The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.
Share this review on
Latest update: The Toshiba Recovery Media Creater programme does not work. It actually corrupted my 8GB pen drive that I have specifically bought as a recovery pen drive. Somehow this programme failed to format my pen drive and after the error messages, my pen drive reduced to 0 byte capacity. When I got it, I have tested the pen drive extensively by transferring ~8GB files to and from it and reformatted it without any issue. Beware of the Toshiba-ware!
I was looking for a netbook for my daughter to do her homework without hogging our main computer and also with an option of storing digital photos/video from my TZ10 camera via the SDHC memory card reader. Also, access to the internet on the move when there is free Wi-Fi available.
My initial thought was for an HP netbook which was on sale at £229 at Tesco.com with a smaller hard disk 160GB but at higher spinning speed of 7200 rpm. However it was out of stock. So I settle for this one instead. I could have settle for another HP netbook with OLED display (longer battery life at 9 hrs) but this one has got faster DDR3 memory and latest wireless card that is 802.11N compatible.
This was bought for £249 with some vouchers under the Big Tesco ClubCard voucher exchange scheme to help reducing some of the costs.
Specification (only key features and my comments):
Battery Life in Hours Up to 4 hrs 30 (most important, with the default settings of the installed Windows 7 starter, you will be lucky to have >3 hours)
Memory 1GB PC2-8500 (1066 MHz) DDR3 (fast and good size memory)
Operating System Microsoft Windows® 7 Starter Edition 32 bit (power hungry with all the fancy graphics on display, better off with XP to reserve battery life however XP is now likely to be replaced by Windows 7, shame about Microsoft not bothered with developing a Windows 7 version for netbook, see below).
Wired Networking Port 10 / 100 MHz ethernet
Integrated 802.11 b/g/n wireless card allowing connection to all Wi-Fi hotspots.
Bluetooth No (extra dongle required)
Built-in Webcam Yes (with blue LED light to help in the dark, may waste battery life in broad daylight)
Card Reader Type Multi card reader (at the front, only read SD or SDHC cards, nothing else but good enough these days because most cameras/camcorders are now using these cards)
250GB Hard drive (5400 rpm, plenty of space however 400MB hidden partition reserved for recovery and then the rest was already divided into two equal 116GB drives)
3 x USB 2.0 - enough for external keyboard, mouse, pen drive. However if you want to use USB DVD writer, bluetooth dongle, USB printer etc. An extra USB hub is required.
Size: 26.3 cm x 19.23 cm x 3.08 cm Weight 1.12 kg (light weight but sturdy built)
The keyboard: Good size keys (lap top size rather than mini netbook size, the function keys are shrunk for this purpose) (very important).
The touchpad: Good size too with two button rather than one of those tedious rocking bar.
Installation and set up:
Easy in general. First time start up will take some minutes but most things are pre-installed, ready to go except for quite a few trialwares namely McAfee Internet Security (30 days), Microsoft® office starter (60 days).
For the firewall and antivirus, I just use free Comodo firewall and AVG antivirus instead. No need to pay and these freewares are good enough. For the Microsoft office starter, I will replace it with free OpenOffice instead of paying a fortune to Microsoft.
Also, I will install (faster, more configurable) FireFox for most of my internet browsing. Alternatively Opera is good as well.
The good points:
For basic uses (internet browsing, Web-emailing, Skype, Word processing and Excelling, transferring photos/videos from camera/camcorder's memory card to free up its space) on the move this is excellent. Highly portable and very light weight without any compromise on built quality.
Toshiba user's manual shortcut icon ready on the desktop to see what you are having for this machine.
Skype ready, webcam built-in, just plug in the (extra) microphone to talk.
The not so good points:
The current max display setting is 1024x600. This is not ideal for the current Windows 7 starter. Microsoft should have done something about this otherwise people will stick to XP for netbooks. Some of the dialogue windows e.g. internet setting did not display properly. The bottom buttons (OK/Cancel/others) can not be seen and you have to guest because there is no scroll bar at the side to scroll down to the bottom. The OS thinks that the screen is 'long/tall' enough to see the whole dialogue window without the need to scroll up/down. Same for the dialogue windows for setting up windows media player and other applications.
Lots of un-necessary graphical displays that drains the battery rapidly, for example: Animate controls and elements inside windows Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing Fade or slide menus into view Fade or slide ToolTips into view Fade out menu items after clicking Show window contents while dragging Slide open combo boxes
Also, lots of un-necessary services which are hogging system resources:
Windows defender (I have AVG and Comodo, don't need this). Homegroup listener etc (standalone netbook didn't really need this) Nero BackItUP (you don't need this every day). CD/DVD burning (unless you have an external drive attached). Remote registry - security risk, better disable it unless you are getting IT support remotely.
Also, lots of not so useful Toshiba-ware to deal with:
ReelTime for fast visual access to all files up to 3 months old (resource and battery draining however). Bulletin Board (all tools in one window + keeping you informed of updates etc) --> regularly siphon off some of your bandwidth and resources to communicate back to base. Toshiba value added package (Toshiba power saver, Toshiba zooming utility, Toshiba PC diagnostic tool, Toshiba flash cards, Toshiba components common driver, Toshiba accessibility, Toshiba button support). Windows 7 has got power option and accessibility tool already. Do I really need that many applications in the background consuming my system sources?? Nero 10 essentials, Nero backItup and Burn (if you need to use an external DVD writer, not included however Nero backItup service always start automatically).
eBay, Amazon search (if you use them a lot). However I like my own search for these sites e.g. MoneySavingExpert website has bargain Amazon links.
Also, if you use the online support information software, some info of your machine (serial number, configuration etc) will be stored in Toshiba server for a year. For some reason this software keep reminding every single user in the same netbook to agree to the terms and conditions - very annoying. You should just need to do this once per machine, not per user!
Furthermore, if you use the Toshiba service center application, you would have to agree to have your data (machine ID, configuration + what have you been doing to improve the hardware, software and perhaps web browsing habit) to be stored in the Toshiba server for 7 years!!! Beware!
Since it comes with Windows 7 starter pre-installed, there is no CD-ROM in the box. To obtain a CD-ROM, you have to apply to Toshiba with a valid serial number to get one for £29.99. Is it fair to charge valid customer for a OS CD-ROM???
Great light and portable machine for basic uses on the move so that you don't lose touch with the internet or your favourite social media site(s). Excellent for storing your photos/video temporarily to free up your memory card for the camera/camcorder too.
The current Windows 7 starter is not 100% compatible with the display of these 10" netbooks. Hopefully Microsoft will be kind enough to sort it out e.g. enable a virtual desktop that is bigger than 1024 x 600 so that we can move the window further up or down to click on the OK/Cancel button.