Review Toshiba Satellite U300 Notebook

Function follows Design? The Toshiba Satellite U300-114 is a classical subnotebook with 13,3" display and good looking design. A Core 2 Duo T5450, 2GB main memory and a 160GB hard disk provide sufficient power for office and Internet. However, games should not be tried with the integrated video card. The following review uncovers whether this Toshiba notebook is a good companion or whether it only looks good with its glossy display cover and LCD.

Case

The Toshiba Satellite U300 looks good by its decent design and its silver top side. Also the hinges look good and seem to be sufficiently stable. When the notebook is open, there is a gap between case and display.

Combined with a shiny blue Satellite logo down left, the U300 looks modern and of high-quality. However, we doubt that the shiny black surfaces will still look that good after months of intensive use. Unfortunately they are very sensible.

Still, the surfaces look more stable and of higher value than those of some competitor notebooks. Only the pressure resistance could be better. Furthermore, the hinges creak when moved.

Front Side: Firewire, Card-Reader, WLAN switch
Toshiba Satellite U300
Left Side: VGA, Fan, 2xUSB, Microphone, Headphone, Volume Control
Toshiba Satellite U300
Back Side: AC-in
Toshiba Satellite U300
Right Side: Optical Drive, USB, LAN, Modem, Kensington Lock
Toshiba Satellite U300

Input Devices

The Toshiba's keyboard is average. The layout is classic, only the left shift key is alike the cursor keys a little smaller. Furthermore, the keys are labeled in English, which could be cumbersome for some. The travel is short and the point of pressure good. Unfortunately the whole keyboard area is sensible to pressure. The keyboard yields by a whole centimeter.

The Satellite's touch pad works precisely and accurate. Reasonable hot keys are well placed above the keyboard. Furthermore, there is a  volume control available at the left side.

Whilst the pressure resistance should be generally improved, especially of the keyboard, the palm rest areas and the area which surrounds the hot keys is very stable and pressure resistant.

Keyboard
Toshiba Satellite Keyboard
Hot keys
Toshiba Satellite U300

Display

Color Diagram
Toshiba Satellite U300

The Toshiba Satellite U300's 13,3" display has a maximum resolution of 1280x800 pixels in format 16:10. The maximum brightness of 218,1 cd/m² is generally good, but, the brightness diminishes top down in a way that is visible to the naked eye with unicolored backgrounds. Also the black value of 0.8 is a little bit high. The maximum contrast of 273:1 is average. But, we liked the horizontal viewing angles. Only at acute angles the colors change and the picture gets blurred. Vertically, the picture changes quickly, especially when looking from bottom up.

A special feature is the menu, which is displayed from top down, when one strikes the Fn keys. It stands out against the simple green bars or baroque pop-ups by other competitors. The gray, sharp menu opens in a fluently animated way and fits well to the impression of reasonable design the U300 generally left.

1) measurement 2) measurement
205.8
cd/m²
189.6
cd/m²
205.3
cd/m²
215.8
cd/m²
201.2
cd/m²
201.7
cd/m²
187.8
cd/m²
183.4
cd/m²
176.3
cd/m²
Information
Maximum: 215.8 cd/m²
Average: 196.3 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 82 %
Black: 0.6 cd/m²
Contrast: 335:1
Distribution of brightness
186.6
cd/m²
218.1
cd/m²
187.2
cd/m²
164.9
cd/m²
195.2
cd/m²
169.7
cd/m²
134
cd/m²
139.3
cd/m²
138.7
cd/m²
Information
Maximum: 218.1 cd/m²
Average: 170.4 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 61 %
Black: 0.8 cd/m²
Contrast: 244:1
Distribution of brightness

Unfortunately also Toshiba follows the trend to equip more and more notebooks with reflecting display. The Satellite U300 is no exception. It makes working outdoors impossible, even if the display might be otherwise sufficiently bright.

The speed of reaction and the stability to the vantage point are subjectively good. In total the diminishing brightness and a slightly high black value devalues the rating of the built-in LCD.

Performance

While the office performance is, because of 2GB main memory, good and all standard Windows applications run quickly without problems, it was clear from the  start that the U300 won't allow playing games with high 3D demands. It is designed as mobile office and multimedia notebook and not for 3D applications and games.

PC Mark
PCMark 053501 points
Help
PCMark 05 in comparison
Acer Aspire One 751 (min)
 Z520, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 500
692
   ...
Dell Inspiron M301z
 K625, Radeon HD 4225
3478
HP Compaq 6735s NA853ES
 RM-72, Radeon HD 3200
3479
Toshiba U300-114
 T5450, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100
3501
Sony Vaio VGN-FE31B
 T5500, GeForce Go 7400
3516
Sony Vaio VGN-FE21M
 T2300, GeForce Go 7600
3577
   ...
Fujitsu Celsius H710 WXP11DE (max)
 2820QM, Quadro 1000M
13842
3D Mark
3DMark 05834 points
3DMark 06
 
535 points
Help
3DMark 06 in comparison
Sony Vaio VGN-FS485B (min)
 740, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 900
54
   ...
Toshiba M9
 T7500, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100
527
HP EliteBook 2530p
 SL9400, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 4500MHD
534
Toshiba U300-114
 T5450, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100
535
Dell Inspiron 1525
 T5500, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100
536
Lenovo ThinkPad X300
 L7100, Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) X3100
539
   ...
Alienware M18x R2 (max)
 3920XM, Radeon HD 7970M Crossfire
29496

Emissions

Loudness

In idle mode the noise level is about 32,7dB, which is alright. Also under load the Toshiba Satellite U300 stays quiet and a noise level of 36dB is never exceeded. The noise level of 35,4dB at DVD playback is also low.

