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I would like to share with others my opinion of my "New Toy" which I decided to purchase as an addition to my desktop.
To start with...... the price. As with most electrical items an absolute must is to shop around before you buy. I do find the most productive way of doing this is to take advantage of the high street, e.g. PC World, Comet, Currys Etc. This enables you to actually see in person what you are buying before venturing blind into the on-line market. In general products purchased on-line are cheaper than the on the high street but there is always the risk factor of what you get looks nothing like the picture.
A classic example of on-line versus high street prices is the purchase of my Toshiba. When I checked in the shops, the average price was around £830 - £890 placing it just outside my price range. On-line I bought the same product for just under £800.
The laptop itself I would consider to be one of those "love it or hate it" designs. Certainly the A6-171 is a lot more bulky to look at than a lot of other manufacturers in terms of its height. Personally I love it.
The basic features of the laptop are as follows:
Hard drive: The laptop comes as standard with a 100Gb hard drive. When I was shopping around, other machines in the same price range, namely Acer were providing only 80Gb. whilst you may never store this volume
of data, it's there if you ever need it, better to have to much than not enough!
Processor: The processor fitted is the higher speed Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo T7200 rated at 2Ghz. I have found this to be super fast. I have run applications to compare start up times (Adobe Acrobat 7 Pro.) simultaneously on my desktop PC (running 3Ghz AMD Sempron + 1Ghz DDR II RAM) and my laptop. The difference in speed is astounding. My new laptop wins hands down for speed. Another impressive feature was the 4Mb L2 Casche. Most machines on the market even at the higher end price range, including the likes of Sony Vaio, have an L2 Cashe of either 1 or 2Mb
Memory: Installed as standard is 1Ghz DDR-II RAM at 533Mhz. A real bonus with the A6-171 is that the RAM is supplied in the form of 1 stick of 1GB. The vast majority of PC / laptop manufacturers have an annoying habit of supplying memory in the form of two sets of lower memory, (E.G. 2 x 512Mb rather than 1 x 1Gb) hence using up both the available memory slots. The advantage of having just one stick supplied as with the Toshiba, is that upgrades become a lot cheaper option, without having to waste half the memory you had to start with. The A6-171 is upgradable to 4GB if required.
Optical: Fitted as standard with DVD+/-RW. Basically my Toshiba can both read and write / burn DVD's rather than just being able to play them back.
Display: The display is comparable to most other manufacturers. Fitted as standard is A 14.1" TFT panel. Maximum resolution is 1200 x 800. From personal experience I have found the display to be more than adequate. Appearance is nice and bright with good colour reproduction, although it does suffer a little in bright direct light. The display is not by any means in the same league as the black screens provided by Sony, but then again it is nowhere near the same price.
Operating System: Comes pre-installed with Windows XP as standard. If you do want to upgrade to Vista, the laptop is Microsoft certified to do so.
Extra's: Other features included are a 5 in 1 card reader. These tend to be fitted to most laptops now as standard. I have found this very useful for editing photo's from my digital camera. Instead of messing around with USB leads, I now simply remove the SD memory card from the camera and plug it strait into my laptop. Also included is Bluetooth capability, I haven't actually used this yet but I do send downloaded games / ring tones to and from my mobile. I can now do this without having to use a separate dongle via one of the USB ports. On another plus point the laptop does have 4 USB ports where as most machines are normally equipped with 3.
Standard Features: All the usual features that are available on 99.9% of all laptops are included such as 56Kbps modem, ethernet / Lan port and WIfi. (802.1 a/b/g).
Battery: The battery life quoted by Toshiba is the usual "Cloud Cuckoo Land" figure of 4.2 hours. Having said that I have with average usage (internet browsing, e-mail, and photo editing via Adobe) managed to achieve around 3.5 hours usage before needing to be re-charged. I have compared this with a few of my work colleagues with various makes of laptops who have reported 2.5 - 3 hours usage tops!, so comparatively I would say this to be pretty good.
Technical Specifications: Dimensions 34.3cm x 24.2cm x 3.8cm (WxDxH) Weight 2.46 Kg Display 14.1" TFT WXGA (resolution 1200x800 - 24bit) CPU Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7200 2.06 GHz Cashe 4 MB - L2 Cache RAM 1Gb DDR II SDRAM - 533 MHz System Windows XP Pro SP2 (Windows Vista Premium Ready) Hard Drive 100 GB - Serial ATA-150 - 5400 rpm Optical Drive DVD±RW (±R DL) / DVD-RAM Card reader 5 in 1 Modem Fax / modem - 56 Kbps LAN Ethernet, Fast Ethernet Comms Bluetooth Wifi IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11g Battery Lithium Ion up to 4.2Hrs Warranty 12 Months (return to base)
Summary: In general a very quick laptop, "love or hate it" design, but plenty of laptop and spec for the money. Would I recommend it? YES!!!!!!
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