Toshiba Satellite Pro A300 (PSAGDA-00K00R)
Cheap, effective and drab.
- Value for money, great variety of expansion ports, good typing action
- Boring design, heavier than average
The Toshiba Satellite Pro A300 is a unit that sits comfortably between the entry-level and mid-range notebook categories, featuring an excellent range of expansion ports and decent performance when balanced against its price tag. What lets it down is the dull design.
Price$ 1,540.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
Toshiba’s Satellite Pro A300 is a rather drab-looking workhorse that will satisfy business users looking for a device that’s better than an entry-level laptop but cheaper than a mid-level unit.
We weren’t impressed with the A300’s identically designed cousin, the Satellite Pro P300 (PSPCDA-00L00D), because of its boring grey aesthetic and dearth of features relative to its price tag (particularly because Toshiba is the source of the excellent and attractive Satellite A300 (PSAG4A-02600M)).
Fortunately for Toshiba, many business users won’t mind their laptop having the complexion of an elephant and, cosmetics aside, this notebook offers decent performance and a great range of expansion options for a price that's much more competitive the Toshiba Satellite Pro P300's .
Opening the hood reveals a 2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 CPU and 2GB of DDR2 RAM, as well as a 200GB hard drive that spins at 5400rpm. While this isn’t much space for those looking to store lots of movies or play high-end games, business users who limit themselves to office functions should find the capacity adequate.
That’s not to say that the A300 lacks gaming performance, however, with the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 providing a 3DMark06 score of 3803. The result isn’t mind-blowing, but it certainly is refreshing for around $1500, and will allow for faster frame rates when playing games. Even though we all know office workers would never game at work [Yeah you were just testing that graphics card — Ed], this notebook will be able to handle older games like F.E.A.R. at middle to low settings. Newer games like Crysis will probably barely run.
More relevant to all types of users is the excellent keyboard, which is easy to use and has great key response. The touchpad lacks traction but has fairly responsive tracking along with a fingerprint scanner between the left- and right-click buttons for more convenient security.
The A300’s 15.4in screen, with its native resolution of 1280x800, is fairly good and has decent colour contrast. Using it in sunlight is bound to cause reflectivity problems, but then this is a widespread issue found in almost all brands of notebooks.
Most users won’t mind the lack of Blu-ray drive, especially given the low price of this device. The dual-layer DVD-RW that is provided should continue to be relevant for some time to come thanks to the relatively slow take-up of the next-gen format.
Thankfully the notebook offers great future-proofing in the form of expansion options. Older ports like D-sub and S-video out are provided, and there is a built-in dial-up modem, too. Sleep and charge USB 2.0 ports continue to be a Toshiba staple and four of them are present, with one of them doubling as an e-SATA connection. There is also a FireWire port, which is a useful addition, and it sits below an ExpressCard/54 slot. This slot is great for attaching a 3G data card or digital TV-tuner.
When put through its paces in our worst case scenario DVD rundown test, the Pro A300 survived for 1hr 30min, which is pretty much the average for a 15.4in notebook. The laptop is a little on the heavy side, coming in at 2.8kg without the power supply and 3.5kg with it included.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 2 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 3 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
- 4 Ford Focus ST (2015) review: Absolutely mental styling, engine, handling
- 5 LG 65-inch UHD TV (65UF950T) review
Deals on Good Gear Guide
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Surface Pro 4 on sale at Microsoft's Sydney store on November 12
- Microsoft enters the notebook market with Surface Book
- As Microsoft focuses on mobile, Windows 10 will be key
- Microsoft to live-stream Tuesday's Surface Pro 4, Lumia event
- What we expect from Microsoft's massive device launch: new Surfaces, Lumias, and Band
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDatabase Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTLinux Administrator with AWS & DevopsNSW
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorVIC
- FTProduct Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTManual Test Engineer | Financial Institution | Web testingNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Client Side - Previous Agency Experience Welcome!!NSW
- FTMid level IT consultant | Systems Integration & Managed ServicesNSW
- FTDigital ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Account Manager - PR AgencyNSW
- FTBusiness Development & Account ManagementNSW
- FTLevel 2 IT Support TechnicianVIC
- FTSales SpecialistNSW
- FTAccount Manager | Music IndustryNSW
- FTField EngineerNSW
- FT1st & 2nd level IT support all-rounder in beautiful rural BathurstNSW
- CCMilitary simulation programmer with C# and Unity - 3 monthsNSW
- FTSystems Administrator | National commercial law firm | MS, AWS & eDiscoveryNSW
- FTAndroid DeveloperNSW
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web Application DeveloperNSW
- FTSystems Administrator - Managed ServicesNSW