Review: Toshiba Satellite T130

 
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Published: April 16, 2010 11:00 PM
By Fabien Pionneau
The Toshiba Satellite T130 is available in various versions with components offering varying performance levels. Pricing also varies depending on the performance of the various configurations (see pricing table above). The version we tested was the 15F, priced slightly higher than the 14M (250GB hard drive 2GB RAM).

Slim, light, with good battery life and performance, the Toshiba Satellite T130 has, according to Toshiba, been "designed to make your life easier". In metallic red, precious black and pearl white, the T130 aims to please both in terms of design and portability.

Handling, design and build: certain annoying elements in spite of a good finish

We like how the Toshiba Satellite T130 looks but its glossiness means it attracts marks and smudging. Depending on the colour you go for this will be more or less obvious on the keyboard and the hood. This isn’t however the case with the screen and its frame that need to be handled carefully.

The finish is good and the T130’s slim line is impressive. Overall it seems robust, including the screen hinges.

Toshiba Satellite T130 keyboard

The keyboard gives firm, rapid and comfortable keying. It’s pared down and note the lack of additional keys (multimedia for example) beside the keyboard. This may be seen as a disadvantage by some, especially as the keyboard isn’t backlit, which can make it difficult to access some settings in the dark.

The touchpad is wide, to correspond to the 16:9 screen. There’s a good glide thanks to a matte coating which is nice to the touch. It's also slightly set into the casing. Unfortunately, although the matte surface gives a good glide, it’s not as precise as it could be. This makes it difficult to direct and ease-of-use suffers.

Toshiba Satellite T130 webcamThe webcam image is poor. Contrast is insufficient, the image is noisy and lacking in detail and whites are overexposed. Contrast also leaves something to be desired and the image you get in a darker room is average. Fluidity remains good however and colours are fine.

The T130’s fan is quiet. During demanding tasks you do hear it, which often isn’t the case on ultra-portable laptops.

The T130’s connectivity is made up of HDMI and VGA video outs, 3 USB 2.0 pors, 1 headphone and 1 mic connector, 1 RJ45 and a 5-in-1 memory card reader. There’s also Wi-Fi b/g/n and Bluetooth.

Underneath a panel gives access to the RAM.

Toshiba Satellite T130 Toshiba Satellite T130
Antitheft, VGA, fan, HDMI, 1 USB 2.0>

Toshiba Satellite T130

Toshiba Satellite T130 touchpad Toshiba Satellite T130
Touchpad and clicks

Memory card reader, headphones/microphone, 2 USB 2.0s, VGA, RJ45


Processing: a dual-core low energy processor that’s sufficient for office work
Windows 7 index: 3.3. Details: CPU 4.0 - Memory 4.7 - Graphics 3.6 – Gaming graphics 3.3 – Main hard drive 5.3.

Equipped with a Pentium Dual-Core SU4100 ultra low energy Intel (ULV) processor, this machine handles office tasks well enough. You can also do a bit of photo and video work as long as you’re patient with demanding tasks (photo, video editing, encoding and so on). The CPU index is nevertheless 47, which is more than 2 times most netbooks. In comparison, the Asus UL30A scores 51 thanks to a faster CPU, which is 50% down on our reference machine (100 on the index), the Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Xi3650 (equipped with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9400).

The processor can handle HD 1080p (Blu-Ray equivalent) on its own. However the integrated graphics solution from Intel can also take on this task and free up the processor. Occupation levels are then down from 95% to 10%. Energy consumption also then drops from 24 to 15.8 Watts.

3D gaming: old or 2D gaming, nothing else

Don’t expect to do any current 3D gaming, the Intel GMA 4500MHD graphics chip is very limited. Only certain older 3D games or 2D will still be playable in native resolution. You’ll have to sacrifice too much on the graphics side for them to be worth playing.

Audio: headphones out to be preferred

Audio isn’t always the strong point on laptops. It's often preferrable to use the headphones out and the Toshiba Satellite T130 is no exception. The speakers give a dry, aggressive sound with too much trebble.

Mobility, battery life: it’s not just netbooks that’ll give you 5 hours

The T130 gives an honourable performance when it comes to video playback (Wi-Fi disactivated, headphones plugged in and brightness at 100 nits). At 4H51, you can use it without plugging it in for a good part of the day.

The T130 is also relatively slim and at 1.76 Kg, you’ll be able transport it around without any problem. Shame that the charger isn’t a bit more compact.
3/5 Toshiba Satellite T130 DigitalVersus 2010-04-17 00:00:00

Pros

  • Slim
  • Good battery life
  • Good overall performance
  • Nice finish

Cons

  • Glossy poor quality screen
  • Touchpad lacks precision and responsiveness
  • Very average webcam

Conclusion

Slim, light and with good battery life, the T130 makes a good first impression. Unfortunately, the touchpad and screen aren’t up to standard, which compromises the overall comfort of use. This is nevertheless a well-put together laptop with enough under the bonnet for office work.

OUR SCORE 3/5
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