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TOSHIBA Satellite A305-S6844 Any good?

post #1 of 6
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Hi all. Looking for a new notebook for my girlfriend and came across this one on newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834114459

I've never been a fan of Toshiba, she likes them, and it seems to be the best deal for the money. Has anyone had hands-on experience with it? It looks good, but I'm skeptical about toshiba's after the problems my sister has had with hers.Looking for $1k-1.5k USD with AT LEAST 2GB of RAM (3 or 4 preferable--don't care about dual-channel or not 'cause it's overrated, especially in notebooks), >160GB HD, C2D CPU>1.8GHz, and a dedicated video card (not for gaming--she does some molecular modeling, and generates 3D models to manipulate, etc.--and I've had nothing but trouble with intel's integrated gfx chipsets in the past), 15.4" screen (or 14.1" non-widescreen, but those are a little awkward to carry around, and she'd prefer widescreen, but it's not required). Weight isn't too big of a factor as long as it's around the 5-8.5lb range. She won't be carrying this everywhere she goes (mostly home use), but portability is obviously good to have for a notebook.

Anyone else have any suggestions? I'm not a fan of Dell's and neither is she (we've both had dell notebooks, and both had problems). I like Gateway--think there was a gateway posted yesterday from bestbuy here: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....#productdetail
but it's a bit heavy, and too graphics/gaming-oriented for what she needs (but it's a great price for what you get! wish I were looking for one atm...).

Any other suggestions? Thanks in advance!
    
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post #2 of 6
Does she need 320 GB of space? Why not just by a laptop with 200GB of space thats 7200 RPM HDD? And does she need a 3650, because integrated GPU will be fine for movies and such

for the price though, that laptop comes loaded with TONS of stuff. it's excellent if you cant config it on a website. edit: i checked out toshiba's site, the same laptop is listed for 150$ more, but you can't config it with a bette hdd.

Working in a tech depot, we say old toshiba's in a lot for overheating issues, they were suppose to have fixed that. other than that, toshiba's are reliable, and usually packed with goodies. if she doesn't mind looks, I'd suggest configuring her a lenovo that's the most resilient laptop out of all laptop makers [next to the ridiculously priced toughbooks from panasonic]

Here's a link to a list of mobile GPU's and their benchmarks:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-...ist.844.0.html
Edited by phospholipid - 7/1/08 at 11:05am
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phospholipid View Post
Does she need 320 GB of space? Why not just by a laptop with 200GB of space thats 7200 RPM HDD? And does she need a 3650, because integrated GPU will be fine for movies and such

for the price though, that laptop comes loaded with TONS of stuff. it's excellent if you cant config it on a website. edit: i checked out toshiba's site, the same laptop is listed for 150$ more, but you can't config it with a bette hdd.

Working in a tech depot, we say old toshiba's in a lot for overheating issues, they were suppose to have fixed that. other than that, toshiba's are reliable, and usually packed with goodies. if she doesn't mind looks, I'd suggest configuring her a lenovo that's the most resilient laptop out of all laptop makers [next to the ridiculously priced toughbooks from panasonic]

Here's a link to a list of mobile GPU's and their benchmarks:
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Mobile-...ist.844.0.html
Thanks for the response! First of all, +rep.

Regarding the HD--she doesn't need 320GB of HD space right now per se--I'm sure 200GB would be fine, and that's something that can easily be upgraded in the future. While there are definitely some performance increases in going to a 7200rpm drive from a 5400rpm drive, I don't know what she expects from battery life vs. performance (if it matters at this moment)--I'll ask. Perhaps a 5400rpm SATA drive would be plenty for her...

Also, I'm skeptical of intels integrated gfx chipsets--like I mentioned, I've had nothing but trouble with them in notebooks in the past (and she does rely on 3d applications for her work, so I'd rather her have a dedicated card to handle the graphics than an integrated one).

Good to hear that toshiba's aren't as bad as what my sister had--tbh, I've never owned one or used one for any extended period of time. I'd be hesitant to suggest a lenovo because of the battery issues they've had as of late (within the last 6 months-year or so)--perhaps that's been settled though.

Thanks again for the response!

EDIT--off topic, is your avatar a metabolic pathways chart?
    
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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyladouche View Post
words
Lenovo's battery life are something to be improved, but two years working in a Tech Depot, I only saw 2 lenovos, one was for a memory upgrade and the other was to have it's data backed up. They're very "serious" laptops, but I'm assuming that your girlfriend doesn't need a titanium roll cage or magnesium alloy hinges.

