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Review: Toshiba Satellite Pro A300D notebook: AMD Puma at the helm

by Tarinder Sandhu on 10 October 2008, 17:17 2.5

Tags: Satellite Pro A300D, Toshiba (TYO:6502), AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qapp4

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Specifications and thoughts


 Please head on over the Satellite A300D-15B's review to gain a deeper insight into Toshiba's Satellite range. Knowing what makes that tick will provide decent background reading for this review.

Toshiba Satellite A300D-14O
Processor AMD Turion X2 Ultra ZM-80 (2.1GHz, 2x 1MB L2 cache, dual-core)
Motherboard Toshiba Satellite Pro 300D
Memory 3GB PC6400 (2GB+1GB) in dual-channel mode - DDR2-800
Hard disk(s) Toshiba 250GB, 5,400RPM, 8MB cache
Display/TFT 15.4in WXGA (1,280x800) 
Graphics hardware ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3100 onboard (IGP, Puma)
Optical drive HL-GSA-T50N DVD ReWriter, includes dual-layer support
Sound Conexant HD audio with Dolby Sound Room processing
Modem HDAudio Softmodem
Networking hardware 1x 10/100/1000, Marvell Yukon 88E8072 PCIe Ethernet
Realtek RTL8187 802.11 b/g WiFi
Ports and connectors 4x USB2.0, eSATA, VGA,  ExpressCard54, RJ45 (LAN), modem, 7-pin mini-DIN, mini-FireWire
Mic-in, headphone-out
Operating system Windows Vista Business SP1, 32-bit (Windows XP Pro also included)
Notable extras Built-in card-reader (SD, MMC, MS, MSPro, xD)
1.3MP webcam
Weight 2.872kg with supplied battery. 
Battery 6-cell, 4,000mAh (43WHr)
Dimensions 363mm x 267mm x 38.5mm (W x D x H)
Warranty One year as standard, international cover
Price £520, including VAT

It's no surprise that many of the features are common between both Toshiba laptops; they're based around the same chassis.

System memory is dropped from 4GB to 3GB and the screen resolution from 1,440x900 to 1,280x800. Having used 15.4in laptops screens for a while we feel that the higher-resolution panel is comfortably better.

The A300D-15B's discrete Mobility Radeon HD 3650 512MB graphics card is dropped in favour of onboard graphics, and we can appreciate that a business user doesn't need to a high-powered GPU in a laptop.

Entertainment-wise, the Harman Kardon speakers, glossy finish and HDMI port are all missing in comparison, understandably.

We're concerned that the battery continues to be rather small, delivering only 43WHr for a 15.4in notebook - a standard ~65WHr would have been far more preferable.

A change in operating system is also sensible and expected, with Windows Vista Business pre-loaded. Interestingly, Windows XP Professional SP3 is included in the package at no extra cost: dual-boot goodness, if you want it.

The same laptop is available with an Intel subsystem - A300D-1GO - featuring an Intel Core 2 Duo T5670 CPU, Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG WiFi, and X3100 integrated graphics. It also ships at the same recommended etail price of £560, including VAT, but both are available for around £40 less when shopping online.