First Review: Light Toshiba Notebook For Business Travellers
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7Overall Score
Product Rating7
Editor Rating7

Toshiba has just launched an ultra-portable notebook designed for the mobile professional. The A600 is a dead ringer for the company’s R500, but is equipped with the latest software and services to simplify your computing experience.


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The build and design is similar to Toshiba’s Portege R500, making the A600 a lightweight but tough notebook. It weighs from 1.46kg and is only 30mm thick, which is good for business travellers looking for a portable notebook that can last for hours on end.

The unit hosts the volume wheel, headphone and microphone jack, USB port, e-SATA/USB combo port, D-Sub out, and AC port on the left side, while a DVD drive, ExpressCard slot, Wireless on/off switch, SD card reader, USB, and Ethernet port are found on the opposite side.

Opening the lid reveals the trackpad with a fingerprint reader in between the mouse buttons, system indicators (DC-in, Power, Battery, HDD, SD/SDHC card, Wireless), built-in microphone, keyboard, Display and Toshiba Assist button on the upper right hand side of the unit, and a web camera sitting on top of the screen.

 


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The A600 uses Intel’s Core 2 Duo U9400 processor running at 1.4Ghz, has two gigabytes of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and runs on Windows Vista Business (SP1). It also comes with a suite of Toshiba’s ‘support’ programs that will help users maintain and troubleshoot their computer.

Various programs are pre-installed on the device which includes Adobe Acrobat 9, Windows Live OneCare, Google Desktop, Google Earth, Microsoft Office, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, Picasa2, Recovery Disc Creator, Truesuite Access Manager (for Fingerprint), Toshiba DVD Player, and various Toshiba Utilities that simplify computing.

The Toshiba Utilities include Cooling Performance Diagnostics, HWSetup (to configure your computer), Password Utility, PC Diagnostic Tool, PC Health Monitor, Restart Flash Cards, SD Boot and Format Utility, Security Assist, Face Recognition, Wireless Key Logon, USB Sleep and Charge, and Zooming Utility.

 

Toshiba also included an HDD Protection software (and accelerator) that parks your HDD head to a safe position whenever it detects vibration or shocks. It is pre-set to level 3 (high) and is so sensitive, even the slightest movement will park the HDD head. It gets annoying at times, especially when you just want to move your notebook to another side of your desk. So the best solution is to probably lower the settings when using the notebook to avoid the annoying ‘HDD has been parked’ pop-up.

The screen, which had a maximum resolution of 1280×800, was bright, had a wide viewing angle, and was not prone to glare. The speaker located on the upper-left hand side of the unit (near the hinge) can get loud but will not provide you with the best audio quality. It is better for users to connect the

The A600 lasted for 165 minutes in our DVD test (with volume and brightness set to maximum), and lasted for almost five hours in our productivity test when set to power saving mode.

Overall, the Toshiba A600 is a portable notebook that can give you the computing power you need to create worksheets and word documents while on the go. The only thing we did not like about this unit is its price tag. It will have an RRP of $2,530 (including GST), which seems a little steep, especially now that we are going through tough economic times.

See page over for product specifications and final rating.

 

Toshiba Portege A600 Features:

Intel Core 2 Duo @1.40Ghz
2GB RAM
Windows Vista Business (with Service Pack 1)
Mobile Intel GMA (Graphics Media Accelerator) Driver 4500MHD
HDD: 250GB
Display: 12.1-inch WXGA TFT High Brightness with LED Backlight
Battery Life: Up to 7.5 hours
Wireless: Bluetooth, Wireless Lan (802.11a/g/n)
Webcamera and speaker built-in

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Toshiba Portege A600 | $2,530 |  | www.toshiba.com.au

For: Solid build; Lightweight profile; Various software and support; Good battery life
Against: Asking price is a little steep; Not really a powerful unit
Conclusion: Productivity on the go with Toshiba notebook