Toshiba’s Energy Saving E205 Laptop & Review

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For the past couple of years, retail giant Best Buy (BBY) has been putting more of its own stamp on laptops for consumers at its stores. Toshiba’s recently introduced E205-S1904 Satellite laptop is one collaborative result. The verdict: It’s a $999 laptop with snappy performance and the ability to beam videos to a big-screen TV, but it has too many mechanical flaws for me to recommend it wholeheartedly.

Toshiba designed the E205 as part of Best Buy’s “Blue Label” program. The retailer uses the program to influence product design so computing will be easier for consumers, based on what they’ve said they want. Toshiba seems to have taken the name literally: The laptop’s royal blue, molded-plastic case feels cheap, compared to other Toshiba models. Its glossy lid shows too many fingerprints and smudges.

The E205 features a springy keyboard and big touchpad. But a further construction flaw I found was that the left and right mouse buttons are very hard to reach. Even with large hands, I had to stop typing to stretch my thumbs down and apply enough force to click the stiff buttons.

While the laptop’s overall appearance wasn’t to my liking, there’s a lot to be impressed with. The Toshiba laptop takes other, more useful design cues from Best Buy recommendations for Blue Label products. On the left side, there are jacks for a headphone and microphone, as well as a USB input. Designers moved the heat-dissipation vents to that side instead of the bottom, where on many notebooks they end up grilling one’s knees. The E205’s right side includes a slot-loading DVD player, a conventional USB port, and another USB input that accepts eSata cable, too. There’s also an HD multimedia (HDMI) output.

WIDI FOR IMAGE DISPLAY ON TV

Above the keyboard, there’s an ambient-light sensor that automatically adjusts the brightness settings on the energy-saving, 14.1-inch, HD-resolution, LED-backlit screen. To the right of the keyboard, there’s a touch-control panel to adjust the volume and playback of music and videos. The keyboard is nicely backlit as well, which helps in low-light situations.

Toshiba is one of the first PC makers to use a new Intel (INTC) technology called Wireless Display, or WiDi. It creates a wireless network that pairs the laptop with a Netgear (NTGR) Push2TV receiver that’s included with the computer’s purchase. This lets users easily display images from the E205 on a big-screen TV. Once the connection is established, it takes just a button push in Intel’s Wireless Display software to initiate the transfer.

There are a couple of caveats. The technology doesn’t currently work with copy-protected DVDs. And the laptop’s display is disabled during the transfer, so users can’t do something else on the laptop—such as deal with e-mail—while watching videos or listening to music.

Overall performance was nimble. The laptop runs on Intel’s new Core i5 processor and includes a generous 4 gigabytes of memory, which can be expanded up to 8 GB. The 500-GB hard drive is generous for a laptop in the E205’s price range. Battery life is a fairly typical 3.5 hours when running video at normal screen brightness.

SOME GRAPHICS CHIPS UNWELCOME

Toshiba decided to use the 64-bit version of Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows 7 Home Premium operating system, which processes data in larger chunks than the 32-bit version. The E205 had no problems running multiple programs simultaneously. It worked without a hitch when I played video and listened to music at the same time, using Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes software.

Intel’s integrated graphics chip always seems to need a few seconds to work out the kinks when playing video, and this system was no different. An odd quirk of the E205 and other WiDi-equipped laptops is that users can’t easily add more potent graphics chips from Nvidia (NVDA) or ATI (AMD). That could limit the machine’s appeal for video game players. Intel executives say PC makers can create software that would let them add other graphics chips to their machines.

The E205 comes with a trial version of Microsoft Office and Works and Symantec’s (SYMC) Norton Internet Security. There’s also Best Buy’s Software Installer application, which contains a list of programs and Web sites—including Netflix (NFLX), Roxio Creator (SNIC), and The Wall Street Journal (NWS)—that can quickly be installed. It’s a neat way to shop for software to personalize your computer without being hobbled by preinstalled clutter you don’t want.

The Toshiba E205’s design may not work for everyone, but it’s a powerful and affordable laptop whose innovation and ease of use packs a wallop.

Toshiba Satellite E205 today we review on is full of new ideas in appearance.This Toshiba Satellite E205 color is blue. The most difference of Toshiba Satellite E205 and previous M,T,L series is adpoting a new mold. Toshiba Satellite E205 also comes with 14 inch wide LED backlit LCD screen and its resolution is 1366×768.

