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Review Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z

A like AMD. The Satellite A200 Serie from Toshiba aims to the needs of a wide consumer market with a focus on the relation of price/value. What makes the difference between the series A210 and A200? Not really much. Besides the identical case and a partially identical display, only the implemented graphics hardware from AMD and ATI is different. You can get it starting with about 700 euro. Interested?

Toshiba Satellite A210 Logo

The current design by Toshiba looks good. Especially consumers seem to be still attracted by glossy surfaces and colored lids. Actually the Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z is a prime example regarding this aspect. However, how about the other qualities of the case?

Though apparently all surfaces are made of plastics, the case is flexural rigid. Furthermore, it seems that it is rather insensible to applied forces. Even the lid seems to be rather robust.

The used shapes look nice. However, they do not only contribute to the appearance of the Satellite A210, also the user-friendliness profits by a beveled front edge next to the palm rest areas and the touch pad.

The display is attached to a single central hinge - a solution very similar to the one of the Macbook Pro. Because of the opening mechanism, whereas the display folds open down and to the back, the back side has to be free of ports. Additionally, the opening angle of the lid is constricted. Whether this annoys also depends on your preferences.

As a matter of fact, the hinges cannot prohibit a clear see-saw of the display. The display has a light clamshell design and fits exactly to the base unit if closed. The double hook holds the closed display absolutely tight. However, the slider at the display's front edge, makes opening cumbersome.

The interface equipment only provides the most necessary ports, i.e. USB, VGA, LAN, and  modem. A plus is the provided Firewire port, in case you demand such. Apparently a digital video out is still not standard in this price class. Regarding the order of the ports, it is noticeable that all of the 4 USB ports are right or left near the front. Depending on the use, this might lead to disturbing cable spaghetti.

Front side: Audio Ports, Cardreader
Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z connections
Left side: VGA, fan, S-Video, LAN, 2xUSB, Firewire, ExpressCard
Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z connections
Back side: no connections
Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z connections
Right side: 2xUSB, modem, DVD drive, power plug, Kensington lock
Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z connections

Because of the layout, whereas the F-keys are a little moved to the back and the cursor keys are a little separated from the other keys, the keyboard seems spacious and clearly structured.

The look of the keys, which appear to be a little edgy, matches the feel. They can be precisely hit. The key feedback can be characterized by an early point of pressure and a hard stop. The keyboard is tightly attached to the case and hardly yields.

Overall typing is user-friendly, if you do not prefer soft and springy keys. The typing noise is also alright, there are no annoying or odd noises.

The surface of the touch pad is user-friendly. Furthermore, its two buttons are spacious. At the right front part it provides scrolling regions, but, they are not marked in any way. Because the pad is a little lower than the case, you can easily hit your fingers at its edges.

Touch pad
Toshiba Satellite A210 Touch pad
Keyboard
Toshiba Satellite A210 Keyboard
color diagram
color diagram

The screen of the Toshiba A210-21Z is the current standard consumer variant, a 1280x800 pixel WXGA panel with a mirroring surface. Toshiba calls that "TruBrite".
The sight is average but clearly sufficient for simple office and internet activities.

The maximally measured brightness of the display was 202.5 cd/m² at the central area. Regrettably, a considerable reduction of brightness was measured at the borders, which resulted in an mediocre illumination of 78.9%. The color representation showed a clear irradiation and limited gray scales.

174.6
cd/m²
192.8
cd/m²
178.1
cd/m²
159.8
cd/m²
202.5
cd/m²
174.7
cd/m²
180.2
cd/m²
201.3
cd/m²
188.2
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 202.5 cd/m²
Average: 183.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 79 %
Black: 1.0 cd/m²
Contrast: 203:1

The minimum brightness of 1.0 cd/m² (black value) combined with the maximum brightness of slightly more than 200 cd/m² resulted in a maximum contrast relation of 202:1. This is below the average.

Therefore, Satellite A210 is hardly apt for outdoor use. Especially the mirroring surface leads to bothersome reflexions even indoor with bad light conditions.

The stability of the viewing angles of this screen are not the best. Especially, changing the ideal angle in vertical range leads to changing colors and finally to the known photo-negative effect. Changing angles in horizontal range the contrast is reduced and mirroring takes place.

