Should you be buying a laptop with the intention of using it for entertainment on the move, you need it to be lightweight and portable. At 2.7kg the Toshiba is light, without feeling flimsy. One slight concern is that, while its shiny metallic exterior is pleasing to the eye, it's not particularly scratch resistant and battle scars will quickly become prominent. This is slightly surprising, given Toshiba's great emphasis on durability.

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This model features a ‘spill-resistant' keyboard, which involves several layers of insulation beneath the keys and above the length of the motherboard to delay any spills. With the A100-049 you will have a legitimate chance of saving data in the event of disaster.

The A100-049 achieved a decent WorldBench 5 speed score of 100, and the 1.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor offers enough power to efficiently run applications. The GeForce Go 7300 isn't the meatiest of graphics controllers, but the 15.4in screen makes a good job of displaying films, games and pictures in considerable detail. However, we did find that the screen's glossiness could affect viewing quality.

The trackpad isn't the best - both the buttons and the trackpad itself are too small - although the keyboard is easy to use. As with the Acer Aspire 5863WLMi we recently reviewed, instant-access buttons let you open up the web browser or Windows Media Player 11.0; other switches offer direct control over media playback. The Toshiba's range of ports and connectors are ample, and 802.11a, b, and g wireless networks are all supported - although you don't get such extras as a built-in webcam or TV tuner.

Toshiba Satellite A100-049: Specs

  • 1.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5500
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2GB DDR2 RAM
  • 120GB hard drive
  • 15.4in, 1,280x800 display
  • 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 7300 graphics card
  • DVD writer
  • 802.11 a/b/g
  • 1-year international warranty
  • 360x267x36.8mm
  • 2.72kg
  • 1.66GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T5500
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • 2GB DDR2 RAM
  • 120GB hard drive
  • 15.4in, 1,280x800 display
  • 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 7300 graphics card
  • DVD writer
  • 802.11 a/b/g
  • 1-year international warranty
  • 360x267x36.8mm
  • 2.72kg

OUR VERDICT

For a lightweight laptop, the Satellite's casing feels capable of withstanding a few knocks. The model offers efficient performance for the price and is well suited as a mobile entertainment centre or a work unit.

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