The Toshiba Satellite M100 is a lightweight, media orientated notebook with solid overall performance and a reasonably low price tag. It will suit those looking for a budget unit that can comfortably perform office functions and play digital media, but don't expect to use this unit for heavy duty gaming.
- Good display, Sturdy Build, Fingerprint reader, Harman Kardon speakers and dedicated media controls
- Not great for gaming and graphics intensive applications
If you need a solid multimedia notebook and don't intend on playing games, the M100 fits the bill nicely.
Price$ 1,599.00 (AUD)
The Satellite M100 is a 1.60GHz Intel Centrino Duo T2050 notebook with a 14.1in widescreen LCD display. The display itself is in a widescreen XGA resolution and is very crisp and clear. It has a maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200 and particularly excels when watching DVD movies.
The M100 comes with 512MB of DDR2 RAM (that can be expanded up to 4GB), a 60GB hard disk and a DVD-RW drive. Wireless networking (802.11a/b/g) is included in addition to wired networking via rear Ethernet and Modem ports. There is also wireless Bluetooth connectivity but no infrared. The M100 has four USB 2.0 ports, headphone and microphone jacks, an SD/XD/MMC and Memory Stick card reader, a FireWire 400 port, S-Video port and a standard 15-pin D-sub port for external monitor connection.
Like many notebooks we've reviewed recently, the M100 is equipped with a biometric security fingerprint scanner which we found worked very well. The scanner can be used with any application that requires password authentication, so it is pretty versatile and can be tailored to suit most user security needs. The M100 also has a standard two button touchpad that we found to be quite responsive, although the lack of a scrolling pad was a small inconvenience.
Aesthetically, the unit is similar to previous Satellite models, although the top of the M100 clamshell comes in indigo blue and is emblazoned with a brushed silver Toshiba logo. Flipped open, the unit achieves a contrasting interior thanks to a silver finish around the keyboard and a matt black bezel around the display. Overall, the M100 has a fairly standard design, although its multiple rounded curves and sleek edges give it a touch of class.
This unit is ideal for media playback on account of its included Harman Kardon speakers and dedicated media controls. The speakers were of fairly good quality, although the bass wasn't as pronounced as we'd have liked. The speakers are located above the keyboard and include keys for play/pause, stop as well as previous and next track. There are also dedicated Internet and CD/DVD keys for quick access to media.
The Satellite M100 received a World Bench 5 score of 81, which is fairly standard for a machine with these specifications. The M100 does rely on integrated graphics (Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950) with up to 128MB video memory taken from the RAM, and the system exhibited poor performance under 3DMark 2001 with a score of just 4742. It is important to note that this system isn't targeted at gamers though, so with this in consideration the score isn't particularly surprising.
The Satellite M100's battery lasted 2 hours and 11 minutes while playing our test DVD The Usual Suspects. This is an above average result for a notebook with these specifications. The battery life should be more than adequate for most user's needs, and suits the notebooks media purposes rather well.
We were pleased to report that the Satellite M100 is a very quiet machine and we only managed to make out fan noise during heavy load times. Even then, it was not excessive and the unit didn't get noticeably hot either, so it should be comfortable for long periods of use.
Toshiba claims the M100 is Windows Vista Capable, but you'll have to upgrade the RAM as Vista requires a minimum of 1GB to run comfortably. The M100 also includes a free preloaded 60 day Microsoft Office Trial and a range of software including Toshiba Utilities, Microsoft OneNote 2003, Record Now! Basic, DLA for Toshiba, Toshiba Speech System, Toshiba Touch and launch, Recovery Disk Creator, ConfigFree, Intervideo WinDVD, Norton Internet Security 2006, Adobe Acrobat Reader and Windows Movie Maker.
Overall, the Satellite M100 is a solid multimedia notebook at a competitive price, provided you don't wish to play games or run any graphically intense applications.
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