Toshiba Satellite Pro U500 (PSU9NA-00600N) notebook
Toshiba Satellite Pro U500 (PSU9NA-00600N) review: A great little business laptop, but it could use better battery life
- Built-in DVD burner, ExpressCard/54 slot, good keyboard, good office application performance
- Relatively poor battery life, fingerprint reader software had to be manually updated in order to use Firefox, sluggish hard drive
The 13.3in Toshiba Satellite Pro U500 looks good, performs well, has plenty of built-in features and is comfortable to use for long periods of time. Unfortunately, it has relatively poor battery life and it ships with fingerprint reader software that needs to be upgraded if you want be able to run Firefox. These issues notwithstanding, the U500 is still a good machine for business users, but it could be much better.
With a small, 13in frame, a DVD burner tucked in its side and a powerful Intel Core i5-430M CPU under the hood, the Toshiba Satellite Pro U500 (PSU9NA-00600N) has all the hallmarks of a potentially great business notebook. However, it's let down a relatively poor standard battery life, its hefty weight and problematic fingerprint reader software.
Toshiba Satellite Pro U500: Design and features
These issues alone aren't enough to put us off the Satellite Pro (PSU9NA-00600N) because it really is a nice laptop to use at home, in the office or while you travel. It's also not a boring-looking laptop: the palm rest and lid have a textured finish, there is a chrome trim around the speakers and there are plenty of lights.
The lights illuminate the shortcut buttons above the keyboard, the touchpad and the Satellite Pro brand label on the palm rest, but they are very bright and can get annoying; thankfully they can be switched off. The keyboard itself isn't backlit — unlike the keyboard on the Satellite U500 — but its glossy keys are soft and very comfortable for long periods of typing. The touchpad is a little on the small side at 64x41mm, but it does support gestures and it is responsive. The shortcut buttons above the keyboard can be used to control media playback, volume, as well as invoke Toshiba's 'Eco' mode power management feature. Eco mode disables unnecessary features and tones down the screen's brightness in order to prolong battery life.
Connectivity and features are plentiful: the U500 includes HDMI, eSATA, VGA, USB 2.0 (with Sleep-and-Charge capability), Gigabit Ethernet, an SD card slot, an ExpressCard/54 slot and a 56Kbps modem (in case you're unlucky enough to ever have to use dial-up again in your life). It also has a webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a fingerprint reader and a built-in DVD burner.
While it's definitely a well-stocked notebook, the downside is that it's also a little on the heavy side for its size. It weighs in at 2.2kg; this weight is definitely noticeable when the notebook is picked up with one hand. It also feels thick and bulky and, if it wasn't for the textured panels and bits of gloss, it would definitely feel like a good old office workhorse machine.
Satellite Pro U500: Specifications and performance
There is plenty of processing power under the hood of the Satellite Pro U500 for crunching spreadsheets and even for encoding videos. You get a 2.27GHz Intel Core i5-430M CPU, 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM, a 500GB, 5400rpm hard drive and an NVIDIA GeForce 310M graphics adapter. In our Blender 3D rendering and iTunes MP3 encoding tests, the U500 recorded times of 59sec and 1min 7sec, respectively. The Blender time is what we expected for a notebook using the Core i5-430M (it's exactly the same time as the Acer Aspire 5741-434G50Mn, for example), but the iTunes time is a couple of seconds off the pace.
In our video encoding test, AutoGordianKnot took 1hr 10min to transcode a DVD file to a 1.5GB Xvid file, which is a swift time — the Dell Inspiron 15R N5010, which runs the same CPU, recorded the same time in this test. The only test in which the U500 was sluggish was our hard drive file transfer test, in which the drive recorded a transfer rate of 20.78 megabytes per second. We expected a rate of at least 25MBps.
In the graphics department, the NVIDIA GeForce 310M adapter recorded a score of 3696 in 3DMark06, which is a decent result and it gives the Satellite Pro U500 a better ability to process business graphics and high resolution photos, and it also gives it the ability to run a few games (such as World of Warcraft, StartCraft 2 and car racing games in the Need For Speed franchise).
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- MSI Wins Computex Best Choice Award 2017 for a Record-Breaking 5 Products
- Surface Pro is Microsoft's long-awaited Surface Pro 4 upgrade, restyled as a laptop
- Google explains why Android apps still aren't on Chromebooks
- HP's Spectre x2 may be the Surface Pro killer we've been waiting for
- Asus ROG teases the world's first AMD Ryzen laptop
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Asus launches laptops to start Computex 2017
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 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
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTTest AnalystVIC
- FTUAT CoordinatorQLD
- FTeCommerce Solution ArchitectNSW
- FTPeopleSoft Technical Campus Solution DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Solution Designer/ ConsultantVIC
- CCSplunk Software DeveloperVIC
- CCSenior Project Manager (Office 365) - Finance - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTData Analyst/DeveloperNSW
- FTBusiness Intelligence DeveloperSA
- FTTest LeadACT
- FTHealthcare Integration Support/ Junior DBA - Brisbane BasedQLD
- FTSecurity Engineer (IPS & Firewall exp essential) - Perm - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- CCPenetration Test Analyst or Ethical HackerACT
- CCSolution ArchitectQLD
- CCGIS Consultant/ Developer - BRISBANENSW
- FTSoftware Licensing and Contract AnalystNSW
- CCJunior .NET DeveloperQLD
- CCSenior Systems Engineer - WintelNSW
- FTSenior Java DeveloperVIC
- FTChange ManagerQLD
- CCProcurement & Contract SpecialistNSW
- CCIdentity Access Management - Business AnalystVIC