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The biggest change is “TOSHIBA” Logo position, from middle to decentralized location making entire surface smooth and using imprint process. Toshiba Satellite E205 shaft also has change, its axis stand operating area and surface using ABS plastic.

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Unique Toshiba Satellite E205 axis  Toshiba Satellite E205 fuselage weight is 2.287kg(including battery).

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Toshiba Satellite E205 travel weight is 2.825kg(inlcuding battery and adapter).

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Through caliper measurements, Toshiba Satellite E205 body thickness is 32.59 millimeters thick, is thinner than the present conventional notebook, and create a kind of lightweight feel in side design.

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Toshiba Satellite E205 operating area surface heritage Toshiba’s consistent design style. Toshiba Satellite E205 uses wide touch keyboard, its key distances are more reasonable, the overall percussion make you feel moderate, and keyboard glossy surface enhance the stylish of Toshiba Satellite E205.

Compared to Toshiba Portege M900 series, Toshiba Satellite E205 put switch power at the top of  keyboard and shortcut keys to the right side of keyboard. Through our actual test, Toshiba Satellite E205 keyboard are very sensitive and accompanied by sound in prompt.

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Toshiba Satellite E205 keyboard.

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Toshiba Satellite E205 power switch is circular and embeded with white lights, make you understand the boot state. The light located at the buttom are: eco energy saving mode, wireless network, screen brightness adjustment, play or pause, mute and volume adjustment. All shortcut keys light will turn white in standby mode.

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Toshiba Satellite E205 power switch and touch shortcut keys.

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Widened in-one Toshiba Satellite E205 touchpad.

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Toshiba Satellite E205 not only shift power and buttons also longer the Toshiba Satellite E205 touchpad. Toshiba Satellite E205 is still used in –one touch pad, and its matte surface make operator feel more comfortable. In addition, there is shortcut lock keys beside the button.

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Toshiba Satellite E205 keypad surrounding also adopts imprint process, smooth surface can highlight and underscoring its fashion. The new Toshiba Satellite E205 shows its fashion element whether in overall design or reveal details.

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Toshiba Satellite E205 speaker are placed in front of the fuselage beneath the location, using the highly acclaimed harman/kardon, its amplification result make people satisfied through my actual use.

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Toshiba Satellite E205 has status indicators, namely: wireless networking, Bluetooth, external power, sleep mode, battery charging , and reader status indicator that to facilitate the users to view the machine running.

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Toshiba Satellite E205 speaker at the buttom of fuselage.

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There are Windows 7 and NVIDIA discrete graphics labels, Toshiba Satellite E205 pre-installed with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit operating system, and nVIDIA GeForce G 310M. The right palmrest shows Toshiba Satellite E205 equips with Core i5-430M dual-threaded processor.At the same time, Toshiba Satellite E205 has a slot-loading optical flash eagle drive which can automatically identify the standard plat and 8CM small discs.

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Toshiba Satellite E205 right side has HDMI interface, eSATA port, USB interface, card reader interface and slot-loading DVD burner. It should be mentioned that the eSATA interface is also compatible with USB devices, so you figure the fuselage with a total of three USB port. In addition, we see that this machine is not configured a traditional tray-type drives, but the slot-loading DVD drive, so avoid users the tedious push-pull drive tray.

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Toshiba Satellite E205 left side has a vent so the interface is relatively much less, only leaving a USB  interface and a pair of audio interface.

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Toshiba Satellite E205 axis is a little up, and some interfaces can be arranged in the back. Usually VGA, network cable and power supply three interfaces are not often plug, and the alignment is relatively long, so it is very reasonable placed these interfaces in the back.

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Toshiba Satellite E205 32nm processors and entry-level graphics cards does not produce much heat, but 30mm thickness body is indeed a test of cooling capacity. Toshiba Satellite E205 at the vents placed a row of metal to achieve a better cooling effect.

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We use EVERest  to detect Toshiba Satellite E205 configuration, Toshiba Satellite E205 uses Core Duo Intel’s latest dual-core i5 430 family of processors and HM55 chipset motherboards, equipped with 2 × 2GB DDRIII-1066 memory, loaded with NVIDIA GeForce G 310M graphics card, while is also equipped with a 500GB 5400RPM SATA-II hard drive, DVD burner and 802.11n wireless template. There is also pre-installed 64bit Windows 7 Home Premium (Home Premium) operating system.

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Intel Core i5 430 processor is based on Arrandale core, 32nm process technology, manufacturing, the default frequency / Core frequency, respectively 2.27GHz (19 × 133MHz) / 2.53MHz, supporting HT technology, and therefore dual-core four threads, a shared L3 cache of 3MB, 2-core of their respective exclusive 256KB of L2 cache. The new Core i5 processors have a higher frequency, and supports Hyper-Threading Technology Core frequency and synchronization, in addition to Intel’s integrated graphics chip, mainly located in mid-end notebook market.

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CINEBench is using the CPU testing a high-precision 3D rendering scenes images on a single processor, single-threaded the next run only once, if the system has more than one processor core or multi-threading, then the first time use only one thread, the first second to run all the processor cores and threads. Finally the processor in a single, multi-core test scores were 3436 hours and 7793 hours. Overall, the Intel Core i5 430 with low power consumption and high efficiency of the intelligence structure to bring a strong performance of the Toshiba Satellite E205, and can capable of much faster response to everyday computing and entertainment needs.

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Toshiba Satellite E205 uses own production 500GB 400RPM SATAII hard drives through the HD Tune test. After complete testing, it is easy to see this piece of the hard disk average reading rate is 56.4MB / s, burst transfer rate is 97.8MB / s. While in the test graph with a few minor ups and downs phenomenon, the overall read speed is still very stable. We will use Windows 7 performance evaluation tool and machine performance testing PCMark Vantage software test scores as a reference in overall performance evaluation. Toshiba Satellite E205 official pre-installed Home Premium version of Windows 7, even though many of my friends that the system is not an objective assessment of the results, but the hardware indicators able to measure the standard software for machine performance can still tend to provide an effective reference , in particular, its score is also a direct reflection of the current operating system Windows 7’s performance capability. Compared with the former, PCMark Vantage is necessary to look more professional, and it is for the same hardware, the performance of different states are very sensitive, full of professional data also allow us the measured performance of the system has an in-depth understanding.

Windows 7 system gives a score of 5.0, this is also the graphics score. The processor got the highest scores while the memory, games, graphics and hard drive performance are also very stable score. Then we use the PCMark Vantage software to test overall performance, while the PCMark Vantage a more focused application of multi-functional notebook tests, the final test a total score of 5619 points, in which all the test scores are showing a good performance power of Toshiba Satellite E205 notebook in its class.

Toshiba Satellite E205 equips with independent graphics card is NVIDIA GeForce G 310M. NVIDIA GeForce G 310M is mainly for the mainstream market (entry level), the specification essentially the same as with the G 210M. NVIDIA GeForce G 310M also has 16 stream processors, floating point performance 73GFlops, Shader unit frequency of 1530MHz, Memory Interface 64-bit, maximum capacity of 512MB, the maximum frequency of 800MHz (GDDR3/DDR3). Support for PureVideo HD, PhysX, CUDA, OpenCL, HybridPower, PCI-E 2.0, PowerMizer 8.0, HDMI, DisplayPort, HDCP and other technologies, 310M also supports DirectX 10.1.

3DMark Vantage is the first exclusively comprehensive benchmarking tool based on Microsoft DirectX10 API interface, and Windows Vista operating system can give full play to the advantages of multiple graphics cards and  multi-core processors, you can in the current and future period of time to meet the PC System game performance testing needs.

In the 1024 × 768 resolution Entry mode, Toshiba Satellite E205 final test score is 5893 points, which GPU the score of 5558 points. In the same price of notebook, such 3D performance can only be considered general, but this performance is still able to meet their most fashionable white-collar workers sound entertainment applications. In addition, the low quality can also be run most of the mainstream 3D games under the present.

I believe we all think of a problem, and that is to use i5 an entry-level graphics processor configuration would appear inconsistent. Yes, for users who focus on game performance, this configuration is indeed strange. However, not all products are born for games. For the office worker or some users who rarely play games, high-end graphics cards can be said to be a cumbersome, not only increased the heat has reduced the battery life, and they configure the integrated graphics or a low-end discrete graphics products are the first choice.