Being a tech lover does not exclude loving food too!
Toshiba Satellite Pro P300 (PSPCDA-00L00D)
Powerful yet still underwhelming.
- Sleep and Charge USB connections, e-SATA, excellent usability, large hard drive capacity
- Unattractive design, no HDMI, no high-end multimedia features, doesn't match up to competitors
Although the Toshiba Satellite Pro P300 (PSPCDA-00L00D) is a fast system with Toshiba's noteworthy Sleep and Charge USB ports and plenty of hard drive space, the unattractive design and lack of features when compared to similarly priced units mean that you're better off looking elsewhere.
Price$ 2,420.00 (AUD)
As the desktop replacement notebook market fills up, the Toshiba Satellite Pro P300 (PSPCDA-00L00D) finds itself either matched or outpaced in almost every respect: from aesthetics and performance to multimedia features and value. In fact, the Pro P300’s only saving graces are its excellent keyboard and its relatively large dual hard drives.
When lifting the screen of the P300, two words come to mind: “big” and “boring”. While this isn’t a problem for business users preferring functionality over style, it’s odd that the same company that brought out the very stylish and powerful Satellite A300 (PSAG4A-02600M) has now presented such a dull and dreary option.
Using the Pro P300 was easy and comfortable thanks to the generous full-sized keyboard and number pad, as well as the speedy internal components.
In terms of performance, the P300 is a good notebook thanks to its strong hardware. A 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 processor runs the show with 4GB of DDR2 RAM. It should be noted, however, that the 32-bit versions of Windows Vista Business and Windows XP provided with the Toshiba aren’t able to properly use all 4GB, leaving around 1GB wasted.
More impressive are the two 320GB hard drives, which spin at 5400rpm and provide more than enough space for most users. It’s also more storage space than most notebooks provide, even when they’re as big as the P300. The 17in screen with a native resolution of 1440 x 900 also works well, providing vivid colour reproduction.
In our iTunes test, where we strain the CPU by converting 53min of WAV files into 192Kbps MP3s, the strength of the T9400 shone through with an excellent time of 1min 10sec. This was slightly slower than what we were expecting, but still indicative of a fast processor. Due to a software malfunction, our WorldBench 6 tests were unable to complete the Autodesk 3D rendering benchmarks, and this explains the relatively low score of 83.
The ATI Mobility Radeon HD3650 was able to produce a 3DMark06 score of 3901, which indicates an ability to play older games like Half Life 2 and F.E.A.R. at medium settings, but an inability to churn through newer DirectX 10 titles such as Crysis.
Sadly, this is where we have to start mentioning the similarly priced laptops that blow the P300 straight out of the water. Although NEC’s Versa P9210-2500DR is just $70 more, it offers an identical CPU along with a 3DMark06 score of 5881.
The Satellite comes with a range of expansion options. Toshiba’s four 'Sleep and Charge' USB 2.0 ports are brilliant, offering power to USB-based devices such as MP3 players without the need to power on the entire computer. One of these doubles as an e-SATA port, letting users connect to a range of products, such as external hard drives, at very high speeds. The lack of an HDMI port is puzzling, given the widespread adoption of the connection. Fortunately there is an S-video out port and a D-sub port for connecting to older external displays.
Toshiba, the main promoter of HD-DVD, stubbornly refuses to surrender against Sony’s Blu-ray format and provides dual-layer DVD-RW optical drives across its range. In the up and coming entertainment series of notebooks Toshiba partially negates this by including built-in FM radio and DVB-T tuners, but they have strangely left both out in the P300.
In contrast, the afore-mentioned NEC has both a Blu-ray player and an HDMI port while other laptops like Dell’s Studio 17 (1735) skip the Blu-ray player in favour of TV tuner cards. While these features aren’t essential to business notebooks, the added extras never hurt — especially when the prices are practically identical.
Given that the P300 is a desktop replacement equipped with a 17in screen, it’s no surprise that the unit is fairly heavy. Weighing in at 3.45kg without the power supply, the package is 4.2kg all up making it a back-breaking effort to move around. When we ran our battery rundown test by looping a DVD movie the Pro P300 held out for 81 minutes. This isn’t a particularly good result: it will cut short the majority of feature length films just before the climax.
In terms of network connectivity, the Toshiba offers the latest options with 802.11n wireless and Gigabit Ethernet built in, along with Bluetooth 2.1 for users with compatible accessories.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung unveil Galaxy Book 2
- Alienware angle towards portability with Alienware m15
- Razer announces new headset, keyboard and mouse
- IFA 2018: MSI expand Prestige range with new P65 Creator
- IFA 2018: ASUS launch first TUF gaming laptops
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Hands on with Huawei's Mate 20 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies