10 May 2009

Toshiba Portêgê A600

A lightweight laptop with a five-hour battery life

Toshiba's latest addition to its popular Portége notebook range is the A600 ultraportable that comes in two models, the 120 and our review sample. the 122. 'I he only difference :s the size of the hard disk: 160GB and 25CG6 respectively.

The silver finish of the A600 is only relieved by the matt black screen frame, chromed mouse buttons and Toshiba logo on the lid. The laptop weighs a mere 1.8kg, including the small power brick, so you can carry it around all day without noticing it But the light weight comes at a cost, as the wrist pad has a degree of flex to it and the lid is pretty thin and fragile

The A600 is powered by one of Intel's low-voltage 5U9300 Core 2 Duo processors, clocked at 1.2GHz and backed by 2GB of 800MHz DDR2 memory. It won't set the world alight with its performance (PCmark05 score of 2,842), but the processor does have a Thermal Design Power (TDP) of just 10W and a large 5.800mAh battery, so the battery life is impressive. It lasted six hours, 17 minutes with the latest version of Mobilerrark 07, tested under normal working conditions and managed seven hours, 18 minutes when used as an ebook.

The 12.1in WXCA screen has a 1,280x800 pixel resolution with LED backlighting. It doesn't have high-gloss coating and the matt finish subdues the colours and contrast a little — but you soon get used to it and it doesn't reflect office lighting.

Although the keybed has a lot of flex, the keys themselves feel good to use, as does the touchpad. A fingerprint reader is also included for added security

One of the three USB ports is a combo eSata/USE and features Sleep-and-Charge which allows any chargeable peripheral to charge when the !aptop is turned off. Simon Crisp

Personal Computer World April 2009


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