Toshiba Satellite A300 (2009)

Toshiba's A300 certainly stands out in a crowd, but its battery life means you won't be out in the crowds for long.


7.3
CNET Rating
8.5
User Rating

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Design
Toshiba's Satellite A300 is a visually striking system, especially in the age of netbooks, when vendors are striving for notebooks that are ever smaller and less noticeable. The A300 stands out, at least partially because it's pretty big; 362x267x38.5mm and 2.69kg isn't small in anybody's language, and the widescreen 15.4-inch display is counterpointed by the large quantity of space that Toshiba gives the generous keyboard. The A300 also stands out for the semi-business-like tone that the mixed black and "mercury silver" casing with stripes gives it, as well as the Harman/Kardon speakers that sit above the keyboard.

The Satellite A300 uses a latch-free system for the lid. After a certain point the lid just "snaps" down into place. We're always wary of laptop screens flying open in bags and inviting scratches and breaks, but Toshiba's take on this was mostly rugged in our minor tests. It's still not a toughbook, mind you.

Features
Toshiba sells a huge number of configurations under the A300 branding, so it's important to check that what you're getting matches what you expect. The PSAGCA-09Y01N model we tested came with an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 2.4GHz processor, a hefty 4GB of RAM, 400GB 5400rpm SATA hard drive and Windows Vista Home Premium. Fans of 64-bit Vista, with its admitted edge in stability will be pleased to note that it's an option within the A300's recovery partition.

The A300 15.4-inch WXGA display is run from an ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3650 with 512MB of RAM and the ability to grab up to 2302MB of memory in total from the unit's 4GB of on-board RAM. Optical duties are handled by a DVD SuperMulti double/dual-Layer drive. The A300's also not lacking in ports, from a single ExpressCard slot, HDMI, VGA, S-Video, three USB 2.0 ports, one shared USB/eSATA port, one FireWire port, gigabit Ethernet and a five-in-one card reader. Wireless networking is covered by both Bluetooth 2.1 and 802.11a/g/n WiFi.

Performance
One feature that we've long liked in Toshiba's laptops have been the keyboards, which are usually roomy and with great travel — well, for a laptop keyboard, anyway. The A300 doesn't disappoint, with a slick feeling keyboard that responds well to even quite quick typing speeds. Likewise, almost all of the A300's physical features, from the screen to the speakers offered up good clarity for most multimedia tasks. About our only physical issue with the A300 is that, like so many big and hefty laptops, it's something of a groin cooking machine when placed on the lap for any period of time.

The A300 did well in our basic performance tests, with a PCMark05 score of 5613 and 3DMark score of 3925. That's not right up there with the best gaming laptops you can get, but it's sufficient for most mid-range gaming titles to run.

You're going to want to keep it tethered to a power supply, however. Running our DVD playback benchmark with power-saving measures disabled and screen brightness set to maximum, the A300 lasted a scant one hour and 20 minutes. It's not really a portable laptop to begin with, but the battery life issue pretty much seals its fate as a desktop replacement unit.

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ahmedamrazzam
9
Rating
 

"It is what a teenager will need."

ahmedamrazzam posted a review   
Egypt

The Good:Almost Everything is fine.

The Bad:Its battery is terrible.

I am an Egyptian living in Saudi Arabia. I bought it in 2009 and I was amazed by it. I am still amazed by it, but up till now I have bought three batteries but now they all don't work. Everything else is fine, but the problem is only the battery.

