Review Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Notebook

Business light. The Satellite Pro A100 series cover Toshibas Business beginner's notebooks. The durable notebook with good equipment and even a X1600 video card of ATI is available at a reasonable price. This makes the notebooks besides for business customers also interesting for private users.

Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Logo

Case

The designation A100 already indicates it and a quick inspections confirms it: The same case is used for both, the Satellite Pro A100 and notebooks of the Satellite A100 ("Allrounder class") series .

The notebook's design contributes to its ergonomics and turned out well in general. Rounded corners combined with linear layout ensure overview and harmony. The combination of black, silver and dark-gray might look artless, but fits well to a business notebook.

The Satellite Pro is of good workmanship and convinces through its robust construction. During plying with the notebook hardly any creaking noises or torsions can be detected. However, one could criticize that the bottom side of the notebook is somewhat pressure sensitive. Important hardware components like hard disk or CPU are yet sufficiently shielded.

Regarding pressure sensitivity the display's cover could be more robust too. If closed, it can clearly be pushed in,which leads to visible display changes, if the notebook is turned on. Apart from this, one should avoid to put heavy things, like books on the closed notebook - although this should not cause any damage.

The display's hinges seem robust. Furthermore, the display can be brought into a proper position by using convenient power and the hinges prevent a too heavy see-saw. As the notebooks of the A100 series also the Pro is equipped with a ramshorn hook. However, if it is closed, one can observe a clear wobbling of the display, which could absolutely have been prevented by somewhat bigger plastic nipples, or by a more dimension accurate lock.

Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 provides the necessary basic interfaces for adequate connectivity. The ports are placed around the whole case. If their order is adequate for a specific user, should separately be clarified in each case.

Let's start at the front side: In the center there are a 5in1 Cardreader (SDCard, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, MultiMediaCard, xD-Picture Card), headset and microphone interface as well as the volume control.

The the left side there are a PCCard Typ II slot and an Expresscard slot, a Firewire IEEE 1394 port, a S-Video out and a VGA port, which can be used to connect an external monitor. Even the vent holes are on this side (important for left-hander).

At the back side, there is the battery, which takes up most of the back side's available space. Beside it there are 2 USB 2.0 ports, a Lan (RJ45) port and the power connector.

Our round ends at the right side, where one finds a DVD drive, a Modem (RJ11) interface, a Kensington Lock, two further USB 2.0 ports and a switch for deactivating the WLAN.

Interfaces at the left side
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Interfaces
Interfaces at the right side
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Interfaces
Interfaces at the front side
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Interfaces
Interfaces at the back side
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Interfaces

Input Devices

The keyboard is clearly partitioned and the size of the single keys is alright. I feel that the order and the placement of the keys is optimal, one can find all necessary keys right away.

Even typing with this keyboard is alright. The pressure resistance is sufficient and not at all too hard. Even the noises are are alright. However, a clear deflection of the keyboard is possible at its center.

The keyboard provides some additional keys, which are used to control the Mediaplayer. Switches for controlling the volume or the WLan Adapter can be found at the edges of the case as already mentioned above.

The touch pad is, similar to those of other A100 notebooks, relatively small and it is placed relatively low in the case. Therefore, its use causes troubles, because one time and again hits oneself on the surrounding edges. Regarding response or precision there aren't any anomalies.

Both touch pad buttons seem first-class, but one needs slightly more power to press them as usual.

Touch pad
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Touch pad
Keyboard
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Keyboard

Display

Color Diagram
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Display Measurement

The Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 is equipped with a non-reflecting display, which in the meanwhile is nearly only used in business notebooks. The maximum resolution is 1280x800 pixels in format 16:10. The maximum brightness is130.3 cd/m². Because of a clear deviation of the brightness at the display's edges, the illumination is 77.2%.

The measurement diagram uncovers a nearly ideal green and red curve, but a clearly diminished blue curve. This usual phenomenon leads to warmer colors.

100.6
cd/m²
108.7
cd/m²
110.3
cd/m²
105.4
cd/m²
130.3
cd/m²
118.9
cd/m²
102.4
cd/m²
105.7
cd/m²
118.7
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
Maximum: 130.3 cd/m²
Average: 111.2 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 77 %
Black: 0.6 cd/m²
Contrast: 217:1

The display's contrast is, because of the low black value of 0.6 cd/m², 217:1, which is an average value and by all means acceptable. Regarding the reaction speed, the Pixperan test of legibility rates the notebook grade 6, which is an average result and so there is nothing special about it.

