The Toshiba Satellite L300 (PSLB8A-0FM004) is a budget laptop with plenty of ports, a good battery life and a 15.4in screen. Unfortunately its processor speeds are very slow, even for a notebook under $1000.
The Toshiba Satellite L300 (PSLB8A-0FM004) isn't a visually striking laptop, with its "Aluminium Silver" coloured lid and black underside providing an inoffensive design that will suit business users.
The left side of the Toshiba Satellite L300 (PSLB8A-0FM004) notebook has two USB 2.0 ports, a D-Sub port and an Ethernet 10/100 connection as well as an ExpressCard/54 slot. A third USB 2.0 port is on the right-hand side next to the built-in DVD burner.
Lifting the Toshiba Satellite L300 (PSLB8A-0FM004)'s lid reveals a 15.4in screen and a full-sized keyboard. The display suffers from very limited horizontal and vertical viewing angles, which means that a group of people watching the screen will have trouble seeing what's being displayed unless they are all sitting right in front of it. The keyboard is comfortable and offers good bounceback, which is useful for touch typists who will be typing for long periods of time.
Under the hood, the Toshiba Satellite L300 (PSLB8A-0FM004) laptop uses a relatively slow 2.16GHz Intel Celeron 585 CPU with 2GB of DDR2 RAM and a 160GB hard drive, which has a spin speed of 5400rpm.
Our benchmarks highlighted the CPU's slow speed; the Blender rendering test took 2min 47sec to complete, while the iTunes test, where we convert 53min worth of WAV files into 192Kbps MP3s, finished in 2min 16sec. By comparison, the similarly priced HP Compaq Presario CQ50-114AU laptop completed the iTunes test in 1min 54sec.
We tested the 160GB hard drive by copying a folder with 1.06GB of files from one location on the drive to another and recorded an average speed of 19.52MBps, which is about average for a 5400rpm hard drive.
A built-in wireless card provides 802.11b/g networking and the Ethernet port is capable of 10/100 speeds. The lack of 802.11n wireless and Gigabit Ethernet is disappointing given that the similarly priced HP Compaq 6730s (FV305PA) laptop provides the faster networking options (as well as a better CPU).
If you're working on the road with the Toshiba Satellite L300 (PSLB8A-0FM004) notebook, you'll be happy to hear it has good battery life. It lasted 1hr 49min in our DVD rundown test, which is about 19min longer than average. The laptop weighs 2.7kg without the power supply, which is a bit heavy for a laptop this size. When the power supply is included, the total weight is 3.2kg.
While the Toshiba Satellite L300 (PSLB8A-0FM004) is a budget notebook with a sub-$1000 price point, it simply doesn't offer enough processing or networking speed. If you're a student looking for a cheap and cheerful laptop to type with or a business user that needs compatibility on a budget, then it may be worth looking at.
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