Friday, February 12, 2010

Toshiba Satellite E205 laptop

The Satellite E205 is the latest "Blue Label" Toshiba notebook exclusively made for Best Buy. Packing a 14-inch WXGA screen, an Intel Core i5 processor, and the latest Intel GMA HD graphics, this notebook has one feature no other model currently offers, Intel Wireless Display. Intel Wi-Di lets notebooks stream HD-quality video to a compatible receiver plugged into your HDTV, letting you share videos without any need for cables. In this review we take an in-depth look at the Toshiba Satellite E205 and see if its Intel Wireless Display is going to change the way we use notebooks in our home theaters.

Toshiba Satellite E205 Specifications:

* 14-inch WXGA (1366x678) LED Backlit (Glossy finish)
* Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit)
* Processor: Intel Core i5-430M (2.26GHz, 3MB Cache)
* 4GB DDR3 RAM (2GB + 2GB)
* 500GB Hitachi HDD (5400rpm)
* Slot loading DVD+/-RW
* Intel 6200 802.11AGN, Intel Wireless Display
* Mobile Intel HD Graphics
* Netgear Push 2 TV Adapter
* 5800mAh 6-cell, 75W 19V AC adapter
* Dimensions: 13.7" x 9.57" x 1.22" without feet
* Weight: 5lbs 2.4oz
* Retail Price: $899
* Warranty: 2 Year

Build and Design
The Toshiba Satellite E205 is probably the first 14" consumer notebook that manages to keep a curvy, modern design while still maintaining a thin look and feel. Every edge on the E205 is rounded, including the CPU-exhaust vent which I think is pretty cool. The only part that seems to rub me in the wrong way is the battery hump which is exaggerated in size since it also includes the screen hinges and rear ports. The color scheme looks great with a blue diamond- pattern on the screen cover which changes to a black diamond-pattern on the inside with metallic-blue trim. Even the touchpad gets special treatment with its flush-mount design that shares the same pattern as the palmrest and is outlined with a matte finish.

Build quality is above average for consumer notebooks although the thin design does have some weaknesses with the strength of the screen frame and cover. The screen cover flexed under moderate pressure but still protected the screen from distortion unless you gripped it very hard. The bezel around the screen on the inside of the notebook seemed to be warped but was only noticed since the mirror-like finish made reflections look distorted. The keyboard and palmrest showed only mild flex under strong pressure. Compared to the last Best Buy-exclusive notebook we reviewed-the Satellite E105-the E205 is a huge improvement in quality and design.

Screen and Speakers
The Toshiba Satellite E205 is built around a 14-inch screen - instead of a 13.3"-since Best Buy's research has shown that most of their customers still prefer this size. It offers a 1366x768 WXGA resolution which is capable of displaying 720P HD video. The screen rates average compared to similar screens, with some mild backlight bleed visible on all-black screens and limited viewing angles. For watching movies, viewing pictures, or browsing the web we found color saturation and contrast to be more than adequate thanks to the glossy surface. At peak brightness we had no trouble viewing the screen in a brightly-lit office. Vertical viewing angles were average with colors starting to distort at 15 to 20 degrees tilted back.

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