Operation Outdoors
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Outdoors

Despite of its comparably low brightness, the Toshiba Satellite Pro can be used well outdoors. Even in very bright environments the matt  display is free of disturbing reflection and the content of the display is well legible, although it is displayed a little darker than indoors.

Regarding the stability to the vantage point the area of operation is sufficient. Horizontally, the contrast diminishes at acute angles. Vertically, the display gets - as usual - darker or brighter, depending on whether one is looking at it from the top or from the bottom.

Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Stability to the Vantage Point
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Stability to the Vantage Point
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Stability to the Vantage Point
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Stability to the Vantage Point
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Stability to the Vantage Point
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Stability to the Vantage Point
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Stability to the Vantage Point
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Stability to the Vantage Point

Performance

We reviewed the Satellite Pro A100 with the most powerful configuration, currently available. Defined more accurate, this is: Core 2 Duo CPU T5500 with 1.6 Ghz, 1GB Ram, ATI Mobility Radeon X1600 with 512MB (Hypermemory) and a 120 GB hard disk (5400 revs).

This configuration is quite passable for an office notebook. Especially the video card with 256MB memory (+256MB main memory) allows even to play current games without bigger troubles, however, the resolution and the details have to be turned down.

The T5500 CPU is a  „moderate“ chip of the Core 2 Duo processor series. However, it provides more than sufficient power for the usual applications. Even the 120GB hard disk, a Hitachi HTS541612J9S, ensures good results regarding data rate and access time.

Further information about the video card can be found here or in our comparison of mobile video cards. Detailed information about the Core 2 Duo CPU can be found here.

Please also look at our benchmark list of mobile processors or at our benchmark list of mobile video cards, in order to compare this notebook to other configurations.

Benchmark Comparison 3DMark
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Benchmark Comparison
Benchmark Comparison PCMark
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Benchmark Comparison
3D Mark
3DMark 2001SE16639 points
3DMark 035529 points
3DMark 053057 points
3DMark 06
 
1661 points
Help
3DMark 06 in comparison
Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B (min)
 740, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900
54
   ...
HP ProBook 6555b
 N830, Radeon HD 4250
1652
Alienware S-4 m5550
 T7600, GeForce Go 7600
1656
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 PSAACE-010010GR
 T5500, Mobility Radeon X1600
1661
Asus U6S
 T8300, GeForce 9300M G
1665
Lenovo Thinkpad T60p
 T7600, Mobility FireGL V5250
1672
   ...
Clevo Clevo P157SM (max)
 4930MX, GeForce GTX 880M
29955
PC Mark
PCMark 045787 points
PCMark 053992 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Toshiba A7
 T2400, Mobility Radeon X1600
3978
HP 620 WT092EA
 T4500, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
3983
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 PSAACE-010010GR
 T5500, Mobility Radeon X1600
3992
HP dv9074cl
 TL-56, GeForce Go 7600
4001
Toshiba Satellite P100-102
 T2400, GeForce Go 7600
4027
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842
120 GB - 5400 rpm
Transfer Rate Minimum: 5.2 MB/s
Transfer Rate Maximum: 37.2 MB/s
Transfer Rate Average: 28.5 MB/s
Access Time: 17.1 ms
Burst Rate: 92.3 MB/s
CPU Usage: 3 %

Emissions

Noise
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Noise

Loudness

Even without load, the fans are switched on after a short time. Thereafter, they continue to run steadily. Although its noise is not really disturbing - we measured 38,8 dB - it is perceivable all the time (in quiet environments). Under load we measured a maximum loudness of 44,3 dB. However, this loudness should only occur with games and CPU or graphical-intensive applications.

Noise Level

Idle 38.8 / 41.1 / 38.8 dB(A)
HDD 39.4 dB(A)
DVD 43.2 / dB(A)
Load / 44.3 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

On the one hand we could measure a clear temperature increase on some positions, but on the other hand it was nowhere problematical. The maximum temperature at the upper side is 35.3°C (in the left back region) and 38.8°C at the bottom side. Interestingly, we measured it near the front at an edge of the case.

Upper side

palmwrist: 27.3°C max: 35.3°C avg: 30.5°C

Bottom side

max: 38.8°C avg: 32.7°C

Speakers

Harman/Kardon. They sound good, really good. If one activates SRS TruSurround they even sound better and the sound appears muffled and hidden.