Toshiba Satellite A210 Blickwinkelstabilität
Toshiba Satellite A210 Blickwinkelstabilität
Toshiba Satellite A210 Blickwinkelstabilität
Toshiba Satellite A210 Blickwinkelstabilität
Toshiba Satellite A210 Blickwinkelstabilität
Toshiba Satellite A210 Blickwinkelstabilität
Toshiba Satellite A210 Blickwinkelstabilität
Toshiba Satellite A210 Blickwinkelstabilität



Video for the visibility angles of the display

Performance

Windows Vista performance index
Windows Vista performance index

At present, AMD processors are a rare species. In cheap laptops they can be found more frequently. The Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z is one of them. The whole series Satellite A210 is equipped with CPUs from AMD.

The AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual Core CPU with a clock frequence of 1.6 GHz is combined with an ATI Radeon X1200 video card. This is an integrated graphics solution which can be compared with the current Intel X3100 chip. The benchmark results of both are similar.

The specifications show very soon that A210-12z is a laptop equipped for basic applications like classic office programms, internet and simple multimedia like DVD rendition and such stuff. Calculation-intensive applications or computer games are not recommended for Satellite A210-12Z.

Regarding the remaining features, the 2GB main memory have to be mentioned as well as the 160GB hard disk. This disk offers enough space for your photos or music files.

Benchmark comparison 3DMark
Benchmark comparison 3DMark
Benchmark comparison PCMark
Benchmark comparison PCMark
3D Mark
3DMark 05855 points
3DMark 06
 1280x800
235 points
Help
3DMark 06 in comparison
Asus N10E (min)
 N270, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
91
   ...
Dell Latitude D430
 U7600, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
135
Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z
 TL-52, Radeon Xpress X1200
235
HP 550
 550, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100
243
HP Compaq 6715s
 TL-60, Radeon Xpress 1250
320
   ...
Samsung Serie 7 700Z3C-S01 (max)
 3210M, GeForce GT 630M
9346
PC Mark
PCMark 052508 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Toshiba Portégé R500 SSD
 U7700, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950
2460
Asus UX50V
 SU3500, GeForce G 105M
2497
Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z
 TL-52, Radeon Xpress X1200
2508
Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo M1437G
 740, Mobility Radeon X700
2557
Acer Extensa 5230E-901G16Mn
 900, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500M
2586
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842
160 GB - 5400 rpm
Transfer Rate Minimum: 8.9 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 43.1 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 32.3 MB/s
Access Time: 18 ms
Burst Rate: 85.4 MB/s
CPU Usage: 5.9 %
Doom 3
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1024x768Ultra, 0xAA, 0xAF10.7 fps
 800x600High, 0xAA, 0xAF17 fps
 640x480Medium, 0xAA, 0xAF24.5 fps
 640x480Low, 0xAA, 0xAF24.9 fps
F.E.A.R.
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1024x768GPU: max, CPU: max, 0xAA, 0xAF
 800x600GPU medium, CPU medium, 0xAA, 0xAF4 fps
 640x480GPU min, CPU min, 0xAA, 0xAF29 fps
Quake 3 Arena - Timedemo
 ResolutionSettingsValue
 1024x768highest, 0xAA, 0xAF83.8 fps

Emissions

Volume

In idle mode and office operation the Satellite A210-12Z is conveniently silent. The fan runs at the lowest level or switched off completely. The volume of 35 dB is very silent and not bothersome.

With heavy charge the fan winds up and the volume of up to 43.7 dB may be bothersome. Nevertheless, with normal office operations or internet surfing this level never has been achieved.

The 160GB hard disk frequently causes rattling and crunching noises.

Noise Level

Idle 34.2 / 35.0 / 35.4 dB(A)
HDD 38.0 dB(A)
DVD 38.9 / dB(A)
Load 40.7 / 43.7 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

Very positive are the surface temperatures of the Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z. Both, the bottom and upper surface remain with tolerable measured temperatures. Only the back corner at the right bottom side heated up to a maximum temperature of about 40°C whith heave charge.

Max. Load
 30 °C30 °C26 °C 
 32 °C33 °C27 °C 
 31 °C32 °C25 °C 
Maximum: 33 °C
Average: 29.6 °C
25 °C28 °C30 °C
27 °C33 °C33 °C
30 °C32 °C40 °C
Maximum: 40 °C
Average: 30.9 °C
Room Temperature 21.0 °C

Loudspeakers

Both speakers at the left and right side above the keyboard are chic and emit an acceptable sound. The maximum volume is mediocre.

