Friday, June 17, 2011

Toshiba Portege A605

The Toshiba Portege A605 is a 12.1" ultra-portable notebook designed for business travelers who want something small and lightweight, but don’t want to make any compromises when it comes to features. The A600 series notebooks offer an on-board optical drive so users can enjoy movies or install applications on the road, eSATA to expand storage, and a power saving Intel Centrino 2 platform to squeeze out as much battery life as possible. In this review we find out how well the A605 stands up to the rigors of day-to-day use, and if it is worth purchasing this notebook over a netbook or other ultra-portable notebooks.

Toshiba Portege A605-P210 Specifications:

* Processor: 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo SU9400 (800MHz FSB, 3MB Cache)
* Graphics: Intel X4500 Integrated Graphics
* Operating System: Windows Vista Home Premium with SP 1 (32-bit)
* Screen: 12.1" diagonal WXGA LED-Backlit Display (1280x800)
* Memory: 3GB PC6400 DDR2 (1GB onboard, 2GB in slot, 5GB Max)
* Storage: 320GB Hitachi SATA HDD (5400rpm)
* Optical Drive: LabelFlash SuperMulti 8X DVD+/-R/RW with Double Layer Support
* Intel 5100AGN WLAN with Bluetooth 2.1 w/ EDR
* Power: 6-cell Li-Ion 5800mAh battery, 45W AC adapter
* Dimensions: 11.3" x 8.8" x 1.2"
* Weight: 3lbs 1.8oz (3lbs 11.9oz travel weight)
* Warranty: 1-year
* Price as configured: $1,399.99

Build and Design
The Portege looks very classy for a business notebook, with glossy piano black keyboard bezel and screen cover along with a matte silver base. The port and button layout appears to be very well thought out with effort put into things as simple as the power and activity indicators. The silver keyboard contrasts the black finish, with a nice matte finish with black lettering that is easy to read.

Upgrading the components on the A605 is more difficult that the average notebook, with half of the RAM soldered to the motherboard and no access panel for the hard drive. While most business users probably won’t be modifying company issued hardware, regular users who buy this notebook might be upset.

The 12.1" display is average compared to other business ultra-portable notebooks, but below average if you compare it to the screens on larger notebooks. Colors are bright and vibrant thanks to some help from the LED-backlighting. Overall brightness is adequate for viewing in an office setting but not bright enough for using the notebook outside under direct sunlight. The screen is evenly lit across the entire surface, with the only hotspot showing near the screen hinge attachment points ... which pinch the screen slightly. Vertical viewing angles are average, with colors quickly washing out or distorting outside of the viewing sweet spot. Horizontal viewing angles are much better, staying accurate at steep angles, only dimming as it rotates further away from you.
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