That being said, 5400 isn't bad. TBO, when I use my sisters laptop [5400 160 GB HDD], the read times aren't terrible. You can always wait a month or two, purchase a 7200 RPM HDD, and ghost all the information using a HDD tool, onto the new HDD :]. Likewise, I'm assuming your girlfriend won't notice the lag like you or I would, but will use the space for movies and photos.


EDIT
: Power Consumption for 7200 HDD's aren't that bad, around .6 watts more on seek.\\
http://techreport.com/articles.x/9859/14 - this whole article compares 2.5" HDD's


Toshiba's [almost 4 year old ones] have a bad rap, because they had awkward air cooling that would suck up dust and overheat. Other than that, I never receive toshiba's with other major issues, like HP/Compaq motherboard/power failures, macbooks logic board failures, Compaq's HDD failures. They newer ones are solid, and I enjoy them, my friend owns one for almost a year, with CONSTANT use [including my tinkering] and it has 0 issues.

As for GPU, you can't beat 1200$ for a Mobile 3650HD, that's pretty much a 8600 GT 256 in a laptop :]. In my book, laptops [not factoring price] go in this order. Lenovo > Sony > Toshiba > Macbook Pros/ASUS > HP/Compaq > Gateway > Fujitsu> Dell

EDIT: It's the trolley/transits map for Los Angles, California.
Edited by phospholipid - 7/1/08 at 11:39am
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phospholipid View Post
Lenovo's battery life are something to be improved, but two years working in a Tech Depot, I only saw 2 lenovos, one was for a memory upgrade and the other was to have it's data backed up. They're very "serious" laptops, but I'm assuming that your girlfriend doesn't need a titanium roll cage or magnesium alloy hinges.

That being said, 5400 isn't bad. TBO, when I use my sisters laptop [5400 160 GB HDD], the read times aren't terrible. You can always wait a month or two, purchase a 7200 RPM HDD, and ghost all the information using a HDD tool, onto the new HDD :]. Likewise, I'm assuming your girlfriend won't notice the lag like you or I would.

Toshiba's [almost 4 year old ones] have a bad rap, because they had awkward air cooling that would suck up dust and overheat. Other than that, I never receive toshiba's with other major issues, like HP/Compaq motherboard/power failures, macbooks logic board failures, Compaq's HDD failures. They newer ones are solid, and I enjoy them, my friend owns one for almost a year, with CONSTANT use [including my tinkering] and it has 0 issues.

As for GPU, you can't beat 1200$ for a 3650M, that's pretty much a 8600 GT 256 in a laptop :]. In book, laptops [not factoring price] go in this order. Lenovo > Sony/ASUS > Toshiba > Macbook Pros > HP/Compaq > Gateway > Fujitsu> Dell

EDIT: It's the trolley/transits map for Los Angles, California.
Yeah, she probably wouldn't notice a 5400rpm drive over a 7200rpm one (especially given the age of her current, awful HP laptop...LOL). I think that's something that she can work with and see if it's something she'd like to upgrade after buying (since it's easy enough).

I see--so you'd rate ASUS above toshiba? That's good to know. TBH, I was completely discounting ASUS notebooks because I've never had any experience with them, and they're fairly new. I'll look into those and see... Great info! +rep again! If the price is equal to the spec's would you suggest a lenovo over a toshiba?
    
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post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyladouche View Post
Yeah, she probably wouldn't notice a 5400rpm drive over a 7200rpm one (especially given the age of her current, awful HP laptop...LOL). I think that's something that she can work with and see if it's something she'd like to upgrade after buying (since it's easy enough).

I see--so you'd rate ASUS above toshiba? That's good to know. TBH, I was completely discounting ASUS notebooks because I've never had any experience with them, and they're fairly new. I'll look into those and see... Great info! +rep again! If the price is equal to the spec's would you suggest a lenovo over a toshiba?

I've already looked into it, the lenovo will be about 300$ more for the matching specs, and unless she's gonna be using it EVERYDAY about 4-6 hours of the day, on the go/field work, like most business people, I'd say go with the toshiba. Plus, lenovo's only come with quadro cards, not basic graphics cards. If she treats the laptop like my sister treats her HP, [backpack, school, living room use, and as a desktop in her room] it'll last her a long long time. I'm sorry, I ment to match ASUS with Macpros. I love their EEE Pc's and the amount of modification you can perform on them. I haven't used them extensively, but all the raving reviews and modification logs can't be far off.
Edited by phospholipid - 7/1/08 at 11:41am
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