The follow up to one of the better netbooks.
The Toshiba NB 200 was one of our favorite netbooks with its good build quality, and a spacious keyboard and trackpad. From the looks of it, it seems that Toshiba hasn’t made many modifications to the latest refresh- the NB 305. After all, why spoil a good thing right?
Based on Intel’s refresh of their netbook platform, the NB 305 comes with an Intel Atom N450 CPU running at 1.66GHz with the Intel GMA3150 graphics controller. Along with that, you also get 1GB RAM and 250GB hard drive. For networking, you have a wired 10/100 port as well as 802.11n based Wi-Fi controller. All of this comes with Windows 7 Starter.
Like the previous model you have VGA output, a network socket, a USB connector and the media card reader on the left while the right sports two ore USB ports, audio ports and the power connector. The webcam sits on top of the screen. Speaking of the 10.1″ screen, it has your usual 1024×600 resolution and a glossy finish with decent reading levels, although expect colors to fade when not looking the screen from the front.
While most of the specs are ok, I think that Toshiba should have bundled the NB 305 with 2GB RAM instead of 1GB as that effects the overall experience of using this netbook. Windows 7 is a bit demanding and on top of that, Toshiba adds Mcafee and their own applications which slows down everyday usage.
Design-wise, Toshiba has decided to go bling bling on the NB series. Instead of the subtle black design on the previous model, you now have a silver keyboard and a Mocha top. Although the copper colored lid looks nice, I wasn’t too impressed with the silver bottom. Also, the keys on the keyboard feel a bit smaller than the older model and I found making a lot more mistake while typing- at times, the clicks just wouldn’t register. Thankfully, the trackpad remains the same and using the large sized multi-touch trackpad proved to be a much better experience than typing.
We’ve measured the performance on the NB 305 using Performance Mark and have compared it to the HP Mini 210 which is also based on the latest netbook platform by Intel as well as the older Toshiba NB 200.
Battery life on the NB 305 is pretty impressive. I managed to get over eight hours out of it which is above average for netbooks that we’ve tested that generally pass out after six hours or so. The NB 305 does run a bit hot, especially its underside which got a bit uncomfortable at times.
Although priced decently at AED 1,650 (US$ 450), the NB 305 just isn’t as great of a follow up to NB 200 that I would’ve wished for.