Noise Level

Idle 32.4 / 41.3 / 41.3 dB(A)
HDD 37.9 dB(A)
DVD 36.5 / dB(A)
Load / 41.3 dB(A)
 
    30 dB
silent
40 dB
audible
50 dB
loud
 
min: , med: , max:     (15 cm distance)

Temperature

The heat emissions of this Toshiba notebook are absolutely alright. Especially the surface temperature of the palm rest areas reaches comfortable 32 Grad in average, and gets never uncomfortably hot. Also the other surfaces reach only a maximum of 37.8°C, which is alright too. At the bottom side we measured a maximum of 43,1°C

Furthermore, the main fan is at the left side of the notebook, so, its warm waste heat does not disturb the mouse hand of right handers. However, left hander should take care.

Upper side

palmwrist: 33.4°C max: 37.8°C avg: 34°C hotspot: 37.8

Bottom side

max: 43.1°C avg: 36.5°C hotspot: 43.1

environment: 27

Speakers

The Toshiba Satellite U300's speakers are left and right above the keyboard. There sound is rather average. The basses could be better and the high tones are a little tiny. The maximum volume is sufficient for watching DVDs, if you do not mind the quality of the sound. In order to enjoy music, we recommend using a headset or external speakers.

Battery Runtime

Toshiba Satellite U300 Akku

The battery runtime of this Toshiba notebook is rather short. 90 minutes are unfortunately too short for enjoying DVDs unplugged. The maximum runtime of 300 minutes is reached with dimmed brightness and deactivated WLAN.

Battery runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
7h 30min
WiFi Surfing
5h 04min
DVD
4h 00min
Load (maximum brightness)
2h 55min

Power consumption

Idle 8.6 / 12.7 / 13.4 Watt
Load 23.6 / 20.7 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         

Verdict

Toshiba Satellite U300
Toshiba Satellite U300

The Toshiba Satellite U300 is a good looking, solid 13,3" notebook of good workmanship. Unfortunately the glossy surfaces and the glossy display have also disadvantages which are in our opinion not set into perspective by the pros.

If you do not mind playing games or working outdoors, the U300 is a nice notebook with some smaller weaknesses. One of the main pros of the Satellite U300 is its good price/performance ratio, which is one of the most important criteria in the fierce competed subnotebook class.

 

Über den Testbericht bzw. das Notebook können hier sie in unserem Forum diskutieren.

Reviewed: Toshiba Satellite U300
Toshiba Satellite U300

Specifications

Toshiba U300-114

:: Processor
Intel Core 2 Duo T5450 1.66 GHz (Intel Core 2 Duo)
:: Memory
2048 MB, DDR2 PC5300 667Mhz SDRAM, max. 4096MB, 2x1024MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
13,3 inch 16:10, 1280x800 pixel, WXGA TFT, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
160 GB - 5400 rpm, 160 GB 5400 rpm Toshiba MK1637GSX: 160GB, 5400rpm
:: Connections
3xUSB 2.0, Mic, Phones, Card Reader (SD/MS/xD/MMC), VGA, Modem, LAN, Firewire, Express Card, Kensington
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 34 x 310 x 227
:: Weight
1.95 kg
:: Battery
, 6 Zellen Lithium Ionen Akku
:: Price
1300 Euro
:: Additional features
Intel 965M, HDD: 160GB, 5400rpm, Toshiba MK1637GSX, Intel HD Audio, DVD+/-RW Double Layer,

 

Even closed the Toshiba Satellite looks good.
Toshiba Satellite U300
But also after opening it, everything seems so slick and smooth.
Toshiba Satellite U300
Especially the silver surface attracts attention.
Toshiba Satellite U300
And also details like the blue shiny logo look good.
Toshiba Satellite U300
The hinges seem modern and of high-quality.
Toshiba Satellite U300
The workmanship is not so good, but the hot keys are reasonably located.
Toshiba Satellite U300
The surface temperature never exceeded 43°C.
Toshiba Satellite U300

Pro

  • Nice design
  • Good price/performance ratio
  • Good input devices with nice looking OSD
  • Low noise and temperature emissions
  • Contra

  • Sensible glossy surfaces
  • Reflecting display with weaknesses
  • Workmanship could be partly better
  • Similar Notebooks

    All 13"-14" notebooks including Apple's Macbook and Sony's Vaio VGN-C1 must match with the U300. The competition among subnotebooks is fierce.

    Price Comparison

    Ciao.uk

    Toshiba Satellite U300-114

    Rating

    Toshiba U300-114
    08/31/2007
    J. Simon Leitner

    Chassis
    80%
    Keyboard
    80%
    Pointing Device
    84%
    Connectivity
    80%
    Weight
    88%
    Battery
    70%
    Display
    87%
    Games Performance
    59%
    Application Performance
    92%
    Temperature
    69%
    Noise
    88%
    Add Points
    81%
    Average
    80%
    81%
    Subnotebook *
    Weighted Average

    Links

    Bewertung

    > Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Toshiba Satellite U300 Notebook
    Author: J. Simon Leitner, 2007-09-10 (Update: 2013-05- 8)