Toshiba Satellite M300 (PSMD4A-023008)

Great features at a good price

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Toshiba Satellite M300 (PSMD4A-023008)
  • Toshiba Satellite M300 (PSMD4A-023008)
  • Toshiba Satellite M300 (PSMD4A-023008)
  • Toshiba Satellite M300 (PSMD4A-023008)
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • HDMI output, latest network connectivity options, sleek modern styling, 'Sleep and Charge' USB ports, good value

Cons

  • Glossy style may not appeal to all users, screen has reflectivity issues, battery life slightly low

Bottom Line

The Toshiba Satellite M300 (PSMD4A-023008) is a good value, feature-packed device. If you’re looking for a well-connected notebook that has plenty of storage and will work well on the road, the M300 is worth considering.

Would you buy this?

The Toshiba Satellite M300 (PSMD4A-023008) is a great laptop available for a reasonable price. Sporting a T8100 CPU, a 14.1in screen and a price tag of around $1800, the Toshiba is a strong contender in the mid-range market thanks to its relatively large hard drive, good range of network connectivity options and independent graphics processor.

The M300's design is similar to the Toshiba Satellite A300 (PSAG4A-02600M). Its glossy black body means it is great for people looking for an attractive design — whether or not it's too loud will depend on your personal preference.

The notebook is equally impressive under the hood. The 2.1GHz Core 2 Duo T8100 CPU and 2GB of DDR2 RAM run very smoothly, as shown by our WorldBench 6 score of 83. This means it's able to run most office applications smoothly, with some occasional slowdown during more hardware-intensive tasks such as video editing. In our iTunes benchmark, where we convert 53min of WAV files into 192Kbps MP3s, the T8100 returned a time of 1min 22sec, which is both respectable and what we expected from this CPU.

The independent ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3470 graphics card isn't mind-blowing, but at this price tag any independent graphics processor is welcome. Returning a 3DMark06 score of 1996, you'll be able to play older games like F.E.A.R. on low to medium settings using this laptop, while more modern games probably should be left alone.

The 320GB, 5400rpm hard drive is great value for this price bracket, and it is large enough to suit the storage needs of most users.

This unit also comes equipped with three of Toshiba's 'Sleep and Charge' USB 2.0 ports. These ports are capable of powering USB devices even when the laptop is switched off.

Also present are a FireWire port, a 5-in-1 card reader (SD, MS, MSPro, xD, MMC), one microphone port, a headphone port, an ExpressCard/54 slot, a D-sub port and an HDMI output. A dual-layer DVD-RW optical drive is installed on the right of the unit. This very impressive array of features means that a wide range of devices — from projectors to plasma TVs and camcorders — can connect to the M300.

In terms of network connectivity, the Satellite shines, thanks to all the latest options being available. Gigabit Ethernet is present, along with 802.11a/g/n wireless and Bluetooth 2. A 56Kbps modem is included for those who only have a dial-up Internet connection available.

The 14.1in screen has a native resolution of 1280x800 and displays images with great colour contrast and clarity. Unfortunately it is irritatingly reflective in brightly lit environments such as offices. Two Harmon Kardon speakers pump out sound that is surprisingly clear and loud, despite their small size.

Weighing 2.5kg without a power supply and 3kg with it included, the M300 is a little heavy for a 14.1in device but still suitable for use on the move. The M300 lasted 1hr 19min in our DVD rundown test, which is a little less than we'd like.

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