VhANZ
7
Rating
 

VhANZ posted a review   

The Good:Speakers, Keyboard, Slick and iconic look

The Bad:battery

I had mine back in early 2009. First impression of it is that it is quite bulky, but the bulk delivered much of the gaming (moderately), video and sound (above average) qualities of a personal computer that an average user looks for..The speakers are great. I used to have a computer with Altec Lansing on it, it did not compare to the power of the speakers of harman/kardon that this laptop had..though it is really bulky and heavy to carry around, it think most laptop choices a person can have will have the same setback in terms of the bulk and weight issue if gaming, video, and power qualities are sought..overall, the computer really stands out considering the price. And even after two years of having it around new computers, the look of it didn't really went out of style..this laptop is like the "Lamborgini diablo" of computers..It's look and design is iconic..i think even after 5 years, it would still look as if it is still in the game..Well, as others have it, the battery really sucked..I am not sure if Toshiba considered this issue first hand..Such specs and power should have had an equal capacity and reserve of energy..Imagine how much Toshiba would have earned if they only figured out how to sustain this machine running unplugged for let us say 6-8 hours? All the reviews as u have seen mostly pointed out the battery as the major issue here..And i share their sentiment..Moreover, i usually always plug this baby every time I used it at home for like 10 months or so..But after that, I used it mostly by battery power, and there are a lot of time that i think the battery is always drained..then after, the battery can only run on a 100 percent charge for only 12-15 mins..as the battery meter says..i don't know if that is a normal life span for a Li-on battery, but i think it sunk the boat..less than 2 years, and the battery really needs to be replaced..Over-all, it is above average on an average computer user's standard if you ask me..

KingBubbles
8
Rating
 

KingBubbles posted a review   

The Good:Functionality, Performance, Reliability

The Bad:Battery Life, Heat

Had this unit for three years now and I purchased it as a desktop replacement.

This is my third Toshiba Satellite I have owned. Overall, I am still very pleased and hope to get a few more years out of it.

 

pepperero posted a comment   

The Good:ok

The Bad:speakers not working

really good computer,however speakers stop working also gets very very hot
and battery life is bad

SMB
9
Rating
 

SMB posted a review   

The Good:Design, speakers, performance, durability

The Bad:heavy

This is an awesome machine. 3 years into it, I haven't had a single problem. Once I spilled an entire glass of drink on it, and immediately held it upside down. The drink drained out and my video never even stopped playing. :)

luis
8
Rating
 

luis posted a review   

The Good:Most everything

The Bad:Battery,

I have one since 4/09 , i very happy with him, my next one will be a Toshiba for sure

Sazza
8
Rating
 

Sazza posted a review   

The Good:Strong, Performance, Keyboard, Graphics, Memory,

The Bad:Battery Life, Heavy

I was very impressed with this laptop when I first bought it, it's very capable of running games that require high graphic components, and also can run many things at once with it's high RAM.

More recently, I found that it is very sturdy and strong.. When it accidently slipped off the table, it still ran perfectly fine, and in another instance while the laptop lid was closed it happened to be stepped on, and although a large crack descended through the screen, it once again proved strong.

Short battery life is a concern, as well as the temperature the laptop itself can climb up to, and tended to overheat and do a emergency shut-down to prevent damage. But it seemed to be, ever since the laptop had it's fall off the table the fan appears to be working better and has not overheated since!
I've had it for roughly 2 and a half years and I'm not thinking about buying a new laptop.
Good on you Toshiba A300, You're one weird but fantastic laptop.

YOURMUMISGAY[x
8
Rating
 

YOURMUMISGAY[x posted a review   

The Good:glossy keyboard, hd, sound

The Bad:battery life, webcam

the battery doesnt last that long like it used to and the webcam isnt that good other then that everything is perfect love it


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User Reviews / Comments  Toshiba Satellite A300 (2009)

  • ahmedamrazzam

    ahmedamrazzam

    Rating9

    "I am an Egyptian living in Saudi Arabia. I bought it in 2009 and I was amazed by it. I am still amazed by it, but up till now I have bought three batteries but now they all don't work. Everything e..."

  • VhANZ

    VhANZ

    Rating7

    "I had mine back in early 2009. First impression of it is that it is quite bulky, but the bulk delivered much of the gaming (moderately), video and sound (above average) qualities of a personal comp..."

  • KingBubbles

    KingBubbles

    Rating8

    "Had this unit for three years now and I purchased it as a desktop replacement.

    This is my third Toshiba Satellite I have owned. Overall, I am still very pleased and hope to get a ..."

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