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[Engadget] Puma-based Toshiba Satellite A305 benchmarked and photographed

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
The Toshiba Satellite A305 series laptop holds a special place in my heart, be it the AMD or Intel version. Here at Computex 2008, I had a chance to check out the brand new AMD Puma platform version of the A305. While the name will probably change as more details come out, it is based off the same chassis and looks very similar. With the configuration almost identical to the A305D model we just reviewed, what better notebook to compare the new AMD Puma platform against?
Specifications of the Toshiba A300 AMD Puma notebook:
  • Windows Vista Home Premium (SP1, 32-bit)
  • AMD Turion Ultra ZM TL-80 (2.1GHz)
  • 15.4" diagonal widescreen TruBrite TFT LCD display at 1280x800 (WXGA)
  • RS780M + SB700 Chipsets
  • 2GB DDR2 800 SDRAM (maximum capacity 4GB)
  • 320GB 5400rpm Hard Drive
  • DVD SuperMulti (+/-R double layer) drive with Labelflash
  • 1.3 megapixel webcam
  • Harmon/Kardon stereo speakers
  • 75W (19V x 3.95A) 100-240V AC Adapter
  • 6-cell (4000mAh) Lithium Ion battery
Build and Design
The design is identical to both A305 models currently on the market, including the color scheme of the Fusion finish. The model on display was far from pristine with probably a billion fingerprints, but the finish underneath the sludge was still beautiful when wiped clean. Build quality is every bit the same, giving the same solid feel which to would expect from a high quality notebook.

(view large image)
Puma Changes
The AMD Puma-equipped notebook has gained an HDMI output, even though it sports integrated graphics. The older A305D notebook only offered VGA only as a primary video output connection. S-Video which used to be found on the A305D, is now gone on the new version, and you only see a blank port where that would have gone. One really nice feature that was a big surprise was the inclusion of and eSATA port, taking the place of one USB port.
Performance
The first thing on my mind when I saw this notebook was to find out how it compared to the older A305D notebook. I did not have the time to install PCMark05 while no one was looking, but I did manage to sneak wPrime on it. The resulting score was a bit under what I had hoped for, and slower than the previous notebook we had reviewed. Some of this might be attributed to the notebook being an engineering sample, with not so perfect drivers.
wPrime (version 1.58) comparison results:
38.437
Notebook / CPUwPrime 32M timeToshiba Satellite A305D (Turion Ultra ZM TL-80 @ 2.1GHz) 38.437s

Toshiba Satellite A305D (Turion X2 TL-64 @ 2.2GHz) 37.220s

Toshiba Satellite A305 (Core 2 Duo T8100 @ 2.1GHz) 36.442sAsus

M51S (Core 2 Duo T5550 @ 1.83GHz) 46.293s

Lenovo IdeaPad Y510 (Core 2 Duo T5450 @ 1.66GHz) 50.184s

HP Pavilion dv6700t (Core 2 Duo T5450 @ 1.66GHz) 50.480s

Dell Inspiron 1525 (Core 2 Duo T7250 @ 2.0GHz) 43.569s

Dell XPS M1530 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz) 37.485s

Portable One SXS37 (Core 2 Duo T7250 @ 2.0GHz) 41.908s

Sony VAIO NR (Core 2 Duo T5250 @ 1.5GHz) 58.233s

Toshiba Tecra A9 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz) 38.343s

Toshiba Tecra M9 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz) 37.299s

HP Compaq 6910p (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2GHz) 40.965s

Sony VAIO TZ (Core 2 Duo U7600 @ 1.20GHz) 76.240s

Zepto 6024W (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2GHz) 42.385s

Lenovo T61 (Core 2 Duo T7500 @ 2.2GHz) 37.705s

Alienware M5750 (Core 2 Duo T7600 @ 2.33GHz) 38.327s

Hewlett Packard DV6000z (Turion X2 TL-60 @ 2.0GHz) 38.720s

Samsung Q70 (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2.0GHz) 42.218s

