SlashGear Review - Toshiba Satellite A205

You'll remember that I had the pleasure of testing out Toshiba's 17-inch behemoth laptop not too long ago. While its large screen was certainly great looking and gave you plenty of desktop space, it wasn't the lightest, or most powerful machine. However, I have recently been using their 15-inch A205 -S4639 which is which is smaller and more powerful.

The particular A205 that I have been using features an Intel Core 2 Duo T5300 clocked at 1.73GHz, 2GB of RAM, and a GeForce Go 7300 with 128MB of dedicated memory. It also has a total of 280GB of storage space. You'll also get a DVD burner, webcam, 802.11a/g/n wireless and Windows Vista Ultimate.

Overall, the looks of this machine are almost identical to the P205, with the exception of the keyboard, which doesn't have the number pad, and the screen which is obviously smaller. This also brings the weight of the system down to around 6lbs which isn't bad for a 15-inch notebook. You will also notice the addition of the biometric scanner located just below the arrow keys.

With the much higher specs on the A205, I expected the Windows Experience Index number to be considerably higher than its larger cousin. However, it only ranked an overall score of 3.2, whereas the P205 scored 3.0. I've never put much stock in the performance index, and for good reason. The laptop kept up with just about everything that I could throw at it. I've been a World of Warcraft addict for some time, so I like to play even when I'm not home. The game installed without issue, and I set the resolution to 1024 x 768 and kept most of the settings at about medium. Probably the most crowed spot in the game that you'll find yourself in is the Auction House in Stormwind, so I took my mage in for a stroll and was pleased to see the average of 30-35fps. Outside in the forest I was averaging closer to 45fps. The game was completely playable, and I will say that I spent plenty of time enjoying that aspect.

I was happy that it never really got very hot, though after a couple hours of gaming it would start to warm up, but never too hot to sit on my lap. It doesn't seem like it needs to work very hard to keep itself cool either as I rarely hear the fan turn on, and even then it's very quiet.

On the whole, the laptop is going to suit most people's needs. It's plenty portable, so you won't feel like you're lugging around a bag of bricks, but at the same time, you've got plenty of desktop space. It's powerful enough to play most games, or run programs like Photoshop.

My only two complaints are with the battery and the fingerprint reader. On average, I only got around 2 hours of life out of the laptop, which really isn't enough for someone that takes their laptop almost everywhere. Also, the fingerprint reader wasn't always the most reliable. Once in awhile it would stop working and I would need to rely on the old-fashioned way of logging on, so don't forget to set a password. I give the Toshiba Satellite A205-S4639 4 out of 5 gears.

[rating: 4]