I usually can get about 6 or 7 hours from it. You can change the energy saving settings, so if you are happy to work with a slightly darker screen you can obviously get longer battery life, but I prefer to have my screen set to full brightness and don't mind charging it more often to get that. About half the time I use it connected to the mains anyway.
=== Included Software ===
The notebook comes with Windows 7 "starter" version, which means that Microsoft Office is included but with a large banner advert down the side encouraging you to upgrade to the full version. As the screen size is already quite small, this banner made using MS Word quite annoying. Luckily I already had the full version of Microsoft Office which I had bought on my old laptop and was able to download it onto this computer again. The starter version was already driving me crazy after using it for a few days. It is good that some version of MS Office is there, as a lot of the cheaper netbooks don't include it at all, but just be aware that it is not the full version.
The netbook has a built in webcam in the middle of the frame, above the screen. There is software for this included, which allows you to take pictures with the cam. The software has one annoying quirk as if I hover for too long on the left side of the screen, a bar for the camera program appears and I have to click it to get rid of it. When I do actually want to use the web cam I have found the included software simple and easy to use and I have no complaints about it.
There are also various extra bits of Toshiba software on there which I never use, such as some kind of "back up" programmes.
=== Over all ===
If you just want this as a handy netbook to take to uni or use occasionally when out and about, this is ideal as it is so small and pretty good on the whole. However, if you want to use it heavily there are a few drawbacks which are worth taking into account and it is maybe not the best suited for a main computer, but if you are on a budget it does do the job. I am getting my money's worth out of mine!
Summary: Good for the price