The test of the sound emission above of the 3.5mm stereo exit results without remarkablenesses like troublesome background noises.

Battery Duration

The 4800 mAh battery of the laptop allowed runtimes during tests of about 1.5h with heavy charge with up top 3 hours with minumum energy need. Somewhat short are the duration times during DVD rendition. So, the Satellite A210-12Z functioned about 1.5h.

Depending on the wanted applications, an acceptable or short battery runtime must be considered.

Power Consumption

Idle 20.5 / 22.3 / 23.4 Watt
Load 48.0 / 61.2 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
3h 25min
DVD
1h 40min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 30min

Verdict

The Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z is the appropriate affordable laptop for the office user with low requirements. The chic and robust case contains input devices, which can be handled conveniently. Especially the keyboard allows a good typing. Only the basic connection options are available, which may be sufficient for the targeted consumer group.

The display is caracterized by a good maximum brightness but the quality of the represented image can not convince. Further, the stability of viewing angles is mediocre, so a use of the notebook at the desk is recommended.

The hardware equipment is limited in favour of a low price and low emissions. This concept works. The Satellite A210-12Z has enough power to grant a normal office use.

The measured battery runtime of 1.5 to 3 hours is acceptable and allows a limited mobile use of the laptop.

Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z
Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z
Reviewed: Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z
Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z

Specifications

Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z
Graphics adapter
ATI Radeon Xpress X1200 - 128 MB, Memory: 400 MHz
Memory
2048 MB 
, DDR2, PC5300, 667 MHz, 2x1024MB, max. 4096MB
Display
15.4 inch 16:10, 1280x800 pixel, TruBrite TFT Display, glossy: yes
Mainboard
ATI RS690
Harddisk
160 GB - 5400 rpm, 160 GB 
5400 rpm Hitachi HTS541616J9SA00
Soundcard
Agere Si3054
Connections
1 Express Card 54mm, 4 USB 2.0, 1 Firewire, 1 VGA, 1 S-Video, V.92 Modem, 1 Kensington Lock, Audio Connections: Headphone, Microphone, Card Reader: 6in1,
Networking
100BASE-TX, 10BASE-T (10/100MBit), 802.11b/g (b g )
Optical drive
Matshita DVD-RAM UJ-850S
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 39 x 268 x 362 ( = 1.54 x 10.55 x 14.25 in)
Weight
2.7 kg ( = 95.24 oz) Power Supply: 510 g ( = 17.99 oz)
Battery
43.2 Wh Lithium-Ion, 10.8V 4000mAh
Price
700 Euro
Operating System
Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 32 Bit
Additional features
InterVideo WinDVD, Toshiba Tools, Ulead DVD MovieWriter, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
The Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z has the current fashion feature...
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
The implemented speakers are suited for the rendition of music.
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
...and a low heating up of the chassis.
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
Positive are the low noise emissions...
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
...a basic equipment for office and internet applications.
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
Regarding the performance, the implemented hardware offers only...
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
...but the color representation can't convince.
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
The implemented mirroring WXGA display shows a good brightness...
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
Very comfortable are handling of the keyborad and touchpad.
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
...and the arrangement of the connections can be improved.
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
The available connections offer only a basic equipment...
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
...which has the advantage of a good pressure resistance.
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
has a robust and stable case...
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
In addition to the succeded design, the atellite A210...
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
The design of the laptop pleases.
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
...of high gloss lacquered surfaces and a colored display lid.
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image
The laptop battery delivers energy for a runtime of about 1.5-3h.
Toshiba Satellite A210 Image

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Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500M, Celeron M 900

Pro:

  • Chic case
  • Good processing and robust chassis
  • Keyboard and touchpad can be used pleasently
  • Bright display
  • Low emissions

Contra:

  • Mediocre interface equipment
  • Mirroring display surfaces with flaw colours
  • Mediocre performance data

Bewertung

Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z
10/16/2007
J. Simon Leitner

Chassis
88%
Keyboard
90%
Pointing Device
86%
Connectivity
84%
Weight
79%
Battery
72%
Display
82%
Games Performance
53%
Application Performance
85%
Temperature
76%
Noise
78%
Add Points
84%
Average
80%
83%
Office *
Weighted Average
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Toshiba Satellite A210-12Z
Author: J. Simon Leitner, 2007-11-12 (Update: 2012-05-26)