Battery Runtime

The battery runtime is average. At minimum energy demand (darkened display, profile long operation time, WLan deactivated) the Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 in the reviewed configuration can be used for nearly 3h (162 minutes). Under load (all settings max., WLan on,...)  the runtime is only 1,5 hours. During DVD playback mode, one should be able to watch a complete Hollywood film of 125 minutes.

Energy demand

Without Load (Idle), min. brightness, without WLAN: 31.7 Watt
+ max. brightness: 34.8 Watt
+ WLAN: 36.4 Watt
Full load (+WLAN, max. brightness): max. 61.9 Watt

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
2h 42min
DVD
2h 05min
Load (maximum brightness)
1h 32min

Verdict

Toshiba Satellite Pro A100
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100

The Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 is interesting for everybody who looks for a  high-quality business notebook and still wants to play some games in between.

This is possible through a Core 2 Duo CPU and a ATI X1600 video card, which together ensure absolutely reasonable performance. Its 120GB hard disk provides sufficient place for MP3s, Videos etc.

The notebook's workmanship seems first-class and a daily intensive use should cause no problems. The notebook's design too, leaves nothing to be criticized.

The display pleases through a matt and therefore non-reflecting surface, which allows the use of the notebook outdoors. However, the display's brightness is rather moderate. But, this does not lead to direct limitations.

The permanent running of the fans also in idle mode is a little bit disturbing. In fact the noise is not really annoying, but it's there. The surface temperatures are alright.

The battery runtime is between nearly 3 hours and about 1,5h minimum runtime under load. This is average, and allows a limited mobile use.

Reviewed: Toshiba Satellite Pro A100
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100

Specifications

Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 PSAACE-010010GR

:: Processor
:: Mainboard
Intel 945PM
:: Memory
1024 MB, DDR PC4300 SDRAM, max. 4096MB, 1x1024MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
15.4 inch 16:10, 1280x800 pixel, WXGA TFT Display, glossy: no
:: Harddisk
120 GB - 5400 rpm, 120 GB 5400 rpm Hitachi HTS541612J9S: 120GB, 5400rpm
:: Connections
PCCard Typ II, ExpressCard, Mikrofon, Kopfhörer, 4x USB 2.0, Firewire, VGA-out, S-Video Out, Kensington Lock, LAN, Modem
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 37 x 360 x 298
:: Weight
2.85 kg
:: Battery
, 4000 mAh Lithium Ionen Akku
:: Price
1359 Euro
:: Additional features
HDD: 120GB, 5400rpm, Hitachi HTS541612J9S, Realtek HD Audio, DVD +/-R (DL) Matshita UJ-841S,

 

Toshiba Satellite Pro A100's decent colors fit well to a gray suit.
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100
The workmanship is alright - even the details.
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100
The Pro A100 comes with Harman/Kardon speakers.
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100
The keyboard's layout is clear, and makes typing during a longer duration possible.
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100
Compulsory for business notebooks: Non-reflecting display, however, low brightness.
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100
Core 2 Duo CPU and ATI X1600 video card ensure sufficient power for all kinds of applications
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100
1GB memory is already available, max. 4GB are possible. Positive: easy to enhance, because only one bank is used so far.
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100
The fans of the Satellite Pro A100 run unfortunately all the time.
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100
The 4000 mAh Akku battery allows a runtime between 1,5 and nearly 3 hours.
Toshiba Satellite Pro A100

Pro

  • Nice Design
  • Good Workmanship
  • Robust case
  • Clear and comfortable keyboard
  • Non-reflecting display, can be used outdoors.
  • Good performance
  • Excellent speakers
  • Contra

  • Case partly pressure sensitive
  • The Display's low brightness
  • Permanent noise
  • Similar Notebooks

    Price Comparison

    Ciao Toshiba Satellite Pro A100

    Bewertung

    Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 PSAACE-010010GR
    08/31/2007
    J. Simon Leitner

    Chassis
    90%
    Keyboard
    86%
    Pointing Device
    86%
    Connectivity
    84%
    Weight
    76%
    Battery
    63%
    Display
    77%
    Games Performance
    79%
    Application Performance
    94%
    Temperature
    78%
    Noise
    68%
    Add Points
    88%
    Average
    81%
    81%
    Multimedia *
    Weighted Average

    > Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Toshiba Satellite Pro A100 Notebook
    Author: J. Simon Leitner, 2007-01- 6 (Update: 2013-05- 8)