Acer Travelmate 8204WLMi (Core Duo T2500 @ 2.0GHz) 42.947s

Samsung X60plus (Core 2 Duo T7200 @ 2.0GHz) 44.922s

Zepto Znote 6224W (Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2.0GHz) 45.788s

Samsung Q35 (Core 2 Duo T5600 @ 1.83GHz) 46.274s

Vista Windows Experience Index Scores:

(view large image)
Ports and Features

  • ExpressCard slot (ExpressCard/34 and Express Card/54)
  • 10/100 Ethernet
  • Modem jack
  • 5-in-1 media card reader
  • VGA out, HDMI
  • Microphone input port
  • Headphone output port
  • IEEE-1394 (FireWire)
  • Three USB 2.0 ports (with "Sleep and Charge")
  • One eSATA port
Left: VGA, HDMI, LAN, eSATA, one USB port, Firewire

(view large image)
Right: Two USB ports, Model, Optical Drive, AC Power, Kensington Lock Slot

(view large image)
Battery Life
As you might remember from our A305D review, with the 6-cell battery the older AMD notebook managed 3 hours even. The new Puma based notebook, with the power profile set to "Balanced" and screen brightness down estimated to 2 hours and 24 minutes remaining after a few minutes being unplugged. While these numbers don't look impressive, I highly suspect the low battery life is a result of this system being an early engineering sample.

(view large image)
Conclusion
Overall I was pleased to see a fast refresh of the Toshiba Satellite A305D in person with the new AMD Puma platform. It has all of the great features and styling of the A300, as well as a few upgrades from the past model with the inclusion of HDMI and eSATA. My only concern is the less than stellar system performance and battery life, which should have at least been on par if not better than the previous model. Let's hope once this revision becomes official, the kinks are worked out and performance goes way up.

"Booth babe" not included with purchase. (view large image)
http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4440
Edited by Halo2Vista - 6/4/08 at 6:23pm
post #2 of 10
Toshiba laptops looks so big and clunky to me. I avoided them and went with an HP. Then a Macbook.
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ElRigTheRig
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElMikeTheMike View Post
Toshiba laptops looks so big and clunky to me. I avoided them and went with an HP. Then a Macbook.
well, it's not like toshiba is the only one making the PUMA laptops. besides this is a really early engineering sample, so we may see some pretty cool laptops in a few months.....
post #4 of 10
I love my Toshiba.
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post #5 of 10
"Booth babe" not included with purchase"
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post #6 of 10
i lol'd at the booth babe not included with purchase x) how bout the table?
post #7 of 10
Price price PRICE?!
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post #8 of 10
What has changed with the Turion cpu from previous. They now call it the Turion "Ultra". I wonder if this is just some marketing crap or if the cpu is really different than before.
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by YeaBaby View Post
What has changed with the Turion cpu from previous. They now call it the Turion "Ultra". I wonder if this is just some marketing crap or if the cpu is really different than before.
kind of, but not really, the "ULTRA" is actually the new full 65nm line of turion dual cores, that will be placed at 2.1 GHz and higher, also Blu-ray capability, i'm not getting one, although very tempting. the reason i'm not getting one is i'm waiting till the "SHRIKE" platform AKA Mobile quad cores, this PUMA thing is most likely to rake in some more dough, but really shows the mobile power of hybrid CF .....
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by YeaBaby View Post
What has changed with the Turion cpu from previous. They now call it the Turion "Ultra". I wonder if this is just some marketing crap or if the cpu is really different than before.
Its 2 independent K8 cores and a northbridge integrated into the CPU as well. This allows the system to turn off one core and use only 1 if 2 aren't needed as well as reduce power usage from the northbridge and transferring data between the CPU cores and northbridge. Additionally its a higher clock then you find the regular Turion X2 normally. (Usually they are seen at 1.8ghz but the Ultra hits 2.1ghz.)
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